Since it was founded in 1997, Bluegrass Hearing Clinic has grown to eleven locations throughout Kentucky. As they provide state-of-the-art technology and audiologists to help people, they rely upon the modern printing industry’s leader, Minuteman Press, to broadcast their message.
Chuck Bentley and Pete Cummings always gave themselves generously to the most important goals of others as a teacher and as the owner of a speech and occupational therapy center, respectively. Since 2014, as co-owners of Minuteman Press in Richmond, Kentucky, they have been directing that generous intention to help other business owners, non-profits and schools meet or exceed their organizational goals.
Encouraged by Chuck’s uncle, veteran Minuteman Press owner in London, KY Garry Conley, the two college friends agreed they wanted a major career change, one that could provide a better retirement than that of a school teacher for Chuck and both had young families that needed more of their time. “Garry has been running his center for 14 years in London and his store is very successful, plus he loves being his own boss. He is my uncle, so I knew he would not steer us in the wrong direction and he knows that buying a printing business is not for everyone. So, Pete and I visited my uncle’s store to talk about his business and were so intrigued, we then talked to Regional Vice President, Gary Nowak, who assessed the area and we all thought it would be a prime area to have a grand opening for our brand new franchise. We are a mile away from a 20,000 student university, now one of our top clients.”
Pete and Chuck both know that the support they receive from Minuteman Press International gives them an edge over independent business owners. Still, they boldly claim personal responsibility for the heights their business has reached as well as its current and future trajectory.
Chuck adds, “The support from Minuteman Press was very helpful getting started and is still there when we need help, but most of all, you need to jump in and get to work and that is what we did.” As he tends to and manages their local support, Gary Nowak is in a position to agree: “After thoroughly researching the businesses and organizations in Richmond, KY, including visiting “the competition”, it was obvious the area was vastly underserved. The determination, work ethic, and energy of Pete and Chuck is all that was needed.”
His time as a classroom teacher provided Chuck with a valuable revelation about theory vs. reality as an entrepreneur. He adds, “I could tell my visiting student-teachers would try to figure out how to handle a classroom based on their education, but they did not know what it was like to actually teach until they were up in front of students. Here, as Pete and our staff run the operation, we gain experienced from every design, print or marketing project we tackle. Choosing just the right paper, knowing how the artwork will look when it is printed on various objects, you just don’t KNOW that. Gary (Nowak) and our training was very helpful, but through experience we have encountered situations and have realized it was something Gary brought up a year and a half ago and now it makes sense in a particular context.” He adds his thoughts on the best thing about their Regional Vice President, “Gary is direct and to the point in a professional way. The best thing about him is that while anyone can give us a pat on the back, he compliments when deserved, but also gives us constructive criticism and that helps us grow.”
“We strive to keep things in perspective. Our faith in God is what pilots the ship and this impacts every area of our lives. It is faith, family and work—that is how we do things here. We work extremely hard while we are at the shop but then we want to be “all-in” with our families once we turn the light out here.” – Pete Cumings, Co-Owner, Minuteman Press, Richmond, Kentucky
Pete, Chuck and their designer, Graham Allen, tend to a growing client base and there are absolutely no Minuteman Press complaints when it comes to design and editing, “thanks to Graham’s talent”, according to Chuck. “He has a full workload with design and we are considering adding a new staff member so Pete and I can continue to network and help people discover what we can do for them.”
Pete talks about the new territories available beyond print on paper, “I would say we are the one-stop shop and that means more than ink on paper. Signs, banners and promotional products are just the start of a much longer list of ways we can help people grow their business. Chuck and I will talk to our clients about their audience and give them some guidance specific to their demographics. Then, we consult with Graham and make it happen. Since we put ourselves into every project, we have an excellent word-of-mouth reputation. While Google is great and our products are great, our relationships with people are excellent.”
Bluegrass Hearing Clinic is “where better hearing begins” and their message is being heard by the communities they serve with sharp-looking, customized print by Minuteman Press in Richmond
Minuteman Press and Bluegrass Hearing first crossed paths in 2015 and since then have worked together on multiple projects—covering the gamut of print, promotional items, signage and design. Examples of these items are logo imprinted ear plugs that Bluegrass Hearing hands out at events and shooting ranges, marketing pieces to promote specialized hearing protection for swimmers, customized ink pens and post-it-notes to distribute at events, printing and installation of large-scale window graphics for a new office location, banners for various community events, and a complex multi-piece, custom brochure to promote better hearing program partnerships with various businesses in the community and the list goes on.
Chuck and Pete make certain Bluegrass has the marketing support needed to take care of the people who count upon them. Chuck says, “We have produced customized ear buds, window graphics, letterhead, envelopes, brochures, banners, etc. and have continued to run the gamut of print in their favor as they grow. They have eleven locations now and they come to us for all of their printing. We like to centralize their marketing needs for them so we can save them time, and also expand their options to get promotional products working in their favor.”
“We like to provide them with new ideas and products so they can reach new people. They sponsored an event called, ‘Pops in the Park’ and they were tired of the same old boring sponsor banner look, so our designer, Graham, incorporated themes from the event to create a sponsor banner that really turned heads. We were told that it stood out compared to all the other banners and that is exactly what we wanted to do for them,” Pete adds.
Chuck sees no end to the promotional possibilities he and Pete can provide to Bluegrass Hearing now that mutual trust is firmly established. He says, “We are proud of our working relationship with Lisa and the people at Bluegrass Hearing. They are great people and we always have numerous jobs in production for them. They know they can call us, whether it is in reference to a project that is a month out or something they need printed by the end of the day, and we will do everything in our power to take good care of them. As of right now, we have ten new jobs going for B.G. Hearing at once.”
Lisa Meeker heads Marketing and Outreach at Bluegrass Hearing Clinic and she felt at home from the moment she walked into Minuteman Press in Richmond for marketing services. She recalls, “A friend of mine told me that there were guys in Richmond that I should go try out. Instantly, walking in the door of Minuteman Press, I could tell all of our business had found a home. They make you the priority from the moment you meet them. It doesn’t matter if I ask for a $50 business card order or a $5,000 project, they appreciate every bit of business and give it the same amount of attention to detail. I continue to refer so many businesses to them because their quality, service and turnaround time are all excellent. Their work is immaculate.”
It is the uncommon way in which Pete and Chuck dedicate themselves to their clients’ victories that does more than build business together with them, it strengthens trust between all parties and endears the business-to-business efforts to people on a very personal level. Lisa continues, “They stand behind their products and if they feel something is not quite up to their standards, they make it right. They are the first ones to let me know of new products or things that have worked for their other clients and they are proactive in helping us with our marketing strategy. They are the nicest guys who genuinely care about your family, your job and your life. They are amazing and I am so happy to see that their business is growing too. They celebrate our success with us every time they get the chance. It is rare to find a business like Minuteman Press.”