Keith Sides of The UPS Store located on Caldwell Mill Road in Hoover, AL joins us this week to talk about how they are a one-stop-shop that offers so much more than shipping for your business needs.
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Read the Full Interview Below
Sarah: Good morning, everyone! We are so glad that you joined us today on Biz Talk because we’ve got another good guest. So, let’s get started.
Glyna: Good morning!
Kelsi: Good morning.
Glyna: Trying to sneak a drink, Kelsi. Yes. We’ve got to talk about those cups.
Kelsi: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Glyna: Good morning, everybody. It’s a great day here at the Fusion One Lounge. I’m Glyna Humm, and around the square we have our other marketing gurus, Sarah Gilliland and Kelsi Munn. We are having so much fun on Biz Talk these days, talking to business people, and getting some tips and information that we can all use. Before we get started, Sarah, can you put our broadcast schedule?
Sarah: I sure can! Okay, guys. Every single week we go live on Facebook, on YouTube, and on Twitter, and don’t forget to check out and subscribe to our awesome podcast, Marking and a Mic, and you can always follow us on LinkedIn and Instagram. I want to remind you all … Oh, my button there! My buttons are not waking up on me.
Glyna: Wake up, buttons!
Sarah: Subscribe to our YouTube channel, Fusion One Marketing. Every single week we put out fresh, new videos that you need to see.
Glyna: That’s awesome. Well, today we are so excited. We have such a special guest with us, and he is the purveyor of the famous Biz Talk cups.
Glyna: I’m going to have to get you one, I think, Keith.
Keith Sides: I definitely need a big shot in the morning. Yeah.
Glyna: He worked very hard to get the perfect cup for us, and we really, really thank him for it. Let’s officially welcome Keith Sides: with the UPS Store, Inc. They are located at Valleydale and Caldwell Mill. Good morning, Keith!
Keith Sides: Good morning! Thank you for having me. It’s a pleasure to be here.
Glyna: Well, we are really excited to have you, because everybody thinks of UPS as shipping, and we know that you do so much more than that. So, let’s go ahead and dive right in. We know that you have a lot of different services. Maybe let’s start out touching on some of those services that you have to offer.
Keith Sides: Sure. We’re a locally owned franchise business of the UPS Store Inc. Again, I’m fortunate to own the store here at Caldwell Mill and Valleydale Roads. You’re absolutely right. Most people, you say UPS, they think shipping, but as a print and business services store, we offer a number of different services and products to both consumers and to business owners. Some of those are printing services. We do digital printing, and do a variety of products. We can talk more in detail about business cards, brochures, pamphlets. We do shipping, both for consumers and businesses that need to ship products around the country. We offer notary services here. It may be a little bit harder these days to find notaries, but we offer notary services, and we offer mailboxes for business and consumers, as well. So, a variety of things.
Glyna: Yeah. I would say so. I know you had some examples that you were showing us. Show us a few examples of brochures and things that you can do to give people a better idea.
Keith Sides: This year, as in past years, we printed the programs for the Ms. Senior Alabama contest. It’s a multi-page, glossy program. We’re always proud to be a part of that organization. Last year we printed the program for the Miss Hoover contest. Again, it’s a multi-page, glossy program. We’ve done menu cards for some of the local restaurants, another restaurant that folks may recognize here locally. We even do thank you cards.
Glyna: Oh, that’s cool!
Keith Sides: We’ll do various designs for individuals. They may want to put a picture they’ve drawn, or for businesses, we can use the company logo, and then they can use those thank you cards to thank their customers for the privilege of service.
Keith Sides: So, just a variety of items.
Glyna: That’s so awesome. So, you can print, if somebody just needs some pages printed, or you can actually create all of those things for them.
Keith Sides: People can either send us their print-ready artwork, which they often do, or we have an in-house designer, who can work with them. If they have a general idea of what they want, then Sam can take their ideas and create a final product from that.
Glyna: Awesome! Well, we have some early birds this morning joining us. So, we’ll say hello to the people that are tuning in this morning. I think you’ll recognize most of them. We’ll say good morning to Roxie Kelley. We have Andy Entrekin joining us, and Daniel Entrekin. So, we have the Entrekin brothers this morning. LaVon Chaney, Cindy Edmunds, and Steve Johnson. So, we’ve got a full house this morning tuning in!
