How George Dormani became an entrepreneur success story, in his own words…
ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y.— George Dormani once dreamed of becoming an automotive mechanic. How, then, did he wind up becoming the proud owner of his Rockville Centre-based Minuteman Press design, marketing and printing franchise? Sharing his insights on an incredible entrepreneurial journey that began nearly 32 years ago and is still going strong today, here is what George had to say about his life, his work, and his love of cars and guitars when he spoke with The Minuteman Press Franchise Review:
10 Questions with Minuteman Press Franchise Owner George Dormani, Rockville Centre, NY
1. What was your background before franchising with Minuteman Press?
“After graduating high school in New York in 1979, I moved to Colorado to attend Denver Automotive and Diesel College for three years. When I graduated, there were no jobs in the automotive field. A friend of mine offered me a job in his dad’s print shop while I looked for a job in my field. I worked there for two years as an apprentice learning typesetting, stripping, camera work, platemaking, blue printing, offset printing, cutting, folding, bookmaking and every other facet of bindery work and finishing services.
I moved back to Long Island in 1984 and thanks to my experiences in Colorado, I was able to land a job at a fast-paced print shop in Garden City. I found printing to be a better fit for me over becoming an auto mechanic, and I especially appreciated being able to work indoors. I haven’t looked back since!”
2. Why did you choose to franchise with Minuteman Press?
“I was very lucky to find Minuteman Press when I did, but I also feel like I had a hand in creating that luck. I was working in Garden City and the cost of living in Long Island even back then was more expensive that other places like Colorado. After a few months of being ignored whenever I asked for a raise, I started searching for other jobs and opportunities.
While looking for another job, I came across an ad for a pressman job in Rockville Centre. That is when I met Raymond Buksbaum, a new Minuteman Press franchise owner who was great with sales but needed a lot of help with production. I come along as a production expert who wasn’t strong on sales, and at that point Raymond was in business for just two weeks. We hit it off like long lost brothers!
And so I took a chance and worked for Ray for two years without pay, for “just free lunches” along with the promise that he would make me a partner one day. Luckily, my wife had a steady job that could support us during that time, and so I said to Ray, “That’s a deal!” From there, we worked hard and built a successful printing business.
Unfortunately, Ray started getting sick in 1995 and by 1998 I bought him out of the franchise because he could no longer work. I didn’t stop working hard to continue building what we started together, and by 2002 we had our first million dollar year. Business has been relatively steady over the years, sometimes up, sometimes down, but we are still going strong today!”
3. How would you compare you experience as a Minuteman Press franchise owner to your previous career/industry/life?
“The thing about being your own boss is it is a two-sided sword. On one hand, you can come and go as you please, take days off whenever you want, come in late, leave early, and spend your money how you see fit. All of these things are great, however if you do any of them on a regular basis without moderation and common sense, you will not be in business very long!
If you work hard, treat your clients and employees fairly, don’t overspend and learn through your experiences, you will eventually have a successful business. The biggest keys are to continue caring, to follow the Minuteman Press system and take advantage of their expert advice, and to keep building the business.”
4. How has the ongoing local support you’ve received from Minuteman Press helped you along the way?
“From when we first started all those years ago through 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 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.”
5. What is a typical day like for you as a Minuteman Press owner?
“The first thing I do is work with the team to make sure the projects are on schedule, that everything is scheduled to be on time, and that everything is printed correctly. From there it’s about speaking with clients, networking, and building the business.”
6. What is your ideal day off or vacation?
“I love going away for a week with my wife, enjoying our time together and of course not having any issues at the shop while I’m away. It’s always nice when that happens!”
7. What are some of your passionate causes, hobbies, or outside interests?
“I love to give back and that my business allows me to do so. I will help out local community groups and charities by either donating printing services or making financial contributions.
As for my personal hobbies, I am mainly a car and guitar guy. I collect both and have an extensive collection of each. My work and my passion for cars and guitars take up the bulk of my time. Perhaps when I retire I’ll develop other interests, but I don’t really plan on that anytime soon!”
8. What are your goals for the rest of 2016?
“My goals for the rest of 2016 are to redesign my front lobby, tighten up on wasted time and paper and grow sales by 10 percent over last year.”
9. What is one inspirational quote that has helped you along the way either in life or in business?
“A friend’s father who was just getting ready to retire from the printing industry when I first started with Minuteman Press said to me: ‘Don’t jeopardize your business by buying cheap paper, cheap machines and cheap ink!’ The point he was making is that cheaper doesn’t always mean better, and providing high quality products and top-level service is still king when it comes to printing.”
10. What are one or two pieces of advice you would give to potential franchise owners?
“If you look at my friend’s father’s quote another way, it would be: ‘Saving pennies almost always cost you dollars.’ I believe that to be true for any business and great advice for any business owner or entrepreneur.
My final piece of advice for is this: ‘Sweat the little things, as they are more important than you might think!’
One often-overlooked part of being part of a franchise system like Minuteman Press is that they actually ‘sweat the little things’ for me, meaning that they are meticulous, organized, and well-versed in every detail of the industry.
From there, it’s about me doing all of those ‘little things’ for my clients that make us stand out. This philosophy has simply worked for me and has paid off big-time when all is said and done.”
George Dormani’s Minuteman Press design, marketing and printing franchise is located in Long Island at 488-A Sunrise Highway, Rockville Centre, NY 11570. For more information, call George and his team at 516-763-3222 or visit their website: www.mmprvc.com.
Learn more about Minuteman Press franchise opportunities at www.minutemanpressfranchise.com.