Franchising to us at Minuteman Press is different than it is to most other franchisors. To them, it’s about their system and who is following it and who is not. They are more into compliance rather than their owners’ best interests. In fact, many franchisors refuse to call their franchise owners “owners” and instead they refer to them as zee’s or address them as store numbers rather than names.
At Minuteman Press, we treat our franchise owners like they deserve to be treated: as people. Our owners are entrepreneurs who are looking to better their lives and their families’ lives, and we take pride in how happy they are and how well they are doing. We have a tried and proven system and the owners who follow it the closest are the best in our organization.
We look at going into business with you as a partnership because we believe that is what franchising is all about. When one partner does well, they both do well. We have had the pleasure of working with hundreds of great people throughout our 40-year history. Here are just some of their stories and why they chose to partner with Minuteman Press.
Featured Franchisee: Suchitra Kamath - Edison, NJ - Owner since 2017 - Banking
Why Minuteman Press? For Suchitra, it came down to Minuteman Press International providing her with high levels of support and service. She states, “When I was exploring different franchising options and filling out online forms, the Minuteman Press response time was excellent and the potential franchise owner engagement process was simple yet fast! Subsequently, I found that this was a trend in this company and this actually helped me move along my franchising path quickly. The corporate managers were nice, helpful and had the knowledge that was needed to help me make decisions.”
Anne Myers - Myrtle Beach, SC - Owner since 2013 - Insurance sales
We diligently researched franchise opportunities before deciding to buy an existing Minuteman Press franchise. We were coming from the insurance industry and we wanted something tangible to sell, as well as training and support that would be there for us. We couldn’t be more thrilled with the training and support we have received from day one. Two plus years later, we get excellent support at the corporate and local levels. We see our local team once per month and talk to them more often than that on a variety of subjects including lease agreements, equipment we are considering, and more. We also use David and Jeff as resources for specialty jobs and also appreciate all of their sales advice. On top of all of that, they play a major role in training our new employees on software and anything else as needed.
Barry Landowski - Menomonee Falls, WI - Owner since 1992 - Corporate world for 20 years
I was interested in owning a Minuteman because everyone is a potential customer; I could go door to door in an office complex or industrial park and sell them printing because everyone uses printing. Printing is a viable business with a tangible product; not a pyramid marketing business or a consulting, “business improvement” business.
Bill & Pam Joles - Gastonia, NC Owners in since 1991 - GE warehouse manager and teacher
Bill Kyle - Roanoke, VA - Owner since 2013 - Retail design and construction.
Having grown up working in my dad’s small business, it was always in the back of my mind to do my own thing one day. After 25 years of working for a number of corporations in the retail design and construction industry, I determined it was time to get out…while I still liked it, and on my own terms. So I then spent 2 years of due diligence, researching many franchises, and finally landed on Minuteman Press. Minuteman Press truly allows me to run my own business, while providing a high level of service and support that is literally a phone call away.
Bo Gustafsson - Scotsdale, AZ - Owner since 2014 - Furniture Sales
“My past experience, I was running a business named Deuxiana, an 80 year old Swedish company that sells high-end furniture and I have been on both sides of the desk in terms of franchisor/franchisee. I appreciate the support and simplicity of the Minuteman Press franchise. One of the more important components of Minuteman Press International is the regional, local support personnel and how they are there when I need them. Jack is someone I can turn to whenever I need his assistance. It is invaluable.”
Bob Davidson - Tigard, OR - Owner since 1997 - Veteran with military background
Bob Stalinski - Manchester, MO - Owner since 2001 - GM for office products company
The royalties were important then and now. It is nice to have a royalty cap that enables us to reinvest in our business, and that certainly was a factor in my decision to join Minuteman Press. The return on your royalty investment is like the return on a 5 star mutual fund. There is always someone at Minuteman Press available to help you or answer your questions. As I had no experience in printing, marketing or sales, having that kind of support was a key factor in my decision to join Minuteman.
Bryan & Johnel Nunes - Boise, ID - Owners since 2004 - Denny’s restaurant owners
We came from the restaurant business and were looking for something other than restaurants that was specifically B2B. We liked the Minuteman Press business model and the profit margin of the printing industry. We were also thoroughly impressed by the Minuteman Press International corporate culture and staff as a whole.
Brian Davis - Lexington, KY - Owner since 1991 - Human resources director
Chris Lewis - Woodinville, WA - Owner since 2008 - Digital printer sales
Christine & Derek Hueske - Columbia, MO - Owners since 2014 - Food and beverage industry for 25 years
We chose Minuteman Press because this is the type of business that allows us to continue to sell and still have lives without having to work 70+ hours a week as we had been doing for years. As a business-to-business company, we are in control of the schedule we keep. Also, by having a production person in the shop who is managing the day to day jobs, we are able to be in the market to network and sell our services to our current customers as well as potential new ones. In addition, Minuteman Press has a great support structure in place. Not only is the corporate team always available, you have a great support structure from the more seasoned owners and they are always there to offer advice as well as give ideas regarding what has worked for them.
Dan & Mike Reeves - Burnsville, MN - Owners since 2015 - Print Industry Veteran - Father & Son
BURNSVILLE, Minn.—Dan Reeves is a 35-year veteran of the printing industry who has seen it all. He once owned a competing print franchise that he was unhappy with and then worked in the corporate world for ten years before finding the right opportunity to rejoin the world of entrepreneurship. That opportunity came in the form of a Minuteman Press franchise for sale in Burnsville, Minnesota. Located just two miles from his house, Dan did his research on Minuteman Press, liked what he saw in terms of local support and a unique capped royalty structure, and was sold. He bought the franchise, brought his son Mike on board to help grow the business, and they are now celebrating one year together as a dynamic father and son business success story.
Changes in the Print Industry
In 35 years, the print industry has certainly seen its share of changes. One thing that will never change is that businesses need print to operate and use print as a vital piece of their marketing and advertising programs. The emergence of digital printing has bolstered businesses like Minuteman Press because it enables franchise owners to provide cost-effective, high quality products at a rapid pace. Dan says, “Today it’s primarily digital, so short run full color has taken the market by storm. It’s very popular, very affordable for businesses.”
In a service-based economy where everything needs to be done accurately with fast turnaround, digital printing meets those requirements and Minuteman Press is able to fulfill the needs of business owners as a result. Dan explains, “Quite often you decide Monday morning and you need something Monday afternoon. We see it constantly.”
Growing the Family Business
Mike Reeves spends his time working to grow the family business. He says, “I’m in the community every single day … just basically introducing ourselves.” Mike’s approach is effective: “You know we’re new owners, a local business, dropping off some information, following up. We’re just offering what everybody needs, offering competitive pricing and then it’s just a lot of following up. I’m back out there every day continuously.”
After securing new clients, Dan and Mike Reeves do everything they can to make sure they provide the highest levels of quality and service, along with fast turnaround. When relationships are built the right way and customers can put a face to the name, there is a high level of trust that develops naturally. Then, during those times when clients need important projects to be completed as quickly as possible, they will turn to those familiar faces they know they can trust. That is what Minuteman Press is all about.
The Minuteman Press Difference
As for how Dan Reeves found and ultimately decided on Minuteman Press, he explains, “I was just searching online, saw an opportunity, and learned about the franchise. It’s really important to learn about the franchise, that they’re going to be there to support you. Take care of you if you are stumbling and falling, try to educate you. I just loved it right away.”
When comparing Minuteman Press to his earlier experiences with a competing print franchise, things couldn’t be more different. Dan elaborates, “The biggest difference is the royalty structure. My old one there was no royalty cap. As we grew, we just sent them more and more money. Mine is now capped [at a monthly sales level] at 6 percent. That’s huge.”
“With one year now under their belts as Minuteman Press owners, Dan and Mike Reeves can rest assured that as they continue to grow their business in Burnsville, they will be able to keep those profits rather than constantly pay more in royalties,” says Matt Peretz, Minuteman Press International Regional Vice President for Minnesota. He adds, “As with many of our owners, the royalty incentive program is a huge benefit and relief to them, and we are proud to make it available.”