Kelsi: Hey, y’all.
Keith Sides: I believe I know every one of them. I sure do.
Sarah: Yeah. Is Cindy watching us from Turks and Caicos?
Glyna: I think so. Now, that’s dedication.
Sarah: That is dedication! That’s impressive. Okay, Keith, I want to talk about your mailbox services a bit more, because it really is tremendous, and it’s also great in the sense of, for business owners, it offers a lot of features that would appeal to them, and thwarting off those pesky porch pirates, as we say, the ones that are trying to steal all of our packages off our front door. So, touch on a little more about what all those features are, and how they can help business owners?
Keith Sides: Sure. Two main things. One, for business owners, if you’re a small business owner, and you operate your business largely out of your home, our recommendation is don’t use your home address as your business address. You need to keep those things separate, for probably a number of reasons, not the least of which may be security. But when you rent a mailbox from our store, you get an actual street address, unlike the post office, where it’s just a PO box. Here, you get our street address, which is 5184 Caldwell Mill Road. You have an individual PO box. A good thing for business owners, at my store we have after-hours access. So, we have the PO boxes gated off, and you can access your PO box after hours. In addition, you can also call the store during the day and say, “Hey, do I have any mail in my mailbox?” It’ll save you a trip, possibly, if there’s nothing there. For consumers, again, if you do a lot of online buying, Amazon, or some of the other online stores, and you don’t want packages left on your porch, by renting a mailbox here, we can receive your package, and then when it arrives we will send you an email to let you know your package is here and ready for pickup.
Kelsi: So, I guess if you want to hide your Amazon packages from your husband, you’re the perfect …
Keith Sides: We don’t ask questions about why you’ve rented a mailbox. You just need a photo ID, and to come in the store and sign the paperwork.
Kelsi: Perfect. I know that you also offer every door direct mail services, EDDM. Is that right?
Keith Sides: EDDM.
Kelsi: Okay. So, I’m sure that you’ve come across a lot of different designs on those types of things. Do you have any tips for our audience? If they’re going to do a mailer, what type of things work best when it comes to the design, or the information on it?
Keith Sides: Yeah. A quick lesson on the every door direct mail product. It is a mail-out product. You get these at your home. They’re basically flat cards on a card stock, usually glossy print. Many times, you’ll notice it doesn’t have your name or address. It may have a little postal box at the top. But the every door direct mail piece is a very inexpensive way for businesses, particularly restaurants, home service businesses, real estate agents, to blanket one or more postal routes. In other words, a piece of mail goes in every mailbox on that postal route. That’s a way to get your message out. What we advise people to do, if they use that product, and we can help them with the paperwork necessary to get that done. We print them for them. We’ll even deliver them to the post office for you. We always recommend, give people a reason to respond to your mail out. Put a coupon on there. If you’re a restaurant, pay $5 off on your next visit, buy one, get one. If you’re a home service business, 15% off our work for you at your home. Real estate agents will often announce, “Hey, I’ve just sold a home in your neighborhood. If you’re thinking of selling, give me a call. We did great for your neighbor. We’d love to help you.” Again, it’s a great product. The postage on an every door direct mail piece is 19.1 cents per piece. Now, that’s for the postage only. Our print cost is an addition to that. But from a postage standpoint, it’s a very inexpensive way to get your message out.
Kelsi: That’s quite a discount per piece.
Keith Sides: Yeah. Yeah.
Glyna: Yeah. To be able to actually target, we’re all about targeting when we’re doing our marketing, and to be able to target the actual neighborhood or area that you want to send them to, so it’s not just a shotgun approach, that’s really cool.
Keith Sides: Yeah. If you know the zip code that you want to target, then we can help someone sit down and look at the postal website, zero in on the zip code, and then it shows the actual postal routes by street. So, you get a sense of, “I want to be in this neighborhood,” and then I look at the streets, and, “I want these five postal routes because it covers 500, 1,000, 1,500 mailboxes on those routes.”
Glyna: That is so cool. We have Jacob Vail of Alfa Insurance joining us this morning. Good morning, Jacob. I know, Keith, when we were talking the other day, we were like, “What is the main thing that everybody can use, especially business people, from your printing services?” I know we talked about business cards. But, I mean, you’ve got to be careful. I guess give us some tips about what you think you should have on your business card, or how you should approach that.
