The Original Poster Company

The Original Poster Company is offering a number of established franchises for re-sale around the country. Adam Browning reports on an opportunity to secure a business with proven profitability

With over two billion cards sold last year, we spend more on greeting cards per head than any other nation. Since its launch in 1991, The Original Poster Company (OPC) has secured a strong foothold in an industry which is worth over £1 billion a year.

OPC's own range of high quality greeting cards is highly sought after by independent retailers and national buying groups. With a national network of 71 franchisees across the UK and Ireland established since 1993, OPC has been a recognised national leader in the greetings card distribution industry for over a decade.

A number of established territories are now being made available for re-sale for suitable business builders nationwide. OPC franchisees supply retail outlets with their products on a 'sale or return' basis, providing a no risk opportunity for the retailer. The franchisee then simply makes regular return visits to replenish stock and collect their money.

Being a business based from home, OPC offers the franchise investor the flexibility and independence to develop the business even further. This freedom was the first thing that attracted Croydon franchisee Mark Sheldrake to OPC: 'This franchise really appealed as I wanted a business that I could run from home where my wife Tracy and I could work together as a team.'

By investing in an OPC re-sale opportunity, franchisees will have the advantage of starting in an established franchise area with an existing customer base. After being trained in OPC's proven system, the franchisee will then develop the business further.

OPC runs an intensive training scheme encompassing every aspect of the business including its marketing and merchandising systems. OPC Franchise Director Jeremy Webster explains: 'We have a very comprehensive seven day training course but, importantly, we also provide ongoing support. We have a team of business development managers in the UK whose responsibilities include looking after the franchisees, so they are on hand to advise and to provide additional training on a regular basis.' While sales experience is an advantage, applicants need to be confident and outgoing.

'If you have the right skills, you can be trained,' Jeremy states. 'More importantly a franchisee should be motivated, committed with a strong desire to succeed as well as being able to communicate effectively.'

Having operated their OPC franchise for almost two years, the Sheldrakes report considerable growth and consistently met targets. 'It's a matter of building relationships with your customers,' Mark reflects. 'The OPC franchise is a great investment. It's a lot more flexible and gives us much more control over our working life. The way OPC has developed over the last 18 months illustrates to me that this is a company that wants to go places.'