Jack Reynolds is a lifelong marketing expert and today, his marketing services center continues to gain respect in the B2B Services Industries from clients that include self-made entrepreneurs.
Before becoming an entrepreneur, Jack Reynolds became fluent in the language of marketing and in the art of putting decision-makers into “Yes” mode. He was adept at making sure the non-profit he represented was at the forefront of generosity from the major corporations. Starting in his teens, he took on the workforce for thirty years, accumulating business intelligence, making a good name for himself and meeting his wife, Beth, along the way.
It was in 2013 that he bought his Minuteman Press franchise, one that had been in operation for more than twenty years prior with promise for greater heights under his leadership. With a degree in design and substantial knowledge of marketing, it was purposeful that he sought the printing industry for a new beginning and it is with enthusiasm and a return to his creative training that he grows his venture today. “I actually worked in the graphics department for a local newspaper out of college, after earning a degree in design, so buying a printing business close to where I lived was a good idea,” Jack says.
Before he signed his franchise agreement, Jack spent the second part of his career marketing for a manufacturer and was recruited into the corporate world for what culminated into a respected career. He was a strong staff manager making a good living, but he felt increasing fatigue with it all. “Times get lean and we needed ‘doers’ more than managers and that made me miss ‘doing’ my work in design. I was a liaison and I was a planner, but I wasn’t doing more quantitative stuff and I missed it. At middle management in a corporation, I wasn’t called upon to be ‘hands-on.’”
In addition to the creative gap that his white-collar job left empty, Jack no longer felt valued for the energy he put into his role and he missed his family time. “I wasn’t digging the management thing anymore, but the main reason I left was my 1.5-hour daily commute and my travel schedule. After 17 years, it simply got old.” And since he was still full of the vitality of a young man, buying a business progressed quickly once he got the call from Minuteman Press International Regional Vice President, Jim Galasso. “Since I bought Minuteman Press in Torrington, I traded the long hours for rolling out of bed, taking my dog and heading to my center. Also, I put a lot of value into being part of my community because I was born and raised here. I get to do the work that helps my neighbors build their businesses.”
Since he learned early-on that since what we offer is customized to every brand, to every client with lots of options for design, print and marketing, Jack took to focusing on project management and he has his reasons. “If one detail along the way falls through, it could create an unpleasant customer experience so if I am project manager, I am personally “dotting the ‘I’s and crossing the ‘t’s, paying ultra-attention to everything.”
And most of the community he serves are experts in other industries, so his role as marketing services provider is pivotal. “Print is a vague word and it takes time to get to know people who count on me, so when they come in speaking one language, I have to decipher what they mean and translate it into the print world. I simply follow the entire process and keep them involved as much as I can because overdoing that becomes a nuisance instead of a relief.” It is a fine balance that Jack has conditioned his entire team to master and so his reputation continues to benefit.
“My whole staff is wired to be people-pleasers. We are not smiling if our clients are not smiling when we hand them the finished products.” – Jack Reynolds
Making the extra effort to understand how each client needs to craft a message is paramount to Minuteman Press in Torrington. “We make the effort to know what they are using and what they want to produce to promote themselves, we can make recommendations that consider their budget and the effectiveness of their overall strategy. We don’t simply push products over the counter and hope they work. With a degree in design and my marketing experience, I can give more value than just offering paper products.”
The players on his team are few, but conditioned to win. Jack calls his manager, Sydney, his ‘right hand’ and appreciates that she remained with the Minuteman Press franchise when he took ownership. “I knew she was nowhere near maximizing her skills, so we took this place together and grew it. In a little more than 5 years since we started, our volume as grown 600% and I give Sydney a lot of credit and we have had our trials. I have no doubt that when my ownership is over, she will be well-equipped to own a Minuteman Press franchise herself if she chooses. He adds, “We were actually taught by the same graphics teacher in technical high school. He still comes into our center and sees us once in a while.”