Keith Sides: Everybody’s got their own idea of what they want their business card to look like, and that’s fine. We’ll help everybody accommodate what they want. My advice, in general, is to keep it simple, relatively simple. Keep it clean. Make it readable.
Keith Sides: If you try to put too much information on a business card, the font gets very small. You want people to know a logo, always a logo. Because that’s the visual identification. It sticks in people’s minds. You want your name and your contact information to be prominent, so people will remember it. Generally, people will scan a business card to their phone. So, you want it readable. Perhaps, on the back of a card, just bullet point briefly the services or the products that you offer that people might be interested in. So, I always think simple and clean is better.
Glyna: Perfect. We’re going to back up just a little bit, because we have a couple people interested in the every door direct mail. Did I get that right?
Keith Sides: Yeah.
Glyna: They have a question. Both LaVon and Cindy are asking, is there a minimum number, or a minimum order that you have to have, to be able to do that process?
Keith Sides: My recollection is, I believe, it’s 200 pieces. I will tell you that when we do them, the quantity we’re doing is usually far in excess of any minimum. I know that the maximum in a day is 5,000 pieces to be delivered to the post office. So, in our experience, we’ve well fallen in between the minimum and the maximum.
Glyna: Okay. Perfect. Thank you.
Sarah: So, Keith, if I’m a business owner, and I want to put together my piece, whether it be a business card or a flyer, and I really have no idea how I want it designed, do y’all offer design templates online, or any design services that could help walk me through the process of creating it?
Keith Sides: The UPS stores have an online … Each store has a website. Through that, you can click onto online print, and I believe there are some general templates there that can get you started. That’s fine. We get online print jobs, maybe a few a week. What we also recommend is feel free to contact our store directly and set up an appointment with Sam to sit down. If you don’t have anything ready made, that’s print ready, you’ve got a logo, you’ve got some general ideas, maybe you’ve taken a clean sheet of paper and sketched out a layout, schedule an appointment. Come in and sit down with Sam. Talk about what you want, and then he can work up a proof, a rough proof, and from that, begin to narrow it down.
Kelsi: Perfect. So, if I’m a new business owner, never been a business owner before, and I’m going to use your store for my print work, what are some things that I should have in mind before I come to you, that would make your job easier? If I knew, if I had it already.
Keith Sides: Well, the first thing, I would say, for any business owner, you need a business card. That’s going to be, when you’re fresh out of the box, you’re going to want something you can give to somebody, and a business card is handy. It’s well recognized, well accepted. As part of that process of thinking through, “What else do I need,” we had a lady in the other day. She opened a mailbox, she told Zared at the front counter, “I’m selling a product, but I’m new.” So, Zared just began to ask her, “Well, what kind of product is it? What do you think you may need?” The first comment she made was, “Well, I think I’m going to need stickers to put on my product.” So, Zared brought her back to the back. We’ve got numerous samples of stickers that we’ve done for various businesses. So, part of that process of thinking through after, I would say, the initial thing you need is a business card, is thinking through what is my business?
Keith Sides: Am I selling a product? Do I need stickers to go on the product? Am I selling a service? Do I need a flyer, or a folded brochure, a leave-behind after I call on someone so that they have something that summarizes my business? So, it’s a bit of a discussion after the business card as to exactly what might you need to help make your business successful.
Kelsi: We lost Glyna. She’ll be back, I’m sure.
Sarah: She got a little button happy, perhaps. She got a little button happy!
Glyna: What? What happened?
Sarah: There she is!
Keith Sides: There she is.
Kelsi: I’m sorry, Sarah.
Glyna: I’m back!
Kelsi: We got her.
Glyna: Thank you.
Sarah: We’ve got to rotate.
Kelsi: There we go.
Glyna: Sorry about that! I was trying to see who was commenting, and I just pushed myself out of there. It had nothing to do with you, Keith. I promise.
Keith Sides: I was still here. I’m good.
Glyna: Now I have color in my face.
Kelsi: We’re on your next question here, Glyna, if you’re ready.
Glyna: Oh, I am ready. I am ready. Roxie Kelley and Gayle Mason are joining us. Roxie said, “What’s one service that you offer that people may not think about?”
