Franchising to us at Minuteman Press is different than it is to most other franchisors. To them, it’s about their system and who is following it and who is not. They are more into compliance rather than their owners’ best interests. In fact, many franchisors refuse to call their franchise owners “owners” and instead they refer to them as zee’s or address them as store numbers rather than names.
At Minuteman Press, we treat our franchise owners like they deserve to be treated: as people. Our owners are entrepreneurs who are looking to better their lives and their families’ lives, and we take pride in how happy they are and how well they are doing. We have a tried and proven system and the owners who follow it the closest are the best in our organization.
We look at going into business with you as a partnership because we believe that is what franchising is all about. When one partner does well, they both do well. We have had the pleasure of working with hundreds of great people throughout our 40-year history. Here are just some of their stories and why they chose to partner with Minuteman Press.
Featured Franchisee: David Rowley - Crystal City & Arlington, VA - Owner since 2010 - Human Resources
David Rowley bought his first Minuteman Press location in Crystal City, VA, a franchise that had been in operation since 1979. He took ownership after the original owner retired. The business community he was to serve was to get a redefinition of service that they may not have realized they needed. Prior to his decision to become an entrepreneur, he spent ten years working in Human Resource Development for CSC and four years before that were spent working for the UN in Geneva.
David says, “I felt that these experiences made a good fit for owning a Minuteman Press Business Center where we are not just order-takers but consultants to our clients.” As his philosophy is aligned with the culture of Minuteman Press International which makes each client’s objectives a central focus of their motivation, an unstoppable alliance towards growth and success.
As his first digital print, design and marketing franchise grew in Crystal City, VA, David expanded his ability to serve the business to business community by purchasing a second Minuteman Press franchise in Arlington, VA, that had been running successfully for 15 years. When its previous owner wished to retire in 2013, ownership was assumed by David Rowley and the continuity of excellent service not only continued, but was strengthened.
Every entrepreneur is motivated by something and the best ones are motivated by something greater than money, as is Mr. Rowley. He explains, “One of the primary reasons that I bought into Minuteman Press was that it is mostly in the B2B services industry where you get the chance to establish a strong relationship with repeat clients. I get energized by helping my clients meet their goals. As one of my clients said to me, ‘Don’t just give me what I ask for, but give me what I don’t even know I need yet.’”
Featured Franchisee: Manny Castro - Downey, CA - Owner since 2007 - Publishing/Media Distribution Manager
“Becoming a Minuteman Press Franchise owner 10 years ago is definitely one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my entire life. I had researched many other companies and different industries for a while, but none of them gave me the level of confidence that I needed to motivate me and move forward that Minuteman Press did. Once my decision was made, and we moved forward with training and opening up my center, they gave me a great solid foundation, and second to none ongoing support to this day. I love my local field representatives; we have a great relationship with Dan Byers and Steve Szymanski. They have my back any day and any time. Our success as owners is their success as well.
I came to this beautiful country 33 years ago without a dollar in my pocket, no skills, no academic degrees , no English, not even a high school diploma. Just a young teenager at that time, running away from a very conflicted civil war in El Salvador, looking for a better life. All I can say now is God is great!
Thank God for the vision of the founding fathers of this great franchise Minuteman Press International, and the legacy that has been passed on and is reflected through our CEO Bob Titus, and the entire team all across the globe.”
Featured Franchisee: Suchitra Kamath - Edison, NJ - Owner since 2017 - Banking
Why Minuteman Press? For Suchitra, it came down to Minuteman Press International providing her with high levels of support and service. She states, “When I was exploring different franchising options and filling out online forms, the Minuteman Press response time was excellent and the potential franchise owner engagement process was simple yet fast! Subsequently, I found that this was a trend in this company and this actually helped me move along my franchising path quickly. The corporate managers were nice, helpful and had the knowledge that was needed to help me make decisions.”
Anne Myers - Myrtle Beach, SC - Owner since 2013 - Insurance sales
We diligently researched franchise opportunities before deciding to buy an existing Minuteman Press franchise. We were coming from the insurance industry and we wanted something tangible to sell, as well as training and support that would be there for us. We couldn’t be more thrilled with the training and support we have received from day one. Two plus years later, we get excellent support at the corporate and local levels. We see our local team once per month and talk to them more often than that on a variety of subjects including lease agreements, equipment we are considering, and more. We also use David and Jeff as resources for specialty jobs and also appreciate all of their sales advice. On top of all of that, they play a major role in training our new employees on software and anything else as needed.
Barry Landowski - Menomonee Falls, WI - Owner since 1992 - Corporate world for 20 years
I was interested in owning a Minuteman because everyone is a potential customer; I could go door to door in an office complex or industrial park and sell them printing because everyone uses printing. Printing is a viable business with a tangible product; not a pyramid marketing business or a consulting, “business improvement” business.
Bill & Pam Joles - Gastonia, NC Owners in since 1991 - GE warehouse manager and teacher
Bill Kyle - Roanoke, VA - Owner since 2013 - Retail design and construction.
Having grown up working in my dad’s small business, it was always in the back of my mind to do my own thing one day. After 25 years of working for a number of corporations in the retail design and construction industry, I determined it was time to get out…while I still liked it, and on my own terms. So I then spent 2 years of due diligence, researching many franchises, and finally landed on Minuteman Press. Minuteman Press truly allows me to run my own business, while providing a high level of service and support that is literally a phone call away.
Bo Gustafsson - Scotsdale, AZ - Owner since 2014 - Furniture Sales
“My past experience, I was running a business named Deuxiana, an 80 year old Swedish company that sells high-end furniture and I have been on both sides of the desk in terms of franchisor/franchisee. I appreciate the support and simplicity of the Minuteman Press franchise. One of the more important components of Minuteman Press International is the regional, local support personnel and how they are there when I need them. Jack is someone I can turn to whenever I need his assistance. It is invaluable.”
Bob Davidson - Tigard, OR - Owner since 1997 - Veteran with military background
Bob Stalinski - Manchester, MO - Owner since 2001 - GM for office products company
The royalties were important then and now. It is nice to have a royalty cap that enables us to reinvest in our business, and that certainly was a factor in my decision to join Minuteman Press. The return on your royalty investment is like the return on a 5 star mutual fund. There is always someone at Minuteman Press available to help you or answer your questions. As I had no experience in printing, marketing or sales, having that kind of support was a key factor in my decision to join Minuteman.
Brian Davis - Lexington, KY - Owner since 1991 - Human resources director
Bryan & Johnel Nunes - Boise, ID - Owners since 2004 - Denny’s restaurant owners
We came from the restaurant business and were looking for something other than restaurants that was specifically B2B. We liked the Minuteman Press business model and the profit margin of the printing industry. We were also thoroughly impressed by the Minuteman Press International corporate culture and staff as a whole.
Bryan Agnello - Virginia Beach & Chesapeake, VA - Owner since 2011 - GM / Bought Business from Retiring Owner
Bryan Agnello first joined the Minuteman Press franchise in Virginia Beach in April 1997 and spent 14 years as the General Manager, working alongside owner Ernie Hayes to make sure their customers were provided with the highest levels of quality and service. During that time, Bryan was being groomed to take over the business, and in April 2011, Bryan realized his dream and bought the business from Ernie, who was ready to retire.
One huge reason Bryan Agnello decided to take over the business from Ernie Hayes and purchase a second Minuteman Press franchise in Chesapeake is because of the ongoing support that Minuteman Press International makes available to him. Bryan says, “The local support makes my life easier especially with my Regional Vice President Bob Heimbuch and Field Representative Eric Shank. They both make it so much easier for me to get work done. I am very hands on and like to run my company lean. They are a huge help.”
Caryn & Werner Neethling - Krugersdorp, South Africa - Owners since 2012 - Retail Business Owners
Caryn Neethling says, “My husband and I had both owned other businesses and retail stores when we joined Minuteman Press, but printing was new to us. Luckily, we had staff that were knowledgeable and an incredibly helpful franchisor. The training we received was excellent. We traveled to New York for training, and the people there were fantastic.”
She continues, “One of the big advantages of buying a franchise, as opposed to opening up an independent operation, is the support that you receive. Since we needed to learn about printing, knowing that an experienced team was just a phone call away really eased the pressure.”
Chris Lewis - Woodinville, WA - Owner since 2008 - Digital printer sales
Christine & Derek Hueske - Columbia, MO - Owners since 2014 - Food and beverage industry for 25 years
We chose Minuteman Press because this is the type of business that allows us to continue to sell and still have lives without having to work 70+ hours a week as we had been doing for years. As a business-to-business company, we are in control of the schedule we keep. Also, by having a production person in the shop who is managing the day to day jobs, we are able to be in the market to network and sell our services to our current customers as well as potential new ones. In addition, Minuteman Press has a great support structure in place. Not only is the corporate team always available, you have a great support structure from the more seasoned owners and they are always there to offer advice as well as give ideas regarding what has worked for them.
Dan Reeves - Burnsville & Chanhassen MN - Owner since 2015 - Print Industry Veteran
Dan Reeves is a 35-year veteran of the printing industry who has seen it all. He once owned a competing print franchise that he was unhappy with and then worked in the corporate world for ten years before finding the right opportunity to rejoin the world of entrepreneurship. That opportunity came in the form of a Minuteman Press franchise for sale in Burnsville, Minnesota. Located just two miles from his house, Dan did his research on Minuteman Press, liked what he saw in terms of local support and a unique capped royalty structure, and was sold.
Changes in the Print Industry
In 35 years, the print industry has certainly seen its share of changes. One thing that will never change is that businesses need print to operate and use print as a vital piece of their marketing and advertising programs. The emergence of digital printing has bolstered businesses like Minuteman Press because it enables franchise owners to provide cost-effective, high quality products at a rapid pace. Dan says, “Today it’s primarily digital, so short run full color has taken the market by storm. It’s very popular, very affordable for businesses.”
In a service-based economy where everything needs to be done accurately with fast turnaround, digital printing meets those requirements and Minuteman Press is able to fulfill the needs of business owners as a result. Dan explains, “Quite often you decide Monday morning and you need something Monday afternoon. We see it constantly.”
The Minuteman Press Difference
As for how Dan Reeves found and ultimately decided on Minuteman Press, he explains, “I was just searching online, saw an opportunity, and learned about the franchise. It’s really important to learn about the franchise, that they’re going to be there to support you. Take care of you if you are stumbling and falling, try to educate you. I just loved it right away.”
When comparing Minuteman Press to his earlier experiences with a competing print franchise, things couldn’t be more different. Dan elaborates, “The biggest difference is the royalty structure. My old one there was no royalty cap. As we grew, we just sent them more and more money. Mine is now capped [at a monthly sales level] at 6 percent. That’s huge.”
Darryal & Connie Chandler - Humble, TX - Owner since 2010 - Airline industry and a teacher
The biggest reason we chose a Minuteman Press franchise is because since I had been working here, I knew the potential this business had in the market we serve. We did have apprehensions about owning a franchise, so we certainly did our homework before making the final decision. Everything we could find out about MMP was positive. We have not been disappointed. As a matter of fact, we have been more than happy! Minuteman Press International provides so much support, as well as providing us with “buying power” in many ways. Our franchise fee is well worth it to us! We know we made the right decision. We are part of the Minuteman Press family!
