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Store Stories: Building Business Relationships

Store Stories: Building Business Relationships

Owning a franchise requires hard work and dedication, among many other factors. But simply operating the business day to day isn’t enough for The UPS Store franchisees; they display through their work with employees and their communities that relationships play a key role in their success.

A focus on employee training and empowerment paired with a desire to serve and build community relationships have consistently proven to be the winning combination for the following The UPS Store franchise owners.

Surjit Malhi and Navjeet Kaur 

Surjit Malhi and Navjeet Kaur, husband and wife team with two California The UPS Store locations, take their customer service very seriously. Firmly believing that “helping” is their number one job, they always say yes to their customers even if it’s something they’ve never done before. They pride themselves on finding a solution for each unique customer need, no matter how intimidating or complicated it may initially seem. 

Surjit and Navjeet were both born in India and earned Computer Science degrees before moving to the San Francisco Bay Area. After spending years in the restaurant industry with grueling hours, they pursued a career change with a better work-life balance. Surjit applied for a job with his local The UPS Store, and during the interview shared his dream of becoming a small business owner. Surjit began working behind the counter right away, learning the business and researching how he could eventually make owning a franchise work for himself and his family.   

With their love of building relationships, their professional expertise and their entrepreneurial spirit, becoming franchise owners with The UPS Store fit perfectly into Surjit and Navjeet’s lives. 

Customer and community relationships were a priority from the very beginning for Surjit and Navjeet. For their first store opening, they invited neighbors and employees of their local school district, college and church. While they expected 20-25 to attend, they found that their enthusiasm was contagious enough to attract 70 people. Navjeet shares, “It’s so much fun when we’re able to meet people and talk with them in person.” 

Surjit and Navjeet show their dedication to customers daily. Whether it’s calling to ensure sentimental items have reached their destination unscathed, translating for an attorney’s clients or inspiring other customers to pursue their own dreams of becoming a small business owner, it’s all in a day’s work. According to Surjit, “It’s a really good business, but keep in mind that customer service is the most important thing.” 

Ken Weber 

A Massachusetts native and entrepreneur at heart, Ken Weber has a passion for positivity that is reflected in his work with The UPS Store. Ken and his team have done it all, from shipping a tree to the interior of an airplane, all while building customer relationships along the way. Although sometimes a new customer request can present an initial challenge of how to get it done, Ken always says, “Yes, we can do that!” and then figures it out along the way. 

Ken studied business management in college and started his career as the owner of several car and truck rental companies. He then moved on to the long hours and poor work-life balance inherent in corporate restaurant management. Becoming exhausted and realizing that working for someone else wasn’t what he loved, he decided to nurture his entrepreneurial spirit and pursue franchise opportunities with The UPS Store. Now he owns two The UPS Store locations and proudly shares, “I have a passion for running this business.” 

Ken’s dedication to customers translates to his team as well. They understand that customers look to them for solutions, and their experience and attitude always get the job done. Some of the close community relationships that Ken and his team have built are with neighbors, local politicians and even New England Patriots players. Ken also prides himself on the relationships he’s built with his team, noting a few employees who have been with his team for over seven years and a few since the very beginning. Ken says, “I’m very good to my employees. When they need time off, they get time off.” 

Michael Phillips  

Born in Germany and having been raised throughout the United States and Germany in a military family, Michael Phillips is no stranger to service. After watching both of his parents serve in the military, with his father retiring as a full Colonel from the U.S. Army and his mother then becoming a teacher and school board member, Michael learned from his role models to “give something back and lift people up.” 

Michael had his own impressive career in the military, starting with earning an ROTC scholarship and earning the status of distinguished military graduate. He then served as an infantry officer and later commanded the 2nd Armored Division and the 3rd U.S. Infantry (The Old Guard), known for its watch over the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Michael then finished his military career assisting the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Manpower and Personnel Policy.  

After retiring from the military, Michael investigated the possibility of owning a franchise, and found a great opportunity for veteran entrepreneurship with The UPS Store. As a small business owner, he is involved in all aspects of running the store, and in doing so he discovered his love of building relationships, not only within the community but also with his employees. 

As a mentor, coach and boss to his employees, Michael is passionate about cultivating their work ethic and leadership skills. Often hiring employees who may have been overlooked by society, his compassion gives second chances to those who may have struggled in the past. Some of these hires have even turned into his best employees, with 10, 13 and even 18 years of service. 

Michael and his team place significance on building customer relationships as well, getting to know their unique and diverse stories which include a customer whose son starred in a popular NBC show, a customer who never forgets his store anniversary and other close customers whose funerals he has attended after their passing. Having been in business for over 28 years, Michael has built long-term relationships that truly show the life cycle of his efforts. He recalls customers that came into The UPS Store to get forms notarized to adopt children, and those kids have since graduated from college and are now coming in with their own children. 

Michael is grateful to his team, sharing, “I couldn’t have six retail locations without great employees. Our success has been our employees.” 

Small Business and Relationships 

To be a successful small business owner, building a talented team and customer relationships work together in unison. By investing in their own teams, The UPS Store franchisees enable employees to then build community relationships and earn lifelong customers. 

To learn more about how to open a franchise and start building a team of your own, check out our upcoming webinars or reach out to our franchise development team.      

