As it provides leadership, advocacy and expertise to the benefit of young readers and writers, the Wisconsin State Reading Association counts on Minuteman Press in Burlington for a wide variety of design, printing, and marketing products and services.
As is often the case with franchise ownership, Jim Little acknowledges that his knowledge has grown tremendously since he first went into business in 2004. Jim acknowledges that this is a credit to the proven franchise system of Minuteman Press International as well as his fellow franchisees. He says, “My background was in agriculture, so I went from that into managing people, keeping books straight and producing the work that I went out marketing to bring in. I came in with a strong work ethic and my personality is such that I am the natural ‘outside guy’ who manages strong people on the ‘inside’ on the production end. You have to go with your strength, after all. My forte is not necessarily the production end, but rather that I am able to get through when I talk to people. Also, I have learned so much from my fellow franchisees such as Tom Schommer with 25 plus years as well as Todd Duckworth, who was raised in the printing business. You cannot do it alone.”
Networking comes naturally to Jim and he uses that to the advantage of his own bottom line as well as those with whom he connects and helps with their most central task, promoting their messages so their businesses can do well. As he says, “There could be another business owner who understands graphics and so he hires someone to do his ‘people stuff.’ I choose to hire the best production and graphics staff and do the ‘people stuff’ myself.”
“I am proud of the nearly 100 combined years of printing experience my staff and I bring to the community to meet our customers’ needs,” states Jim, as he reflects on the critical role his Minuteman Press franchise plays for the industrious people of Burlington, Wisconsin. It is when the most well-known and respected brand in B2B is met with franchise ownership by an entrepreneur with his tenacity, focus and leadership that Minuteman Press International continues to define the modern printing industry.
Jim makes his dedication to the success of his clients crystal clear, sharing, “Our philosophy is to use our knowledge and expertise to meet a consistent goal of about 5 days turnaround with a professional, top quality product.” There is absolutely no hesitation in the resolve of his entire team to put this philosophy to work and the best part about walking into his center is that all of that determination and skill is accompanied by a gracious atmosphere that welcomes any challenge.
The Wisconsin State Reading Assocation (WSRA) is a professional organization that averages 2700 members annually and for their many publications and events, they need a whole lot of print.
From reading specialists, interventionists, coaches and educators representing all grade levels, WSRA members are hard at work on behalf of literacy for Wisconsin students. Naturally, top educators know that promoting their good work and properly achieving their goals could not be done well without the presence of print. So, it was a good thing that a former decision-maker in one of the local schools and current WSRA Administrative Assistant, Joyce Uglow, remembered that Jim Little’s team at Minuteman Press not only donated printing to her school, but that they also provide excellent customer service. She was able to reach out to him on behalf of WRSA and begin what would be a mutually valued partnership that continues to further the mission of the organization that puts reading first.
Jim explains, “Joyce remembered that she needed printing for a fundraiser when she was working in the school district and that we donated what she needed. You could say that donation turned into one of our top five accounts. Since January 2015, WSRA has printed $134,191 in 91 separate invoices. The lesson here is that EVERY little job and every donation has the possibility to build a relationship that can be profitable. Who knows from where the next big account will come?”
The WSRA prints and promotes their literacy work throughout the year, working towards their annual convention and everything they could possibly need that requires ink and accuracy comes from Minuteman Press.
“We enjoy working on a large variety of items for them. Some of what we have done in the last 17 months are keychains, luggage tags, certificates, thank you cards, pens, banners, signs, magnets, flyers, name tags, ribbons, packets, clothing, announcements, EDDM mailers, brochures, post cards, brochures, plaques, stick it note pads, business cards, USB drive, note pads, presentation folders and of course their 68-page convention book,” Jim adds.
At their annual convention, education professionals in the state get together and focus on professional development, partnership, legislation and research and their marketing services provider, Minuteman Press in Burlington, produces the book they use at the event, from the initial design to the freshly printed pages. Direct mail campaigns for the convention are handled with precision within the center, as well. Jim says, “We design and print 16,000 books for this event and take care of the mailing as well. This is the dream client we all hope to get. Organizations like this sometimes use several vendors, going from firm to firm because this is way beyond the capacity of a quick printer. For WSRA to entrust us with design, printing and direct mail all through our one location shows they appreciate that we are a one stop place for marketing. Their time is best spent giving us entire projects, instead of chasing it from firm to firm.”
Joyce Uglow has respected Jim and Minuteman Press for many years and offers assurance that her trust is unwavering with this statement:
“The Wisconsin State Reading Association’s official address is in Burlington for as long as I am in this position. WSRA will continue to work with Jim and his staff at Minuteman Press, because of the below listed reasons. WSRA is happy with their work and will continue to bring WSRA business to them.
Please know that Minuteman Press in Burlington, WI has shown all of the below listed behaviors and characteristics of a quality print business.
- creates high-quality print products and web-ready PDFs
- provide prompt and timely service
- are understanding about changes to products due to working with an association of volunteers
- seeks to be and is accurate in their work
- makes an error right
- staff is courteous, friendly, and patient
- asks the right questions in a non-patronizing manner
- answers layman questions in patient manner
- communicates thoroughly via email and phone calls to clarify needs as well as to let me know when a print job is ready for pick up
- provides competitive quotes
- searches for products and ways to accomplish requests when approached with idea(s)
- works to and does meet the need of the Wisconsin State Reading Association
- listens to my thoughts regarding design
- takes my ideas/drafts, uses InDesign to create such print products such as: flyers, program booklets, posters, note cards, post cards, business cards
- prints shirts, pens, gifts (luggage tags, flash drives)
- contributes their designer expertise to improve upon ideas brought to them
- sets up print production calendar dates with me to best meet the association needs
- is never judgmental
- creates (and sometimes works with given) images/graphics to make them web-ready
- changes image/graphics sizes to meet the needs of the WSRA convention app
- makes PDF of print products web-ready
- is helpful, accessible, dependable, and available to WSRA and other customers
If Minuteman Press International gives awards for excellence, Jim Little and his staff are at the top of the list.”
As the WRSA continues to make certain that young people develop a love for reading and writing through their many events, such as their upcoming, “Nurturing Young Writer’s” gathering, Minuteman Press continues to supply the hands-on tools they need. Jim thoughtfully observes, “It’s good knowing we are able to help an organization that is actively working to inspire and instruct our young men and women to become literate within the state of Wisconsin. We are dedicated to this work and to this partnership.”