Darryal & Connie Chandler - Humble, TX - Owner since 2010 - Airline industry and a teacher
The biggest reason we chose a Minuteman Press franchise is because since I had been working here, I knew the potential this business had in the market we serve. We did have apprehensions about owning a franchise, so we certainly did our homework before making the final decision. Everything we could find out about MMP was positive. We have not been disappointed. As a matter of fact, we have been more than happy! Minuteman Press International provides so much support, as well as providing us with “buying power” in many ways. Our franchise fee is well worth it to us! We know we made the right decision. We are part of the Minuteman Press family!
David Pike - Lehigh Valley, PA (owns 6 centers) - Owner since 1989 - Second-generation owner
My mother and stepfather were working for Bethlehem Steel out in Pennsylvania when they agreed to help my go into business. I had a retail space but I didn’t want to enter into a traditional retail business and wasn’t interested in food service. What really drove me towards owning a Minuteman Press franchise was that it was a business-to-business model that still had many of the elements of a retail business. As we continued to grow, Bethlehem Steel went out of business, and so my mom and stepdad came on board to work with me. We have grown to the point that we now own six centers across the Lehigh Valley area.
Dawn & Dean Seifert - Youngstown, OH - Owner since 2007
Dean says, “I was looking to own a business that would help support my family and where my family could also be involved. Minuteman Press was a perfect fit for what I envisioned. We have grown our business 4 times the size it was when I bought it. We have 5 employees, 2 of these are our children. Our oldest son already talks about transitioning into our spot eventually.”
Dom & Arlene Passanisi - Pleasanton, Mtn. View & San Mateo, CA - Owners since 2010 - Architect and Paralegal
Dom owned a successful architectural firm and his wife Arlene comes from a paralegal background. They purchased their first center in October 2010 after Dom’s business was negatively impacted by the recession, which forced them to seek out new business opportunities for themselves. Dom and Arlene chose Minuteman Press because they saw a successful business model with no prior experience required thanks to the expert training and ongoing support, and also because they liked what they saw in the profit margins. When they were researching new business opportunities, they analyzed the numbers and the dollars had to make sense. The only business that fit their criteria was Minuteman Press. Today, Dom and Arlene own 3 locations in Pleasanton, Mountain View and San Mateo, California. The royalty incentive program is very important to them because it creates a fixed cost for them each month, which allows them to reinvest the savings back into their business.
Doug Frederickson -Surrey, British Columbia - Owner since 1994 - Retail manager
I worked as a retail manager for Canadian Tire, a company I had been with since high school graduation. I was starting a family, and I wanted to have some control of my personal life with regular Monday through Friday working hours. I know myself well enough that if the business was open later into the evening or on the weekends that I would probably be there. The idea of manufacturing something that would be custom really intrigued me. As much as I enjoyed the retail business, I wanted to try something completely different, and the food industry did not interest me at all. Minuteman Press was a perfect fit for what I was looking for. The training and support lets us focus on running the business and selling print. There are great systems in place that keep us from having to re-invent the wheel. After acquiring several smaller non-Minuteman shops and seeing the poor operating systems in place, and the lack of preferred vendor programs, I really understand how valuable my Royalty check is when I send it in. Not to mention that it is capped, so my Royalty as a percentage of sales is consistently decreasing.
Faisal Tariq - Calgary, Alberta - Owner since 2004 - Sales engineer
My Minuteman Press franchise is a family business with my brother Saquib Tariq and father Tariq Choudhary. My father was an accountant for a GM dealership in Dubai, and I was a chemical engineer in the oil industry in Alberta. Saquib was in high school when we purchased the Minuteman Press franchise, and we were looking for a business that we could build as a family and eventually support three families as sales grew and Saquib matured. Saquib graduated high school and completed a degree in Marketing from University of Calgary while assisting with the business. We started our Minuteman Press center in a 900 square foot location and now have a 3,000 square foot center. We love the Monday-Friday working hours and the business-to-business model, and we are honored to be part of the President’s Million Dollar Club.
Frank Bittner - Hainesport & Cherry Hill, NJ - Owner since 1992 - Second-generation owner
My father was looking for a business with a positive cash flow and solid profit margins. Minuteman Press fit the bill for that, and later on he and I learned just how amazing the company was in terms of the support they provide. The relationship we have with the home office is incredible and very much appreciated.
Fred Edelstein - Santa Clara, CA - Owner since 2014 - Corporate Finance Manager
After working 25 years as a corporate financial manager, Fred Edelstein’s job was downsized. This is how he took back control of his career…
For 25 years, Fred Edelstein built his career in corporate financial management. After an acquisition caused his job to be downsized, Fred spent the next two years searching for that next career opportunity that never came. That’s when he took matters into his own hands, and with a little help from the Minuteman Press franchise, Fred Edelstein was back to business, this time as his own boss.
Minuteman Press Franchise Review: 5 Questions with Fred Edelstein, Santa Clara, California
1. What was your background before franchising with Minuteman Press? “I spent 25-plus years in corporate financial management. I worked in companies from startups to IBM. I gained a lot of experience with companies going through funding rounds looking for venture capital funding to looking to be acquired or acquire other companies. By the end, I became the go-to guy for financial modeling wherever I was working, and I did a few stints as a consultant between permanent employment positions.”
2. Why did you choose to franchise with Minuteman Press? “My last permanent employment was with Ning Social Networking. As their Senior Financial Manager, I helped them get acquired by Glam Media, Inc. Glam Media already had their own financial team so I knew I’d be out of a job and that’s what happened. I then found it really difficult to even get interviews for the next 2 years and began to realize that I had ‘aged out’ of the positions I was qualified for. I had enough money to retool myself and began looking at other options such as opening a restaurant and buying a franchise.”
3. What was it about Minuteman Press International that appealed to you? “I met Bob Ylinen (Minuteman Press Regional Vice President for Northern California) during that search and through him I ultimately determined that opening or buying a print shop was just what I was looking for. Namely, I wanted to own a business with low headcount (small staff) and small to medium initial investment. Bob’s low key sales pitch really helped. If he’d come on too strong I’d have likely been reluctant. He gave me the facts I needed and introduced me to a few of the other local owners and let me make the decision I needed to make.”
4. How would you compare your experience as a Minuteman Press franchise owner to your previous career/industry/life? “It’s been a lot of hard work which is not a surprise or even a negative. The sense of success is not something I could ‘own’ in my previous work experience. My participation level was never really enough to keep me going. Now, the success I have is really directly or indirectly all mine, as is the failures when they happen. As a small business owner, I get to be the boss I always wished others had been for me, though I also have more sympathy for some of things they must have gone through. I also get to set the tone and work environment in my shop and help my employees grow in their respective positions, which is really gratifying for me.”
5. How has the ongoing local support you’ve received from Minuteman Press helped you along the way? “When I’ve needed support from Minuteman Press on the local or corporate levels, I’ve never had to wait; they’ve been essential to my success.”
Fred Edelstein’s Minuteman Press design, marketing and printing franchise is located at 2368 Walsh Ave., Suite B, Santa Clara, CA 95051.
George Dormani - Rockville Centre, NY - Owner since 1999 - Automotive Mechanic
“From when we first started to today, Minuteman Press International has given us tremendous support. Their mass purchasing power allows them to negotiate vendor deals that give us an edge above the competition. The Minuteman Press home office and regional support staff in Long Island has knowledge of the industry that is unmatched. They are truly experts when it comes to technology, equipment, vendors, and how to provide the support we need to remain on top of our game. Also, the people that work for Minuteman Press International treat the franchise owners like royalty! Not only do they have our backs, but they show us they truly care about how we are doing.
