For those we love afflicted by memory challenges (such as Alzheimer’s and dementia), Minuteman Press assists a growing company, Bridge Haven, as they build homes that allow for care within a home, rather than an institutional setting.
In the business of helping fellow entrepreneurs realize their visions and bring them to life through just the right marketing approach for 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.”
As she is a wise entrepreneur herself, Dee made sure the room is adorned with displays of her proud and well-respected brand so there is always a tie between the fellowship and productivity her goodwill provides through the meeting space and Minuteman Press as the host. It is an act such as that, creating free space for people to gather and exchange ideas that is inherent to the way Dee Bisel operates, always on behalf of the betterment of any given situation that comes her way and the gratitude returns in the form of lasting bonds with long term clients.
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 progressing modern printing industry that is Minuteman Press International and just one of the unique ways she demonstrates this is through her distinction as one of only 65 SGPs (sustainable green printer), a badge earned only by the approval of a 3rd party auditor. These are all contributing reasons that she has earned a place in the franchisor’s elite Million Dollar Owners Circle this year. Her generosity and environmental advocacy only augment her true purpose, to be there for business owners who need her expertise. In that arena, she is the ultimate marketing ally, attuned to the intricacies of growth in a way that is immediately put to work for each of her clients.
“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”, Dee shares with certainty. Her entire team at Minuteman Press abides by a benevolent, yet “get it done” culture that breeds loyalty.
Dee credits much of her success also to dedicated, long-term employees, some with her for more than 20 years. “Our clients develop their own relationships with our employees and they, in turn, are fantastic with the clients’ and will hold their hands through a process that begins with design and carries through production.” One of her team members used to work for a Minuteman Press in California and his move to Kansas prompted him to seek employment with Dee’s franchise, a strong statement about the kind of loyalty generated by the brand she represents.
Bridge Haven Memory Care Residences provides superior care for elder people and Minuteman Press designs, prints and promotes their work
Within the beautiful neighborhoods of Lawrence, Kansas, Bridge Haven has constructed small, comfortable and loving homes that allow senior citizens with varying stages of Alzheimer’s, dementia and Parkinson’s diseases to enjoy family-style living among friends, family and the community. This is assisted-living that is the opposite of an institutional setting, rather seniors are celebrating holidays, having backyard barbeques, home-cooked meals and many social gatherings throughout the year. Naturally, to make certain those social gatherings are filled with joyous people with whom the seniors can enjoy good times, Bridge Haven needed a partner in promotions and it happened that its executive director came on board with a prior history with the talents of Dee Bisel and Minuteman Press.
“I am not budget conscious because that’s not my department, but I will say Minuteman Press has always been careful not to spend my money for the sake of spending and the results are brilliant,” explains Sarah Randolph, Bridge Haven Executive Director. “Dee and her staff are extremely considerate in terms of finding exactly what I need to get the right kind of attention. We have a lot of events, eleven just in April, because it’s not easy to get people to want to come out to what is essentially a nursing home. So I will get a half-cocked idea, email the designer, Eric, over at Minuteman Press (sometimes at 6am) and he will flesh out my idea and give it back to me and I use that image, that inspiration to run the event and get people interested.”
Ms. Randolph states her appreciation clearly, “They are more than a printing or graphics partner at Minuteman Press. They take the time to understand what I need and get it done for me.”
Dee reflects on her partnership with Sarah as it has extended past the decade mark through multiple companies and now, firmly established through Bridge Haven, “Sarah and I met many years ago when she was a marketing manager for visiting nurses and hospice and we did all of their design and printing. She reached out to us when she assumed the executive director position at Bridge Haven and in the 5 years we have worked with her, they have grown tremendously.” From signage, invitations, swag bags and business essentials such as stationery and business cards, Bridge Haven is well-tended. They also had the foresight to request to have a newsletter printed, guided by Dee’s design and production team.
Sarah Randolph is the Executive Director of Bridge Haven and with her new authority, one of her first moves was to redirect all design, print and marketing services over to Minuteman Press.
She explains, “When I first came on board with Bridge Haven, we were using someone else for printing and I had a working relationship with Minuteman Press so I immediately switched over to Dee and her team. We are a small business and at that time, we were generating $800,000 in revenue. In five years, we have grown by leaps and bounds and now have 5 memory care homes are now generating $4.3 million. I am the only marketing person as well as the director and as much as I love marketing, I needed a partner. I am steeped in operations and need to focus on that, so Dee and Minuteman Press are my marketing department.”
There are over 15 million American caregivers for someone with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. – The Alzheimer’s Association
The senior care company started using branded promotional products and select from an ever-increasing variety offered by Dee and Minuteman Press. Dee explains how those branded gifts, plus extra thought put into the small details add up to a well-rounded marketing campaign, “We produced branded, stainless steel water bottles and ceramic tumblers when they ventured into promotional products. We also took care of the printing for a special holiday-time open house. They had a hard-hat tour for their 5th home and since it was near Christmas, we did the tree-trimming invitations for all the families as well. We made certain to print special name tags for all of their associates with a large font so the elder clients could easily read the names.”
“I have to fess up, I am not the best at giving clear directions. What Minuteman Press has always done is help me take what is on my mind and make it happen. For instance, I had an idea for a cake and champagne party with a performing Elvis impersonator. I called and told them I need 300 invitations printed with an online version to match and they took that concept and produced something that makes me look so professional.” – Sarah Randolph, Bridge Haven
Dee Bisel always finds a way to connect with her clients on a personal level and in the case of Bridge Haven and the memory residences they build, the connection was natural. As she explains, “My mother had dementia and my father-in-law and mother-in-law both had Alzheimer’s so I have spent a lot of time in facilities for their care, so I appreciate the good work Sarah and Bridge Haven are doing. Their lead time is short, but we can accommodate that and make them happy. They are a delight to work with and are doing an important service for seniors and their families. These homes are gorgeous and nestled right in the Lawrence neighborhood, making these seniors part of community, not segregated in a facility. The work Minuteman Press does to help businesses like Bridge Haven grow is personal and we are dedicated to it.”
With all last-minute requests and spontaneous, yet not-fully formed ideas for designs that she needs developed quickly, Sarah initially scratched her head when Dee asked to talk to her about her partnership for this article. Then, she had a realization, “Maybe I am the exact type of client that needs Minuteman Press. WE have a big growth curve without much administrative support. Now, we are in full-marketing mode and we need more flash and they are always there for us. Our expenditures have gone down as our revenue has gone up. They are phenomenal. I am not overstating it when I say we could not have grown the way we did without Minuteman Press.”