Bigger isn’t always better. Take microbusinesses, for example – small businesses of fewer than 10 employees. They make up 75 percent of all employers in the country and fuel the U.S. economy.
They also drive innovation and competition, and some even grow to be larger enterprises that stimulate further economic growth. Oh, and microbusinesses happen to be big users of the U.S. Postal Service, as our recent white paper indicates.
Most of the microbusinesses we surveyed said they use USPS more frequently than other carriers. They also value the Postal Service’s retail services: 66 percent rated their experiences at postal retail locations as somewhat or very positive.
We wanted to understand how microbusinesses use USPS and to explore potential ways of enhancing that engagement. In addition to conducting a nationally-representative survey of microbusiness owners and employees, we hosted a moderated online discussion board and an expert panel and interviewed Postal Service employees and executives.
While microbusinesses are generally very satisfied with the Postal Service, we found opportunities to improve the relationship. For example, USPS could work to boost awareness of key products and services, especially its online services. We found only a third of microbusinesses were aware of the online tool for scheduling a package pickup, yet upon learning of it, nearly 60 percent of the businesses were interested in using it.
The Postal Service could further leverage its workforce and retail presence to boost engagement. USPS relies on its Employee Engagement Programs to generate sales leads, which yielded about $884 million in sales in fiscal year 2018. However, due to inconsistent coordination and communication among different sales teams, the Postal Service might be missing some opportunities to connect with new customers and bring in additional revenue. We recommended USPS take steps to improve its Employee Engagement Programs to better engage microbusinesses.
What other ways could the Postal Service serve microbusinesses? Are there other business segments USPS should focus on with additional outreach?