Dave & Lynn Wattles - Farmington Hills, MI - Owners since 1996 - College Textbook Sales/Publishing
While working in textbook sales, Dave Wattles saw the value in printing but was also frustrated by the college textbook sales cycle that would normally last three to four years. “As opposed to textbooks, I love the short reorder cycle that comes with the type of marketing and printing I have done for the past 20 years with my business. We have established so many great relationships with customers over the past two decades, and I love being able to help them with everything they need on a regular, recurring basis.”
Dave Wattles chose to go the franchising route because he was looking for someone to have his back when he went into business. He liked International Minute Press because of the full training and ongoing support provided by his franchisor, Minuteman Press International. “They had a two-week training program in New York, offered me ongoing support here in Farmington Hills, and also have a royalty incentive program where they actually cap royalties above a monthly sales level. Not many franchises are willing to take money out of their own pockets and give it back to the owners to help us re-invest in our business.”
Another thing Dave has enjoyed about being part of the Minuteman Press International franchise system is that he can run his business his way while still receiving that crucial support. “Anyone who does this gig has an entrepreneurial spirit. We’re all on the same team but the franchisor doesn’t shackle us and gives us freedom to run the business the way we want. Kudos to the company that is allowing me to be me.”
David Pike - Lehigh Valley, PA (owns 6 centers) - Owner since 1989 - Second-generation owner
My mother and stepfather were working for Bethlehem Steel out in Pennsylvania when they agreed to help my go into business. I had a retail space but I didn’t want to enter into a traditional retail business and wasn’t interested in food service. What really drove me towards owning a Minuteman Press franchise was that it was a business-to-business model that still had many of the elements of a retail business. As we continued to grow, Bethlehem Steel went out of business, and so my mom and stepdad came on board to work with me. We have grown to the point that we now own six centers across the Lehigh Valley area.
Dawn & Dean Seifert - Youngstown, OH - Owner since 2007
Dean says, “I was looking to own a business that would help support my family and where my family could also be involved. Minuteman Press was a perfect fit for what I envisioned. We have grown our business 4 times the size it was when I bought it. We have 5 employees, 2 of these are our children. Our oldest son already talks about transitioning into our spot eventually.”
Dee Bisel - Lawrence, KS - Owner since 1993 - Sales / Printing / Production Manager
In the business of helping fellow entrepreneurs realize their visions and with the right marketing approach for over 24 years now, Dee Bisel has unlocked success for many people within the B2B services industry. Dee says, “We had a ribbon-cutting recently and celebrated the move to our 3rd location with about 100 enthusiastic Minuteman Press franchise fans. We went from 2500 to 5000 square feet and we remodeled the space to suit our needs and put aside 1500 square feet to offer as a free meeting space for professionals and nonprofits within our community.”
To make a broad, accurate statement, Dee’s efforts within the community as an advocate for charitable causes and her alliance with hard working business owners looking to build a brand are a force of incredible good. She is part of the modern printing industry that is Minuteman Press International and has earned a place in the franchisor’s elite Million Dollar Owners’ Circle this year.
Dee says, “The way that we’ve grown our business over 24 years is through being active in the community. I walked down and joined The Chamber of Commerce when I became a business owner as I am a huge believer in community involvement and I would say it’s the one thing I do to market my business and keep my customers. You become friends with the decision makers of other companies in this way and you do it not by being phony, but by digging in and really being committed and showing them you are here to stay.”
Following the Minuteman Press International franchise system and standing out in the community has really paid off for Dee Bisel and her team at Minuteman Press in Lawrence, Kansas. She says, “We have about 600 active customers and we are very involved in the community, which I believe is the key to our success. We joined the Chamber of Commerce on the second day we were open and in the second year, I chaired the envoy committee and emceed 54 ribbon cuttings for new or existing business owners. The following year, I went on the board of directors and have served on almost every board in the town.
“Community activism is everything to us,” Dee shares with certainty. And thanks to her management style and commitment to clients, her entire team at Minuteman Press abides by a benevolent “get it done” culture that breeds loyalty and spurs growth.
Derrick Laas - Fourways, South Africa - Owner since 2003 - Corporate Director of Electronics Company
Derrick Laas says, “I was a director in a large electronics company. The division I worked in was sold off and I found myself exploring other avenues of earning a living. I had setup a franchise business as a supplier to our electronics business and saw the big advantage franchising offers a new business. I investigated several options and found Minuteman Press to offer the most support with the least interference in the business. The profit potential given, I run a good business offering a stable and long-term future.”
“Having my own business as in Minuteman Press gave me freedom to operate as I wished with a partner in Minuteman Press International who only gave me good advice and support and asked no more than I pay for the brand and stay in the brand guidelines. I can choose products, suppliers and processes that suit me but can rely on Minuteman Press headquarters to give me support when I need it.”
Derrick concludes, “Lastly, owning my business will provide me with a great quality of life for as long as I want to work.”
Dom & Arlene Passanisi - Pleasanton, Mtn. View & San Mateo, CA - Owners since 2010 - Architect and Paralegal
Dom owned a successful architectural firm and his wife Arlene comes from a paralegal background. They purchased their first center in October 2010 after Dom’s business was negatively impacted by the recession, which forced them to seek out new business opportunities for themselves. Dom and Arlene chose Minuteman Press because they saw a successful business model with no prior experience required thanks to the expert training and ongoing support, and also because they liked what they saw in the profit margins. When they were researching new business opportunities, they analyzed the numbers and the dollars had to make sense. The only business that fit their criteria was Minuteman Press. Today, Dom and Arlene own 3 locations in Pleasanton, Mountain View and San Mateo, California. The royalty incentive program is very important to them because it creates a fixed cost for them each month, which allows them to reinvest the savings back into their business.
Don & Leigh Krieger - Napa, CA - Owners since 1993 - Father & Daughter - Customer Service/Marketing
NAPA, Calif.—Together, father-daughter duo Don and Leigh Krieger run the Minuteman Press franchise in Napa, CA, which is celebrating 24 years in business. Minuteman Press is the world’s largest design, print, and marketing franchise, offering essential products and innovative branding solutions to today’s business professionals.
“It’s been terrific working with Leigh and watching her growth,” says Don, who remembers when Leigh would help out the family business during summer breaks. He adds, “It’s a proud day when you can turn over the reins of the business to one of your children. Even though I’ve always stressed customer service, Leigh has taught me how to go the extra mile for the customer.”
Career before Franchising and Choosing Minuteman Press
Customer service has been a hallmark of Don Krieger’s career. Before franchising with Minuteman Press in 1993, Don worked in the wholesale shoe business, where he was responsible for marketing and sales. Prior to that, Don worked for retail giant Saks Fifth Avenue, where he was involved in opening up new stores in the U.S. Don says, “Working in both of these industries taught me how to provide outstanding customer service and the importance of doing right by the customers. It also taught me display and presentation as well as budgeting and planning.”
The customer service, sales, and marketing skills that Don acquired in his professional career would prove valuable to accomplishing his ultimate goal: to own a business. Don explains, “I always wanted to open my own business. I went to a franchise show with a friend who was looking at buying a franchise. I met Jim Martin from Minuteman Press and things just clicked. I felt that the brand name, the support they promised and the training made it a pretty easy decision.”
Don adds, “Over the past 24 years, Minuteman Press has always been there to support us, everything from offering vendor suggestions to providing help with hiring and training staff when needed. If you need technical support, they are one phone call away.”
Like Father Like Daughter: Leigh Joins the Business
Before officially teaming up with Don and joining the business eight years ago, Leigh Krieger worked for a promotion company and also worked with two NBA teams in sales as well as community foundations. Like her father before her, Leigh was able to take these professional experiences and apply similar skills towards business ownership.
Today, as a second-generation member of the Minuteman Press franchise family, Leigh offers a unique perspective of the business. She has seen the family business grow over the years, and today she works to continue to drive that growth. “It has been a great experience,” says Leigh about working with her father. “I have had someone who knows the community and business to teach me the ins and outs of the printing and promotional business. It has really been beneficial. I have had someone to mentor me how to run a successful business.”
Most Rewarding Thing about Running a Family Franchise Business
For Don Krieger, there is no question that after running a successful Minuteman Press franchise for 24 years, the most rewarding thing is that the business will be in the capable hands of his daughter. Don says, “Being able to turn the business over to the next generation is a wonderful feeling. The joy of seeing how well Leigh has done at running the day to day operations is terrific. To know Minuteman Press in Napa will be in business for many more decades gives me the ultimate satisfaction.”
Doug Frederickson -Surrey, British Columbia - Owner since 1994 - Retail manager
I worked as a retail manager for Canadian Tire, a company I had been with since high school graduation. I was starting a family, and I wanted to have some control of my personal life with regular Monday through Friday working hours. I know myself well enough that if the business was open later into the evening or on the weekends that I would probably be there. The idea of manufacturing something that would be custom really intrigued me. As much as I enjoyed the retail business, I wanted to try something completely different, and the food industry did not interest me at all. Minuteman Press was a perfect fit for what I was looking for. The training and support lets us focus on running the business and selling print. There are great systems in place that keep us from having to re-invent the wheel. After acquiring several smaller non-Minuteman shops and seeing the poor operating systems in place, and the lack of preferred vendor programs, I really understand how valuable my Royalty check is when I send it in. Not to mention that it is capped, so my Royalty as a percentage of sales is consistently decreasing.
Ed & Fiona McDonnell - Footscray, Melbourne, Australia - Owners since 2005 - Consumer Goods Manager / Sales
Fiona McDonnell says, “We had just moved back from Sydney to Melbourne and were looking for an opportunity. We attended the franchise show and met the team from Minuteman Press International – Ed recognized the company from the USA.
Both of us wanted a business that was business to business as our son was only five years old and we didn’t want to miss time with him on weekends and evenings. Ed’s grownup children were in the USA and we wanted to visit them at least every two years – we knew this kind of lifestyle was important to us.
We loved that no experience in printing was necessary and met with established Minuteman Press franchise owners in Melbourne with backgrounds as diverse as banking, chemical companies and supermarket/retail managers.
The Minuteman Press team we met at the franchise trade show and every step after were professional, competent, friendly, and seemed like people we could work with. The business model made sense – the figures stacked up and we loved the margins available with print!”
Faisal Tariq - Calgary, Alberta - Owner since 2004 - Sales engineer
My Minuteman Press franchise is a family business with my brother Saqib Tariq and father Tariq Choudhary. My father was an accountant for a GM dealership in Dubai, and I was a chemical engineer in the oil industry in Alberta. Saqib was in high school when we purchased the Minuteman Press franchise, and we were looking for a business that we could build as a family and eventually support three families as sales grew and Saqib matured. Saqib graduated high school and completed a degree in Marketing from University of Calgary while assisting with the business. We started our Minuteman Press center in a 900 square foot location and now have a 3,000 square foot center. We love the Monday-Friday working hours and the business-to-business model, and we are honored to be part of the President’s Million Dollar Club.
