Minuteman Press franchise owners and executives share pride in their region and most of all…their brand.
Comprising new, hungry entrepreneurs as well as seasoned veterans with decades of good living as owners of Minuteman Press franchises, the Midwest continues to provide lots of unique chances to create success as a business owner. From working with non-profits and big manufacturing companies to universities and grateful small businesses, digital print, graphic design and marketing experts trained and supported by industry leader Minuteman Press International command respect and are greatly valued within the area’s B2B services community.
Illinois / Wisconsin / Indiana
Fun Fact: The Chicago Post Office at 433 West Van Buren is the only postal facility in the world through which you can drive a car.
Doug Harlan, Minuteman Press International Regional Vice President located in Chicago: “Because of their hard work, following a proven system and a solid economy, many of our Minuteman Press locations in Wisconsin have continued to see their sales increase significantly over the last few years. Some of those owners are coming off their best year ever in 2016. Business owners and the workforce of Wisconsin are known for being hardworking and down to earth. Friendliness really is a theme in this part of my region and it benefits the business community.”
The friendly, down to earth feel that resides in this region pays off: B2B customers with high customer engagement scores achieve 50% higher revenue/sales, 34% higher profitability and 55% higher share of wallet (Gallup)
Doug continues, “As an established region, I work with a lot of long time store owners, many in business 20 to 30 years or more. I’ve personally helped a number of owners retire and exit out of their business, which is a great benefit because many entrepreneurs are unable to and fail to plan a strong exit strategy. The longevity of the owners in this area is so impressive that it stands as a testament to the strength and the advantages of franchising in the Midwest. As those owners reach retirement age and desire to move on to other pursuits, they rely on me to help them with that exit strategy. I am grateful to be able to help each of them. Within this region, we have had a significant turnover of stores from longtime owners to new owners that have realized the benefits of acquiring an existing operation that already has a cash flow and customers calling from day one. Part of my role is helping to match the entrepreneur with the right opportunity.
I recently was able to assist one of our long time owners, 29 years as a successful franchisee, to move into the next chapter of his life…… retirement. He’s now traveling with his wife and spending more time with his grandchildren. He worked to build a healthy business and when the time came, we helped him by finding a prospective buyer who was excited to take it over. The new owner is now working to take it to the next level.”
This Illinois Minuteman Press franchise owner makes a living by “making clients happy”:
Paul Conforti, owner, Minuteman Press, Champaign, Ill: “My Minuteman Press is located in Champaign, the home of the University of Illinois, which is a large and growing campus and a good source of business. Universities are not actually single entities but composed of many departments each of which make their own buying decisions. Therefore, our University is like having several hundred small businesses to sell to, not only printing but also advertising specialties such as pens, magnets, and trade show accessories like banners and table drapes.
One of our larger and more prestigious accounts is the Big Ten Academic Alliance which is the academic arm of the Big Ten Conference and functions as the academic coordinator for all of the research being done by each of the member universities.
We also work with many large commercial businesses in our area including several banks, a national marketing firm, a large HVAC parts distributor and a hospital.
Our focus is ‘making people happy’ meaning if the customer likes you, they will want to work with you. That is how the majority of our business relationships started and how they have been maintained. We are now in our 12th year of making people happy.”
Entrepreneurs who have properly selected a winner, such as those operating Minuteman Press franchises in the Midwest and around the globe, have done so with personal and thorough research, weeding out hot, new franchise trends and fads until only the very best and proven remained.
Their franchisor has helped them explore its system through meetings with representatives of the corporation as well as tours of their active franchise locations so they could talk to their franchisees. By the time they signed their franchise agreement, Minuteman Press International has already surpassed the standard you have personally set for worthiness and credibility.
Ohio / Kentucky / Michigan
Fun Fact: 50% of the United States population lives within a 500 mile radius of Columbus, OH.
Gary Nowak, Minuteman Press International Regional Vice President, Ohio / Kentucky / Michigan: “Most articles you read on franchising extol the benefits of being a franchisee as getting involved in a “proven successful program.” What exactly does that mean?
As a Regional Vice President responsible for backing up and supporting 52 locations in Ohio, Michigan, and Kentucky, “proven successful” means a lot of different things in all aspects of running a Minuteman Press location. Franchisees who follow our system and put in the hard work are most likely to grow the fastest and realize the most success in the shortest amount of time.”