One other really important thing is the Minuteman Press brand. Customers recognize us as a well-known and highly respected printing company, and you can’t beat that kind of highly regarded reputation. At the end of the day, the support I get from Minuteman is huge. The best feeling for me as part of the Minuteman Press franchise family is that if I run into a problem or situation, I can count on them to back me up and guide me through.”
George Sagadencky - Burbank, CA - Owner since 2014 - Owned a promotional products business
I owned a very successful promotional products business for 25 years, and I was always attracted to the short reorder cycle of print. At age 50, I found myself looking for a new path. The stability that Minuteman Press offered appealed to me, and I always thought that promotional products and print were the perfect blend. With Minuteman Press’ business-to-business model, I knew I could leverage my knowledge and expertise, and for me this was the perfect marriage.
Gloria Jacaruso - Pompano Beach, FL - Owner since 2010 - Newspaper reporter/writer
Greg Anderson - Parker, CO & Castle Rock, CO - Owner since 2016 - Software Industry
Prior to franchising with Minuteman Press, Greg Anderson worked in the software industry for 25 years. He elaborates, “I started out on the technical side of the software business. I then transitioned to product management and product marketing, where I was heading up marketing for a software firm focused on small businesses around the world.”
With Greg’s previous career came all of the traveling, which made him weary of the road. Greg states, “Working with technology firms required a great deal of travel around the world. While most people think it is glamourous, you never really see much of the places you visited. So I decided I wanted a change that didn’t require travel but would allow me to use the information I had gained working close with and marketing to small and mid-sized business.”
Today, Greg uses the skills he learned in the technology sector and applies them to his Minuteman Press design, marketing, and printing business.
Why Minuteman Press? He answers, “During my career, I learned that processes and knowledge were the keys to success. When I looked at other franchisors, they didn’t have the same level of support that Minuteman Press International provides. I didn’t want to spend my time recreating the wheel, but rather focus on growing my business. Minuteman Press enables me to do that.”
Holly Kaplansky- Newark, NJ - Owner since 2005 - Corporate background with Fortune 500 companies
Holly worked for worked for a number of Fortune 500 companies in New York City. She was very dedicated to climbing the corporate ladder, which can be demanding at times. Holly was ok with those demands up to a certain point. That point came when she on vacation at the Jersey Shore, with her family, and she received a call from her boss, back in the city. He said he needed her back right away. She reminded him she was on vacation. He said he needed her now! She dropped everything, left her family at the shore and drove two hours back to the city. When she arrived at her office she found her boss had solved his own problem, had gone home for the day and didn’t have the courtesy to call her to let her know he didn’t need her after all. That was the last straw for her. The next weekend she attended a Franchise Show and that’s when we met Holly. She said when she saw our booth…it just clicked for her. She recognized that Minuteman Press was a B2B operation that offers services to all businesses, and that really appealed to her. She bought her franchise and went right to work promoting her business through community involvement and networking. She hasn’t been interrupted on a vacation since owning her own business.
Jared Ostendorf - Fayetteville, NC - Owner since 2009 - Human Resources
I bought my Minuteman Press franchise when I was in my 20s. I absolutely love the business model and the expansion into promotional products. Networking comes naturally to me and Minuteman Press is a huge help when it comes to training and support. I also love the camaraderie that I have with other Minuteman Press owners, who are always willing to listen. From corporate to colleagues, we are all in this together, and I couldn’t ask for a better support system.
Jason Jacobus - Flemington, NJ - Owner since 2012 - Retail manager
I was working in the retail industry where I had to work long nights, weekends and holidays. With three small children, I really wanted to find an opportunity that would improve my quality of life and enable me to spend more time with my wife and children. Because of the business-to-business model that allows for regular working hours, Minuteman Press allows me to be both an entrepreneur and a father who is there for his family. I am now home for dinner every night, attend all school functions, and I really enjoy coaching my kids’ sports teams.
Jeff and Diana Merritt - Salisbury, MD - Owners since 2010 - Civilian Contractor
For Jeff and Diana Merritt, giving back to the community is just as important as running their business. Owning their Minuteman Press franchise has helped the Merritt family give back to active duty military members and Veterans through Operation We Care, their 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Diana and Jeff do such amazing work that on Feb. 8, 2016, the Hon. Jacob R. Day, Mayor of the City of Salisbury, proclaimed February 8th, 2016 as “Operation We Care Day”
Jeff and Diana help coordinate the year-round efforts of local citizens, businesses, and civic organizations as care package items are collected, sorted, packed, and then sent to Delmarva Troops. In addition, Operation We Care partners with sixteen local schools so students are able to participate in this wonderful cause and give thanks to the troops.
In addition to sending packages to service members, Operation We Care works with the Wounded Warrior Project, and helps Veterans with various issues; including mobility issues through the building of ramps, finding temporary homes for pets when re-deployed, meeting returning Vets at the airport, and “virtually anything else we can do to help,” noted Jeff Merritt.
“We salute Diana and Jeff Merritt for their efforts, while thanking those whom they serve through Operation We Care for their service,” exclaimed Bob Heimbuch, Minuteman Press International Regional Vice President for Maryland/DC/Virginia.
Jeff Sirota - Carlsbad, CA - Owner since 2015 - Newspaper Industry
Jeff Sirota says, “I think some of my newspaper experience transferred over very well into my experience as a Minuteman Press franchise owner. I still have that same mentality that was so necessary in the newspaper industry and ask the same question each day: ‘How can I sell more product today?’ I brought that ‘newspaper drive’ into the Minuteman Press franchise so I could build the business.” Jeff adds, “I am a good listener. Learning from those experienced in the business to business services industry and listening to my customers allows me to give them what they want.”
Joe McLaughlin - East Kilbride, Scotland, United Kingdom - Owner since 2007 - Textiles / Manufacturing
From Textile Worker to Printing Franchise Owner: Meet Joe McLaughlin
EAST KILBRIDE, Scotland, United Kingdom — For nearly 9 years, Joe McLaughlin and his wife Florina have owned and operated their Minuteman Press design, marketing and printing franchise in East Kilbride, Scotland. After spending 7 years working abroad on the supply chain management side of the textile manufacturing industry, it was time for Joe to return home. Joe knew that he wanted to start his own business, and it was just a matter of finding the right opportunity. Here is how he found it with Minuteman Press, and why it was the perfect fit for Joe and his family.
From Textiles to Printing – The Fabric of Joe McLaughlin’s Professional Life
Joe McLaughlin’s career was built on supply chain management and quality control. During his 7 years abroad, Joe would travel to Sri Lanka, Turkey, Bulgaria, and Romania. Joe was tasked with supplying the Marks and Spencer and Next clothing stores, making sure that all of the materials that make the clothes were properly utilized. This required a high attention to detail and design, as well as proper organization and material planning.
“I enjoyed my time in the textiles industry,” says Joe. He adds, “But it was time to return home.”
Tired of traveling, Joe decided to start researching business opportunities back home in Scotland. When his son attended a franchise expo in Glasgow, Minuteman Press was one of several franchises that Joe decided to research. The similarities between textile manufacturing and design / printing is what drew Joe to Minuteman Press, particularly the common threads of creativity and material planning. What kept his attention was Minuteman Press’ detailed and organized approach to business.
Joe explains, “My business experience abroad had much more responsibility than any job I had previously had in the United Kingdom. This depth of experience helped me make the jump to running my own business. When I met with Minuteman Press International Vice President George Holzmacher, I appreciated the no nonsense ‘can do’ approach of Minuteman Press. Their business model combined with visiting existing Minuteman Press centers and speaking with current owners is what really sealed the deal for me.”
Joe McLaughlin first opened the doors to his Minuteman Press franchise in the Kelvin Industrial Estate of East Kilbride, Scotland in 2007. Year over year, Joe has continually grown his business. In January 2015, he won his first Top Overall Performance award from Minuteman Press International for the United Kingdom North region. Joe’s Minuteman Press franchise was then a repeat winner of the same award in January 2016, an accomplishment that he was delighted to earn for two consecutive years.