Frank Bittner - Hainesport & Cherry Hill, NJ - Owner since 1992 - Second-generation owner
My father was looking for a business with a positive cash flow and solid profit margins. Minuteman Press fit the bill for that, and later on he and I learned just how amazing the company was in terms of the support they provide. The relationship we have with the home office is incredible and very much appreciated.
Fred Edelstein - Santa Clara, CA - Owner since 2014 - Corporate Finance Manager
After working 25 years as a corporate financial manager, Fred Edelstein’s job was downsized. This is how he took back control of his career…
For 25 years, Fred Edelstein built his career in corporate financial management. After an acquisition caused his job to be downsized, Fred spent the next two years searching for that next career opportunity that never came. That’s when he took matters into his own hands, and with a little help from the Minuteman Press franchise, Fred Edelstein was back to business, this time as his own boss.
Minuteman Press Franchise Review: 5 Questions with Fred Edelstein, Santa Clara, California
1. What was your background before franchising with Minuteman Press? “I spent 25-plus years in corporate financial management. I worked in companies from startups to IBM. I gained a lot of experience with companies going through funding rounds looking for venture capital funding to looking to be acquired or acquire other companies. By the end, I became the go-to guy for financial modeling wherever I was working, and I did a few stints as a consultant between permanent employment positions.”
2. Why did you choose to franchise with Minuteman Press? “My last permanent employment was with Ning Social Networking. As their Senior Financial Manager, I helped them get acquired by Glam Media, Inc. Glam Media already had their own financial team so I knew I’d be out of a job and that’s what happened. I then found it really difficult to even get interviews for the next 2 years and began to realize that I had ‘aged out’ of the positions I was qualified for. I had enough money to retool myself and began looking at other options such as opening a restaurant and buying a franchise.”
3. What was it about Minuteman Press International that appealed to you? “I met Bob Ylinen (Minuteman Press Regional Vice President for Northern California) during that search and through him I ultimately determined that opening or buying a print shop was just what I was looking for. Namely, I wanted to own a business with low headcount (small staff) and small to medium initial investment. Bob’s low key sales pitch really helped. If he’d come on too strong I’d have likely been reluctant. He gave me the facts I needed and introduced me to a few of the other local owners and let me make the decision I needed to make.”
4. How would you compare your experience as a Minuteman Press franchise owner to your previous career/industry/life? “It’s been a lot of hard work which is not a surprise or even a negative. The sense of success is not something I could ‘own’ in my previous work experience. My participation level was never really enough to keep me going. Now, the success I have is really directly or indirectly all mine, as is the failures when they happen. As a small business owner, I get to be the boss I always wished others had been for me, though I also have more sympathy for some of things they must have gone through. I also get to set the tone and work environment in my shop and help my employees grow in their respective positions, which is really gratifying for me.”
5. How has the ongoing local support you’ve received from Minuteman Press helped you along the way? “When I’ve needed support from Minuteman Press on the local or corporate levels, I’ve never had to wait; they’ve been essential to my success.”
Fred Edelstein’s Minuteman Press design, marketing and printing franchise is located at 2368 Walsh Ave., Suite B, Santa Clara, CA 95051.
Garry Conley - London, KY - Owner since 2004 - Truck Shop Operator / Diesel Mechanic
Since he was 19 years-old, Garry Conley had worked as a diesel mechanic, and worked his way up as high as he could to the position of truck shop operator. Because it was a salaried position, the hours became long while the paycheck remained the same. When Garry was passed up for a promotion he knew he deserved, that was the moment he knew he needed a change.
“I knew I went as far as I could go,” laments Conley. “As luck would have it, right around that same time is when my wife Amy found Minuteman Press.”
Garry recalls, “The training program really helped me because I understood how business works. The more that the trainers talked, the more I could draw similarities when it came to running a smooth production operation and providing excellent customer service. I didn’t need to know anything about creative design or the technical aspects of printing; I just needed to do what I knew I was born to do, which was to get out there, work hard, and build my business.”
One thing that really helps Garry Conley keep track of everything on a daily basis is FLEX, the proprietary software program that Minuteman Press has developed in-house to help owners manage their business. He says, “FLEX makes everything so much easier, from keeping track of marketing campaigns to daily workflow. There is not a program that is better for commercial printers in the U.S. that is better than FLEX. That is just one of the many benefits of being part of the Minuteman Press system.”
Garry concludes, “Anytime I need local support, Minuteman Press is here for me. I also love the mass purchasing power they have when it comes to the types of contracts I can get with our suppliers. It’s just great to be able to be part of a system that is designed to help owners like me succeed.”
Garth Sanders - Woodland Hills, CA - Co-Owner since 2011 - Amusement Park Industry
Garth Sanders: “I am co-owner of the business with my brother Craig Sanders. Prior to opening our Minuteman Press franchise, I worked as a part of my family’s business of 75 years in the coin operated amusement industry. Due to the many changes in that industry, the family felt it was time to call it quits. After a brief work hiatus, I began to look into different ideas on what I might be interested in pursuing. After examining many options, I met with Dan Byers, Minuteman Press International Regional Vice President for Southern California, and the rest is history.”
What was it about Minuteman Press?
Garth Sanders: “My research showed Minuteman to be a successful franchise. The print industry was something completely new for me, so it was important to have a successful model to follow. Thinking back, I believe that Minuteman Press being a business to business franchise, with Monday through Friday hours was one of the main factors in choosing Minuteman. As a husband and father of three, it was important for me to still be able to have time for them, as well as still being able to stick to my commitment as an active board member of my local Little League, and a member of our District Staff.
The local support staff, Dan Byers, Steve Szymanski and previously Jack Panzer, as well as the people back at corporate, have always been there to help without being too intrusive. Their interest in us as people, not just business owners is one of the best parts of being a Minuteman franchise owner.”
George Dormani - Rockville Centre, NY - Owner since 1999 - Automotive Mechanic
“From when we first started to today, Minuteman Press International has given us tremendous support. Their mass purchasing power allows them to negotiate vendor deals that give us an edge above the competition. The Minuteman Press home office and regional support staff in Long Island has knowledge of the industry that is unmatched. They are truly experts when it comes to technology, equipment, vendors, and how to provide the support we need to remain on top of our game. Also, the people that work for Minuteman Press International treat the franchise owners like royalty! Not only do they have our backs, but they show us they truly care about how we are doing.
One other really important thing is the Minuteman Press brand. Customers recognize us as a well-known and highly respected printing company, and you can’t beat that kind of highly regarded reputation. At the end of the day, the support I get from Minuteman is huge. The best feeling for me as part of the Minuteman Press franchise family is that if I run into a problem or situation, I can count on them to back me up and guide me through.”
George Sagadencky - Burbank, CA - Owner since 2014 - Owned a promotional products business
I owned a very successful promotional products business for 25 years, and I was always attracted to the short reorder cycle of print. At age 50, I found myself looking for a new path. The stability that Minuteman Press offered appealed to me, and I always thought that promotional products and print were the perfect blend. With Minuteman Press’ business-to-business model, I knew I could leverage my knowledge and expertise, and for me this was the perfect marriage.
Gerhard, Miemie & Daantjie Snyman - Hatfield, South Africa - Owners since 1996
Gerhard shares, “We opened our doors on 11 October 1996 after attending training on Long Island in August 1996. I realized that after nearly 20 years our success can still be attributed to what we learned in that training.”
Gerry & Maggie McQuillan - London, Ontario, Canada - Owners since 2014 - Automotive Manufacturing
“As my career continued to transition, franchising was something that we decided to look at more openly for the two of us. We found Minuteman Press International at one of the franchise shows we attended and liked that is was a business to business style opportunity. We also liked that Maggie and I could both learn and participate in the franchise, and that the business operated primarily during traditional Monday through Friday business hours.”
“We started a new Minuteman Press franchise. There is satisfaction that my work ethic is building something more tangible for my family versus the years spent in the factories. With Maggie and I as partners in this business, we have the chance to collaborate and treat our customers with a special touch that we know is something that sets us apart.”
“Being in the franchise allows us to call any well-known brand supplier, say we are with Minuteman Press, and we are instantly a wholesale distributor for that brand. Also, as customers ask us to fulfill new requests for expanded goods and services, our local field representative is a quick call away with positive direction.”
Gloria Jacaruso - Pompano Beach, FL - Owner since 2010 - Newspaper reporter/writer
Greg Anderson - Parker, CO & Castle Rock, CO - Owner since 2016 - Software Industry
Prior to franchising with Minuteman Press, Greg Anderson worked in the software industry for 25 years. He elaborates, “I started out on the technical side of the software business. I then transitioned to product management and product marketing, where I was heading up marketing for a software firm focused on small businesses around the world.”
With Greg’s previous career came all of the traveling, which made him weary of the road. Greg states, “Working with technology firms required a great deal of travel around the world. While most people think it is glamourous, you never really see much of the places you visited. So I decided I wanted a change that didn’t require travel but would allow me to use the information I had gained working close with and marketing to small and mid-sized business.”
Today, Greg uses the skills he learned in the technology sector and applies them to his Minuteman Press design, marketing, and printing business.
Why Minuteman Press? He answers, “During my career, I learned that processes and knowledge were the keys to success. When I looked at other franchisors, they didn’t have the same level of support that Minuteman Press International provides. I didn’t want to spend my time recreating the wheel, but rather focus on growing my business. Minuteman Press enables me to do that.”
Greg Duffey - Norwalk, CT - Co-Owner since 2003 - Printing Industry
Greg Duffey, co-owner of Minuteman Press in Norwalk, CT with Joe Brenneis, was enlightened by observing a friend who took advantage of a digital print, design and marketing franchise opportunity. This allowed Greg to have a first-hand opportunity for a Minuteman Press franchise review. Greg explains, “Back in 2003 when we were considering going into business for ourselves, we looked at a couple of independent shops. Because we were from the printing trade, we did ‘snub our noses’ upon franchise printers as being companies that were not ‘real’ printing companies. But having watched a friend of ours purchase a Minuteman Press franchise a year earlier, we thought we would give the franchise a look. 14 years later and we are happy to say that it was the best decision we could have made.”
Greg continues, “Operating a business on a day-to-day basis was where we found the franchise to be most helpful. Not only did Minuteman Press International have a first class management software package, they also had name recognition in the quick-print industry which was greatly beneficial.”
Hal Richardson - Montgomery, AL - Owner since 1985 - Textiles/Church Mission Work
“I was impressed with the Minuteman Press franchise organization itself. Printing fit my background, since I had managed production at West Point Pepperell. Even though I had never been in a print shop in my life, I knew I could do this with help from Minuteman Press.
We opened our store in November of 1985, in Montgomery, Alabama. Since that time, we have moved twice, including to our present location, which is 5,000 square feet. I feel fortunate to have had the Minuteman Press International home office working for me. They have, from day one to the present, offered their support. My advice: Go to conventions. Talk to other Minuteman Press owners. Join printing/networking associations. Ask for help … and follow Minuteman Press’ advice!”
