Owning and operating a small business is a challenge. Owning and operating a small family business can be even harder, but Donna Flanagin of Flanagin’s Bulk Mail Service has successfully done both for the past 26 years.
Despite this overwhelming success, many in the community still don’t fully understand the amazing service that Flanagin’s Bulk Mail Service provides.
“Bulk mail is a segment of the post office that allows people to mail larger quantities of the exact mail at nicely discounted postage rates,” Flanagin said.
Helping customers understand both the benefits and the services of bulk mail is Flanagin’s Bulk Mail Service's greatest challenge.
“There are these discounts that the post office has that are not easy for people to know about or acquire, but they're there,” Flanagin said. “We know all the red tape, and we know all the things that it takes to get you the best deal.”
To get bulk mailing discounts, all a customer needs to do is have an idea of what they want to mail and how much they can spend. Flanagin’s Bulk Mail Service can help with the rest.
“You really truly can do a bulk mailing that can fit your budget,” Flanagin said. “Sometimes people just think, ‘Oh, I'll just do it myself. It'll be easier.’ But it's not easier, and they spend way more money and time.”
Bulk mailing is an effective way to reach a large number of potential customers with little cost or overhead.
Flanagin’s Bulk Mail Service doesn’t just handle the actual mailing and shipping of the mailer. They have equipment and software that most businesses and customers never have access to. These extra tools save clients both time and money.
“Flanagin’s Bulk Mail Service has software that's certified by the post office,” Flanagin said. “The software allows us to get even more discounts on postage. So a company would use us because of the extra postage that we can save. All those savings are going to help cover our labor costs. Plus, they don't have anybody in their office doing all the work, so it ends up becoming an easy win-win situation.”
Flanagin’s Bulk Mail Service takes the time to guide clients through the entire process.
“The specifications for bulk mail are guided by the post office, so customers check with us before they print anything, and then we can get them the most discounts,” Flanagin said.
Customers who use Flanagin’s Bulk Mail Service don’t just save on cost and labor. Flanagin’s Bulk Mail Service also provides many services at no cost to its customers.
Flanagin’s Bulk Mail Service ensures that every mailer follows the same standard format and avoids duplicate addresses–a costly step for clients who try bulk mailing on their own.
“Our program standardizes the mailings,” Flanagin said. “Then all the addresses look alike, as best they can. Then we double check.”
All this extra work provides even more discounts to the customer. But Flanagin is adamant that these savings don’t stay with her. They return to her clients.
“We do all that automatically, and all the postage savings goes back to the customer.”
This focus on the customer is easy for Flanagin because, as a family-owned business, she and her daughters treat every customer as family.
Flanagin describes running a family-owned business as simply wonderful.
“The best example,” Flanagin said, “is going through COVID. Having Flanagin’s Bulk Mail Service be family operated was semi-ideal. We know that family will be there if there’s an emergency. Family will step in.”
This family atmosphere increased even more throughout Flanagin’s Bulk Mail Service after training at the Disney Institute. Before you even enter Flanagin’s Bulk Mail Service you are greeted by welcoming parking lot signs. Once inside, you enter a lobby that is creatively decorated to celebrate every holiday and season.
“Originally, I had a typical office,” Flanagin said. “And when I changed it, it really changed a lot of things. This was by design and not by accident. I put the parking signs out there first. The reason behind it was I wanted customers to know before they ever stepped in the door that we were a fun, pleasant, happy business.”
Years ago, Flanagin decided to take this mindset into the community at large. She and her daughters created the Flanagin Fairies to bring some Disney magic to everyone in Valparaiso.
“I thought what can we do here in town that would bring that kind of magic to people who never get to go to Disney,” Flanagin said. “That's how the fairies were designed. They were designed to be over-the-top sparkly and pretty. The fairies are just for the children–it’s an aspect of something that they could experience at Disney. It truly has been awesome.”
An extension of her kind spirit, Flanagin’s Bulk Mail Service and the Flanagin Fairies all bring service and happiness to Valparaiso and beyond.
“It's all just to spread joy to the children or to the people that cross our path,” Flanagin said.
You can see the Flanagin Fairies in the Valparaiso Popcorn Parade on September 10, or you can visit the wonderful women behind Flanagin’s Bulk Mail Services at their office at 802 Evans, Suite 1 Monday-Friday.
To learn more about Flanagin’s Bulk Mail Services, please visit http://mybulkmail.com/.