“The awards are a measure and confirmation of our success and a reminder of how much progress we have made during these years,” reflects Joe. He adds, “The proprietary management software that Minuteman Press International provides to owners makes my ability to manage my business so much easier than if I didn’t have it. Together with the contacts and support of the Minuteman Press franchise system as a whole, it makes us stronger and better than competitors of a similar size and structure. We are able to offer a huge variety of products and services, making us THE one-stop solution for our customers.”
“Joe McLaughlin saw the benefits of franchising with us 9 years ago and he has been an exemplary business owner in East Kilbride who cares about his customers and his community,” notes David Watson, Minuteman Press International Area Manager for the UK North Region. He continues, “We are proud to have helped him transition to entrepreneurship thanks to the training and support we provide, and even prouder of how hard he’s worked to build his business.”
Joe very much attributes much of his success to his wife Florina and his graphic designer Samantha. They all work together fantastically as a team and this is reflected in their ongoing success. More than just print, their Minuteman Press franchise is also heavily involved in marketing and branding as they provide mailing solutions and promotional products to their clients. Joe is looking to continue the trend of growth and has set his sights on a third consecutive Top Overall Performance award in 2017.
Common Thread of Entrepreneurship
Every journey to entrepreneurship is unique, and Joe McLaughlin’s story is no exception. There is a common thread, however, for those who make the leap from professional careers to business ownership: The desire to be a part of something that is completely their own and yet is also bigger than themselves.
Joe McLaughlin knew he was ready to leave the textiles industry behind, strike out on his own and go into business for himself. He also knew that he couldn’t do it alone, and the ongoing support provided by Minuteman Press afforded him the best of both worlds. Joe states, “They helped me return home to East Kilbride and do things my way, and without them, I couldn’t have done it at all.”
Joe McLaughlin’s Minuteman Press franchise is located at 11 Colvilles Park, Kelvin Industrial Estate, East Kilbride G75 0GZ, Scotland.
Jon Wittenberg - Sandy Springs, GA - Owner since 2012 - Financial Industry
Prior to franchising with Minuteman Press, Jon Wittenberg worked in the financial industry. He says, “My background was corporate finance followed by self-employment as an accountant and tax preparer.” As for why he chose to join the Minuteman Press franchise system, Jon explains, “I chose Minuteman Press due to its proven business model and established store support infrastructure.”
Juanita Glenn - Upper Marlboro, MD - Owner since 2016 - Web Development & Graphic Design
When her job in web development and graphic design was downsized, Juanita Glenn decided she wanted to be her own boss. After doing her due diligence, Juanita opened a new Minuteman Press franchise in Upper Marlboro, MD, which offers essential printing, marketing, and branding solutions that meet the needs of today’s business professionals.
“I felt that after 27 years of service at my previous job, it was time for me to change careers. After praying and seeking advice, I took a leap of faith and left my job. Once I completed graduate school in 2016 with a degree in management, I felt ready to hone in on what I had learned from school and the skills I had obtained over the years. I wanted to be my own boss and I knew Minuteman Press was the right franchise for what I wanted to do. I was comforted in knowing that Minuteman Press had been around for over 40 years and the company was well-established with a great business model and structure.”
“There are several things that impress me about Minuteman Press, but the one thing that I am most intrigued about is the support from their corporate headquarters in New York. During my training in New York, Mike Jutt, Minuteman Press International Executive VP and Director of Training, was very helpful in making sure that I received the equipment needed for my new shop. I hit an expected bump in the road and Mike Jutt stepped in to help the process move forward.”
As for the local support she has received back home in Upper Marlboro, Juanita Glenn could not be happier. She explains, “Bob Heimbuch, Regional VP for Minuteman Press International and Eric Shank, Field Representative, have been so helpful in making sure my Minuteman Press store was up and running as well as keeping me on track with the setup and marketing. Bob made sure he found the location I was looking for to start my Minuteman Press franchise. He was instrumental in keeping me abreast of the things necessary to help with the operation of the store. Afterwards, my field rep Eric Shank was able set up the store, organize it, establish accounts with the vendors and assist me constantly with marketing the business. I am totally grateful for their help because I would not have known what to do if I was out there alone.”
Satisfaction from Running the Business
When asked about the most rewarding thing about being her own boss and running the business, two words stick out to Juanita Glenn: Satisfaction and teamwork. She comments, “What I get the most satisfaction from is being able to interact with all types of people. I am very people-oriented and it gives me great pleasure to meet people from all types of background.”
Juanita elaborates, “Furthermore, I’ve always wanted to have a family-friendly environment where employees would love to come to work. My employees are very loyal to the business and I consider them as my team. I don’t throw my weight around because I’m the boss and I let them know that we are a team, but every team has a leader. We make sure that we all help each other out as much as possible in order to keep work flowing in an expeditious manner. One of the things that I am proudest of from my team is that we exude professionalism and it is evident when people tell us that from the way we answer the phone to how we treat them when they come into the store. I have always felt that a business should be run by treating people with respect and professionalism and that is what makes me most proud of the team that I have working with me.”
Advice for Others
When asked about what advice she would have for other aspiring business owners, Juanita answers, “My advice to anyone who is looking to own a franchise is that Minuteman Press is an A-1 company. It’s no wonder they are rated the #1 Marketing and Printing Franchise within the industry by Entrepreneur several times over.”
Juanita thoughtfully concludes, “Being your own boss is so rewarding in so many ways because you have the freedom to do what you love and be creative. The cost to start up the company is nothing compared to the support that you get from headquarters and locally. I am so thankful and blessed to be a franchise owner with Minuteman Press.”
Jude Arijaje - Philadelphia, PA - Owner Since 2008 - Real Estate Agent / Broker
Jude Arijaje is an opportunist, an entrepreneur, and an inspiration. In 2000, Arijaje came from Nigeria to Philadelphia and was determined to become a success story both in life and business. After working as a parking lot attendant and leveraging the relationships he formed with others in his community, Arijaje went into business as an independent real estate broker. As a real estate agent, Arijaje would spend thousands of dollars per year on printing a wide variety of promotional materials such as signs, flyers, banners and countless other items. This is when he saw another business opportunity come to light in the form of the Minuteman Press franchise, and in 2008 Jude Arijaje began a new chapter in his entrepreneurial career by opening his Minuteman Press business on South Broad Street in the heart of Philadelphia.
Jude shares, “There’s really nothing called luck in this business. It’s a combination of everything including following the Minuteman Press program and getting out there. It includes relentless networking, shaking hands and putting our small business on the map.”
He continues, “There are no two ways about it – The Minuteman Press franchise program works. The best thing I did was follow the system and not try to reinvent the wheel. When I first started out, I pounded the pavement and met with every single business owner around to start building those relationships. What has happened now is that I have built a business with a loyal following that keeps growing thanks to following the Minuteman Press program. I apply those same practices I learned in training today. And when it comes to support, my Regional Vice President Richard Hornberger is always there for me whenever I need anything. It’s amazing that Minuteman Press puts these pieces in place for that kind of local help right in my center.”
Kathy Martin - Alpharetta, GA & Cumming, GA - Owner Since 2015 - Information Technology
Kathy Martin first joined the Minuteman Press family of design, marketing, and printing franchise owners in November 2015, when she decided to buy her business in Alpharetta. Before franchising, Kathy spent 23 years working in Information Technology for one of the largest retailers in the world. “I now bring this large scale knowledge of branding to our client bases in Alpharetta and Cumming,” she says.
Each Minuteman Press franchise provides essential products and services that meet the needs of today’s business professionals. Kathy explains, “We offer full service printing, marketing design, promotional products, car wraps, window vinyl and direct mailing services. We strive to be the one-stop solution for our clients. If there is something we do not do in-house, we have forged partnerships with local companies to assist our clients with that service. No job is too large or too small.”
Why Minuteman Press?
