Tuesday, March 20, 2007

How To Make Money As A Postal Companion


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Valerie Peters, 43, is an 18-year resident of Ahwatukee. Peters was a metallurgical engineer for Honeywell when she had her second child. She went back to work for six weeks then quit to start a home business in August 1996 with one computer and one laser printer. She read a book on mailing list services and took classes from the post office on how to process and package specific kinds of mail.

“I wanted to be home for my kids, yet I needed to nurture my mind,” Peters said.

Peters developed a postal service business, Postal Companion. The business maintains mailing databases and processes 10,000 or fewer pieces of identical mail, from postcards to magazines and large envelopes.

She also cleans up databases so addresses are deliverable, sorting, folding, inserting, printing labels, tabbing, bar coding and fulfilling post office requirements so customers get the best discounts for mailing.

Peters’ customers are small businesses such as telemarketing firms, chiropractors, doctors, real estate offices and financial planners; churches and organizations.

Peters grew her business slowly, paying off the cost of equipment as soon as she bought it. “It was a huge change going from Honeywell to a home office,” she said. “You are constantly seeking work and selling yourself. But it makes you grow.”

She shares her home office with the washer and dryer in an extra large laundry room with a door to the outside. “It’s a struggle because I find myself working nights or weekends because I want to be with my kids,” she said. “Now that they are older, I do have a full span of time when they’re not here.”

Peters has this advice for budding work-at-home entrepreneurs: “Close the door so you have no home noise, and be professional,” Peters said. “Have written documentation on what you have promised or bid on, admit when you err and fix it, let customers know six weeks in advance when you will be closed, and network with other businesses of the same type so you can refer back and forth.

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