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: 10 Questions with Fred Edelstein, Santa Clara, California
1. What was your background before franchising with Minuteman Press?
Fred Edelstein: “Before buying the shop, I spent 25-plus years in corporate financial management. I worked in companies from startups where I was employee #19 at SuperMac Technology, Inc. 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?
Fred Edelstein: “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.”
“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.”
3. How would you compare your experience as a Minuteman Press franchise owner to your previous career/industry/life?
Fred Edelstein: “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.”
4. How has the ongoing local support you’ve received from Minuteman Press helped you along the way?
Fred Edelstein: “When I’ve needed support from Minuteman Press on the local or corporate levels, I’ve never had to wait long; they’ve been essential to my success.”
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5. What is a typical day like for you as a Minuteman Press owner?
Fred Edelstein: “I get in about 7:30 am, an hour before the shop opens and my staff arrives. I try to organize the leads and follow-ups for the day and do any of the administrative work that is due. My employees arrive at 8:30 am and we have our works in progress (WIP) meeting every morning to prioritize the day. Once the meeting is over, up until a month ago (see below), I would determine if there were deliveries I had to do in the morning while also going out marketing. I consider the deliveries to be important because it gives me a chance to upsell to those customers and that is particularly successful. Delivering to my customers is also one of the things they appreciate most and come back for.”
“A month ago, I hired a part-time marketing rep to do direct marketing 3 hours per day and it has been very successful. I still do the deliveries myself and see my customers that way as well as those that come to the shop. I also help my customer service rep with quoting and do a lot of marketing follow-ups on a daily basis.”
6. What is your ideal day off or vacation?
Fred Edelstein: “I just got back from my honeymoon in the Riviera and Italy and Spain. Can’t do better than that!”
7. What local organizations (charities, non-profits, business organizations) do you work with and what causes are you passionate about?
Fred Edelstein: “I am an active member of a BNI chapter and it has been very successful for me. Previously, I was also a member of the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce, which I might go back to next year if I have the time. I sponsor a local youth soccer team as well, and I give substantial discounting to the schools, cub scouts, churches, and charitable organizations that are my customers. I consider this to be essential for all local businesses. It’s what forms a community.”
8. What are your goals for the rest of 2016/2017?
Fred Edelstein: “I want to continue to grow the business and I have some investment plans for next year. From year 1 to year 2, we grew the business over 73%, and this year we are on track to grow another 48%.”
“As for investments, at the low end, I need to buy one or two new computers for my graphic designer. At the high end, I am looking into moving our location to a larger space. We are currently at 1,240 sq. ft. and have grown to the point it makes sense to move.”
9. What is one inspirational quote that has helped you along the way either in life or in business?
Fred Edelstein: “I’m not certain of its origin or his exact wording, but a fellow BNI member who owns a business / executive consulting agency has said, ‘The greatest measure of success in business is when your business will run by itself without you.’ I’m not there yet, but I am working towards that.”
10. What are one or two pieces of advice you would give to potential franchise owners?
Fred Edelstein: “Make absolutely sure the business you are getting into is something you are enthusiastic to be doing every day. Also, always be conservative in your projections. A pleasant surprise is way better than the alternative.”
Fred Edelstein’s Minuteman Press design, marketing and printing franchise is located at 2368 Walsh Ave., Suite B, Santa Clara, CA 95051. For more information, call Fred and his team at 408-855-8727 or visit their website: www.sc.minutemanpress.com
Minuteman Press International is a business service franchise that is rated #1 in category by Entrepreneur for 13 years in a row and 24 times overall, including 2016. We are the modern version of the printing industry, providing high quality products and services for businesses that go way beyond just ink on paper. Today our stores produce promotional products, custom apparel, large format printing (banners and posters), signs, and much more.
Learn more about Minuteman Press design, marketing, and printing franchise opportunities by visiting our website at www.minutemanpressfranchise.com