With a multitude of franchise opportunities available to her, Kathy Martin chose Minuteman Press because their business model simply was the right fit for her. Kathy says, “After speaking with Minuteman Press International at the Franchise Expo in Atlanta, it was a no-brainer that this was the franchise for me. Every single business owner out there, whether home-based or a large corporation, needs printing of some form. I also love the multiple streams of income under one roof. We aren’t just printing on paper, and we can offer anything that you can put your logo on.”
The Minuteman Press franchise also helped Kathy make an easy transition from her corporate career in Information Technology to business ownership. The training and ongoing local support she receives from Minuteman Press International has been crucial to her success. Kathy elaborates, “When I started in this business, I had no idea what printing was all about. My background was building and implementing IT systems. The local support was invaluable for assisting in training and guiding me through the entire process. I now feel I am very well versed in a short amount of time.”
Most Rewarding Thing and Giving Back in Georgia
When asked about the most rewarding thing about running her business, Kathy doesn’t hesitate to answer. She says, “I love helping my fellow business owners, whether I am helping them with a marketing plan or assisting them with creating their brand through marketing materials. In my corporate career, I was limited by what the company wanted. I didn’t have the freedoms that I now have.”
Kathy also prides herself on getting involved and giving back to the local communities in both Alpharetta and Cumming. She gives back through sponsorships and supporting other local businesses. Kathy explains, “We sponsor the Relay for Life races in our area. We sponsor our local schools and churches by offering them a 10% off programs. Plus anyone they send our way, we set aside 10% of their purchases for the school or church to use at their discretion. I’m passionate about supporting our local community. I live here, both of my shops are in the same county. There is something to be said about staying local and supporting your community.”
She adds, “I am also part of the Chamber of Commerce in Alpharetta and Cumming. As well, I am involved in quite a few women’s organizations. Women business owners definitely support one another.”
Typical Day and Business Goals
Owning two Minuteman Press locations means that there is no such thing as a typical day for Kathy Martin. Like most new business owners who are looking to grow, marketing and networking are vital to building the business. Kathy agrees, saying, “I try to do some form of marketing daily, whether that is attending a networking event, meeting one-on-one with another local business owner over lunch or coffee, or door-to-door marketing in my community. After that, I’m in the store, rolling up my sleeves helping out.”
The end game, of course, is continuing to grow, and Kathy is really determined to build on her early success. She says, “My goal is to really focus on my local community. I want every business in my community to be using me for their printing services. And, if they are not, I want to know why! I want to grow the business in both centers, and I have both immediate goals and stretch goals in mind for where I want to be. I want us to stretch ourselves as a team and see what we can do.”
Advice for Others
Kathy’s advice to others who are thinking about owning their own business is this: “If you do not market, folks will not use your services. Some folks do not realize what services we offer and also how economically priced we are until we show them. Also, get great staff! We owners should not be spending our time in the stores. We should only be in the store to help out, not to do the production work.”
Ken Barton - Dublin, Ohio - Owner Since 2016 - Accountant / CPA
Ken Barton worked as a CPA in Ohio for 30 years. This is how he made the transition to business ownership…
DUBLIN, Ohio – Ask any franchise owner about their first year in business and they will tell you just how vital it is to make their presence felt in the community while also being supported by the franchisor. For Ken Barton, franchising with Minuteman Press made sense because he knew that he would joining the world’s largest and #1 rated design, print, and marketing franchise, where he would receive the type of training and support he wanted in a brand new field.
Ken Barton was eager to share his experiences as a business owner in Dublin, Ohio who truly cares about the people and community he serves, as well as his insights as to why Minuteman Press was the right fit. This is his Minuteman Press franchise review:
7 Questions with Ken Barton – Dublin, Ohio
1. What was your background before franchising with Minuteman Press?
“I purchased this Minuteman Press location in January 2016. Prior to that, I served privately owned businesses as a CPA with 3 different Central Ohio CPA firms over a 30-year career. As an owner of two of those firms, I experienced business ownership not only through my experiences dealing with the issues of a CPA firm, but also through my role as an advisor to the clients I worked with.”
2. Why did you choose to franchise with Minuteman Press?
“When I decided that I was ready for something new, I was fortunate to meet Gary Nowak (Minuteman Press International Regional Vice President for the Ohio region) who shared with me that a successful Minuteman Press franchise owner is one who enjoys being out with customers and prospects. The role of consulting with customers and helping them market their products and services is one I enjoy. I also like the business to business aspect of Minuteman Press, which lends itself to having normal business hours Monday through Friday.”
3. How would you compare your experience as a Minuteman Press franchise owner to your previous career/industry/life?
“I try every day to empower the people that I work with to take care of our customers, to make the decisions that they would like a business to make if they were the customer, and to do the right thing.”
4. How has the ongoing local support you’ve received from Minuteman Press helped you along the way?
“I have learned that there are lots of people in the Minuteman Press organization out there willing to help. My local field representative Rich DeRosa has been invaluable in helping to train me to be an effective marketer. He helped me learn to ask the right questions to ask and how to identify prospect motivations and pain points. In our second week of ownership, we also had another field representative from MMP named Eric Shank come here to help us with onsite setup of the business. Eric’s knowledge of Minuteman Press’ proprietary FLEX software and the printing industry was very helpful to me and our entire staff.
A couple of months ago, I sat down with successful Minuteman Press franchisees and pick their brains about how they built such successful locations. Mike Geygan in Lebanon, OH and Steve Heaney in Toledo, OH each spent a morning answering my questions and sharing with me what they believe made them so successful. That type of camaraderie across the board is refreshing and appreciated.”
5. What is a typical day like for you as a Minuteman Press owner?
“My day typically consists primarily of delivering products to customers (which gives me a great opportunity to learn about their businesses and figure out ways we can help them grow) as well as meeting with prospects and customers to listen to what they want in a printer (and marketer).”
6. What is one inspirational quote that has helped you along the way either in life or in business?
“There is a Winston Churchill quote that I think applies well to business owners: ‘Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.’”
7. What are one or two pieces of advice you would give to potential franchise owners?
“Advice I would give to potential franchise owners: Surround yourself with people (employees, vendors, advisors) who are smarter than you and give them the freedom to do what they are good at.
And of course, enjoy what you do! No one wants to see a grumpy person walk through the door.”
Ken Barton’s Minuteman Press franchise is located at 5887 Karric Square Drive, Dublin, OH 43016.
Kevin & Ruth Ann DiLauri - Orlando, FL - Owner since 2000 - Corporate manager
Kimberly Sherman-Leon - Johnston, RI - Owner since 2016 - Graphic Designer
Kimberly Sherman-Leon is a dedicated entrepreneur, wife, and mother of three children ages 17, 13 and 4. She previously worked at the Minuteman Press franchise in Johnston, RI as a graphic designer before venturing out to start a design business of her own. When Linda and Dave Buttery were ready to retire after 17 years in business, Kimberly jumped at the opportunity to take over a business that she put her heart into and truly loved. “I worked at Minuteman Press in Johnston as a Senior Designer and Store Production Manager for 5 years and it was one of the best work experiences I ever had,” says Kimberly.
After buying the business, Kimberly attended Minuteman Press International’s two-week training program at their world headquarters in Farmingdale, NY. She also receives ongoing local support from the company right here in Johnston, RI. Says Kimberly, “During training, I really enjoyed being in a room with like-minded business people and being surrounded by print! It felt like where I belonged and enjoyed learning all of the business materials needed. It was very motivating. I also get tremendous support from Ron Rubin, Minuteman Press International’s New England Regional Vice President as well as the field rep in our area.”
Linsey Wyman - Malden, MA - Owner since 2007 - Second-generation owner
Lyn & Charlie Church - Glenside, PA - Owners since 2016 - Sales
Lyn and Charlie Church: “After becoming empty nesters, Charlie left a long-term sales job that had him on the road covering 17 states. We wanted to spend more time together, so he looked for jobs closer to home. When he didn’t find anything interesting, he suggested attending a franchise show in Philadelphia. That’s where we saw Minuteman Press. We were familiar with the brand and we were impressed by the professionalism of the personnel we met. Lyn admits the Monday – Friday store hours appealed to her. We were ready to take on a new challenge, but we wanted a comfortable work/life balance. After visiting a few local stores and talking to their owners, we were impressed with the solid system Minuteman Press has in place to guide owners. We like that Minuteman Press International is still family owned and it seemed like there was a lot of support for owners on the local level.”
