By Tim Sanchez
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This week I want to share what my current entrepreneurial pursuit is. My business is called Avalon Packaging and Shipping Services or Avalon PASS. I first came up with the idea of opening a pack and post business from my experience with my e-commerce store and with my work at The Avalon Hotel.
I live on Catalina Island in Southern California. I am a perpetual entrepreneur and I moved to the resort village of Avalon seeking a more casual lifestyle where I can explore independent business opportunities and entrepreneurial pursuits. I broke away from the corporate world in 2005, quit my job as a District Sales Manager for USA TODAY and became a SCUBA instructor. I planned to chase the endless summer dream by moving between the north and south so I can stay in the summer zone and travel the world teaching SCUBA. I got as far as Catalina Island and that is it. The weather is so amazing here year around there is no need to chase summer.
I have been casually doing e-commerce since 2007, since I was working as a SCUBA instructor at the time my niche has been about dive gear. My stores got to the point where I was Packaging and Shipping 8 to 10 orders per day. I became very efficient and was able to get the orders out quickly either before or after I went to work. I also offered to help The Avalon Hotel with their shipping. The hotel sells spa products, robes coffee mugs and various other gift shop items and they receive many phone orders for products to be shipped. Additionally, sometimes guests will forget something in their room and leave the island, so the hotel will send the lost and found items to them. I took over all of the hotels Packaging and Shipping tasks. It had been a struggle for the front desk staff to do it and maintaining an inventory of packaging supplies took up too much space. Finding a box and tape, figuring out how to pack an item, going to the post office and dealing with petty cash for postage were time consuming tasks that took a staff member away from providing customer service or making sales. For me to do the packing and shipping along with what I was already doing was easy and seamless.
Since I started doing pack and post for the hotel, I realized that other businesses could benefit from this service also. I began developing a plan to offer packaging and shipping services to all businesses and residents in Avalon in early 2017. Now I am working on acquiring retail space to make the business modeled after a UPS Store or a mailboxes etc. type of store. I believe there is a need for mailbox rentals primarily for parcel receiving and for temporary residents and summer workers in the resort town of Avalon. As the business grows other services will be added including public access computer stations, hot desks, WiFi, phone charging, copy and print service and other business services including e-commerce solutions.
Please follow my blog as I will share more about the beginning of Avalon PASS and I will chronicle my progress and the process of developing an independent packaging and Shipping business. I will share my success and hopefully not too many failures. I am also anxious to share other business ideas that some of my friends and colleagues have developed. I will interview them and share what they came up with and I am sure that you will find it interesting and motivating. Finally I would like to share the story of how I got into selling on Ebay and e-commerce and how my former vending business created the steppingstone.