The post office has been under pressure for years because of rising costs, increased postal rates, and declining service. Recently, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe stated that the post office will close 140 mail processing centers over the next two years. The move will reduce hours of operation in many locations. If the plan is implemented it will eliminate 13,000 jobs by next year and 28,000 by the end of 2014. The post office reports that losses will exceed $14 billion this year alone. However, congress is considering stepping in to stop these cost-saving closures.
A business is either growing or shrinking. King Solomon wrote, “A large population is a king's glory, but without subjects a prince is ruined.” (Proverbs 14:28, NIV) The post office has been in decline for many years. Trends like this happen over time. You can read my earlier article here: http://bit.ly/KXxCXL .
Many customers have already changed the way they communicate and moved away from the post office. How many e-cards do you receive for birthday and Christmas? Many receive and pay bills on line: no paper--no post office. Federal Express and UPS have become the dominant carriers for packages and overnight mail. Junk mail still flows, along with the local advertising weekly newspapers.
As the post office cuts back, more customers will look for new ways to work around reduced mail service. Business leaders need to continue to migrate away from depending on the post office. While I occasionally send billings by mail at a client’s request, almost all billings go by e-mail. I can send and receive them faster and they are less costly to produce.
Invest some time to review your business systems and determine additional steps you can take to digitize what you do. You will likely discover additional ways you can save on mailing.
A note of caution: be careful not to insist that your customers do business with you, your way. We are servants to our customers, not masters. If a client wants me to mail a bill so they can send money, the bill will go in the mail.
The post office may not become extinct like the dinosaurs of the past, but they will shrink in the future.
Steve Marr, Your Christian Business Coach
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