Maria Medina - Fort Lauderdale, FL - Owner since 2014 - University Career
Meet Maria Medina, Minuteman Press Franchise Owner, Fort Lauderdale, FL
What is Minuteman Press? “We are a full service print, marketing and design company offering everything the customer needs in order to help promote and grow their business. We offer in-house design services and we can also print using customer’s own designs. We can print anything, such as: Business Cards, Brochures, Banners, Apparel, Signs, Promotional Products, Mailers and much more. We are part of the Minuteman Press franchise system.
Our services are adaptable and can cater to companies that have as few as one employee to large corporations with 1,000+ employees. Our target audience are professionals that are looking to promote their brand and portray a professional look through their marketing materials. This includes matching letterhead and envelopes that they use on a daily basis to communicate with their clients. Anything that they hand out or use on a daily basis can be produced by us to help sustain their brand’s image.”
What does being a business owner mean to you and why did you decide to become an entrepreneur? “Having worked for a private University in the UK for 8 years, I found myself in a position where I did not feel challenged. Becoming a business owner meant that I could have a direct impact on the company’s performance by setting goals and directing resources accordingly. Being the owner of a small business also means that I am able to work on the company’s brand by becoming a part of its image through networking and marketing. I have learned, and am still learning, skills which I don’t think I would have if I hadn’t become a business owner.”
What is your best business achievement to date? “We have just been awarded with the Small Business Award of the year by the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce. We were a nominee last year, and to win this time around means we are further than we thought we would be with our brand being recognized all around Fort Lauderdale.”
What are one or two pieces of advice you have for others? “Be prepared to make at least one mistake a day. And learn from it. This is something my wife has to remind me of every day! Being a business owner is hard work, and you can’t be expected to know everything. There will be days when you have to make tough decisions and these may not always be the right decisions. It is important to acknowledge your mistakes and learn from them, so that you can grow as an individual and succeed in your endeavors.
What is one thing every business owner should do to build their business? “Networking! If you want to grow your brand, networking will be a big part of it. There is no better way to reach local, like-minded individuals than by going to local groups and meeting them face-to-face.”
What is one important thing you have learned as a small business owner? “As it has only been 2 years since I became a business owner, I am still learning! One thing I would like to share is that anyone looking to be a business owner should be prepared to be challenged every day. If you are looking to start your own business I would recommend looking into something that you know is going to interest you and that you already enjoy doing. Every day is made a little bit easier if you actually enjoy what you’re doing.”
Maria Medina’s Minuteman Press franchise is located at 1416 NE 4th Avenue in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Marie & Scott Doherty - Lutterworth, UK - Owners since 2009 - Sales/Administration
Marie Doherty owns Minuteman Press in Lutterworth, UK, along with her husband, Scott, and she wouldn’t trade the freedom and flexibility that franchise ownership affords her to work for someone else again. The period after her grand opening found her at the helm of the business with her husband joining her after transitioning from his former job.
Marie says, “My husband and I co-own our Minuteman Press franchise. After we decided we wanted to own our own business, we went to a franchise show back in 2009, where we saw George Holzmacher (Minuteman Press International Vice President International Development) to discuss our options. At the beginning, in order to be able to make a go of the franchise, I had to step up and run it to start, so we had Scott’s income for the household bills. I have always been in sales/administration before and was working part time as we had an 8 year old daughter, so it turned out to be easier for me to go full time as a Minuteman Press owner. Once we had got established, Scott joined me in the business.”
Today, Marie is gratified to be an invaluable partner to her many clients and the go-to digital print, design and marketing specialist for her community. She acknowledges the hard work it takes to take an entrepreneurial venture and make it grow to the point of reaping rewards, but the flexibility it awards her as a professional and family woman is something she would not be willing to trade for corporate employment.
She adds, “I love working for myself. It is very hard work but also very rewarding, I really enjoy being able to help customers and clients with all of the marketing requirements. I can’t imagine going back to working for somebody else now, it’s definitely not the same as a 9 to 5 job were you go in, do you work and come home and not think about work again until the next day, but you don’t have anybody to answer to either (other than your other half). It does give you more freedom if the kids are sick. If that happens, I can work from home; also, if the kids have activities, I can pop out of work to see them. Although I am quite disciplined, I do have to make sure that everything gets done before I leave or else I finish stuff at home.”
Marty Fanucchi - Clovis, CA - Owner since 1998 - Dairy plant manager
Marty was a dairy plant manager prior to owning his Minuteman Press center. Marty chose Minuteman Press for several reasons: 1. It is a business where he is actually producing a product and providing services that businesses need; 2. It is not labor intensive; 3. The hours of operation are attractive being that it is Monday through Friday business hours; and 4. He was seeking to leave the food industry behind and wanted an opportunity that would provide the tools he would need to do that with no prior industry experience needed.
Michael & Lindsey Weber - Enfield, CT & Springfield, MA - Owners since 2004 - Second-generation - IT & department store buyer
Mike & Julie Arndt - Plant City & Brandon, FL - Owners since 2004 - Corporate GM and teacher
Mike Maddalena - Petaluma, CA - Owner ince 1993 - Dairy equipment industry
Mike came from the dairy equipment industry. He was left without a job when the business he worked for was sold, and so Mike decided to go into business for himself and become an entrepreneur. Mike bought his franchise in July 1993, and he chose Minuteman Press because of the cap on the royalties and the ongoing local support he receives from Minuteman.
Mits Arayama - Dana Point, CA - Owner since 2005 - Marketing Director & CEO
DANA POINT, Calif.—Celebrating ten years as an entrepreneur and business owner, Mits Arayama runs his Minuteman Press design, marketing and printing franchise in Dana Point, CA with the same energy, excitement and vision that has always served him well. For 30 years, Mits worked for Nissin Foods, a Japanese food manufacturer, where he held top-level positions of Marketing Director and CEO. During his time at Nissin, Mits was responsible for bringing the Cup Noodles and Top Ramen brands to the U.S. from Japan, a massively successful marketing venture that changed the way college students consumed dorm room meals forever.
From Soup Branding King to Printing Franchise Boss
Mits Arayama reflects on his crowning achievement during his time with Nissin Foods: “I brought instant Ramen from Japan to the U.S. from concept to market in the 1970s. I never thought it would be as big as it was. It was very challenging, and we tested everything from taste to concept, from product to brand. We went up against Campbell’s and we were told we couldn’t compete. We took the position of soup, and we targeted and 18-29 year-old demographic, especially college kids. We started with supermarkets on the west coast, and little by little we grew to what the brand became.”
After retiring from Nissin and leaving the corporate world behind, Mits Arayama could now focus on fulfilling his lifelong dream of owning his own business. “I was highly micromanaged, from taste and visual to advertising and marketing,” Mits recalls. In 2006, he bought an established Minuteman Press franchise for sale in Dana Point, California. This has enabled Mits to help other businesses bring their own marketing ideas to life by sharing his insights and offering them complete branding solutions.
Why Minuteman Press?
Asked why he chose to buy a Minuteman Press marketing and printing franchise, Mits Arayama doesn’t hesitate to answer: “I was looking for an opportunity on the visual marketing side. I’ve always been a fan of visual marketing and printing. I knew Minuteman Press was fantastic because of my own past experiences with them. Their reputation and support provided by them is outstanding.”
Armed with a wealth of knowledge and backed by ongoing local support as well as the products and services he is able to provide as part of the Minuteman Press franchise system, Mits Arayama found his home as a business owner in Dana Point. He takes pride in helping his clients grow their businesses. In 2016, Mits not only hit the 10-year mark for his business but he was also elected as the Chairman of the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce. Over the past decade, he has also won several awards including business of the year and ambassador of the year.