2023 Entrepreneur's Franchise 500 Top Rated for Veterans badge

We Proudly Support Our Veterans

Participating partners with the VetFran program, The UPS Store offers qualifying veterans $15,000 off their franchise fee to start their new business. To learn more, contact The UPS Store Franchise Development Team.

Entrepreneur's Franchise 500 Ranked #4 in 2023 badge

Ranked for over 30 Consecutive Years

The UPS Store has been ranked #1 in the postal and business services category for over 30 years and remains in the top 5 overall for the seventh consecutive year according to the Franchise 500 list.

Kristin Howard

Franchisee, Michigan

The reason my husband and I decided to go into franchising and specifically with The UPS Store, is the different opportunities we're given with the business. The UPS Store has name recognition as well as opportunities to expand.

Debbie Adams

Franchisee, Kentucky

What I enjoy most about being a The UPS Store owner is working with my customers. We are the solution specialists for our customers.

Jim George

Franchisee, Illinios

My favorite part about The UPS Store network is the camaraderie with other franchisees. Everybody loves to help everybody else. You’re really part of a family.

Greg Murray

Franchisee, Florida

The interesting thing about The UPS Store is that when a customer walks through the door there's an extremely high probability that they're coming there to do something that is important to them. So at the end of the day, what we do for customers is very important and they are trusting that we are going to do it well.

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Mariana Huberman

Franchisee, Washington, D.C.

One of the things that I love about The UPS Store franchise system is that you're not ever in this by yourself. The franchisees of The UPS Store network are great.

Heidi Morris

Franchisee, Colorado

The thing I enjoy most about being a The UPS Store franchisee is I get to get up, go to work and know that I'm helping other business owners succeed in what they're doing.

Bob Brown

Franchisee, Tennessee

Owning a The UPS Store franchise has changed my life because it's finally given me the opportunity to engage my customers and my staff and be able to take real pride in what I do. As a franchisee, we get faced with solving peoples' problems every day and we do everything we possibly can to try to help.

Marie Jensen

Franchisee, Oregon

My favorite thing about The UPS Store is the variety. I love the variety of customers, I love the variety of services; getting to know the customers, meeting their needs, finding out how we can help them accomplish what they need to accomplish and seeing how happy they are. That makes me ecstatic.

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Tad Mollnhauer

Franchisee, Florida

With the products and services that The UPS Store provides we can make a difference in people's lives and that is the best reason for being a The UPS Store owner.

Joy Batchelor

Franchisee, Idaho

What makes being a The UPS Store franchisee worthwhile at the end of the day is the customers. The customers treat us like we're family.

Paul Erchinger

Franchisee, Texas

One nice benefit of owning a The UPS Store franchise for me has been that it gives me the opportunity to be more involved in the community. As I make relationships with others it seems like no matter what the environment is, in one way or another business comes out of that and that's not my objective—it's been a secondary benefit to being involved in the community.

Chris Reminder

Franchisee, Ohio

There are several things that I really enjoy about being a The UPS Store franchisee. First and foremost it allows me to get to know the people in the local community and that is a lot of fun. We get to see people on a regular basis. We get to know their life stories. That's a lot of fun.

Bruce Jones

Franchisee, Kentucky

Since we have joined The UPS Store, our life has changed by just having more time to spend together as a family. We've been very fortunate with the stores that we have and we have a great staff that looks out for our best interest and we look out for theirs.

Lonnie Williams

Franchisee, Oklahoma

What makes The UPS Store so successful is it gives each individual an opportunity to grow with the network and just meet the challenges that are brought to them on a daily basis. Every day gives us a new opportunity to help another person, to help another small business, to answer a question and to solve a problem.

Jeff Graham

Franchisee, Alabama

I love my customers. I love my employees. I love every person, every face that comes into my store. I enjoy every day going into work and I can't see doing anything else for the rest of my life.

Stacie Stigar

Franchisee, Alaska

I think that this franchise is so successful because of all of the resources that are available to us as center owners—we have marketing materials, we have so many different opportunities for help from the home office, and it just really makes for a great franchise.

Don Pollard

Franchisee, New Jersey

I think the thing that makes this franchise successful is a number of things. First of all we have an outstanding system, we have a great product, a great brand, and we're able to attract dynamic people to run these centers and run the business. So I think when you put all that together it really provides for a winning combination.

Mary Ellen Nichols

Franchisee, Tennessee

The thing I love about the franchise is that you have the UPS name backing you but yet you also have the autonomy to make your own decisions to promote.

Laura Griffin

Franchisee, Florida

In the eight short months I've owned my The UPS Store it has really changed my life. I've gone from being an employee of someone else to being an employer of my associates. It's a big responsibility but it's exciting every day.

Sandy Scandrett

Franchisee, Wisconsin

Being a The UPS Store franchisee has improved every aspect of my life. It's very rewarding financially, professionally, and emotionally. I have a large number of regular customers who are really, really appreciative of everything we do.

Kristie Robison

Franchisee, Alabama

I would say owning a The UPS Store location has changed my life to where I have more time and flexibility. In owning your own business you get your store up and running and you get employees that you can trust that are going to help keep your store running. This allows me to attend my two boys' ball games and also travel and do things with them so it has really changed my life for the better.