Holly Kaplansky- Newark, NJ - Owner since 2005 - Corporate background with Fortune 500 companies
Holly worked for worked for a number of Fortune 500 companies in New York City. She was very dedicated to climbing the corporate ladder, which can be demanding at times. Holly was ok with those demands up to a certain point. That point came when she on vacation at the Jersey Shore, with her family, and she received a call from her boss, back in the city. He said he needed her back right away. She reminded him she was on vacation. He said he needed her now! She dropped everything, left her family at the shore and drove two hours back to the city. When she arrived at her office she found her boss had solved his own problem, had gone home for the day and didn’t have the courtesy to call her to let her know he didn’t need her after all. That was the last straw for her. The next weekend she attended a Franchise Show and that’s when we met Holly. She said when she saw our booth…it just clicked for her. She recognized that Minuteman Press was a B2B operation that offers services to all businesses, and that really appealed to her. She bought her franchise and went right to work promoting her business through community involvement and networking. She hasn’t been interrupted on a vacation since owning her own business.
James Beckwith - Swindon, England, United Kingdom - Owner since 2013 - Enterprise IT Industry
“I spent over 15 years in the Enterprise IT industry as the Technical Consultant on the Sales Team. We would sometimes spend 18 – 24 months working on multi-million £/$ deals. The deal would be signed on Friday, big celebrations over the weekend and back to work on Monday morning. Probably the most gratifying aspect of running a Minuteman Press is seeing the look on a customer’s face when you hand them their printing and it far exceeds what they were expecting. We get this response from business cards to wedding invitations.”
“We have had family members come to tears in our office when we hand them their Orders of Service for a loved one who has passed. Hannah even received flowers from a couple for whom she designed wedding stationery. Mark should weigh 300 lbs for all the boxes of chocolates he has received. Even Tegen, our golden retriever mascot, has received dog biscuits as a thank you!”
James concludes, “Everything we do is personalised to the customer we are working with. Printing 10 birthday party invites for your 6-year-old is just as important to us (and you) as the 100,000-run flyer order for a local estate agent.”
Jared Ostendorf - Fayetteville, NC - Owner since 2009 - Human Resources
I bought my Minuteman Press franchise when I was in my 20s. I absolutely love the business model and the expansion into promotional products. Networking comes naturally to me and Minuteman Press is a huge help when it comes to training and support. I also love the camaraderie that I have with other Minuteman Press owners, who are always willing to listen. From corporate to colleagues, we are all in this together, and I couldn’t ask for a better support system.
Jason Jacobus - Flemington, NJ - Owner since 2012 - Retail manager
I was working in the retail industry where I had to work long nights, weekends and holidays. With three small children, I really wanted to find an opportunity that would improve my quality of life and enable me to spend more time with my wife and children. Because of the business-to-business model that allows for regular working hours, Minuteman Press allows me to be both an entrepreneur and a father who is there for his family. I am now home for dinner every night, attend all school functions, and I really enjoy coaching my kids’ sports teams.
Jeff and Diana Merritt - Salisbury, MD - Owners since 2010 - Civilian Contractor
For Jeff and Diana Merritt, giving back to the community is just as important as running their business. Owning their Minuteman Press franchise has helped the Merritt family give back to active duty military members and Veterans through Operation We Care, their 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Diana and Jeff do such amazing work that on Feb. 8, 2016, the Hon. Jacob R. Day, Mayor of the City of Salisbury, proclaimed February 8th, 2016 as “Operation We Care Day”
Jeff and Diana help coordinate the year-round efforts of local citizens, businesses, and civic organizations as care package items are collected, sorted, packed, and then sent to Delmarva Troops. In addition, Operation We Care partners with sixteen local schools so students are able to participate in this wonderful cause and give thanks to the troops.
In addition to sending packages to service members, Operation We Care works with the Wounded Warrior Project, and helps Veterans with various issues; including mobility issues through the building of ramps, finding temporary homes for pets when re-deployed, meeting returning Vets at the airport, and “virtually anything else we can do to help,” noted Jeff Merritt.
“We salute Diana and Jeff Merritt for their efforts, while thanking those whom they serve through Operation We Care for their service,” exclaimed Bob Heimbuch, Minuteman Press International Regional Vice President for Maryland/DC/Virginia.
Jeff Sirota - Carlsbad, CA - Owner since 2015 - Newspaper Industry
Jeff Sirota says, “I think some of my newspaper experience transferred over very well into my experience as a Minuteman Press franchise owner. I still have that same mentality that was so necessary in the newspaper industry and ask the same question each day: ‘How can I sell more product today?’ I brought that ‘newspaper drive’ into the Minuteman Press franchise so I could build the business.” Jeff adds, “I am a good listener. Learning from those experienced in the business to business services industry and listening to my customers allows me to give them what they want.”
Jeff Wereley & Karen McArthur - Guelph, Ontario - Owners since 2016 - Printing / Farming/Auto Parts
While Jeff Wereley had print production experience, Karen McArthur came into this business with a very different background. Jeff explains, “Prior to us owning this business, I ran the production for a medium size printing company and Karen worked at an auto parts distributor. I had worked for a few different printing companies over the last 20 years mostly running the production but I wanted to try it on my own. Karen comes from a farming background and fell in love with the Minuteman Press program after she attended the training with me. She came back, quit her job, and started working at the store.”
Asked why he and Karen chose to own the Minuteman Press franchise in Guelph, Jeff answers, “When we started talking to Minuteman Press International Regional Vice President Kevin Wittal about this franchise, he held nothing back and was completely honest and the other owners I met with had nothing but good things to say about the company. The other thing was unlike most franchises, the royalty structure is fair and we were allowed to use our own suppliers. We were not tied down to buying everything from a head office but we still had the buying power and savings that Minuteman Press International provided.”
Jeff continues, “Another important reason we liked and chose Minuteman Press was the fact that they have a comprehensive business management software program called FLEX that helps us with everything from daily quoting and production, which makes it very easy for us to manage our franchise business operations on a day to day basis.”
Jim Little - Burlington, WI - Owner since 2004 - Truck Driver
James RL Little, III – better known to his friends and colleagues as Jim – grew up at a time and in a town “where a handshake meant something.” While working as a truck driver, Jim was looking to own his own business and it was important for him to find a business and a community that would simply let Jim be Jim. He wasn’t going to change his core values and, as Jim says, “I wasn’t a fan of big cities or the ‘corporate’ world.” He found what he was looking for in the form of his Minuteman Press franchise in Burlington, Wisconsin, which gave Jim the opportunity to run a business on his own terms while still following a tried and proven system.
Jim says, “I chose to look into a business of my own because I wanted to be my own boss. I had two Minuteman Press franchise owners both recommend Minuteman Press, and I really found their franchise model and business plan to be attractive.”
Jim adds, “I really appreciate the fact that there is ongoing training for myself and for my employees from Minuteman Press International. This training along with the advice of the local staff and their wisdom in helping direct me through the process of growing the shop is invaluable.”
Joe McLaughlin - East Kilbride, Scotland, United Kingdom - Owner since 2007 - Textiles / Manufacturing
From Textile Worker to Printing Franchise Owner: Meet Joe McLaughlin
EAST KILBRIDE, Scotland, United Kingdom — For nearly 9 years, Joe McLaughlin and his wife Florina have owned and operated their Minuteman Press design, marketing and printing franchise in East Kilbride, Scotland. After spending 7 years working abroad on the supply chain management side of the textile manufacturing industry, it was time for Joe to return home. Joe knew that he wanted to start his own business, and it was just a matter of finding the right opportunity. Here is how he found it with Minuteman Press, and why it was the perfect fit for Joe and his family.
From Textiles to Printing – The Fabric of Joe McLaughlin’s Professional Life
Joe McLaughlin’s career was built on supply chain management and quality control. During his 7 years abroad, Joe would travel to Sri Lanka, Turkey, Bulgaria, and Romania. Joe was tasked with supplying the Marks and Spencer and Next clothing stores, making sure that all of the materials that make the clothes were properly utilized. This required a high attention to detail and design, as well as proper organization and material planning.
“I enjoyed my time in the textiles industry,” says Joe. He adds, “But it was time to return home.”
Tired of traveling, Joe decided to start researching business opportunities back home in Scotland. When his son attended a franchise expo in Glasgow, Minuteman Press was one of several franchises that Joe decided to research. The similarities between textile manufacturing and design / printing is what drew Joe to Minuteman Press, particularly the common threads of creativity and material planning. What kept his attention was Minuteman Press’ detailed and organized approach to business.
Joe explains, “My business experience abroad had much more responsibility than any job I had previously had in the United Kingdom. This depth of experience helped me make the jump to running my own business. When I met with Minuteman Press International Vice President George Holzmacher, I appreciated the no nonsense ‘can do’ approach of Minuteman Press. Their business model combined with visiting existing Minuteman Press centers and speaking with current owners is what really sealed the deal for me.”
Joe McLaughlin first opened the doors to his Minuteman Press franchise in the Kelvin Industrial Estate of East Kilbride, Scotland in 2007. Year over year, Joe has continually grown his business. In January 2015, he won his first Top Overall Performance award from Minuteman Press International for the United Kingdom North region. Joe’s Minuteman Press franchise was then a repeat winner of the same award in January 2016, an accomplishment that he was delighted to earn for two consecutive years.
“The awards are a measure and confirmation of our success and a reminder of how much progress we have made during these years,” reflects Joe. He adds, “The proprietary management software that Minuteman Press International provides to owners makes my ability to manage my business so much easier than if I didn’t have it. Together with the contacts and support of the Minuteman Press franchise system as a whole, it makes us stronger and better than competitors of a similar size and structure. We are able to offer a huge variety of products and services, making us THE one-stop solution for our customers.”
“Joe McLaughlin saw the benefits of franchising with us 9 years ago and he has been an exemplary business owner in East Kilbride who cares about his customers and his community,” notes David Watson, Minuteman Press International Area Manager for the UK North Region. He continues, “We are proud to have helped him transition to entrepreneurship thanks to the training and support we provide, and even prouder of how hard he’s worked to build his business.”
Joe very much attributes much of his success to his wife Florina and his graphic designer Samantha. They all work together fantastically as a team and this is reflected in their ongoing success. More than just print, their Minuteman Press franchise is also heavily involved in marketing and branding as they provide mailing solutions and promotional products to their clients. Joe is looking to continue the trend of growth and has set his sights on a third consecutive Top Overall Performance award in 2017.
Common Thread of Entrepreneurship
Every journey to entrepreneurship is unique, and Joe McLaughlin’s story is no exception. There is a common thread, however, for those who make the leap from professional careers to business ownership: The desire to be a part of something that is completely their own and yet is also bigger than themselves.
Joe McLaughlin knew he was ready to leave the textiles industry behind, strike out on his own and go into business for himself. He also knew that he couldn’t do it alone, and the ongoing support provided by Minuteman Press afforded him the best of both worlds. Joe states, “They helped me return home to East Kilbride and do things my way, and without them, I couldn’t have done it at all.”
Joe McLaughlin’s Minuteman Press franchise is located at 11 Colvilles Park, Kelvin Industrial Estate, East Kilbride G75 0GZ, Scotland.