Keith Sides: Well, I mentioned notary early on. Many of you know I’m a retired banker. I know, years ago, it was very common. You go to a bank, and get things notarized. A few banks still may do it. I don’t really know. But it seems like people have commented that it’s harder and harder to find where to go to get notary services. So, that is a service that maybe you don’t always think of at the UPS Store, but we do offer that here. Another service that we offer is fingerprinting.
Keith Sides: Now, it’s all digital. So, we don’t have any messy ink pads, or hard copy. It has to be arranged through an online reservation process through our vendor, who is called Fieldprint, fieldprint.com. Many in the financial services industry, some medical personnel, certain specialized industries have to be fingerprinted. So, just a unique thing that we also offer here in the store.
Glyna: Wow. So many things. That’s awesome. Well, let’s talk about shipping. I know we were chatting the other day about the difference between people packing their own stuff, and then the professionals at the UPS Store packing packages to ship off. Tell us the difference in that, and what’s insured, what’s not, all that information.
Keith Sides: Well, real simple, we ship. If people want to pack their own item and bring it in, it’s already taped, the box is taped up, “I just need to ship this,” they have packed it themselves, and the guarantee that UPS offers on that is up to $100 of coverage for loss or theft of the package only. Now, the next level up, which we call the pack and ship guarantee, is if somebody brings in a widget, “I need to ship this to my friend in Chicago,” and we pack it according to the standards established by the UPS Store Inc., and we box it up on our boxes, which have certain approved crush test limits, then the customer automatically has up to $100 of insurance coverage for loss, theft, or damage. The customer can also purchase insurance over and above the $100 level, if the widget is worth $500, let’s say. So, we do offer the pack and ship guarantee, which gives people an extra level of comfort that should something happen in route to the destination, from a damage standpoint, there can be coverage on that item.
Glyna: Okay. Perfect. Sarah, there may be a couple comments, if you could grab one of them, since we have people coming in.
Sarah: Yeah. I’d say Jacob has a very important question, which is, do you ever take a break in the day and start popping the bubbles on the bubble wrap?
Keith Sides: If it’s a particularly stressful day, it’s a great reliever. That’s true. Yes. We try to limit it because I have to buy that kind of stuff.
Sarah: Can’t waste the product!
Keith Sides: That was one question I did not expect today.
Glyna: You never know what’s going to happen. We told you.
Sarah: I do know that when I get any of those packages, it’s an afternoon activity for my kids to just jump on all those bubbles and pop them. I get it, Jacob.
Keith Sides: We’ve all done it. Yeah.
Sarah: There is relief in that. Okay. Grant wants to know, “I have heard talks of UPS potentially going green by investing in the development of electric vans for delivery. Can you talk about this, or if you have knowledge of this action?” Boy, that’s a hearty question.
Keith Sides: I have to say that’s above my pay grade. I really don’t know. It seems like there’s been another delivery service that has been running ads with that objective in the future, but I don’t have any knowledge of that.
Sarah: Yeah. Cindy wanted to comment. I like this. Another service people don’t think is that they make keys. This is very helpful in real estate. That sure is. That really is.
Keith Sides: That was another service I forgot. Thank you, Cindy, for reminding me. We do have a key machine here in the store. We don’t do any of the chipped keys, which are common, I think, with automobiles. That’s a bit of a specialized product. But if it’s a house key, door keys, most locks, we have a big carousel that’s got more key designs that I’d ever imagined there was. But we can do keys for you, and glad to be of service.
Sarah: Yes. Absolutely. Let’s talk a little bit more about the carriers that you accept shipping and receiving items from. What are all the carriers? Can I drop off a USPS item, as well?
Keith Sides: Yeah. We accept postal service items. We’ve got a drop off slot for letters. People bring in larger packages, boxes that they’ve generated their own USPS label for. So, the post office picks up twice a day here at our store, and then they deliver mail for our mailbox customers during one of those stops, generally in the morning. So, we try to get the mail out by lunchtime, in general. The USPS is the only other carrier that we accept packages for.
Kelsi: Okay. Perfect. Oh, I thought I was muted. Constantly playing the mute game. Sorry. So, for the presentations, businesses that want to put on presentations, do you offer any type of document finishing services for things like that?
