In this exclusive Q&A, we learn about the InXpress franchise opportunity from the company’s executive vice president of franchise development, Christina Chambers.
Franchise Chatter (FC): What is InXpress?
Christina Chambers (CC): InXpress, a B2B shipping and logistics franchise with a network of over 400 franchises in 14 countries, helps small-to-medium sized businesses ship 4.6-million packages a year and generates over $200 million in revenue. It’s also the only non-asset authorized shipping reseller company in the US that can offer customers multiple shipping solutions through a global network of robust carrier partners.
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FC: What would you say makes InXpress an attractive opportunity for franchisees?
CC: The residual income opportunity has led to 22 new franchise agreements over the last year, with increases in revenue from 2019 to 2020 solidifying our position as a top recession-proof franchise.
Turnkey carrier contracts and proprietary shipping software established by corporate give franchisees a full suite of shipping services to sell at substantial discounts, while providing exceptional customer service. In return, franchisees experience high customer retention and generate money for every shipment a customer makes.
Additionally, most InXpress franchisees start the business in their homes as all you need to operate is a cell phone, computer and a car – no high-cost brick and mortar lease required. No need to purchase expensive equipment or hire employees to start. This is what makes InXpress a best franchise to own due to the essential service and ability to fast track the launch process.
To scale the business, the first hire is typically a sales representative, and the second hire is usually a customer service rep. These positions can be part-time and outsourced. Franchisees are free to progress in the way that works for them in the fully scalable structure, like Tom Morris who has been a franchisee for over 10 years and gradually went from being an owner-operator to a sales manager to a business builder position. Morris transitioned the home-based business model into an office environment to grow his customer service department and expand his sales team to take his multi-million dollar business to the next level.
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FC: InXpress recently received the Global Franchise Champions award by the Global Franchise Awards Association. What would you attribute the success to?
CC: Not only have we won the Global Franchise White Collar franchise category, we have also been crowned Global Franchise Champion 2021! This was also the first year the judges had to take into account the effects of COVID-19 on the global business community.
It was largely due to the combined effort of our 400+ franchisees to make sure InXpress thrived during a challenging year, in support of customers needing to quickly pivot to e-commerce or sell direct to consumers for the first time, and shows how unity within a brand can be powerful. These awards have been achieved by everyone within the InXpress Global network. It was a real team effort, and we are proud to have led InXpress through the challenges of 2020.
The Global Franchise Magazine’s criteria is a combination of a franchise’s global presence, franchisor-franchisee relations and innovative ideas for the future. In terms of franchisor-franchisee relations, open communication was the biggest factor that made the franchisees feel comfortable and satisfied with their support during the challenging time.
FC: What other awards has InXpress been recognized for this year?
CC: We’ve been recognized as a Top Franchisee Satisfaction franchise and a Top Recession-Proof franchise by Franchise Business Review and consistently included in Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 rankings.
Part of our core values is being results-driven and having an all-in approach and attitude when it comes to business. Our franchisees are committed to sales and supporting their customers’ needs. And as a franchisor we make sure to remain relevant and provide our franchisees with the latest tools they need to be successful. It’s a proud moment when we’re recognized within the franchise industry and business community for our hard work.
FC: What effects, for better or for worse, did COVID-19 have on InXpress and what sort of permanent changes have occurred with the way you go about your day-to-day?
CC: Being partners with different companies across various verticals meant our franchisees had a firsthand look at what industries were doing well and not so well. By reaching out to existing business, our franchisees heard directly from companies on what they were struggling with and needed assistance with. This also provided owners an opportunity to pursue other businesses in the same space that could be facing similar circumstances. The same was true for upward companies, who needed to ensure their products would still get delivered despite delays and supply-chain regulations and obstacles.
Being a sales-driven concept, the network was weary when the pandemic first hit of how we might call on customers. Once we started calling to see how our customers were impacted and how we could help, we quickly understood the importance of reaching out and the incredible logistics needs that were uncovered as our customers were adapting themselves.
While we’ll encourage our franchisees to remember the value of door knocking and scheduling in-person sit downs to discuss how InXpress can provide value, we know our franchisees have learned throughout the pandemic to see the benefit of this new virtual way of prospecting.
FC: What makes a successful InXpress franchisee?
CC: In order to sell shipping discounts and solutions for international small parcel, domestic small parcel and LTL (freight), it is vital for InXpress franchisees to be sales driven and self-motivated. To run a shipping franchise, one must have the desire to either be a salesperson themselves or hire and manage customer service and sales reps to provide the best shipping solutions that make sense for small-to-medium sized businesses.
The B2B franchise model is heavily reliant on face-to-face and telephone sales, multiple rounds of door knocking and follow ups to schedule appointments with decision makers. It takes more sales hustle than sales skill, to be resilient in prospecting daily and build a successful residual income business.