Dakota Bigos

Spokesman

Going on their 28th year of marriage, Sue and Pete Pierce have worked side by side as business partners for 17 years. The Pierces own and operate two Postal Connections franchise locations, in Redmond and east Bend.

Postal Connections has over 40 franchise locations and offers services which include shipping, printing and shredding. Despite being part of a national chain, the Postal Connections East Bend location appears to have close ties with the local community. Sue Pierce, who grew up in Bend, and Pete Pierce, who is from Portland, say they have maintained several regular customers through the 20 years their store has been in business.

Three years ago, Sue Pierce started a new job at Central Oregon Community College. However, she says she still devotes a lot of time and energy to behind-the-scenes work for Postal Connections, including playing a large part in decision-making and planning processes.

In May, Postal Connections Express opened in Redmond’s Walmart. Pete Pierce explained that both he and his wife put in a lot of work together to get the location up and running.

“There are opportunities with the express location,” Pete Pierce said. “It’s the very first of the express models they’re putting in for the franchise. We’re kind of the pilot store for that.”

The Pierces say they have always worked well together as business owners and that they have seldom faced major challenges as a married couple in business.

“It’s been great for raising a family. It’s been very rewarding giving us that flexibility,” said Sue Pierce. “It’s fun. We get along great and where one of us is strong, maybe the other one isn’t, so we can complement each other.”

Meg Schmitz, an Illinois-based consultant for FranChoice, provides new franchise owners with advice and counseling. Schmitz stated that she commonly sees couples going into business together and although they can be successful, she does advise caution.

“Plan for disagreements, missed goals and unmet expectations,” Schmitz said.

Schmitz explained she tends to see fewer disagreements among couples who communicate frequently.

“I’ve learned that really anything is possible and the worse thing you can do is hide your fears from your partner,” said Schmitz.

The Pierces say that they practice good communication and a big part of their success is that they balance one another out.

“It’s always a struggle when you’re starting but once you get it going it’s very rewarding,” Pete Pierce said.

The Pierces offer their advice for other couples who want to go into business together.

“First, leave the business at work. Go home and have a home life,” Pete Pierce said, “and have a very good sense of humor.”

— Reporter: 541-548-2185, dbigos@redmondspokesman.com

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