Keith Sides: Absolutely. Yeah. When we print, we might be asked to coil bind a document. We have a couple of other type of binding called Unibind. It’s a little bit different. Some people like their documents, or their business cards in particular, to have a rounded corner. So, we can corner round. We can finish. We can laminate. We’ve done lamination for name tags, for menus, for restaurants. Just a variety of different ways people might like things to be finished. We can drill holes in paper, and it’s not your regular at-home kind of drill. If I have a customer who’s in the medical field, and they need two holes drilled at the top of all their documents so that they can insert them into a patient records file, we’ll accommodate most anything, or we’ll try to find a way to get it done.
Kelsi: Great. Perfect.
Glyna: Well, I would imagine, talking through all these services and the things that you offer, I’m sure you’ve seen all kinds of things that you could talk about. Let’s talk about, we were kind of joking about some of the craziest things that you’d ever shipped. I think we have a couple of pictures here. You can explain this to us. Explain this one. What are these?
Keith Sides: Well, listen, everything is important to somebody.
Keith Sides: These are unusual, but we take them very seriously. We pack them carefully. These are items that would have been covered under the pack and ship guarantee because we used a lot of bubble wrap, a lot of what we call pillow, inflatable pillow, the small pillows you often get in an Amazon box, and appropriately sized cardboard boxes to encapsulate the item. So, we take everything seriously, and when we’re asked to pack it, we’re going to do it safely, because we want it to get there, arrive in the condition it left our store. The traffic light was a unique item. We were talking a little bit about that. You’d be surprised how big and how heavy traffic lights can be. But I think my friend sold this on one of the online services and asked us to pack it up. We did so. My understanding was it arrived in good condition.
Kelsi: Somebody’s happy with a new traffic light.
Glyna: You never know.
Keith Sides: Probably a man cave thing.
Kelsi: It would look great in a man cave.
Glyna: I have a feeling. Well, we have a couple more questions. Cindy Edmunds wants to know, can you do banners for trade shows?
Keith Sides: Yes. We do banners. In fact, we did a banner just recently that was four feet tall and 16 feet long. Most banners are three to six feet. So, color, black and white, just any. We can do them with pole sleeves or put grommets in them, so you can hang them in a variety of different ways.
Glyna: Okay. Perfect. Daniel’s asking you, I know that light was really big, but what’s the biggest item you’ve ever shipped?
Keith Sides: I’m trying to think. We have shipped a wing chair before.
Glyna: That’s big.
Keith Sides: Interesting story. My unit only has regular sized doors for entry and exit. After we packed the chair up, we realized we only had, I think, it was probably a quarter of an inch, eighth of an inch clearance. We had to take the door off the hinges in order to get it out. But I think the item, I think we actually shipped it by freight. We went freight on that. From a size standpoint, that was probably the biggest, and we learned how wide our doors are after that process.
Kelsi: I love it. You’re going to make sure that you deliver, even if you’ve got to take the doors off the hinges. I love it.
Keith Sides: That’s right. Yeah.
Sarah: Oh, boy. Oh, we’ve got one more question. Gayle wanted to know, can you make plastic business cards? Now, this is a new one. I haven’t heard of this.
Keith Sides: Yeah. Plastic business cards, Gayle, would be an outsourced item for us. We don’t do it in-house. Again, when you get into materials like that, it’s just a different process than what we have. But we have a number of contacts with wholesale vendors. We can certainly explore that opportunity, as well.
Kelsi: I’ve got one of Gayle’s business cards right here. They’re really neat.
Kelsi: They’re plastic and see-through.
Keith Sides: I’ve seen them. They are different than many business cards you see.
Kelsi: Mm-hmm (affirmative). I got you, Gayle, right here.
Sarah: Keeping you close. Okay. Well, hey, we covered a lot of ground today, I’d like to think. Didn’t we?
Kelsi: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Keith Sides: Time passes quickly.
Sarah: It does! It does. Before we wrap it up and move on to our fun game, we want to put your contact information up. It’s scrolling at the bottom. I missed it, so I’ve got to wait for it to come back. There we go. The UPS Store, you can find them, Caldwell Mill Road in Hoover. I can’t get my words out. Phone number is (205) 980-8180, and you can email at email@example.com. I’ll tell you, Kelsi, you’ve really got that down. I can’t read and talk.
