The B2B Services Industry provided Jason Hasquin with the flexibility to craft a more appealing life than his experience in retail management allowed.
From the fresh-air of an Illinois State Park, Jason Hasquin hikes the trails and does so with the freedom that is afforded clever, but hard working Minuteman Press franchise owners. It is the kind of life most people map out for themselves when they are young, but corporate life and other distractions lead them in other, less appealing directions. Jason did spend years developing keen customer service skills in retail management for Pet Smart and prior to that, as a manager for Walgreens. “I walked a few miles in retail,” he adds in a nod to his penchant for hiking real trails in leisure. “I got tired of the routine and realized I could make more money for myself than working for someone else, so entrepreneurship was what I wanted and I just needed to pick the right industry.”
Jason began the arduous but ultimately rewarding task of due diligence, something hopeful franchise owners must take on with caution, leaving no stone unturned. “I looked into ‘business for sale’ websites and examined businesses for sale and the ways they market themselves. I came across an existing Minuteman Press franchise for sale right where I lived and when I researched the numbers and spoke to franchise owners, everything made a lot of sense. I didn’t know a lot about printing, but I understood the profit and loss statements and was encouraged, which led me to do MORE research on the printing industry. I asked several franchisees how they managed their businesses and how I could apply my knowledge and skills to franchise ownership. It was all good news.”
Jason bought a well-run Minuteman Press franchise with what he observed to be “profitable, with a low overhead” that had been in operation for thirteen years. It has been his life’s work for the past three years to build upon the strong start his investment earned him and the community he serves is grateful for his marketing services today.
“One of the most helpful things I bring to my franchise that is helping it grow is my ability to lead a staff strongly AND keep them happy. When there are ‘hiccups’ during the workday, our team is strong and we have great customer service to see everything through. I learned to get out of the way of my staff, people who know how to do their jobs.” Jason’s manager has been with the franchise since before he took over and has twenty-five years of printing industry experience to contribute. “Knowledge about different paper weights, printing techniques and design is not something the everyday person needs to have when they come to us. It’s a relief to them,” Jason adds.
The printing industry is so vast, so my experienced staff and I are in a great position to help people. – Jason Hasquin
He established a culture that allows his employees to get the work done, while remaining happy in what they do every day. This allows him flexibility to craft a more favorable lifestyle than retail allowed. Jason says, “Everyone in my center is critical to its operation, from Art Ferrer (our manager), Ja-Més Simmons (our designer and marketing representative), Michelle Klees (our full-time designer and customer service representative) and Dennis Roberts (our press and bindery operator). Communication is always flowing between us all; and if I am out of the center, I choose always to be in contact.”
Inspiring local youth while getting challenging jobs done is another perk of Jason Hasquin’s managerial skills. “If we have a big mailing, we will bring in high-school or college kids to contribute to our efforts. It also gives them a chance to see how we operate,” he explains. “I think what gratifies me the most about running this business is my ability to have an ever-changing work environment and inspiring people to get excited about the printing industry, too.”
It is exciting to lead the modern printing industry as a Minuteman Press franchise owner. According to Jason, “The jobs we do may have similarities but they are never exactly the same. I appreciate that I do not have to work in monotony and enjoy helping clients achieve their goal in the most cost-effective ways. Too many printers still quote jobs to customers based on what’s easier for them, not what is best for the customer. They aren’t asking enough questions to find out exactly what the project needs to be done well.” In contrast, Jason and his team work in the manner that benefits their clients first. He adds, “Personalized service is not a philosophy to me. It is second nature to treat people well and do right by them. I cannot imagine it any other way.”
Keith Cawley is the Regional Vice President for the U.S. Midwest Region of Minuteman Press International. He says, “Jason is a true entrepreneur. One of the things I appreciate is that he takes the day off so he can spend the day with his daughter. He doesn’t want to take business and take away from his personal life. I appreciate the kind of person is and the way he runs his Minuteman Press center. He is involved in his community and treats people the way they should be treated, both his employees and his customers.”
The Troy, Maryville, St. Jacob and Marine Chambers of Commerce trust Minuteman Press in Edwardsville with design and print that helps communities thrive
“I joined the Chamber of Commerce after one of their marketing campaigns earlier in the year. From my interactions, a partnership commenced. We began by designing and printing a 15,000 piece direct mail marketing piece aimed at new members,” according to Jason. The Chamber was delighted with the results as the piece was outstanding and he helped them save some money. As a result, they are sending additional jobs and referrals to Minuteman Press.
He and his staff were able to improve upon the previous year’s design in a way that made their message more effective. “They had it printed on a full 8.5 x 11 stock with filler they didn’t need, so we trimmed the whole piece and cleaned-up the message. Then we sent it to their audience via Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) as they wanted to reach people for the lowest price and we were able to take care of all of that for them. Currently, we are teaming-up with them to design a billboard.”
Dawn Mushill is the director for The Troy Chamber of Commerce and she recalls her first encounter with the finished work of a Minuteman Press center. “It was our first ever order with Minuteman Press and we really had no idea what to expect. The postcard — WOW. They took our ideas and put them right on the postcard. Clean. Crisp. Perfect. And free of typos. We were on a very tight deadline and I loved that they took us through the whole process and kept us updated via text messages, e-mails and phone calls.”
When you are excellent at what you do, care about every one of the projects that comes through your door and have the technology, experience and leadership to prove it, loyalty deepens. Dawn concludes, “Minuteman Press has been a member of the Chamber of Commerce for only a few months and the partnership seems like years! Whatever we need — they are there. They also attend our networking events to promote their business. It’s a great relationship.”