A little over a year ago, Jack also added Lynn, a new team member, who blends right in to the superior service mix. “My staff went from 6 to a team of 3, including me. Lynn has only been here a short amount of time, but is incredible in terms of her ability to learn and work. She is impressively loyal and efficient. We all come together with slightly different skill sets and it’s working as I’ve learned to manage by taking all perspectives into account. Challenges don’t stay in a silo, they are handled through collaboration.” Part of that collaborative effort includes Beth, who works in the local school system and also lends her organizational talents to their digital print, design and marketing services center in Torrington which helps make daily operations run smoothly.
“Every team member is entrepreneurial here so not only do we like growing our Minuteman Press franchise, we like doing it while helping other businesses create awareness out there by producing tools and strategies, interfacing with them as they grow. Nothing pleases us more than engaging this growth on both sides, ours and theirs.” – Jack Reynolds
Litchfield County Sports enjoys and grows thanks to teamwork with Minuteman Press in Torrington
About 3 years ago, Jack met with a local man, Tim Gaffney, who launched a website to promote academic and sports achievements by high school students deserving of a special spotlight. He recognized a void in youth sports coverage and he filled it with a new venture. Jack explains, “Tim decided to come to us for a monthly print magazine focusing on the positive aspects of sports and the athletes in community. He uses the print magazine to highlight the good in our community and he promotes his website while honoring our local athletes and youth doing positive things here as he does it. We design, edit and help him get advertising as well. We have an excellent relationship with Tim and as there are new changes upcoming, he has our full support.”
Tim covered the athletic exploits of Jack’s son, Jake, a baseball player and Tim credits the partnership with that initial connection. He says, “My relationship with Jack Reynolds and his staff, Sydney Ash and Minuteman Press in Torrington Minuteman Press can best be described as a family one, today. I had come up with the idea of a monthly magazine that would focus on what was going right in our communities but had no idea how to take that vision forward. Minuteman Press in Torrington had never done this type of production either but between Jack and Sydney (his designer) we went about the business of how to get one done that wouldn’t cost a fortune to produce but would have a very high quality design. In May of 2017, we came out with the Litchfield County Sports Magazine and it has been nothing short of sensational.”
“We consider Tim a friend and we attend events together while he sends us referrals,” according to Jack. “The magazine has grown from the 20 pages it was at first to 32 now and it is so popular around here that it has caught the attention of the board of education and they want Tim to provide even more.”
Tim confirms the good news, “This fall, we got approval to do 4000 magazines on our local school system of which we are wrapping up production as we speak. We will be doing it twice a year for the foreseeable future. Once again, it will focus on what’s going right in our public school, battling the ever-present negative that permeates throughout our society. “
Meanwhile, Minuteman Press in Torrington does what is needed to keep Tim’s resources free, both time and money. “Jack helps keep the costs in line while Sydney wows me every time I see a proof. It’s like Christmas morning every time I pick up the magazine and get to see and feel it, hot off the press. I now sell it in eight stores in five towns and have close to 100 subscribers who get it delivered to their home or office every month.”
True to their desire to bring entrepreneurial ambitions from thought to action, especially when they enrich the community they love, Jack speaks for everyone at his center, “Tim is promoting the best things that go on here for our young people and he will always have the best that we have to bring in design, print and marketing.” When things get intense in terms of demand or if problems arise, the partnership is at its strongest, a fitting example for the teens the publication features. “I like to use sports analogies, so if something goes wrong, it’s like a team member stumbling and the only job is to pick them up and remember each member is vital. Our mentality is that of TEAM; so if someone falls, we lift them up, all together. No matter the challenge, always, we are keeping our customers’ needs in mind.”
The tone of sportsmanship and loyalty is shared as Tim concludes, “I feel our partnership will only get stronger as we move forward. Thanks to the hard work of Jack, Sydney and Lynn the LCS magazine will continue to grow year after year.
For how many school districts will we make magazines? Who knows; but I’ll be out there selling it, knowing the folks at Minuteman Press will be ready to produce a magnificent product each and every time.”