From a regional standpoint, the main programs that I get involved with to help our franchisees flourish are the following:
- Assisting with the marketing of the business: My staff and I work with the franchise owners in our region to help them build their business. We will go to networking meetings with them, help create cross-media marketing campaigns, and email marketing campaigns (just to name a few).
- Helping to renegotiate existing store leases: A big part of our time is spent helping our folks either renegotiate an existing lease, exercising an option or finding a new location. Regardless of how long an owner has been with us this service or program is always available. We will scout for the very best deal for our franchisees including finding the ideal spot, layout of the location with most efficient and productive use of space, negotiating renovations, cost per square foot, and free rent. Here in the Midwest we are usually able to get 2 or 3 months free rent. The landlord loves our use and longevity. Whether the owner chooses to move or not, this market research is then used to renegotiate with the current landlord.
- Helping to complete pricing surveys. Periodically or on the franchises request we will do a competitive market survey. We will research others to get an indication of how their phone is answered, how quick they are able to get out an accurate quote, and how a customer is generally treated. Our prices are competitive; not the lowest or highest but in the middle. Most customers continue using us not so much on price but on quality, service, and reliability. These are the hallmarks of fantastic repeat business. We beat the others because we have proven programs on how to answer the phone, price a request, and follow up to ensure we get the order.
- Helping with equipment procurement. In the field we are constantly helping our franchises with cost analysis of goods that are purchased on the outside. If it makes sense from cost accounting perspective, we would recommend bringing a new component inside. One of the biggest mistakes business owners make is making the wrong investments. We strive to eliminate bad decisions based on what has been learned from the past.
- Helping to plan an exit strategy. As a franchise our owners can sell their business to anybody as opposed to finding someone with industry experience. We assist in this process at no extra fee to our franchisees. It’s a service we provide and a proven successful program helping prospective franchise owners learn, investigate, and determine our franchise is right for them. In fact, Right now we have profitable business for sale in Detroit, Northeast Ohio, Dayton and Cincinnati.
A Minuteman Press franchise owner in Ohio is a champion of local non-profits and excellent quality for all clients
Donna Beheydt is the owner of Minuteman Press in Stow, Ohio. She says, “Every day, in the role of marketing services provider, I am able to help people promote their business, sometimes in ways they might not be able to imagine before our consultation. Among my largest customers are health care providers and manufacturers (which is indicative of our area). Several independent retirement communities come to us for products and services, including a small, local hospital and I do a lot of full-color digital print work for them. I can say that manufacturing is a big part of my business and it is not going anywhere; it is just changing and growing much like the printing industry.”
Donna continues, “I could give so many specific examples of jobs well-done that have made our clients happy, but here are just two:
- One of our clients is a construction consultant and for them, we just completed a 62-page report on methods and practices for ‘green’ construction. It touches on how to recycle, details the best eco-friendly building material and emissions reduction. We took the information they provided and printed a sharp-looking book that is being used by the state of Ohio on how to make everything cleaner and greener in terms of construction.
- We do a lot of work with local non-profits, one of which is the Zane’s Foundation. They raise money and give it to families that have children and adults with disabilities. We are proud to be one of their sponsors and we create, from scratch, all of their printing materials.”
Donna concludes with pride that is a common thread that runs throughout the Minuteman Press franchise system: “We always go one step beyond and give our clients the best quality, even if they cannot always provide us with the best art, initially. My graphic designer is one of the best you will ever encounter. I am very proud of our team.”
Missouri / Kansas / Nebraska / Minnesota / Iowa / North Dakota / South Dakota
Keith Cawley, Minuteman Press International Regional Vice President, St. Louis and Minnesota: “Owning a business in the Midwest is a particular treat for entrepreneurs because we epitomize hometown values and everyone wants to shop locally to strengthen our economy, right here.
This is of particular advantage to local business who take pride in customer service that online businesses cannot compete with. In the Midwest, we stick to the adage “we want to do business with those we know, like and trust”.
Missouri, especially, is a “show me state”, meaning they expect you to do exactly what you say you are going to do. This is a tremendous advantage when you add in the personalized service upon which Minuteman Press centers operate because our owners truly come to understand the unique needs of each challenge and when they say they can do something and deliver as promised, it lines up perfectly with how Midwestern values are held.
Additionally, cost of living is very low here, which draws people to live here and makes the cost of doing business as an owner lower.
Finally, because we have a healthy population, we also have lots of qualified talent from which to choose. There are a lot of businesses opening up in the region and since Minuteman Press is unique in that every business is a potential customer, our owners have yet another chance to grow in the Midwest.”