Manny Castro is a franchisee of Minuteman Press, serving the Downey, CA market. He has owned his franchise since 2007.
When did you purchase your franchise?
I bought my Minuteman Press franchise in February 2007. I came to this beautiful country 33 years ago without a dollar in my pocket, no skills, no academic degrees, no English, not even a high school diploma. Just a young teenager at that time, I was running away from a very conflicted civil war in El Salvador, looking for a better life. All I can say now is God is great! I also appreciate the legacy of Minuteman Press International and I am proud to be a part of their franchise family.
What was it about the franchise model and or leadership that led you to purchase it?
I was a distribution zone manager for a weekly publication company, and I was looking for something new. I had researched many other companies and different industries for a while, but none of them gave me the level of confidence I needed to motivate me and move forward that Minuteman Press did. Once my decision was made, and we moved forward with training and opening up my center, they gave me a great solid foundation, and second to none ongoing support to this day.
The Monday-Friday hours of operation, products, and services offered by Minuteman Press, and the simplicity of their business model as opposed to other industries and franchises really appealed to me. Also, I love my local field representatives; we have a great relationship with Southern California Regional Vice President Dan Byers and Area Manager Steve Szymanski. They have my back any day and any time. Our success as owners is their success as well.
What type of business experience, education, and/or skills did you have prior to becoming a franchisee that you have found particularly helpful?
When I worked as a distribution zone manager for a local magazines company, my responsibilities included setting up accounts, promoting our products, carrying out our products and services goals, and managing deadlines. I saw similarities between these skills and owning a Minuteman Press franchise and realized that I could learn how to run a business in this new trade and industry with their help and support.
What do you like most about your job?
First, I love working with our customers and helping them meet their business needs. I also enjoy the time flexibility and financial stability I have been able to accomplish as a Minuteman Press franchisee. I have strong will and determination, and a passion for this business.
How did you fund your franchise? Did you receive any discounts/incentives?
Personal savings and an equity line of credit.
What advice do you have for prospective franchise buyers? What do you wish you had known prior to going into franchising?
Take the time to do your homework. Talk to current owners and learn about their experiences. Learn as much as you can about the industry and ask yourself, “If I do this and I fail, what do I have to lose? And If I do this and I succeed, what do I have to gain?"
I wish I knew even 10% of what I know now when I started this journey 11 years ago. The only way to get that experience is to actually gain the experience, and I couldn't be more proud of where I am today.