Amy and Joel Steinman took the best of a greater than 40-year tradition of Minuteman Press franchise ownership and enhanced it with a unique combination of business and emotional intelligence. As a result, they have built a multi-unit franchise empire and developed a grateful and loyal staff. That loyalty was returned when a talented employee needed to move to another state.
Not all business owners consider how they are perceived by current and prospective employees, but as Amy and Joel Steinman have entrepreneurial wisdom that extends way beyond what is typical as owners of a fist-pumping four Minuteman Press franchises in Glastonbury, Manchester, Hartford and Vernon, CT. Aside from picking up depth and enriching their own bottom line while helping clients promote themselves masterfully, that wisdom touches the lives of every team member under their management. They make sure everyone gets the chance to harness personal potential they may not have perceived on their own.
They are great bosses not only because they calmly handle unpredictability with assurance that as a team, adapting and adjusting is part of the day, but also because they project understanding and certainty, maintaining control of situations with strength, not intimidation. Amy explains how she welcomes people on board, “When I am adding to my team, I think about how they are going to connect with our customers and also, how well they are going to connect with our current staff. Beyond the resume, I talk to them on the phone and then bring them in to talk in person. They get the opportunity to meet team management and finally, actually take time to try on the role for which I am considering them, a working interview. As a result, we have a great team and everyone is cross-trained and happy to help our customers.”
Keeping everyone motivated is a practice that Amy and Joel enjoy and they use fun incentives to meet goals. They also do not let every day victories come and go without due praise. “Right now we have a motivational reward where if we can go a certain number of days without reprints, I buy them all lunch. If someone goes above and beyond I announce it at the production meeting,” Amy adds.
In the family of Minuteman Press franchise owners, there is a certain camaraderie that helped one of Amy and Joel’s good employees make a big move.
“We recently hired a great new customer service representative, Drew Wolf, for our shop. He worked for us for several months, trained in FLEX and had great customer service skills. His wife ended up getting a teaching position in Virginia and he was relocating there,” Amy explains with some regret. Yet, thanks to her magnanimous nature and the culture of cooperation between Minuteman Press franchisees, Drew had an ally that would help him land a new job when he settled into his new state of Virginia.
She was not about to let this employee’s specialized training go to waste, so at the Minuteman Press International 2017 World Expo, she approached CEO, Bob Titus for advisement. “I talked to Bob Titus and told him what was happening and that I was looking for a good fit at one of our franchises in Virginia, so he connected me with Jeffery Patrick, owner of Minuteman Press in Norfolk. I was able to meet him at our Expo and he welcomed me to give his contact information to Drew.”
Thanks to her initiative at the system-wide convention, Amy set the stage for Drew to accept a great new position in customer service, continuing his tenure as a loyal Minuteman Press employee. She explains why this mattered: “He was a great employee that I felt early on had management potential. He learned our processes and proprietary software very quickly. Clients liked working with him, and I felt comfortable with him being the first point of contact for our customers. He also went above and beyond and asked to learn how to use equipment and helped out his coworkers whenever needed. He was extremely reliable and got along well with everyone. When he put in his notice for his relocation, I was extremely disappointed. I knew he would need a job in Virginia and I knew that another Minuteman Press center would be very lucky to have him. He was trained in our system and understood operations and customer service.”
Drew Wolf, now settled into a new home with his wife, is a new customer service representative for Jeffery Patrick at Minuteman Press in Norfolk, VA and he is grateful for his former employer, Amy Steinman. “She was a fantastic boss. I think she genuinely cares about her employees and has a very good handle on everything in the business. When she told me she spoke to another franchise owner in my new area to refer me for employment, it was such a relief. I moved due to my wife’s new employment assignment but did not have a job yet myself. She let Jeffery know I was good at my job and I really appreciated that.”
Drew adds, “I have a passion for people so whether I am making copies or doing bigger projects, working for Minuteman Press is great because I feel good helping other people accomplish what they need done.”
For the best franchise owners within the Minuteman Press International family, everything is personal and people matter. Amy concludes with thoughtfulness and grace, “I didn’t want my months of training him to be for nothing. I knew I’d be able to help make a connection for him and wanted to do so. I truly want to see him do well and have that be a benefit to a fellow franchisee.”