Jon Wittenberg - Sandy Springs, GA - Owner since 2012 - Financial Industry
Prior to franchising with Minuteman Press, Jon Wittenberg worked in the financial industry. He says, “My background was corporate finance followed by self-employment as an accountant and tax preparer.” As for why he chose to join the Minuteman Press franchise system, Jon explains, “I chose Minuteman Press due to its proven business model and established store support infrastructure.”
Juanita Glenn - Upper Marlboro, MD - Owner since 2016 - Web Development & Graphic Design
When her job in web development and graphic design was downsized, Juanita Glenn decided she wanted to be her own boss. After doing her due diligence, Juanita opened a new Minuteman Press franchise in Upper Marlboro, MD, which offers essential printing, marketing, and branding solutions that meet the needs of today’s business professionals.
“I felt that after 27 years of service at my previous job, it was time for me to change careers. After praying and seeking advice, I took a leap of faith and left my job. Once I completed graduate school in 2016 with a degree in management, I felt ready to hone in on what I had learned from school and the skills I had obtained over the years. I wanted to be my own boss and I knew Minuteman Press was the right franchise for what I wanted to do. I was comforted in knowing that Minuteman Press had been around for over 40 years and the company was well-established with a great business model and structure.”
“There are several things that impress me about Minuteman Press, but the one thing that I am most intrigued about is the support from their corporate headquarters in New York. During my training in New York, Mike Jutt, Minuteman Press International Executive VP and Director of Training, was very helpful in making sure that I received the equipment needed for my new shop. I hit an expected bump in the road and Mike Jutt stepped in to help the process move forward.”
As for the local support she has received back home in Upper Marlboro, Juanita Glenn could not be happier. She explains, “Bob Heimbuch, Regional VP for Minuteman Press International and Eric Shank, Field Representative, have been so helpful in making sure my Minuteman Press store was up and running as well as keeping me on track with the setup and marketing. Bob made sure he found the location I was looking for to start my Minuteman Press franchise. He was instrumental in keeping me abreast of the things necessary to help with the operation of the store. Afterwards, my field rep Eric Shank was able set up the store, organize it, establish accounts with the vendors and assist me constantly with marketing the business. I am totally grateful for their help because I would not have known what to do if I was out there alone.”
Satisfaction from Running the Business
When asked about the most rewarding thing about being her own boss and running the business, two words stick out to Juanita Glenn: Satisfaction and teamwork. She comments, “What I get the most satisfaction from is being able to interact with all types of people. I am very people-oriented and it gives me great pleasure to meet people from all types of background.”
Juanita elaborates, “Furthermore, I’ve always wanted to have a family-friendly environment where employees would love to come to work. My employees are very loyal to the business and I consider them as my team. I don’t throw my weight around because I’m the boss and I let them know that we are a team, but every team has a leader. We make sure that we all help each other out as much as possible in order to keep work flowing in an expeditious manner. One of the things that I am proudest of from my team is that we exude professionalism and it is evident when people tell us that from the way we answer the phone to how we treat them when they come into the store. I have always felt that a business should be run by treating people with respect and professionalism and that is what makes me most proud of the team that I have working with me.”
Advice for Others
When asked about what advice she would have for other aspiring business owners, Juanita answers, “My advice to anyone who is looking to own a franchise is that Minuteman Press is an A-1 company. It’s no wonder they are rated the #1 Marketing and Printing Franchise within the industry by Entrepreneur several times over.”
Juanita thoughtfully concludes, “Being your own boss is so rewarding in so many ways because you have the freedom to do what you love and be creative. The cost to start up the company is nothing compared to the support that you get from headquarters and locally. I am so thankful and blessed to be a franchise owner with Minuteman Press.”
Jude Arijaje - Philadelphia, PA - Owner Since 2008 - Real Estate Agent / Broker
Jude Arijaje is an opportunist, an entrepreneur, and an inspiration. In 2000, Arijaje came from Nigeria to Philadelphia and was determined to become a success story both in life and business. After working as a parking lot attendant and leveraging the relationships he formed with others in his community, Arijaje went into business as an independent real estate broker. As a real estate agent, Arijaje would spend thousands of dollars per year on printing a wide variety of promotional materials such as signs, flyers, banners and countless other items. This is when he saw another business opportunity come to light in the form of the Minuteman Press franchise, and in 2008 Jude Arijaje began a new chapter in his entrepreneurial career by opening his Minuteman Press business on South Broad Street in the heart of Philadelphia.
Jude shares, “There’s really nothing called luck in this business. It’s a combination of everything including following the Minuteman Press program and getting out there. It includes relentless networking, shaking hands and putting our small business on the map.”
He continues, “There are no two ways about it – The Minuteman Press franchise program works. The best thing I did was follow the system and not try to reinvent the wheel. When I first started out, I pounded the pavement and met with every single business owner around to start building those relationships. What has happened now is that I have built a business with a loyal following that keeps growing thanks to following the Minuteman Press program. I apply those same practices I learned in training today. And when it comes to support, my Regional Vice President Richard Hornberger is always there for me whenever I need anything. It’s amazing that Minuteman Press puts these pieces in place for that kind of local help right in my center.”
Kathy Martin - Alpharetta, GA & Cumming, GA - Owner Since 2015 - Information Technology
Kathy Martin first joined the Minuteman Press family of design, marketing, and printing franchise owners in November 2015, when she decided to buy her business in Alpharetta. Before franchising, Kathy spent 23 years working in Information Technology for one of the largest retailers in the world. “I now bring this large scale knowledge of branding to our client bases in Alpharetta and Cumming,” she says.
Each Minuteman Press franchise provides essential products and services that meet the needs of today’s business professionals. Kathy explains, “We offer full service printing, marketing design, promotional products, car wraps, window vinyl and direct mailing services. We strive to be the one-stop solution for our clients. If there is something we do not do in-house, we have forged partnerships with local companies to assist our clients with that service. No job is too large or too small.”
Why Minuteman Press?
With a multitude of franchise opportunities available to her, Kathy Martin chose Minuteman Press because their business model simply was the right fit for her. Kathy says, “After speaking with Minuteman Press International at the Franchise Expo in Atlanta, it was a no-brainer that this was the franchise for me. Every single business owner out there, whether home-based or a large corporation, needs printing of some form. I also love the multiple streams of income under one roof. We aren’t just printing on paper, and we can offer anything that you can put your logo on.”
The Minuteman Press franchise also helped Kathy make an easy transition from her corporate career in Information Technology to business ownership. The training and ongoing local support she receives from Minuteman Press International has been crucial to her success. Kathy elaborates, “When I started in this business, I had no idea what printing was all about. My background was building and implementing IT systems. The local support was invaluable for assisting in training and guiding me through the entire process. I now feel I am very well versed in a short amount of time.”
Most Rewarding Thing and Giving Back in Georgia
When asked about the most rewarding thing about running her business, Kathy doesn’t hesitate to answer. She says, “I love helping my fellow business owners, whether I am helping them with a marketing plan or assisting them with creating their brand through marketing materials. In my corporate career, I was limited by what the company wanted. I didn’t have the freedoms that I now have.”
Kathy also prides herself on getting involved and giving back to the local communities in both Alpharetta and Cumming. She gives back through sponsorships and supporting other local businesses. Kathy explains, “We sponsor the Relay for Life races in our area. We sponsor our local schools and churches by offering them a 10% off programs. Plus anyone they send our way, we set aside 10% of their purchases for the school or church to use at their discretion. I’m passionate about supporting our local community. I live here, both of my shops are in the same county. There is something to be said about staying local and supporting your community.”
She adds, “I am also part of the Chamber of Commerce in Alpharetta and Cumming. As well, I am involved in quite a few women’s organizations. Women business owners definitely support one another.”
Typical Day and Business Goals
Owning two Minuteman Press locations means that there is no such thing as a typical day for Kathy Martin. Like most new business owners who are looking to grow, marketing and networking are vital to building the business. Kathy agrees, saying, “I try to do some form of marketing daily, whether that is attending a networking event, meeting one-on-one with another local business owner over lunch or coffee, or door-to-door marketing in my community. After that, I’m in the store, rolling up my sleeves helping out.”
The end game, of course, is continuing to grow, and Kathy is really determined to build on her early success. She says, “My goal is to really focus on my local community. I want every business in my community to be using me for their printing services. And, if they are not, I want to know why! I want to grow the business in both centers, and I have both immediate goals and stretch goals in mind for where I want to be. I want us to stretch ourselves as a team and see what we can do.”
Advice for Others
Kathy’s advice to others who are thinking about owning their own business is this: “If you do not market, folks will not use your services. Some folks do not realize what services we offer and also how economically priced we are until we show them. Also, get great staff! We owners should not be spending our time in the stores. We should only be in the store to help out, not to do the production work.”
Keith & Paula Boyce - Kings Lynn, England, United Kingdom - Owners Since 2004 - Print Production
Kings Lynn is a small historic town in England with a population of 50,000. It is also home to Keith and Paula Boyce’s Minuteman Press franchise, a business services provider that offers digital print, design and marketing services while providing excellent quality and service. “We opened our center in December 2004 after attending Minuteman Press training school in October. The business is owned by me and my wife Paula. Today, we employ five people and our team is a mixture of graduates and time served apprentices.”
Why own a Minuteman Press franchise?
Keith Boyce worked in the print industry on the production side. As production director for a commercial lithographic and digital printing company, Keith knew about the industry but did not know how to go about running his own business. “In 2004, I was seeking a new challenge,” says Boyce. “Both Paula and I wanted to pursue the challenge of running our own business. We felt that a franchise business would be good for us as we both had little experience with direct selling or marketing.”
As they came to the decision to franchise, Keith decided to stick with an industry he was familiar with. He and Paula came across Minuteman Press at a local franchise exhibition. Keith recalls, “The Minuteman team gave some compelling reasons to select Minuteman over other UK print franchises. The primary reason for selection was the ability of Minuteman Press to fast track us into a market place that we both knew little about. I understood the manufacturing process, but not the market place dynamics.”
With Minuteman Press, Keith and Paula were able to find that combination of support and flexibility that they were looking for: “Support was important to us early on but not the key reason. We needed to own a business that we could make our own, that comfort of knowing help was available if we needed it but also a partner that would allow us to make the business what we wanted it to be.”
Flash forward to today, and Keith and Paula still see the benefits of franchising. “It’s probably now less about direct support and more about sharing best practice, ideas and improvements that quite probably would get neglected if we were not supported by Minuteman Press International. The fact that key suppliers are more accountable because of global relationships that Minuteman Press International has with them, that’s huge.”
Ken Barton - Dublin, Ohio - Owner Since 2016 - Accountant / CPA
Ken Barton worked as a CPA in Ohio for 30 years. This is how he made the transition to business ownership…
DUBLIN, Ohio – Ask any franchise owner about their first year in business and they will tell you just how vital it is to make their presence felt in the community while also being supported by the franchisor. For Ken Barton, franchising with Minuteman Press made sense because he knew that he would joining the world’s largest and #1 rated design, print, and marketing franchise, where he would receive the type of training and support he wanted in a brand new field.
