Minuteman Press franchise owners keep it real as the leaders of the modern printing industry that haven’t lost the heart behind personalized customer service.
Real printing is a term that encompasses so much more than print on paper today, at least when one enters a Minuteman Press center (perhaps after trying to get help elsewhere and being disappointed). Such is the case for many of the clients Robert “Max” Maxwell enjoys assisting as he bought his Minuteman Press franchise across the street from a big-name copy shop and quick printer in Glen Allen, VA. “The competition across the street are some of my best sales people because people come to me all the time, either in tears or very angry. I always receive them with the help they need and I listen before I advise,” he explains.
“One time, a guy stormed into our center, angry, critical and shouting orders at us. We “killed him with kindness”, to start and as we helped him, he became a regular customer. Two years later, he came in and told me, ‘I have to tell you that I know I am not an easy customer and when I first came to you I was really mad at the service I got across the street, but here, you reached out, shook my hand and looked me in the eyes as you helped me. I haven’t had that happen in many years’. That is what we do at Minuteman Press,” Max states.
Experts like Mr. Maxwell and his compatriots at Minuteman Press protect the sanctity of printing as a craft. Sometimes, as in his case, they do this by spending a lifetime as a student and then a professional in the industry; and sometimes, intelligent entrepreneurs buy a printing business and immerse themselves in training from a most trustworthy and most technologically current franchisor such as Minuteman Press International. These are people who wish to adapt to a proven system and add their hearts to the service that people crave every time a project needs completion.
Max talks about the expertise and how it serves the people relying upon him: “When I went to RIT, I was going to get a bachelor of fine arts in printing, but it turned into a bachelor of science instead. There is craftsmanship in color theory that needs to be addressed with care and knowledge. Regular people are not expected to understand the intricacies of color, but we do and that is part of the role we play for them. We color correct 90 percent of the work we do and most people, even many competitors, cannot do that.”
Fred Edelstein owns Minuteman Press in Santa Clara, CA and like Max, he acknowledges the need for genuine expertise such as he provides, a departure from at-home desktop publishing and quick printers. He shares, “Most of our clients, if they are not working with a designer, do not understand the RGB vs CMYK color issue, for instance. They have their businesses to grow and their message to promote, so we focus on those challenges on their behalf. Part of our job is explaining the technical aspect of design and production. They want it printed exactly as they see it on their computer screen and it’s challenging, not for a novice.”
Fred continues, “Basically, what shows up on the screen is in RGB format and most printers are CMYK unless you turn to offset printing and the Pantone Color Matching System. CMYK is not just a different color format; it occupies a smaller range of colors which means there are colors on a video screen that literally can’t be perfectly matched via CMYK, though we can generally come pretty close. Our objective becomes matching it as closely as possible and helping to educate the client as they share their objectives. Sometimes, clients use pictures of their product, so if there is a blue or gold quality, they want that to come out as is in the image or the photograph when it is printed. Fortunately, our staff – in this case our pre-press operators – ‘know their stuff’ and can make our clients happy.”
Want brand awareness? How about increased sales? Real Print Does it ALL! (…but you need personalized service)
You are expected to look good, to be accessible and accommodating if you have a business. You are not expected to know HOW to reflect your brand identity in a unique way that pleases your audience while remaining functional across all channels. That is the job of a marketing services provider who can do more with your budget as technology consistently drives down printing costs, while adding cool options from printed collateral with calls to action online to the latest promotional products to brandish your brand in style. The mistake to avoid is finding a cheap online printer and click-ordering without consultation.
Just ask Minuteman Press franchise owner in Levittown, Long Island, NY, Michael Levy, who had an embarrassing moment in the past that affirmed his value as a marketing expert in the present. “Personalized service is the name of the game. Anytime someone starts a sentence with ‘I can get this on Vista Print’, my immediate reaction is ‘Go for it’. If you want to save the money on print costs, good luck on hitting your mark. I will say that I do understand the impulse because I used to use online printers long ago, before I was part of Minuteman Press, but I had an experience that cured me of it. I went to a networking event and I handed my card to someone I wanted to impress and he handed me his card – It was the same EXACT card. We chose the same template. I was very embarrassed and realized how many times that scenario repeats itself with online print use. That didn’t work for me and it won’t work for you if you want to succeed.”
He emphasizes, “To succeed, you must stand out. If you look the same as everyone else you will not stand out. We help people do that every day.”
Jim Foote leads a team at Minuteman Press in Olympia, WA, that thrives on meeting (and often exceeding) expectations. He says, “Our staff is educated and highly-skilled and we provide terrific turnaround times and quality work. This is why we have people leave other print sources (including online sources) and come to us instead.”
He adds, “We take care to consult with customers to help them meet their needs within their budget and we are proud of our knowledge and we get things done, either in-house or through the use of our vendors. Thanks to the wonderful vendor base Minuteman Press International arranged for us to use, we have incredible capabilities beyond print on paper. I am tickled pink when businesses grow, develop and prosper because we play a role in that process.”
“Nothing beats helping people and seeing the face light up when they see what we are able to do for them.” – Lotus Juo, owner Minuteman Press, Westminster, CO
Lotus Juo loves being an expert problem-solver, whether for businesses growing or brides glowing, thanks to her help. She explains, “One time, a lady called frantically. I calmed her down and asked questions. It turns out she was getting married in eight weeks and she ordered her invitations online. They arrived late and the information slip was misprinted and she tried to contact them and they said, ‘Well, you approved it, so that is how it was printed.’ They told her it would take two weeks to get her reprint and gave her a quote. She had guests coming from out of town so she was freaking out, so I asked her if she had the file, but the online printer wouldn’t give her the file. She gave us a screenshot and we hunted down a particular font to match the rest of the printing. We did it. She picked it up within a few hours. She was so grateful. The original font belonged to the company she used and they wouldn’t let her have it, but we found a match and we didn’t charge her an arm and a leg, rather less, actually, than what she paid online.”
Lotus thoughtfully concludes, “I do not save lives like a physician, but it does have a positive chemical effect on our brains as marketing services providers when we go out of our way, in this case, to get this woman what she needed for her wedding. When she was disappointed elsewhere, it was so worth it to come to her rescue with high-quality printing and real service.”