On Time Experts is a locally owned and operated business that always treats their heating and air conditioning customers like family, just as their partner John Cobb and his team at Minuteman Press in East Dallas treats all of their clients.
Although he did not plan on managing a staff of women, exclusively, when he bought his Minuteman Press franchise in Casa Linda (East Dallas, Texas) fourteen years ago, John Cobb did just that and acknowledges that it is not only working to cultivate a most successful venture, it feels natural to him. “It is funny, but while having an all-female staff was not intended, growing up, I did have a strong bond with the women in my family. I have been around females my whole life,” John says with fond appreciation.
From his graphic artist, his front-office staff, his daughter (who telecommutes, handling administrative tasks and promotional product orders) to his wife, Karin (a former accountant who keeps the books straight) the team chemistry is strong. Together, they continue to build digital print, design and marketing success for each and every client, gaining loyalty and momentum with every passing day. As for his distinction as the only male leading a strong team of professional women, John adds, “I think they do a fine job taking care of me and our customers.”
After a colorful career that began in sales, John worked for Electronic Data Systems (EDS) where he experienced a layoff at the age of 55 years old. Since that job was one he intended to lean on for his retirement, the layoff was a prompt to take command of his financial security. Together with Karin, John decided to abandon the uncertainty of working for someone else in favor of franchise ownership. So, they attended franchise shows and commenced deep research into franchise opportunities of all kinds and he had a knowledge base stemming from his former employment with a real estate franchisor.
John recalls, “Getting laid off at 55 years old from a job I took with the main purpose of funding my retirement caused Karin and I to look for a great chance to open our own business. Having been on the franchisor’s side of franchising with Century 21, I went to the franchise show already understanding their side of the business and knowing what was important in terms of what a franchisor offers. Minuteman Press made the most sense (and I looked at a lot of franchises). I know what the objectives of Minuteman Press International are and what they are supposed to do for franchisees, so I am a happy camper.”
If you speak with John hoping to find complex reasoning for the growing demand for his marketing services, you will soon discover that it is the simplicity of the “golden rule” that follows the reputation of Minuteman Press in East Dallas. He says, “It’s simple. I do for others how I would like things to be done for me, with just as much care as if my business depends upon it…because really it does. The original slogan of Minuteman Press International ‘For the job you needed yesterday’ influences how we work, still. Everyone knows we work at a fast pace and some quick print shops take ALL jobs, making promises they cannot keep. We are full-service marketing providers. I make clear what can be done and explain to the customer when more time or thought is needed. The biggest thing to know about business philosophy is this, and it is simple: If you treat your customers right, they will treat you right…and they will come back to you.”
On Time Experts needed a wider-range of marketing support than a typical printer can handle, so they turned to Minuteman Press and business is booming
Randy Kelly, owner of On Time Experts, puts emphasis on “expert” and makes sure all under his management have EPA certification, passing a rigid series of tests and continually meeting stringent environmental guidelines to protect the comfort and safety of customers’ homes and the air we all breathe. He “hates” the way bigger corporations only seem to care about money, so he empowers his workers with an “unlimited budget to make it right… whatever it takes”.
With admirable ethics like that, it is only natural he connected with John Cobb and Minuteman Press when it came time for a marketing services partner who could promote his home comfort services across all channels. They used to be part of a franchise system that used an online printer for marketing collateral, but Randy was not happy with the impersonal service and he had a daunting challenge to tackle, a complete rebranding. “When they were in the franchise, they used the online printer simply because that is what everyone else had done. When they decided to rebrand, they wanted to have someone local, so Randy’s right hand gal, Kim Puckett, called me because it was their aim to be distinct and to gain the right attention,” according to John.
It was the objective of the air conditioning and heating company to make their brand distinct and to be recognized on sight. John and his seasoned staff were prepared to revitalize their brand to meet that objective and further, to make certain On Time Experts would not soon be forgotten. “Their colors are orange and blue, so we made certain to honor their brand from the beginning. We reproduced bold and attractive signs to use on site, as they are working, so if they are spending time installing a new heating or air conditioning system inside our signs are working to promote them outside,” he adds.
Promotional products are part of the way print helps Minuteman Press in East Dallas build business together with clients, always with special thought to the industry and audience they are entertaining. When John realized the option of a customized, mini-plunger was neither cost-effective nor as impactful as may have been assumed, he came up with many others that worked out even better. He says, “The plunger idea sounds cute, but in reality there wasn’t enough space to do their brand justice and it was expensive. Instead, we produced other things that worked well like koozies, jar grips, different styles of branded measuring tapes, cups and pens. We also came up with a unique, branded cloth lunch pail for them that was well-received. Of course, as the guys who work for the company are experts in repair and not sales, we also produced “ask me” buttons for them to wear as conversation starters to support a special program On Time Experts was running.”
“John and everyone at Minuteman Press are like family and they always go above and beyond to get us the products we are looking for in the time frame they are needed.” – Kim Puckett, Finance Manager, On Time Experts
Since she says they have proven to “go out of their way to help us in a pinch of time,” Kim has no hesitation sharing some of the reasons for her company’s partnership with Minuteman Press:
- John Cobb’s group provides a one stop service center.
- His staff helps us develop design ideas, make suggestions for forms I want to change and always, we exchange information like we were friends, casually talking about business stuff.
- He is quick to get product pricing and helps us quoting with in a budget with suggestions to reduce costs if we want to spend less.
- His products are very good quality. We have yet to return anything because the quality wasn’t what we expected.
- He has gone way out of his way to help us in any way that he can.
- He has always been able to meet or beat any pricing on products that previously we had others doing. At this time he is taking care of all of our printing needs and I am very happy with John and all of his staff at Casa Linda Minuteman Press.
As a man leading a strong team of women in the modern printing industry, John Cobb simplifies business philosophy to its most primary value when he says, “Repeat business is a by-product of honesty and making our customers part of our family. We make sure they feel that way every time they trust us with their brand or a project. It means everything to be appreciated, knowing if we do a great job, people will come back to us as proof of a job well done.”