Ken Barton was eager to share his experiences as a business owner in Dublin, Ohio who truly cares about the people and community he serves, as well as his insights as to why Minuteman Press was the right fit. This is his Minuteman Press franchise review:
7 Questions with Ken Barton – Dublin, Ohio
1. What was your background before franchising with Minuteman Press?
“I purchased this Minuteman Press location in January 2016. Prior to that, I served privately owned businesses as a CPA with 3 different Central Ohio CPA firms over a 30-year career. As an owner of two of those firms, I experienced business ownership not only through my experiences dealing with the issues of a CPA firm, but also through my role as an advisor to the clients I worked with.”
2. Why did you choose to franchise with Minuteman Press?
“When I decided that I was ready for something new, I was fortunate to meet Gary Nowak (Minuteman Press International Regional Vice President for the Ohio region) who shared with me that a successful Minuteman Press franchise owner is one who enjoys being out with customers and prospects. The role of consulting with customers and helping them market their products and services is one I enjoy. I also like the business to business aspect of Minuteman Press, which lends itself to having normal business hours Monday through Friday.”
3. How would you compare your experience as a Minuteman Press franchise owner to your previous career/industry/life?
“I try every day to empower the people that I work with to take care of our customers, to make the decisions that they would like a business to make if they were the customer, and to do the right thing.”
4. How has the ongoing local support you’ve received from Minuteman Press helped you along the way?
“I have learned that there are lots of people in the Minuteman Press organization out there willing to help. My local field representative Rich DeRosa has been invaluable in helping to train me to be an effective marketer. He helped me learn to ask the right questions to ask and how to identify prospect motivations and pain points. In our second week of ownership, we also had another field representative from MMP named Eric Shank come here to help us with onsite setup of the business. Eric’s knowledge of Minuteman Press’ proprietary FLEX software and the printing industry was very helpful to me and our entire staff.
A couple of months ago, I sat down with successful Minuteman Press franchisees and pick their brains about how they built such successful locations. Mike Geygan in Lebanon, OH and Steve Heaney in Toledo, OH each spent a morning answering my questions and sharing with me what they believe made them so successful. That type of camaraderie across the board is refreshing and appreciated.”
5. What is a typical day like for you as a Minuteman Press owner?
“My day typically consists primarily of delivering products to customers (which gives me a great opportunity to learn about their businesses and figure out ways we can help them grow) as well as meeting with prospects and customers to listen to what they want in a printer (and marketer).”
6. What is one inspirational quote that has helped you along the way either in life or in business?
“There is a Winston Churchill quote that I think applies well to business owners: ‘Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.’”
7. What are one or two pieces of advice you would give to potential franchise owners?
“Advice I would give to potential franchise owners: Surround yourself with people (employees, vendors, advisors) who are smarter than you and give them the freedom to do what they are good at.
And of course, enjoy what you do! No one wants to see a grumpy person walk through the door.”
Ken Barton’s Minuteman Press franchise is located at 5887 Karric Square Drive, Dublin, OH 43016.
Ken Koch - Centennial, CO - Owner since 2002 - Telecom/Tech Industry, Sales & Consulting
Before franchising with Minuteman Press, Ken Koch spent 17 years working in the fields of telecommunications, Hi-Tech, consulting and sales management. “I always had that entrepreneurial bug,” says Ken. He continues, “When I was laid off from my job at Nortel along with 70,000 other people who were downsized, it was the catalyst for me to start my own business. When things are going well, you settle into what’s working. After that, I knew I wanted to be my own boss.”
Why Minuteman Press?
After Ken realized he wanted to start his own business, he did his due diligence and looked at everything from new business opportunities, established businesses for sale, and franchises. He ultimately decided to start up a new Minuteman Press franchise. Ken explains, “My background was business to business and Minuteman Press fit better than consumer-based businesses. Also, with all of the research I did including other print and business service franchise models, I liked the fact that Minuteman Press provided support but also allowed me the freedom to run the business the way I wanted.”
Kevin & Ruth Ann DiLauri - Orlando, FL - Owner since 2000 - Corporate manager
Kimberly Sherman-Leon - Johnston, RI - Owner since 2016 - Graphic Designer
Kimberly Sherman-Leon is a dedicated entrepreneur, wife, and mother of three children ages 17, 13 and 4. She previously worked at the Minuteman Press franchise in Johnston, RI as a graphic designer before venturing out to start a design business of her own. When Linda and Dave Buttery were ready to retire after 17 years in business, Kimberly jumped at the opportunity to take over a business that she put her heart into and truly loved. “I worked at Minuteman Press in Johnston as a Senior Designer and Store Production Manager for 5 years and it was one of the best work experiences I ever had,” says Kimberly.
After buying the business, Kimberly attended Minuteman Press International’s two-week training program at their world headquarters in Farmingdale, NY. She also receives ongoing local support from the company right here in Johnston, RI. Says Kimberly, “During training, I really enjoyed being in a room with like-minded business people and being surrounded by print! It felt like where I belonged and enjoyed learning all of the business materials needed. It was very motivating. I also get tremendous support from Ron Rubin, Minuteman Press International’s New England Regional Vice President as well as the field rep in our area.”
Les Forrai - Manhasset, NY - Owner since 1996 - Retail Store Manager/Owner / Limousine Business
Before purchasing a Minuteman franchise in 1996, Les Forrai spent sixteen years as a part-owner in a cooperative limousine business. He also owned a card and gift shop, and originally was a manager in a retail chain store. “I previously had a business where I did not succeed, and so had certain criteria that had to be met before I was willing to risk another large investment in a new business,” says Les. He adds, “I wanted to purchase a franchise so that I would have help available when things were not going well. I also knew that the success rate for franchises was much higher than for personal startups. The formula I used to evaluate the new opportunity was whether I could pay myself back for the down payment, pay back the loan for the new business and still make enough to live on during the time of repayment.”
With Minuteman Press, Les always felt like he was in good hands, which remains true today. He says, “Minuteman Press International has always been there for us in many ways. Things have changed dramatically in the twenty years that we have been in business, and the help to transition the business into the future has been invaluable. The web presence, marketing programs, business management software and advice has been something that would have been very difficult to accomplish on our own. The local Long Island field reps have always been available to help us with training our staff, finding information on new products, vendors and services and general business advice. Most of all, the conventions and regional meeting has always worked to bring in new business ideas and to revitalize our interest in growing our business.”
Michael Forrai Joins the Family Business
Michael Forrai studied business in college, and began working in the business while still at school. He credits his father Les for being a great mentor and business partner: “Working with my father has been a tremendous experience. We are extremely close, and have been able to separate the trials and stress of work from our personal relationship. I started working with him shortly after he purchased the franchise, and while I ‘grew up’ in this business, in many ways we worked closely and grew together with it.”
Today, Les and Michael Forrai own and operate three Minuteman Press franchises in Long Island: Manhasset, Valley Stream (since 2008), and Island Park (since 2014). One reason Michael and Les work well together is because they share the same desire to provide the best customer service for their clients. Their differences also complement each other well, as Michael notes, “We see eye to eye in our customer focused approach, but our innate differences have also benefited our business. My father is the visionary, always looking for the next opportunity, product or service that will help us grow. I’ve been the pragmatist, and together we’ve balanced each other extremely well.”
Linsey Wyman - Malden, MA - Owner since 2007 - Second-generation owner
Lyn & Charlie Church - Glenside, PA - Owners since 2016 - Sales
Lyn and Charlie Church: “After becoming empty nesters, Charlie left a long-term sales job that had him on the road covering 17 states. We wanted to spend more time together, so he looked for jobs closer to home. When he didn’t find anything interesting, he suggested attending a franchise show in Philadelphia. That’s where we saw Minuteman Press. We were familiar with the brand and we were impressed by the professionalism of the personnel we met. Lyn admits the Monday – Friday store hours appealed to her. We were ready to take on a new challenge, but we wanted a comfortable work/life balance. After visiting a few local stores and talking to their owners, we were impressed with the solid system Minuteman Press has in place to guide owners. We like that Minuteman Press International is still family owned and it seemed like there was a lot of support for owners on the local level.”
Lynne & John Regas - Frankfort, IL - Owners since 2016 - Corporate Purchasing / Procurement
After looking for something more fulfilling than their corporate jobs, John and Lynne Regas are proud to own their Minuteman Press franchise in Frankfort, Illinois. Minuteman Press in Frankfort has differentiated themselves from their competition for one simple yet often overlooked reason: “We care,” says Lynne. She elaborates, “Yes, we are a full-service printing, marketing, and design company. We also have a full line of promotional items available. But we’re so much more than that, and if we’ve learned anything over the past year it’s that we are a business built around developing relationships and providing the best customer service possible. Whether we are producing something as simple as a business card or something as personal as a wedding invitation, we want the item to be a reflection of the customer but also to reflect well on us. We pride ourselves in giving each customer something that will help set them apart, and know by doing this that it will in turn set us apart.”
Why own a business?
For John and Lynne Regas, owning a business was always on their radar. “John and I had both been employed by large corporations in purchasing/procurement positions,” says Lynne. She adds, “We were both discouraged with corporate America and it seemed to us like we were working as hard as we always had with little to no reward for our efforts.”
Despite their aspirations to become entrepreneurs, there was still some hesitation on John and Lynne’s part. Lynne explains, “We’d talked about opening our own business for years, but it took life throwing us a curveball – John being laid off after 29 years, to give us the push we needed. It was at this point we began looking at franchising opportunities, and once we found out about and met with the Minuteman Press team, we knew it was the right fit for us.”
Lynne continues, “After 25-30 years we had become stuck in a rut – we both had good jobs that allowed us to live a comfortable life, but neither of us was really fulfilled; it was more like a job than a career. We just got through each day, looked forward to the weekend, and would start all over again on Monday morning. There was no challenge, and we no longer felt like working hard would result in any kind of growth, so we just went through the motions. Once we were forced to make a decision – either continue on in a corporate job or make the change and open our own business – the decision was a no-brainer. We wouldn’t say it has always been easy, but it’s never been boring, and we’re learning and growing every day. We are taking pride in our jobs again, and that feels really good.”
Magda Barnard - Nelspruit, South Africa - Owner since 1998 - Mom & Entrepreneur
“I have been in a Minuteman Press franchise for nearly 19 years. We had 3 boys (aging 9, 7 and 2 years) when we started the business in 1998 and I was pregnant with our fourth son. I can honestly say that being a woman in this family franchise allowed me to make a difference in ensuring that we could grow the business successfully and ultimately be part of the Minuteman Press International President’s Club for top performers. Minuteman Press has offered me the opportunity to reach our dreams for our business, knowing that my role as a woman has been a cornerstone in this business.”
Maria Medina - Fort Lauderdale, FL - Owner since 2014 - University Career
Meet Maria Medina, Minuteman Press Franchise Owner, Fort Lauderdale, FL
What is Minuteman Press? “We are a full service print, marketing and design company offering everything the customer needs in order to help promote and grow their business. We offer in-house design services and we can also print using customer’s own designs. We can print anything, such as: Business Cards, Brochures, Banners, Apparel, Signs, Promotional Products, Mailers and much more. We are part of the Minuteman Press franchise system.
