Small Business Saturday Blog

Interview with Martin George of the Post Office

Thursday, December 03 at 13:08

Over 8000 Post Offices in the UK are small businesses - what does the post office do to support them?

Our modernisation programme is transforming thousands of these branches, in fact we’ve reached the 5000 mark.  Helping these retailers make the most of their retail space is a key part of our transformation programme. We’re also making it easier for postmasters to keep the Post Office open for the same hours as their retail counter through combi tills which allow them to sell Post Office and Retail products all from the same counter. As a result, we have more than 152,000 additional opening hours across the modernised branches – the equivalent of more than 3,300 extra Post Office branches if you look at traditional hours – and 3,000-plus branches open on Sunday. 10 per cent of visits now place outside standard hours and importantly this has seen a seven per cent increase in retail sales for our branches.

Thinking about other small businesses in the UK - what does the Post Office do to support them?

Over a third of small businesses visit our branches each week and we have a range of services to meet their needs. Drop & Go - our prepaid Mails account – was designed specifically for Small Businesses to save them time in our branches. We also have a range of financial services offerings including business banking and SME insurance products to support their businesses. For those trading internationally we offer a fast and cost effective international payments service as well as our excellent range of international mails services. Again, our modernisation programme is helping us become better for all our customers – particularly our small business customers -  by being there when they need us. Customer satisfaction with the modernised branches stands at 99%.

Why do you think small businesses are so important? 

Just like Post Office branches they are at the heart of their communities.

What are the best opportunities (in your mind) for small businesses in the UK?

It’s all about continuing to grow and develop to meet their individual customer needs.  Whether that be developing an online presence or opening for longer.  Each business will be unique in both its opportunities and in turn its customers’ demands.

What message would you give to small business owners and the British public in advance of Small Business Saturday this year?

Get involved.  We  hope the retailers operating Post Office branches will be displaying posters and encouraging customers to visit as well as registering on your business finder as well. We do have a some opportunities for retailers who are considering expanding by adding a Post Office to their retail outlet, they can visit runapostoffice.co.uk to find out more.

Why is a campaign like Small Business Saturday so important?

Because Small Businesses really are at the heart of communities.  We want to support them in developing their business to bring in new income.

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