Together, Minuteman Press in Lancaster, CA and their client SMS Bookkeeping and Financial Services have built a brand from a startup mobile company to a thriving woman-owned business.
If you’ve ever had someone truly have your back at times when you really needed it, an ally who cares enough to offer fresh perspectives to solve challenges when you are too close to the situation to see the whole picture, then you have some idea what it’s like to be a client of Peter Castorena at Minuteman Press in Lancaster, CA. He brought his unbridled dedication to those who count upon him into his new business in 2006, when he bought a printing business that was underperforming for reasons that he was in a position to rectify.
He applied his unique professional intelligence to realign the digital print, design and marketing franchise with the proven system that has made it the model of the modern printing industry. He says, “My original approach to customer service was to never turn down the opportunity to bid on a job. If we came across a project that presented a challenge, we leveraged the strength of our local support staff with Minuteman Press, and the invaluable experience of other Minuteman Press owners. We’ve always been able to come up with options for our client, sometimes it’s not even what they asked for… but it’s what they needed.”
When he assumed ownership of this existing franchise, he had only one full-time employee with whom he could begin the arduous task of righting a ship that had been thrown off the promising and steady course that is the respected system of operations established more than 40 years ago by Minuteman Press International. Peter’s wisdom and humility allowed him to tap into the support and training of his franchisor, the experience of well-established Minuteman Press owners with whom comradery has regular chances to flourish both through local and national conventions. His business regained health and took off to heights that honored bottom line goals as well as his entrepreneurial spirit and his center developed a reputation as the place that gets jobs done “on time and right.”
Under new leadership, the community came to realize the true role of their local Minuteman Press, one of constant ally in all things marketing. “As our reputation for excellent work grew, so did our relationships and the demand to offer our clients the services they needed. People started asking us to do more and more to help them promote themselves,” says Peter.
Minuteman Press leads the contemporary printing industry and that means Peter’s center has capabilities that build upon traditional spot color and digital color printing. “We offer direct mail services, apparel, signage, promotional products, blue prints, wide-format printing and so much more. I’ve always told my clients that all of my services should accomplish at least one of two things: We will either help their business generate revenue or run more efficiently.” His client base grew and so did their successes and now, Peter’s marketing services business employs seven design and production experts and their excellent quality and service led to an expansion of the center. “We have doubled our space by expanding into the suite next to our original location and we are on track to have another record year.”
SMS Bookkeeping and Financial Services offers tax planning for individuals and businesses and its founder became an entrepreneur when Minuteman Press owner Peter Castorena encouraged and supported her
Sherryl Gonzalez was an employee for a client of Minuteman press in Lancaster, a marketing firm and an account Peter secured with persistent, yet, welcome visits to offer quotes on essential print items, finally getting the opportunity to present his superior quality with freshly printed business cards. He went on to take over their needs, but something else started to happen. She was reaching a new point in her career. “When I first met Peter Castorena I worked as the Front Office Manager of an Accounting Firm. He would come in about every 4 weeks and drop off a pad of paper or pens. I would always tell him I did not need anything, thanked him for the free stuff, and send him on his way, until one day I needed something. I asked him for quotes on business cards and that gave birth to the relationship between Minuteman Press and me. Since then, I have left that firm and opened my own business,” Sherryl is happy to share.
According to Peter, “It was time for her to start her own thing, about six or seven years ago. We helped her design her logo, her color scheme and the entire look and feel of her marketing materials.” The new brand was given a personality that differentiated SMS from its competition. Peter adds, “We are in a geographically isolated area, so people need to stand out and we were intent on making her look special. The brand design speaks to the industry she targets. Since she is an accountant, we suggested incorporating green, the color of money, with blue. We made certain it could be reproduced across all channels.”
Since Sherryl was fortunate enough to start her business with the most talented marketing services provider available at her side, she saved herself time and money. Many new entrepreneurs innocently waste both trying to do it themselves with online sources which cannot possibly connect (and therefore care) on a personal level. As a result, her brand is keenly customized with a logo and colors that can be reproduced via full-color digital printing as well as through her website and social media channels. Every detail of her brand has been consistent since the beginning.
After the first 6-9 months of a healthy and productive partnership, Sherryl developed trust enough in Minuteman Press that today, when she has a need, she offers her ideas and trusts Peter and his team to handle ALL of her marketing. “We produced special promotional products for SMS Bookkeeping and Financial Services from customized mint cans to branded grocery totes, water bottles and many other welcome gifts for her clients. It’s nice because everything is not only all hers, but consistently recognizable as hers right away,” says Peter.
Minuteman Press is the modern printing industry and part of that role is championing cross-media marketing using the latest technology and most reliable methods in print and digital services.
Peter explains how he translated her brand’s vision into a strong online presence: “We helped her design her website from scratch because she knows everything about accounting and finance, but nothing about a website or what needs to be on there to support her clients online. We helped her isolate the most important points that people need in order to recognize that her company can help them. Then, we made it attractive and mobile-friendly.”
Direct mail is next as SMS Bookkeeping and Financial Services continues to reach new heights
Thus far, Sherryl’s reliance upon her partner, Minuteman Press has given her the ability to promote herself well enough to realize impressive success through “old school” marketing and an up-to-date presence online. Once her clients experienced her professionalism and were happy, word-of-mouth furthered her venture.
Peter explains how traditional marketing is going to sweep in and boost their efforts, “Now that Sherryl has the experience as a business owner and has achieved impressive success, it’s time for her to target her audience. We are analyzing her budget and the size of her intended audience, deciding what serves her best. In this case, decided if she should focus on small business or individuals, knowing that businesses produce higher transactions and, well, bigger business. We will be presenting her with options that will include who we can reach, what it will cost and what kind of returns we can expect. Targeted direct mail will be our next objective to support continued growth.” Advanced planning and preparation will result in a winter mail campaign that will be refined to her best advantage and arrive to compliment tax season.
Sherryl Gonzalez directly credits Peter Castorena and Minuteman Press for igniting her entrepreneurial promise and helping her put it into action.
She is genuinely thankful for their partnership and is one of thousands of clients across the globe who know first-hand that Minuteman Press is far greater than a typical printing business. She says, “Peter has helped me brand my business by helping me create a logo, set up my website and outline a marketing plan. He prints my name on everything from pens and bistro mugs to pads of paper. When California voters outlawed plastic grocery bags, he suggested I put my name on the reusable bags. He and his company have been instrumental in the growth of my business. When I started it was just me and 7 years later, I have 2 employees and I am still growing.”
The mutual respect enhances the productivity of their business relationship. In Peter’s words, “Sherryl is a class-act businesswoman. She has done so well that she has grown beyond her original home-based business with many clients and staff enough that she will be moving into a new office space and Minuteman Press of Lancaster will see her through every stage of the future development of her business. From when we started in 2010 to now, it’s night and day and I am gratified to see how much she has grown into the great presence she is in our valley.”
A partnership with a marketing services expert shouldn’t be one in which they say yes to your orders, without thought, just to collect your money; but this is not uncommon outside the culture of Minuteman Press International. Sherryl highlights this added personal bonus of her lucrative journey, adding, “Peter has been so much more than just “my printer” He is my FRIEND.”