Our services are adaptable and can cater to companies that have as few as one employee to large corporations with 1,000+ employees. Our target audience are professionals that are looking to promote their brand and portray a professional look through their marketing materials. This includes matching letterhead and envelopes that they use on a daily basis to communicate with their clients. Anything that they hand out or use on a daily basis can be produced by us to help sustain their brand’s image.”
What does being a business owner mean to you and why did you decide to become an entrepreneur? “Having worked for a private University in the UK for 8 years, I found myself in a position where I did not feel challenged. Becoming a business owner meant that I could have a direct impact on the company’s performance by setting goals and directing resources accordingly. Being the owner of a small business also means that I am able to work on the company’s brand by becoming a part of its image through networking and marketing. I have learned, and am still learning, skills which I don’t think I would have if I hadn’t become a business owner.”
What is your best business achievement to date? “We have just been awarded with the Small Business Award of the year by the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce. We were a nominee last year, and to win this time around means we are further than we thought we would be with our brand being recognized all around Fort Lauderdale.”
What are one or two pieces of advice you have for others? “Be prepared to make at least one mistake a day. And learn from it. This is something my wife has to remind me of every day! Being a business owner is hard work, and you can’t be expected to know everything. There will be days when you have to make tough decisions and these may not always be the right decisions. It is important to acknowledge your mistakes and learn from them, so that you can grow as an individual and succeed in your endeavors.
What is one thing every business owner should do to build their business? “Networking! If you want to grow your brand, networking will be a big part of it. There is no better way to reach local, like-minded individuals than by going to local groups and meeting them face-to-face.”
What is one important thing you have learned as a small business owner? “As it has only been 2 years since I became a business owner, I am still learning! One thing I would like to share is that anyone looking to be a business owner should be prepared to be challenged every day. If you are looking to start your own business I would recommend looking into something that you know is going to interest you and that you already enjoy doing. Every day is made a little bit easier if you actually enjoy what you’re doing.”
Maria Medina’s Minuteman Press franchise is located at 1416 NE 4th Avenue in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Marie & Scott Doherty - Lutterworth, UK - Owners since 2009 - Sales/Administration
Marie Doherty owns Minuteman Press in Lutterworth, UK, along with her husband, Scott, and she wouldn’t trade the freedom and flexibility that franchise ownership affords her to work for someone else again. The period after her grand opening found her at the helm of the business with her husband joining her after transitioning from his former job.
Marie says, “My husband and I co-own our Minuteman Press franchise. After we decided we wanted to own our own business, we went to a franchise show back in 2009, where we saw George Holzmacher (Minuteman Press International Vice President International Development) to discuss our options. At the beginning, in order to be able to make a go of the franchise, I had to step up and run it to start, so we had Scott’s income for the household bills. I have always been in sales/administration before and was working part time as we had an 8 year old daughter, so it turned out to be easier for me to go full time as a Minuteman Press owner. Once we had got established, Scott joined me in the business.”
Today, Marie is gratified to be an invaluable partner to her many clients and the go-to digital print, design and marketing specialist for her community. She acknowledges the hard work it takes to take an entrepreneurial venture and make it grow to the point of reaping rewards, but the flexibility it awards her as a professional and family woman is something she would not be willing to trade for corporate employment.
She adds, “I love working for myself. It is very hard work but also very rewarding, I really enjoy being able to help customers and clients with all of the marketing requirements. I can’t imagine going back to working for somebody else now, it’s definitely not the same as a 9 to 5 job were you go in, do you work and come home and not think about work again until the next day, but you don’t have anybody to answer to either (other than your other half). It does give you more freedom if the kids are sick. If that happens, I can work from home; also, if the kids have activities, I can pop out of work to see them. Although I am quite disciplined, I do have to make sure that everything gets done before I leave or else I finish stuff at home.”
Mark & Darrie Daniels - Tyler, TX - Owners since 2016 - Accounts Receivable/Payable & Printing
Prior to franchising with Minuteman Press, Darrie Daniels worked as Accounts Receivable/Payable for four companies and also conducted materials testing for the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) in their asphalt laboratory. She also did International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) reporting for 30 trucks at two trucking companies. Meanwhile, Mark Daniels had previous printing experience with RR Donnelley and also ran an independent printing business in Nacogdoches, Texas.
“We decided to franchise because when I previously owned a print shop, it was extremely difficult to do the research and even everyday things like pricing on my own, and I had zero help,” says Mark. He adds, “What sold me on Minuteman Press were three things: 1. Their proprietary pricing and management software is incredible, and nothing comes close to it; 2. The support I receive from the corporate office and local field reps means I don’t have to do this alone anymore and experienced people have my back; and 3. The fact that the support I get includes people coming into my store and actually being here on site is really huge for me and the business.”
Mark Calis - Washington, DC - Owner since 1986 - Second-Generation Owner
“We were looking to work in our own business, but did not know where to start. We ended up going to a franchise show where we met the folks at Minuteman Press International. They had the most impressive presentation, the best training program, and the most comprehensive support we saw for an affordable franchise. So, we went in that direction and boom – 31 years later, here we are!” READ MORE…
Marty Fanucchi - Clovis, CA - Owner since 1998 - Dairy plant manager
Marty was a dairy plant manager prior to owning his Minuteman Press center. Marty chose Minuteman Press for several reasons: 1. It is a business where he is actually producing a product and providing services that businesses need; 2. It is not labor intensive; 3. The hours of operation are attractive being that it is Monday through Friday business hours; and 4. He was seeking to leave the food industry behind and wanted an opportunity that would provide the tools he would need to do that with no prior industry experience needed.
Michael & Lindsey Weber - Enfield, CT & Springfield, MA - Owners since 2004 - Second-generation - IT & department store buyer
Michael Levy - Levittown, NY - Owner since 2013 - Small Business Owner & Consulting
Michael Levy has owned Minuteman Press in Levittown since November 2013. Prior to franchising with Minuteman Press, he owned other small businesses and did business consulting. Michael took over the established business from retiring owners Steve Haller and Charlie Kick, who ran the business for 35 years. Michael has expanded his products and services for clients with a broader range of promotional items, signs, and in-house large format printing. Michael has been married to his wife Gwen for 28 years and has three children Melanie, Ryan, and Allison.
“Having a recognizable business name makes all of the difference in the world,” says Michael. He adds, “When I go out marketing I very often wonder how I would perform if I was the owner of ‘Michael Levy’s Print Shop’ versus being able to walk into a potential new customer and say, ‘Hi, I am Michael, from Minuteman Press.’ The name says it all and they know why I am there and they know that I am a reputable business that is established in the community.”
Mike & Julie Arndt - Plant City & Brandon, FL - Owners since 2004 - Corporate GM and teacher
Mike Maddalena - Petaluma, CA - Owner ince 1993 - Dairy equipment industry
Mike came from the dairy equipment industry. He was left without a job when the business he worked for was sold, and so Mike decided to go into business for himself and become an entrepreneur. Mike bought his franchise in July 1993, and he chose Minuteman Press because of the cap on the royalties and the ongoing local support he receives from Minuteman.
Mits Arayama - Dana Point, CA - Owner since 2005 - Marketing Director & CEO
“I was looking for an opportunity on the visual marketing side. I’ve always been a fan of visual marketing and printing. I knew Minuteman Press was fantastic because of my own past experiences with them. Their reputation and support provided by them is outstanding.”
“From the day I started ten years ago, everything began to move towards digital printing. I knew that Minuteman Press International was following the industry very closely and did their homework on printing trends and innovations. I followed their direction they gave us, and we have extended our business not only into digital printing but also promotional items as well.”
“I am in charge, but I also have all of the resources at the national and local levels thanks to Minuteman Press. We all share ideas and you get the pulse of how other centers do business, and that is very helpful. We are all part of the same franchise family and the owners who I contact are very open and supportive.”
One final piece of advice comes from the brilliant business mind of Mits Arayama: “Stay within the franchise system, but be who you are. I find satisfaction with Minuteman Press.”
Nathan Foeller - Stroudsburg, PA - Owner since 2013 - Designer/print broker
I was working as a Freelance designer putting together newsletters and providing other fulfillment services to local churches in my area. As my business started to grow, I was looking for a way to expand my offerings. I then found out about Minuteman Press, and I loved the idea of expanding both my client base and the variety of products and services I could offer. It was a perfect match at the perfect time.
Norman Gariepy - Devens & Milford, MA - Owner since 2014 - Accountant & independent digital print business owner
Before Minuteman Press, I was an accountant and also ran my own independent digital print business. I found that my business was not growing and I chose Minuteman Press so that I could get the support of the franchise system, which was exactly what I needed. I bought a second Minuteman Press franchise just six months later, and am happy with both of my centers.
Pat Kittle- North Conway, NH & Denmark, ME - Owner since 2002 - Paper industry
Pete Keskey - Hudson, WI, Oakdale & Chanhassen, MN - Owner since 2006 - Owned a mailing/shipping store
Peter & Simon Kelly - Balcatta, Perth, Western Australia - Owner since 2015 - Father & Son Franchise Team
Peter and Simon Kelly own and operate the Minuteman Press design, marketing, and printing business located at Unit 5, 15 Halley Road in Balcatta, Western Australia. Prior to franchising with Minuteman Press, Peter and his wife Trudy owned a garden products business as well as a stationery manufacturing business. Simon grew up in the garden products business and later on was working as a musician while helping his parents with the stationery business.
With a growing family and the desire for a more settled lifestyle, Simon Kelly turned his full attention towards the Minuteman Press franchise that he owns and operates with his parents’ guidance. Together, the Kelly family and their team at Minuteman Press in Balcatta have grown the business and have also won the Top Customer Service Award from Minuteman Press International for their region.
Simon Kelly opens up about the business, his parents, what he’s learned along the way, and advice he has for others who are thinking of owning their own business.
1. Please provide an overview of your business – what do you offer your customers, and what would be your message to people who are interested in your services?
Simon Kelly: “Our aim is to offer a one stop solution for our customers print, design and promotional requirements. This could include anything such as business stationery, signage, promotional flyers, and websites. We also offer canvas, fine art and photographic prints.”
2. When did you join the Minuteman Press franchise? What was your background before franchising with Minuteman Press?
Simon Kelly: “We started with Minuteman Press in December of 2015. Peter had sold a successful garden products business and had retired to a farm in the southwest but eventually moved back to the city and was running a stationery manufacturing business where I was working part-time. I was also running a small printing business out of one of their offices and working as a musician.
Peter was looking to expand the stationery business. At the same time, I was recently married and looking for a more settled lifestyle than being a musician offered. We had been in contact with Glenn Coyle, Minuteman Press International Regional Vice President for Western Australia. Glenn was very helpful and knowledgeable, and it just took a little while to find the right fit and the right timing on our end.”
3. Why did you choose to franchise with Minuteman Press?
Simon Kelly: “The stationery manufacturing business that we owned made us somewhat familiar with the printing industry. We were running the business with a digital press, offset press, and large format printing. One of the most attractive aspects to me was that Minuteman Press International has proprietary pricing and management software called FLEX that really helps run the business. The support and training offered by Minuteman Press was also great.”
