How Two International Minute Press Franchisees in Charlotte, NC Went from College to Entrepreneurship and Earned Trust from Their Clients

"We have a team of five today and are able to do a large volume without a large staff. We attend corporate million-dollar owner meetings and see how other owners do it differently."

Scott Hamilton and Andrew Gross are long-time International Minute Press printing franchise owners with strong partnerships including Edifice, Inc.

Scott Hamilton and Andy Gross have been united by the decision to begin earning livings as leaders since their senior years at Group City College. They earned their business degrees and acted with the kind of wisdom not usually attributed to twenty-somethings, bypassing the workforce to attend a franchise show. It was there, back in 1990, that they encountered what was, and still is, the leader of the printing industry, Minuteman Press International.

“We were both young and single and knew very little about what to do as printers and the center we bought was doing low sales,” Scott explains. It was a perfect opportunity to buy a business right out of college and they were determined to make something good for themselves out of it, with the support of a most trusted franchisor. “We went to corporate training and learned the system of operations with Mike Jutt (Director of Training/Executive Vice President), Dave Scadin (Co-Director of Training) and the training staff. From there, we went in and with our own knowledge and own ethics, went to work to turn the struggling franchise around. Minuteman Press International has always been great and we did lean on that support when we needed it.”

One of the first actions they took was to invest in the newest equipment at the time, with guidance from headquarters and local support. “At the time, in the 1990s, we bought four-color Heidelberg presses and were the only ones in the area with a four-color press.” They wasted no time discovering the most effective ways to put their individual and collective talents into the rebirth of their International Minute Press franchise in Charlotte, NC.

They came in to a staff of one and they retained that loyal employee for his knowledge and added new team members over time. “We have a team of five today and are able to do a large volume without a large staff. We attend corporate million-dollar owner meetings and see how other owners do it differently,. It’s a choice and we have a good group of guys who are all crosstrained, but each with his own specialty. Also, Andrew and I handle different clients, personally. He also handles more of the day-to-day operations, greeting people and taking calls, while I am more out networking on our behalf and I tend to take care of our corporate clients.”

“We see our signage and other evidence of our work as we drive around and that is a good feeling.” – Scott Hamilton

When they started, four or five years after their new Heidelberg presses were already at work creating tangible, topnotch printing from the ideas of their clients, Scott and Andy got a jumpstart on signage. At the time, others were not tending to the signage needs of their B2B clientele. “We saw a need to fulfill in signage, even back then, when no other printers were tending to it, really. Today, in addition to the rise in digital printing demand, we also do a lot of wide-format printing with the full support of Minuteman Press International as marketing services providers.”

Support on the local level is not something they ever take for granted, as it is not a given benefit with every franchise agreement. As International Minute Press franchise owners, Scott remains thankful for multiple levels of assistance and says so, “If I even need anything, our Regional Vice President, Dave Walton, is great and is always there and the entire franchise system got us into business and allowed us to do our own thing. The support is there when you need it and in return you follow the brand guidelines so it all works for you.”

David Walton, Minuteman Press International Regional Vice President is pleased to share his thoughts, “One of the biggest reasons for Scott and Andy’s success is longtime employees.  Employees Eric, Mike and James combined have about 50 years of experience in that one center.  When you have long term committed people in the store, you get quality and consistency.  Scott and Andy’s shop is the epitome of that.”

They were destined to be leaders in charge of their own futures, so it is no wonder that they have many loyal clients in Charlotte and beyond. Scott and Andy both enjoy the business of helping people do the greatest justice possible to their brands or messages. Scott reflects on his clientele fondly, “Many clients, even corporate accounts, have been with us for a long time because we fill their needs while enjoying more than a casual rapport. They feel connected to us and I think that is why they remain. I must say if I retired tomorrow, I may not miss ALL of the work, but I would miss the people, our partnerships.”

Edifice, Inc. is a commercial general contractor, just one of the many growing businesses that rely upon International Minute Press in Charlotte to promote their brand

Edifice, Inc. believes that construction is as much about art as it is about science. They are problem solvers in their industry and maintain a high-standard, all natural fits for their partnership with the team at International Minute Press in Charlotte. “We take care of exterior job site signage as well as interior and exterior signage for the new projects Edifice builds. A common friend referred us to help with ADA signage for a new high school they were building.” The signage produced was so impressive, International Minute Press is now entrusted with the work needed to take care of a dozen more schools and as Scott says, “many other projects as well.”

As results continue to speak, so does Heath Edmiston, Lead Project Manager, for Edifice, “Scott and his team have always produced top quality products and his service has always been exemplary. Oftentimes they come up with more cost effective and better products than those specified saving us money and, oftentimes, time.” Even under the proverbial gun, Heath has no worries, “Unfortunately it always seems that I call them well past the time I needed to in order for them to comfortably deliver on an order. Time and time again I have placed an order at the 11th hour and they have never complained or missed a deadline.”

As for the future of the partnership, Heath assures, “I have worked with International Minute Press personally for the last 15 years. I value the professional and personal relationship I have developed with Scott and his team members over that time. I consider Scott not only a colleague but also a friend.” Both men agree that the workforce would have delayed the inevitable victories that make their now lengthy career as marketing services providers so satisfying. Scott speaks for both when he adds, “It’s a good living and we are having a good time.”

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