Kelsi: Can I tell you the trick?
Sarah: My brain wasn’t computing.
Kelsi: Read it on the dashboard to the side there.
Sarah: Oh! That’s very smart. I shall do that next time. Getting dizzy trying to get it all out. Okay! So, it’s time for a fun little game. We’re not done with you yet. So, let’s go!
Glyna: All right. I’ve got your 60.
Kelsi: I’ve got to share my screen really quick. Sorry. I’m drinking my coffee.
Glyna: Just kicking back like you’re not on the show.
Sarah: Okay. This wheel is random, and it’s going to determine which game we play today.
Sarah: We’re ready.
Glyna: Keith’s like, “I think.”
Sarah: Oh, fill it the blank.
Kelsi: Fill in the blank.
Sarah: Oh, that’s an easy one.
Glyna: That’s so exciting!
Kelsi: All right.
Glyna: It’s only 60 seconds, Keith. So, don’t worry. You can’t be that bad.
Keith Sides: I’m not even sure what this is. I was warning my wife I needed to watch Deborah’s show from last week, and I didn’t. This is all new to me.
Glyna: This is real easy. Kelsi’s going to give you a statement, and you have to fill in the blank.
Keith Sides: Okay.
Glyna: All right. Here we go.
Kelsi: When I am bored, I blank.
Keith Sides: I sit down. A lot of people don’t know I like to work on plastic airplane models, World War II airplane models. So, it may not be necessarily boredom as much as stress. I can control that little world. So, I like to go work on one of my models.
Kelsi: Perfect. I always have blank with me.
Keith Sides: My car keys, I guess. I have to go here or there.
Kelsi: Nothing annoys me more than blank.
Keith Sides: Poor service, whether it’s … Poor service drives me crazy.
Kelsi: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Me too. I am always late to blank.
Keith Sides: Goodness. I’m always late?
Glyna: Are you never late?
Keith Sides: I try not to be. I like to be there five minutes ahead of time.
Kelsi: I feel that’s the majority of people’s answer. Maybe we need to scratch that question.
Glyna: Well, see? That was painless. That was so painless.
Keith Sides: Yeah.
Kelsi: You did great.
Glyna: Well, I’ll tell you, it went really quickly, and I think that we let everybody know that you do a lot more than shipping. So, hopefully, the word will get out, and you will have a lot more people coming in to ask you about all your services.
Keith Sides: Well, I appreciate it.
Glyna: Yeah. Thank you so much for joining us. We really, really appreciated you being here.
Keith Sides: Well, thanks again. It was really fun. It’s good to see y’all this morning.
Kelsi: You too.
Glyna: Perfect. Thank all of you for joining us today. We had such a great time. Don’t forget we have Marketing Mix every Tuesday morning at 8:00, and then we’ll be back next Friday at 8:00 for our Biz Talk segment. We will have David Allen with J.D. Allen Services. So, until then, have a great day!
Sarah: I’ve got to pause. I’ve got to jump this in.
Glyna: I always forget.
Sarah: I’ve got to be the interrupter.
Glyna: Thank goodness!
Sarah: Before we go, speaking of Marketing Mix, don’t forget about our live scream giveaway, where you are going to get a $100 Amazon gift card just by sharing our podcast. It’s really easy. Share our Marketing Mix broadcast. Two shares equal one entry. Tag our page, so that we know you’re sharing, with the hashtag Marketing Mix, and, hey, tag some friends for some bonus entries.
We have a super fun trivia night coming up! Game on! We have our guests already locked in. We’re super excited. It’s are you smarter than a marketer? It’s going to be live on Thursday, October 22nd at 5:00 PM. You’re going to try to outwit the Fusion One Team.
Kelsi: Good luck.
Sarah: So, we’re really excited about that. We’ve got our guests. Can I share the guests?
Sarah: Okay. All right. Our guests are going to be Steve Johnson, Melissa Dixon, Andy Entrekin. I cannot talk today. I apologize. Who’s the last one? What am I …
Kelsi: Lisa Phillips!
Sarah: Lisa Phillips! Of course. Lisa Phillips. Okay. So, we are very excited about that. Thanks, all, for joining today. Until next time, bye.