4. What would you say is the most rewarding thing about running your business?
Simon Kelly: “The feeling of being in charge of your own destiny is probably one of the major benefits of running your own business. Running a family business also has many advantages. My wife and I have an 8-month old child so having flexibility with the hours I work has been important. Peter and Trudy are also at an age where they are looking to retire in the not-too-distant future and they like to sneak off for a round of golf. We have great staff that can keep things running smoothly when we aren’t around but between us we can generally coordinate our schedules to make sure someone is in the shop.”
5. As part of a father and son franchise team, what would you say are the one or two things you have learned most while working with your dad?
Simon Kelly: “I have been involved in the family business since a young age so most of the things I have learned about running a business have come from my parents. Also, my generation is much more tech-savvy so they sometimes need my guidance in that aspect of the business. It’s nice to be able to help them with all the years they have spent raising and mentoring me.”
6. How has the ongoing local support you’ve received from Minuteman Press helped you along the way?
Simon Kelly: “Local support has been very important especially in the early days when we were still finding our feet in the print industry. Knowing that we can call on someone from Minuteman Press International for a second opinion or advice is still very helpful and gives you great peace of mind if you ever run into any trouble.”
7. What is a typical day like for you as a Minuteman Press owner?
Simon Kelly: “Every day is different, which is another reason why the print industry is appealing. We begin the day with a production meeting with our staff where we go through all jobs in progress, quotes and any general issues that need attention throughout the day.”
8. What are one or two pieces of advice you would give to potential franchise owners?
Simon Kelly: “My advice to potential franchise owners would be to go for it, but to keep in mind that you will only get out of it what you put in. Pay attention to details and always give the customer more than they expect.”
Peter Castorena - Lancaster, CA - Owner since 2006 - Retail Buyer
“I spent months during the course of my due diligence researching franchisors and working on a few business plans. There were two franchises I had considered moving forward with. Minuteman Press International was one of them for a number of reasons. On first glance, they’re leaders in their industry with multiple locations internationally. They’ve got a proven track record of growth. Working with my regional vice president Dan Byers, I came to find that Minuteman Press was open and honest about how a franchise operated, especially since they encouraged me to visit and speak with existing franchise owners. All of the Minuteman Press business owners I spoke with (in various stages of their business from new, established, and “seasoned”) were open and honest and had not regretted getting into the Minuteman Press Franchise. Couple their experience, happy franchisees, and the amount of support I get on the local and international level from the home office and it was a classic square peg into a square hole scenario – the perfect fit.”
Phillip & Adam Anderson - Liverpool, Australia - Owners since 2014 - Royal Australian Navy & Army
The Minuteman Press franchise in Liverpool, New South Wales, Australia was awarded the highly coveted Small Business Award by the Liverpool City Council. The digital print, design and marketing center is owned by the father and son team of Phillip and Adam Anderson, who opened up their Minuteman Press franchise in October 2014, which is quickly making inroads in the business community.
Phillip Anderson is retired from the Royal Australian Navy, whereas Adam is retired from the Australian Army. During the 2016 Australia Day celebrations on the 26th of January, the Mayor of Liverpool and the Liverpool City Council presented this Minuteman Press franchise with their Small Business Award, and they were joined on stage by other award recipients on Australia Day. Adam has contributed to local fundraising efforts and was elected to the Board of the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 2015.
Renee Mansour - Bend, OR - Owner since 2015 - digital printer sales & stay at home mom
Renee Mansour owns the Minuteman Press franchise in Bend, Oregon located at 235 SE Wilson Ave, Suite 100. She decided to purchase the established business in February 2015 after spending a few years as a mom and entrepreneur who taught cycling classes and helped run national events in Bend. Recently, Renee celebrated two years in business with Minuteman Press. She has successfully managed to more than double the business, increasing gross sales by 341 percent.
Renee says, “As our children became teenagers, my desire to do something for me became stronger. I took a position working for a local company full-time, and I struggled with the lack of satisfaction I felt. I am a committed person that gives 100-plus percent, and when that wasn’t received by my employer I started to feel that I would be better off putting my energy towards my own business.”
She continues, “The support Minuteman Press provides was one of the things that appealed to me. Business to business sales and the hours of operation (8:30 am – 5:30 pm Monday – Friday) were also another reason we choose Minuteman Press. We still have teenagers at home and I want to be present in their lives. Those reasons coupled with the fact that Minuteman Press is the only franchise I researched that offered a cap on royalties, made it an easy decision for us. The more I sell beyond the cap, the more I am rewarded.”
Ron Burlakoff - East Haven, Hamden & Shelton CT - Owner since 2003 - real estate and commercial printing
Before franchising with Minuteman Press, Ron Burlakoff was working two jobs to make ends meet. Ron sold real estate and also worked for a large commercial printing company in order to support his wife and three children. Ron saw that the fast / on demand printing industry was growing, and after looking into Minuteman Press, he knew that his knowledge of the industry combined with the ongoing support he would receive would really bode well for his business. Ron also liked the fact that there is a cap on royalties meaning that the more he made, the more he would put into his own pocket. He also liked the fact that the Minuteman Press business-to-business model was 5 days per week, Monday through Friday. This would allow him to spend more time with his family. Ron went on to open a second store with his older daughter, then purchase an independent shop and move into a 4000 sq. ft. facility in Hamden, CT. Ron also encouraged his brother Harry to purchase a Minuteman franchise, and Harry has now been in business for almost 7 years as well.
Scott Bruno - Pasadena, TX - Owner since 2016 - Energy / Corporate Training
Scott Bruno spent the past five years working in the Houston area as a corporate trainer for energy giant BP. With a desire to be more creative and a passion for helping people, Scott chose to open up a Minuteman Press franchise in Pasadena, Texas; it is a decision that has given him new energy and a new purpose: To help the businesses and people in his community.
Why Be a Business Owner?
Scott Bruno loves helping people. That is how he built his career as a corporate trainer for companies like energy giant BP, where he played a key role in staff development. Despite his success, Scott was not doing exactly what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. “I was looking for something where I would enjoy going to work every day,” says Scott. “That something turned out to be Minuteman Press.”
Why Buy a Minuteman Press Franchise?
Before embarking on his corporate career, Scott Bruno enjoyed being a graphic designer. “I love being creative, and so I figured I could either freelance or start a business. I thought there may be an opportunity in franchising, and so I went to a local franchise expo in Houston and landed on Minuteman Press.”
In addition to meshing well with his corporate background as well as his desire for something more creative, Scott also liked what the Minuteman Press franchise had to offer from a business standpoint. He says, “I thought the startup costs were reasonable and I appreciated their royalty incentive program that puts a cap on royalties.”
Coming from a background where he trained other business professionals for a living, Scott is also uniquely qualified to evaluate the Minuteman Press International training program. He offers this review, saying, “The Minuteman Press franchise training program was great. It was two weeks of hands-on training working with experienced staff at the company headquarters. I felt it was very appropriate and helped give owners like me without industry experience a real leg up on running the business.”
One other aspect of the Minuteman Press system that Scott Bruno appreciates is the ongoing local support he gets from the company. “My regional vice president Pete Scaglione and area manager Rich Panowitz have been extremely helpful. They will just come over, roll up their sleeves and work with me. That means a lot to me that I can lean on them like that.”
Scott concludes, “It’s like night and day. I now enjoy going to work.”
Steve Brunk - Vero Beach, FL - Owner since 2007 - Retail manager
I left the retail industry behind for Minuteman Press, which enabled me to work regular Monday through Friday business hours. I also love the short reorder cycle that print provides. When I was working in retail, I would sit in the store and wait for customers to come in. With Minuteman Press, customers will reorder all of their materials faster and I am able to spend my time getting out there and growing my business.
Steve Edman - Bellaire/Southwest Houston, TX - Owner since 2006 - Sales/Marketing
“To be an owner of a business in Bellaire/southwest Houston is really cool especially since I grew up in this neighborhood. A little more pride and effort is easy when you know what it takes to make a difference. The friendships and contacts you make over the years pay off in a variety of ways.
Retiring from a career in selling and marketing beer and making people happy; to a new life of selling print and making business customers happy is an unbelievable opportunity. Both industries are similar. With beer, when times are good you toast success, when times are bad you drown your sorrows with the goal of “getting back on your feet’. Same with printing, when business is good you promote your success. And when times are bad you advertise to keep your name in the market place to turn things around.
I came from a company with branding identity recognized around the world, Anheuser Busch. There is no doubt that is why I bought into the Minuteman Press franchise system. The brand stands alone in the printing industry and gives me an easier path to open doors to build my business.”
Ty & Crystal Gipson - Georgetown, TX - Owners since 2006 - Banking-administration and engineering
Minuteman Press as a franchise seemed like a big family. I know it sounds like an odd business requirement for choosing a franchise, but it defines integrity and ethics. You don’t forget your family and what that means. I needed to know if I was going to become a partner with a franchise that I could believe we would have each other’s best interests at heart, and that they would have a vested interest in our success. Also, Minuteman Press had a local presence and a good name in our surrounding areas. I valued that the stores were not on every corner and seemed to support one another. I also evaluated the training and support offered by the franchise, and found it to above board. We met personally with the regional and field directors and they were very helpful and involved with choosing a successful location for our store and interested in our life balance and opportunities. The local franchise field rep for our area, Pete Scaglione (now our regional vice president), is what sealed the deal. His passion and his integrity for each store and for Minuteman Press made us eager to get started and faithful that we were putting our efforts into the right franchise.
Wayne Herman - Brooklyn, NY - Owner since 2008 - Finance Manager
Before owning his own business in Brooklyn, Wayne Herman worked in the finance industry. “I worked for Citibank until 2007, just before the big financial crisis,” he says. As luck would have it, Wayne was passed over for a key promotion on several occasions, and so he explored other options before the Great Recession took hold and forced him out of corporate America anyway.
One of those options turned out to be Minuteman Press. Franchising made sense for Wayne because he knew he wanted to start his own business but didn’t want to do it alone. Wayne flirted with the food industry at first, but he came to find that he “did not have the money or experience required to get involved there” and that “the food services industry just wasn’t a good fit for me.”
As for why he chose Minuteman Press out of all of the other franchise opportunities that were available to him, Wayne states, “When I saw the reasonable startup costs for Minuteman Press and the help and ongoing support that the franchise offered to new owners, I thought this was a good idea. Also, the fact that there were no centers in Brooklyn at that time made me really want to start one in that area.”
Minuteman Press International offers a search engine marketing program to all franchise owners. Wayne Herman was an early adopter of this program as soon as it was made available because he sees the value in getting potential customers’ attention online and converting them into clients. “I would say the Minuteman Press search engine marketing program has helped me double my business since its introduction. As I had mentioned earlier, I do 50 percent of by business in Manhattan, so the SEM program helps me advertise in those areas where door to door marketing isn’t practical for numerous reasons.”
“We strive to put programs in place to help our owners succeed,” notes Brian Sisti, Minuteman Press International Area Manager for Brooklyn and Long Island. He adds, “We are thrilled that Wayne has taken full advantage of our search engine marketing program as well as the many other resources and support we are happy to provide on an ongoing basis.”