John Taylor, Minuteman Press franchise owner, Nashville, Tennessee.

From Manager to Mentor in Just Five Years through Minuteman Press International and a Franchise Family That Works Together

John Taylor Nashville, TN, built a very successful Minuteman Press empire by taking the right risks with the right support; and today and as his knowledge grows, he shares it with others.

John Taylor keeps a few things on his office wall in the five years since he bought the Minuteman Press franchise he previously managed.  He took a risk going from managing the digital print, design and marketing center for 12 years to buying it and becoming his own boss.  He didn’t have an ounce of regret, but as he had passion and pride, he also remained a humble man, wise enough to realize this was going to be big and now it was up to him.

John says, “I was sitting at my desk, digesting what I got myself into that first week and my wife walked in and put a post it note on my desk.   It was a quote by Wayne Barrow and it said, ‘Risk is the true nature of business growth’.  I keep that note where it is and put it to work for us here in our center.”  His partner knew just what he needed to hear at the time and so he took a printing business that was doing well over 22 years and as he said, “kicked it up a notch” and his clients bloomed right along with John and his staff.  The best news for everyone is that it’s only been five years and he proves that the right leader in charge of a Minuteman Press franchise can create vivid futures for themselves, clients and the brand itself.

The people we admire for their professional victories are usually brave, but they are also human and if they are benevolent, they are generous with themselves and even allow us to see their vulnerabilities.  John is such a man and offers, “As scary as it is to buy a business and take that risk, it is worth it.  I probably should be a little more scared than I am, but I take on new projects first and figure out how to complete them next. My staff tenses a little when I come in and say, ‘I have an idea’, but they also know it’s usually best to go for it.  We get opportunities to grow and if something looks good, I am going to go for it.”  He adds without hesitation, “I love to create.”

What does it mean to take risks and WIN?  We sold a lot of large format printing and someone asked me to produce a wall graphic, to which I said, “too easy’ (my usual response to everything).  Within a year, having worked it all out, we were doing site branding around the country for a large corporation because I took that one risk and said YES.  – John Taylor

Every time a person buys a franchise in any industry that is in close proximity to a fellow owner there is a choice to discover ways to work together to strengthen the brand for the greater good of all parties or to refuse.  John has the experience to know that synergy between Minuteman Press franchise owners has worked for decades in many areas of the world and he chooses to be a mentor, most recently to a new owner in Franklin, CJ Monte.

“Instead of being against each other, we are literally allies under the same brand, Minuteman Press. Right now, it’s one-sided with me in the mentorship role, but maybe later, I will need him in a pinch and he will be there.  We are a team. There is an alliance that is innate because of the Minuteman Press International family,” says John.

“When Keith told me about this guy who used to be an insurance salesman and now he owns a franchise, I knew I could help him. I advise him in areas that include operations, production and design.  He’s out there promoting our products and services and connecting with people and he got himself some big projects in the spirit I get them…by saying YES first, then figuring out how. We already know how from experience.  He’s a brand new owner and a nice guy with a lot to digest so I am happy to mentor him with selling, producing and managing things, including the postage guidelines for direct mail,” John says.  He and his team know, from the trenches, how design, print and marketing need to progress and are delighted to help another owner under the same brand.

When it comes to competition, there are obvious lines drawn between brands in an industry.  At the same time, the strongest leaders leverage their respected places within the community to maintain their good name and foster greater respect.  Still, Minuteman Press franchise owners take professional relationships a step further with a sense that they are sharing a brand and are part of a family.  John explains, “I was at a function for leaders in Nashville a month ago and I met an owner of a competing printing franchise through a mutual connection from Xerox.  There was some trepidation because we are competitors, but when I shook his hand the Xerox representative told us that while we are competitors, we have a lot in common.  The guy responded by telling me he has “more alliances than he does competitors and I agree with that idea.  At the same time, a guy like CJ Monte is above all my other allies because we share the Minuteman Press brand.”

“This franchise is owned by a family and we operate that way from the corporate office throughout all of our centers.  John is more than happy to help CJ and it’s a perfect example of what Roy Titus intended for Minuteman Press International.” – Keith Cawley, Minuteman Press International Regional Vice President

So when a newer franchise owner needs advice from the scene of a busy production room, seasoned Minuteman Press franchise owners like John can help them learn where the advantages and pitfalls are when it comes to all aspects of the business.  “From postcards, mailings, vehicle wraps, installation, postage guidelines and everything else we can do in our centers, we welcome CJ to call or come in any time he needs some help.”

An owner since May of 2018, CJ has been happy to accept the mentorship of John and other experienced franchisees.  The technical help and the grasp of marketing strategy they share is invaluable to his bottom line, but the friendships are also an advantage of Minuteman Press franchise ownership.

According to CJ, “The support of Minuteman Press International is a big thing, but the support from trusted advisors doing the work as a fellow franchise owner is very special.  I was working in the insurance industry prior to buying my business, so I understand the complexities of it.  I was concerned about upsetting the local franchise owners when Keith Cawley first introduced me to John.   Then, I met him and he was like a long-lost brother, so open and welcoming.  My concern about friction was unnecessary because he and others, namely Jonathan Dunwoody, have been nothing but supportive.  I have called at 6am and 6pm and they always make the time even though they are super busy.  When John isn’t available, Jonathan has been right there for me, so everyone pitches in here in the Minuteman Press family.”

“Having mentors is comforting when you get a big project and you are stuck with something.  I can call fellow Minuteman Press franchise owners and be open and honest and they are completely real with me.  They will give me things to consider instead of telling me exactly what to do, so I can make my own choices.” – CJ Monte owner, Minuteman Press in Franklin, TN

The desire to express gratitude for the synergy that exists between Mintueman Press franchise owners is clear as CJ adds, “I have this big order and wasn’t sure what to do involving EDDM (Every Door Direct Mail).  We would not get ithrough it without John and his staff.  Just yesterday, our designer was stumped, so John invited us to come to his center and he directed his designer and production people over to help make a few things clear to us.  That is about as unselfish as it can ever be in this world and they helped us get over a learning curve, too.  You don’t find this level of “unselfish” in this world, but it is here.”

“After I met CJ and knew that he was a respectable, good man and now part of my Minuteman Press family, I pledged my support and I mean it.  It is clear he is eager to build a strong center because his motive and direction are pure and he is following the guidelines of Minuteman Press International.  So, when he needs more help, he’s got it,” John says with no hesitation.

With an unstoppable brand, honorable mentors and his own hard work, CJ Monte is leading Minuteman Press in Franklin towards a path not unlike the top-tier franchisees like John Taylor.  And as people like to talk about karma, the good coming his way will be share with future entrepreneurs. He concludes, “I am blessed as a new franchise owner to have such support from the others.  As time goes on, when I get the chance to mentor new Minuteman Press franchise owners, I will do it in a heartbeat.  I’ll be paying it forward in this way.”

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