Future of Printing and Fusion with Marketing
For Mits Arayama, there is another huge benefit of franchising with Minuteman Press. He explains, “From the day I started ten years ago, everything began to move towards digital printing. I knew that Minuteman Press International was following the industry very closely and did their homework on printing trends and innovations. I followed their direction they gave us, and we have extended our business not only into digital printing but also promotional items as well.”
Mits sees the promotional products sector as a real growth market for his Dana Point business: “Dana Point is between Newport Beach and San Diego. It’s a beautiful coastal town and a high income city. Promotional items are ideal because today’s business professional wants them. Whether it’s branded apparel or surfboards, these products are great promotional drivers for businesses and their brands.”
Rewards of Entrepreneurship and Love for Dana Point
As successful as Mits Arayama was in the corporate world, he appreciates what he is able to do today as a business owner. “Being an entrepreneur lets me be more independent. I did not like reporting to corporate headquarters for every little thing. I like to control my own destiny.”
Minuteman Press International also provides Mits with the support and resources to back him up. “I am in charge, but I also have all of the resources at the national and local levels thanks to Minuteman Press. We all share ideas and you get the pulse of how other centers do business, and that is very helpful. We are all part of the same franchise family and the owners who I contact are very open and supportive.”
Another reward of entrepreneurship for Mits is that being a business owner allows him to be so active in the Dana Point community. He cares deeply about making a positive impact in Dana Point, and as the 2016 Chairman for the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce, the affection Mits has for this city is clear: “We have been honored as Business of the Year in the past, and it meant so much to have our business peers recognize us in that way. Through the Chamber and other organizations, I promote Dana Point quite a lot. This is a unique city that is changing. If you go from San Francisco to San Diego, you probably won’t find a city like ours that has 4 or 5 hotels and resorts along with harbors as well. Dana Point is an undiscovered diamond, and everyone I know who does business here – we are all proud ambassadors.”
With ten years in the printing business under his belt, Mits Arayama continues to spend his time adhering to the same principles he learned throughout his career as well as through Minuteman Press training. “I get into the office between 7:30 and 8 am to catch up on business, and I have found that we are consistently getting a lot of repeat business as well as Internet orders.”
“After that, I go out and see my customers, and many of them are now my friends because of the relationships I’ve worked hard to build over the past decade. They now see me as Mits, and not just as Minuteman Press. The everyday work we all put in together translates into the success we are having, and I make it a point to go out and market the business and avoid getting stuck inside in production.”
“Mits Arayama has accomplished so much in his career and I congratulate him for ten years in business with Minuteman Press,” says Dan Byers, Minuteman Press Regional Vice President for Southern California. He adds, “Mits follows the Minuteman Press program, goes out there and markets himself and his business, and is successful as a result.”
Advice and Tips for Others
Mits Arayama made it all the way to the top of the corporate ladder before franchising with Minuteman Press, and with that experience comes insightful words of wisdom for others who are thinking about transitioning to entrepreneurship: “I would imagine that many new business owners are like me and came from corporate environments. I say to them, ‘You are the salesman as well as the president as well as the janitor. It’s all yours. Also, you can’t do business if you don’t have customers. Joining the Chamber of Commerce and other organizations brought me a lot of business.’”
Mits adds, “I think we are a complete operation. Customers have learned we are not just printing but a team of marketing professionals. With our graphic designer and other staff, we are able to solve anything you need. I sell myself first, and make sure that clients understand we are all about providing solutions.”
When asked about a specific example that comes to mind, Mits explains, “We had a local attorney come in for a quote on printing where he was changing his branding. An outside graphic designer did the logo, and it just didn’t reflect the image of this client. I quantified who I am and where I was coming from. He listened, and we were able to provide him with the intended messaging he wanted at 40% of the cost. Even if he didn’t want to change anything, I only felt it was right to offer my professional opinion before printing the original job.”
One final piece of advice comes from the brilliant business mind of Mits Arayama. It also happens to come from the heart: “Stay within the franchise system, but be who you are. I find satisfaction with Minuteman Press.”
Nathan Foeller - Stroudsburg, PA - Owner since 2013 - Designer/print broker
I was working as a Freelance designer putting together newsletters and providing other fulfillment services to local churches in my area. As my business started to grow, I was looking for a way to expand my offerings. I then found out about Minuteman Press, and I loved the idea of expanding both my client base and the variety of products and services I could offer. It was a perfect match at the perfect time.
Norman Gariepy - Devens & Milford, MA - Owner since 2014 - Accountant & independent digital print business owner
Before Minuteman Press, I was an accountant and also ran my own independent digital print business. I found that my business was not growing and I chose Minuteman Press so that I could get the support of the franchise system, which was exactly what I needed. I bought a second Minuteman Press franchise just six months later, and am happy with both of my centers.
Pat Kittle- North Conway, NH & Denmark, ME - Owner since 2002 - Paper industry
Pete Keskey - Hudson, WI, Oakdale & Chanhassen, MN - Owner since 2006 - Owned a mailing/shipping store
Peter & Simon Kelly - Balcatta, Perth, Western Australia - Owner since 2015 - Father & Son Franchise Team
Peter and Simon Kelly own and operate the Minuteman Press design, marketing, and printing business located at Unit 5, 15 Halley Road in Balcatta, Western Australia. Prior to franchising with Minuteman Press, Peter and his wife Trudy owned a garden products business as well as a stationery manufacturing business. Simon grew up in the garden products business and later on was working as a musician while helping his parents with the stationery business.
With a growing family and the desire for a more settled lifestyle, Simon Kelly turned his full attention towards the Minuteman Press franchise that he owns and operates with his parents’ guidance. Together, the Kelly family and their team at Minuteman Press in Balcatta have grown the business and have also won the Top Customer Service Award from Minuteman Press International for their region.
Simon Kelly opens up about the business, his parents, what he’s learned along the way, and advice he has for others who are thinking of owning their own business.
1. Please provide an overview of your business – what do you offer your customers, and what would be your message to people who are interested in your services?
Simon Kelly: “Our aim is to offer a one stop solution for our customers print, design and promotional requirements. This could include anything such as business stationery, signage, promotional flyers, and websites. We also offer canvas, fine art and photographic prints.”
2. When did you join the Minuteman Press franchise? What was your background before franchising with Minuteman Press?
Simon Kelly: “We started with Minuteman Press in December of 2015. Peter had sold a successful garden products business and had retired to a farm in the southwest but eventually moved back to the city and was running a stationery manufacturing business where I was working part-time. I was also running a small printing business out of one of their offices and working as a musician.
Peter was looking to expand the stationery business. At the same time, I was recently married and looking for a more settled lifestyle than being a musician offered. We had been in contact with Glenn Coyle, Minuteman Press International Regional Vice President for Western Australia. Glenn was very helpful and knowledgeable, and it just took a little while to find the right fit and the right timing on our end.”
3. Why did you choose to franchise with Minuteman Press?
Simon Kelly: “The stationery manufacturing business that we owned made us somewhat familiar with the printing industry. We were running the business with a digital press, offset press, and large format printing. One of the most attractive aspects to me was that Minuteman Press International has proprietary pricing and management software called FLEX that really helps run the business. The support and training offered by Minuteman Press was also great.”
4. What would you say is the most rewarding thing about running your business?
Simon Kelly: “The feeling of being in charge of your own destiny is probably one of the major benefits of running your own business. Running a family business also has many advantages. My wife and I have an 8-month old child so having flexibility with the hours I work has been important. Peter and Trudy are also at an age where they are looking to retire in the not-too-distant future and they like to sneak off for a round of golf. We have great staff that can keep things running smoothly when we aren’t around but between us we can generally coordinate our schedules to make sure someone is in the shop.”
5. As part of a father and son franchise team, what would you say are the one or two things you have learned most while working with your dad?
