Post Office Ltd (POL) looks for people who are self-motivated and looking to succeed.
You must demonstrate that you can cope with a modern dynamic business, plan for the future, possess strong entrepreneurial qualities and have good business acumen. Previous post office experience or similar experience in a retail or banking sector is an advantage but it is not essential.
Some of the skills that POL look for include retail awareness, communication and customer care skills. In addition to basic numeracy, IT skills will also be useful to make the most of modern technology in your business. Finally, if you are appointed to an office requiring employment of staff, people management skills will be necessary. The more relevant experience you have, the better your chances of obtaining the appointment.
The network of post offices is around 12,000 strong. Although POL does sometimes decide to open a completely new office - for example to meet the needs of a new community - the vast majority of appointments are to existing branches, usually where the current subpostmaster wishes to retire or resign. Generally, you must also be able to demonstrate that you have an agreement to purchase the premises of an outgoing subpostmaster and the necessary finance in place. Although this doesn’t guarantee your appointment, it does put you in a better position.
What training do I get?
To help you make your new business a success, on-going training and support is available. Initially you will receive a training package based upon your individual needs. Pre-transfer training is included, preparing you for your first day of trading.
On the day of handover, the cash and stock from the existing subpostmaster will be transferred to you under the supervision of an auditor. Training then generally takes place at your office and is undertaken with an agency trainer, covering areas such as customer service standards, completing transactions, sales coaching, accounting procedures and security issues. Further training is provided at intervals as it becomes necessary and will be assessed by your POL manager.
To support on-going training, there are various work books available which allow you and your staff to learn how to complete most transactions. You and your staff are also strongly encouraged to attend local training events on product knowledge and new product launches.
Which business is right for me?
The type of business that will suit you depends on your life goals. Are you motivated only by profit, or are you also looking for a way of life? Are you more interested in a town, or a village? Do you want to employ staff?
Before you start your search for an office, you should assess your ability to run an associated business as well because, in reality, your future security will be based both on the success of the post office and on the success of the private business. They are inter-dependent and, therefore, any prospective purchaser must be certain that he/she can master both sides of the total business.