Fostering Great Ideas believes that reform within the foster care system is possible when caring people work together – and they choose to work with the design, printing, and marketing franchise team at Minuteman Press in Greenville, SC.
After touring stores in Florida with Regional Vice President Jeff Robey, Kirk and Karin Butt saw an opportunity in a move to the Carolinas and invest in a Minuteman Press franchise that they could make their own. There, they met Regional Vice President Dave Walton, who opened up to them about the huge growth potential in digital printing. Eventually they decided to buy an underperforming center in Greenville, South Carolina.
Kirk explains, “We started with two offset presses and a broken copier, but as we stuck to the Minuteman Press system and worked hard, we found ourselves able to upgrade. We bought a Konica Minolta digital press and our continued success and growth has led us to where we are now. We have one offset press and seven digital output devices with new presses on the way. We’ve also brought in a digital label press, two digital envelope presses, and two large format printers. As we continue to succeed, we aim to continue to invest in technology upgrades to keep up with the demand of our customers and make sure they get the very best.”
Kirk and Karin bought a marketing services center that needed new ownership and faith in its potential. With a new approach that honored the proven franchise system, the success has been a delight to their existing and new clients.
“Our approach is to take care of what clients say they need, from stationary to business cards and more traditional print. Then, as we get to know them, we can offer them what they may not yet know they need that we’re now able to provide. Recently we had a customer who needed to place a large format order on a Friday and have it shipped and received by six different locations across the Carolinas by the following Monday. With some hard work from our staff, we were able take care of the customer’s needs and get it done,” he says.
Kirk aims to provide a mix of care and technical ability, a model that continues to work well. He acknowledged his strengths in areas for which he needed to hire good employees, sharing, “I bring customer service to the table and do it with a fabulous crew. Karin oversees production, cost, quality, and keeps our heart in getting the job done. Our main designer, Nolan, has been with us since we started and it was his first job out of college. We also have Kim with us, making sure we stay on top of our timelines. The hard part for me as our business developed a strong following and demand increased was sitting down and taking care of customer service and quoting. To address that, we hired Danni and she has streamlined the process using the tools provided by Minuteman Press International, namely proprietary software. We don’t have quotes sitting around while people wait.”
Part of the advantage of real, local service includes an understanding of their clients’ needs, intentions, and sometimes limited resources. Upon receiving several requests, the owners decided to award a charitable donation of $300 of printed materials to one of their non-profit clients every month. If you walk into Minuteman Press in Greenville, you will see a dry-erase board featuring the recipients for the year and a few among them are Saint Anthony of Padua Catholic School, Miracle Hill Ministry, and Project Host.
Fostering Great Ideas is a recent recipient of this generous donation on behalf of Kirk and Karin, and the timing couldn’t have been better for David and Susan. “Their latest event is The Great Big Benefit and it includes silent auctions and a celebration of the accomplishments of their organization. We are printing invitations, envelopes, donation forms, posters, tickets, flyers, and sponsor recognition inserts for them,” according to Kirk.
“I like that Kirk and his team at Minuteman Press are all about care – for customer and community. I know I am treated fairly and valued. That’s important for a growing business, especially a non-profit like ours where the donor dollar is precious.” – David White, Founder of Fostering Great Ideas
David White has an MBA in Corporate Finance and MSW in Child Welfare. Realizing an overwhelming need, he left the corporate world to found Fostering Great Ideas with his co-founder and wife, Susan. Developing an organizational focus on early childhood education and parental involvement with established non-profit organizations, the Whites discovered more about the complications of the foster care system and decided to do something to improve the often seemingly insurmountable challenges foster children face.
Providing resources for daily life and emotional support was a challenge, so efforts also towards educating people within their community who were interested in becoming foster parents. They developed a growing need for printed materials to promote their cause and reinforce what they were teaching in their classes. Fostering Great Ideas came across Minuteman Press using an online search and they soon developed a personal connection with owners Kirk and Karin as well as the team at the center.
Kirk reflects on the partnership, “David and Susan at Fostering Great Ideas have been working with us since 2011 and they continue to provide education and meaningful action that helps kids in the foster system now, while working towards system-wide reform in the future. It is a pleasure to help them with their good work through print and by promoting all of their charitable events,” according to Kirk. We print their traditional branded marketing collateral like business cards, flyers, and name tags. We also print educational literature for their organization to directly serve the current and prospective foster parents they assist.”
David and Susan appreciate the quality of each finished product and the personalized nature of every interaction needed to complete marketing projects. He says, “We better the lives of children in foster care, and are now entering our third market to provide greater impact. These children need a full community effort and we help lead the way. Kirk and the team understand our business and respond quickly to each task. Even as our requests continue to gain in size, Minuteman Press works WITH us on solutions for our growing non-profit. The quality is high and the desire to see us succeed is what makes me stay with Kirk and his team.”
Personalized service is the difference for people like David who develop long-term relationships with Minuteman Press in Greenville based on trust and results. They also appreciate that Kirk and staff keep up with technology, always adding new products and services. Since the digital print, design and marketing center recently added a large format printer capable of printing on materials up to 50-inches wide, direct mailing services, and a custom label printer, Fostering Great Ideas and other clients can count on them as business grows. Kirk adds, “In house we have everything for large format printing, and when we need specialty contour cuts, for example, we have our wonderful select vendors (courtesy of arrangements made by our franchisor) which have been a great resource for us.”
Kirk concludes with a word about customer service, “Online you can ‘get’ almost anything, but with our crew, we can get to know you and exactly what you need. It’s not just plugging in details and hoping it comes out right. We can make sure it’s right.”