Simon Kelly: “I have been involved in the family business since a young age so most of the things I have learned about running a business have come from my parents. Also, my generation is much more tech-savvy so they sometimes need my guidance in that aspect of the business. It’s nice to be able to help them with all the years they have spent raising and mentoring me.”
6. How has the ongoing local support you’ve received from Minuteman Press helped you along the way?
Simon Kelly: “Local support has been very important especially in the early days when we were still finding our feet in the print industry. Knowing that we can call on someone from Minuteman Press International for a second opinion or advice is still very helpful and gives you great peace of mind if you ever run into any trouble.”
7. What is a typical day like for you as a Minuteman Press owner?
Simon Kelly: “Every day is different, which is another reason why the print industry is appealing. We begin the day with a production meeting with our staff where we go through all jobs in progress, quotes and any general issues that need attention throughout the day.”
8. What are one or two pieces of advice you would give to potential franchise owners?
Simon Kelly: “My advice to potential franchise owners would be to go for it, but to keep in mind that you will only get out of it what you put in. Pay attention to details and always give the customer more than they expect.”
Phillip & Adam Anderson - Liverpool, Australia - Owners since 2014 - Royal Australian Navy & Army
The Minuteman Press franchise in Liverpool, New South Wales, Australia was awarded the highly coveted Small Business Award by the Liverpool City Council. The digital print, design and marketing center is owned by the father and son team of Phillip and Adam Anderson, who opened up their Minuteman Press franchise in October 2014, which is quickly making inroads in the business community.
Phillip Anderson is retired from the Royal Australian Navy, whereas Adam is retired from the Australian Army. During the 2016 Australia Day celebrations on the 26th of January, the Mayor of Liverpool and the Liverpool City Council presented this Minuteman Press franchise with their Small Business Award, and they were joined on stage by other award recipients on Australia Day. Adam has contributed to local fundraising efforts and was elected to the Board of the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 2015.
Renee Mansour - Bend, OR - Owner since 2015 - digital printer sales & stay at home mom
Renee Mansour owns the Minuteman Press franchise in Bend, Oregon located at 235 SE Wilson Ave, Suite 100. She decided to purchase the established business in February 2015 after spending a few years as a mom and entrepreneur who taught cycling classes and helped run national events in Bend. Recently, Renee celebrated two years in business with Minuteman Press. She has successfully managed to more than double the business, increasing gross sales by 341 percent.
Renee says, “As our children became teenagers, my desire to do something for me became stronger. I took a position working for a local company full-time, and I struggled with the lack of satisfaction I felt. I am a committed person that gives 100-plus percent, and when that wasn’t received by my employer I started to feel that I would be better off putting my energy towards my own business.”
She continues, “The support Minuteman Press provides was one of the things that appealed to me. Business to business sales and the hours of operation (8:30 am – 5:30 pm Monday – Friday) were also another reason we choose Minuteman Press. We still have teenagers at home and I want to be present in their lives. Those reasons coupled with the fact that Minuteman Press is the only franchise I researched that offered a cap on royalties, made it an easy decision for us. The more I sell beyond the cap, the more I am rewarded.”
Ron Burlakoff - East Haven, Hamden & Shelton CT - Owner since 2003 - real estate and commercial printing
Before franchising with Minuteman Press, Ron Burlakoff was working two jobs to make ends meet. Ron sold real estate and also worked for a large commercial printing company in order to support his wife and three children. Ron saw that the fast / on demand printing industry was growing, and after looking into Minuteman Press, he knew that his knowledge of the industry combined with the ongoing support he would receive would really bode well for his business. Ron also liked the fact that there is a cap on royalties meaning that the more he made, the more he would put into his own pocket. He also liked the fact that the Minuteman Press business-to-business model was 5 days per week, Monday through Friday. This would allow him to spend more time with his family. Ron went on to open a second store with his older daughter, then purchase an independent shop and move into a 4000 sq. ft. facility in Hamden, CT. Ron also encouraged his brother Harry to purchase a Minuteman franchise, and Harry has now been in business for almost 7 years as well.
Steve Brunk - Vero Beach, FL - Owner since 2007 - Retail manager
I left the retail industry behind for Minuteman Press, which enabled me to work regular Monday through Friday business hours. I also love the short reorder cycle that print provides. When I was working in retail, I would sit in the store and wait for customers to come in. With Minuteman Press, customers will reorder all of their materials faster and I am able to spend my time getting out there and growing my business.
Steve Edman - Bellaire/Southwest Houston, TX - Owner since 2006 - Sales/Marketing
“To be an owner of a business in Bellaire/southwest Houston is really cool especially since I grew up in this neighborhood. A little more pride and effort is easy when you know what it takes to make a difference. The friendships and contacts you make over the years pay off in a variety of ways.
Retiring from a career in selling and marketing beer and making people happy; to a new life of selling print and making business customers happy is an unbelievable opportunity. Both industries are similar. With beer, when times are good you toast success, when times are bad you drown your sorrows with the goal of “getting back on your feet’. Same with printing, when business is good you promote your success. And when times are bad you advertise to keep your name in the market place to turn things around.
I came from a company with branding identity recognized around the world, Anheuser Busch. There is no doubt that is why I bought into the Minuteman Press franchise system. The brand stands alone in the printing industry and gives me an easier path to open doors to build my business.”
Ty & Crystal Gipson - Georgetown, TX - Owners since 2006 - Banking-administration and engineering
Minuteman Press as a franchise seemed like a big family. I know it sounds like an odd business requirement for choosing a franchise, but it defines integrity and ethics. You don’t forget your family and what that means. I needed to know if I was going to become a partner with a franchise that I could believe we would have each other’s best interests at heart, and that they would have a vested interest in our success. Also, Minuteman Press had a local presence and a good name in our surrounding areas. I valued that the stores were not on every corner and seemed to support one another. I also evaluated the training and support offered by the franchise, and found it to above board. We met personally with the regional and field directors and they were very helpful and involved with choosing a successful location for our store and interested in our life balance and opportunities. The local franchise field rep for our area, Pete Scaglione (now our regional vice president), is what sealed the deal. His passion and his integrity for each store and for Minuteman Press made us eager to get started and faithful that we were putting our efforts into the right franchise.
Wayne Herman - Brooklyn, NY - Owner since 2008 - Finance Manager
Before owning his own business in Brooklyn, Wayne Herman worked in the finance industry. “I worked for Citibank until 2007, just before the big financial crisis,” he says. As luck would have it, Wayne was passed over for a key promotion on several occasions, and so he explored other options before the Great Recession took hold and forced him out of corporate America anyway.
One of those options turned out to be Minuteman Press. Franchising made sense for Wayne because he knew he wanted to start his own business but didn’t want to do it alone. Wayne flirted with the food industry at first, but he came to find that he “did not have the money or experience required to get involved there” and that “the food services industry just wasn’t a good fit for me.”
As for why he chose Minuteman Press out of all of the other franchise opportunities that were available to him, Wayne states, “When I saw the reasonable startup costs for Minuteman Press and the help and ongoing support that the franchise offered to new owners, I thought this was a good idea. Also, the fact that there were no centers in Brooklyn at that time made me really want to start one in that area.”
Minuteman Press International offers a search engine marketing program to all franchise owners. Wayne Herman was an early adopter of this program as soon as it was made available because he sees the value in getting potential customers’ attention online and converting them into clients. “I would say the Minuteman Press search engine marketing program has helped me double my business since its introduction. As I had mentioned earlier, I do 50 percent of by business in Manhattan, so the SEM program helps me advertise in those areas where door to door marketing isn’t practical for numerous reasons.”
“We strive to put programs in place to help our owners succeed,” notes Brian Sisti, Minuteman Press International Area Manager for Brooklyn and Long Island. He adds, “We are thrilled that Wayne has taken full advantage of our search engine marketing program as well as the many other resources and support we are happy to provide on an ongoing basis.”