Mike Geygan and his team at Minuteman Press in Lebanon, Ohio bring the best of print, direct mail and responsive marketing together to serve the needs of their community in partnership with WCCC.
Mike Geygan is a relief for people with digital fatigue who want nothing more than to get to the next level in business with the presence of an expert who is there, in person, to help them promote their message. “After twenty-six years in the printing industry, someone said to me, ‘you do not know how much different you are than other printers’. We are often told we are the exception, that we are not typical,” he says.
Mike also has foresight that served his Minuteman Press center during the dawn of the digital revolution in print as he took advantage of key partnerships his franchisor maintains with the finest technology vendors and made certain his clients got the full benefit of the modern printing industry as it develops. He will never stop pursuing the wisest course for his own venture and for those of the people that trust him and he continues to gather loyal clients as the evidence of his dedication produces measurable results for all.
Mike started his professional career in sales and for a decade he sold material handling equipment to commercial and industrial companies, but he always wanted to own a business of his own. “I went to Miami U., in Oxford, OH, and got a degree in marketing. I looked at a lot of business opportunities, but this one, selling to other businesses during business hours appealed the most. The Minuteman Press franchise I ultimately bought had been in business for about ten years, but it was a struggling operation based on how it was being managed, but I knew the model provided a higher-level franchise than the fast-food industry and the owner was simply not following the system. He was a nice guy, but he was not a businessman, was not delegating and a potentially good franchise was being run poorly. It was in a cute, small town with good people. I bought it and decided to run things differently.”
Running things differently started with re-aligning the promising printing franchise with the system of operations that Minuteman Press International designed to serve as a most invaluable tool of business growth, starting with the franchise owner and extending into the clients that become their partners. Yet, every truly talented entrepreneur brings his or her own flavor into the mix and as Mike had a way with people that earned trust, he got out into the community without delay. “I do not, personally, run much equipment or do anything in the design department. In terms of community fellowship and action, I am a joiner. I am on the board of the Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club. Actually, we joined five Chambers of Commerce and became particularly active in our local one. We are a rural county of maybe 230,000 people with five small towns in our area, so I took that opportunity to become well-known. In the beginning, there were three competitors in Lebanon, including a guy basically had a press and a camera and called himself a printer. What they lacked was the great customer service I knew we were bringing to everyone.”
Gary Nowak, Ohio Regional Vice President for Minuteman Press International, remarks on the care with which Mike Geygan has gained his reputation and subsequently, built his business: “It’s only natural Mike establishes partnerships to help kids, adults, and other small business in the community. In 2006 Mike was awarded our first ever and only “Mentor Award” for helping other Minuteman Press owners follow the proven Minuteman Press systems and become successful! Mike is well respected and a pillar of the community.”
Paying attention to people is something Mike and his staff realize is no longer the norm in many settings, particularly business. One day, when an especially talented telemarketer called him, Mike engaged him in a discussion about personal connections in business. “This telemarketer was different, better than most. He told me, ‘Most telemarketers only hear words, but because I am blind, I hear feelings in words, too.’ I knew there was a lot of truth to what he was saying and not only did I hire him for a period of time, it made me realize what I loved back in 1991 about this business – people coming in with ideas on legal pads and meeting personally to bring those ideas to life. We would deliver a proof, make changes and deliver a finished job and there was always a lot of customer interaction in the process. Today, with electronic files, we aim to accommodate the customer, but retain the charm of the interaction whenever possible.”
Since the Minuteman Press reviews confirm their performance, Mike is certain that his staff are the most friendly and most likely to do whatever it takes to take pressure off of their clients. “We bend over backwards to meet deadlines and our customers know they can absolutely count on us. Recently, the YMCA had a newsletter mailing and they had a few challenges that got the job to us very late, but they still wanted it out before Thanksgiving. I told them, honestly, that I was not sure it was possible, but we all pulled it together, even over the weekend. Many on my staff volunteered and in the end, the goal was to have it out by Wednesday. We had it addressed on Monday and to the post office by Tuesday. This was during one of the busiest, most successful months (in terms of sales) in our history.”
As he is active in so many business clubs and community organizations, many people approach Mike for advice about opening a business. They wish to know how to market their business and can see that he has not only done well himself, but has helped so many other entrepreneurs build an idea into real life success. “When it comes to designing and printing, I tell people, ‘If you have an idea, we can make it look great,’ – and we do not charge for a consultation,” he says.
WCCC is the “partner of choice within the educational and economic systems of our communities, by providing quality academic and career technical education – and Minuteman Press is their preferred design and print partner
As they continue to provide a future of career opportunities for their students, the Warren County Career Center found Mike Geygan and Minuteman Press through the Area Progress Council of Warren County and as he is passionate about education, it was a match built to last.
Mike says, “I have been on that board for eighteen years and one of our key areas of focus is education which puts me in contact with the superintendents in our area districts, directly. In fact, more than half of our top-ten customers are school districts within our community. We have been printing for WCCC for most of my ownership and I encouraged them to restart a printing program and they took my advice.”
With the advice of an expert who has proven to have foresight that benefits many, the WCCC launched its printing program and Mike said it “evolved into a graphic design program”. True to his nature, Mike welcomes classes into his digital print design and marketing franchise so they can see, first hand, the modern printing industry in action and his only regret is that they do not visit more often. He explains, “Classes have visited our location to see how it operates and they should do it more! Juniors and seniors should be in printing centers so they can see exactly how what they are learning applies to real life.”
Taking his philosophy a step further, Mike draws from personal experience to advise, “I spent a week working in my printing franchise before attending corporate training school and it gave me a good frame of reference. The same thing applies to the vocational school. I welcome people who are learning about the printing industry to see the evolution of their art, after design is complete. They should not stop at making something that looks pretty on their screens. They should take it through production, to the output devices and learn how to make it look good on toner, offset, inkjet, screen-print and on a website.” Minuteman Press leads the printing industry with franchisees like Mike, intent on sharing his knowledge and making sure people do not get too caught up on computer screens only. The design is only the beginning and as Mike says, “Students need to know about all the different processes beyond design.”
“Education is essential to developing business and creating strong employees and I am devoted to it.” – Mike Geygan, owner, Minuteman Press franchise, Lebanon, Ohio
To make certain WCCC reaches its target audience so people can do meaningful things with their professional ambitions, Minuteman Press in Lebanon prints all of their envelopes, program cards, invitations, business cards and registration packets, once folks decide to enroll. Yet it is the direct mail campaign that they tend to on behalf of the respected learning facility that brings all of the promotional efforts together. “We printed 149,000 brochures for all of our county and surrounding areas. We then delivered it directly to all of the post offices to save WCCC some money and improve delivery,” Mike says.
Peg Allen, Public Information Specialist for the Warren County Career Center speaks about the big direct mail campaign that Minuteman Press handles on their behalf…and more, “Right now, they are printing a new project for us, a four-page newsletter that goes out to every household in our district. They have also printed postcards, business cards, letterhead, envelopes, career guides, and more. We have been working with Minuteman Press in Lebanon for many years. Mike knows we are a public school with a limited budget, and he always gives us the best price and great value for our dollars spent.”
“A school must communicate with the public, and printed postcards and newsletters are a part of the vital communications we send. I have always gotten fast and reliable service and I know I can trust them to get the job done on time.“ – Peg Allen, Warren County Career Center
Peg concludes with words that bode well for the growth of the community she shares with Mike Geygan, “We will continue to rely on Minuteman Press in Lebanon for our printing needs. We like to keep the work local when we can because we are all partners together in this county, dedicated to improving the economic outlook of our region.”