Ron Smith and Jan Griffith, Minuteman Press Franchisees
Ron Smith and Jan Griffith bought their Minuteman Press franchise in Kirkland, Washington two years ago. They sat down with Franchise Business Review to speak on their experiences with the #1 Rated Printing and Marketing Franchise.
When did you purchase your franchise?
We purchased our franchise in April 2017 and started operating the business in May 2017.
What was it about the franchise model and/or leadership that led you to purchase it?
We looked at a number of different franchises before deciding on Minuteman Press, and quickly realized we wanted something in business-to-business without the turnover or long hours associated with fast food. We came across printing and then Minuteman Press. What sold us were two things: The tenure of the people involved in Minuteman Press. We met with owners in our area who were in business 30 years and 20 years. Everyone you meet in the corporate office has been with Minuteman Press a long time. The nitty gritty of the business deal was fair, a reasonable price for a terrific level of support. We always get answers straight away and they never leave us hanging.
What type of business experience, education, and/or skills did you have prior to becoming a franchisee that you have found particularly helpful?
I (Ron) have a business administration degree, which helped me understand the mechanics of running a small business. That helped me on the sales and logistics side. Immediately before buying the franchise, I spent one year as an Uber driver, where I met a lot of interesting people. Before that, I worked with high-tech companies such as Microsoft.
What do you like most about your job?
The thing we like most is the variety. We have clients that are water heater suppliers, restaurant owners, families looking for cards, art centers needing custom banners, etc. One huge rewarding aspect of this is the multiple times per day you get a level of satisfaction and gratitude from customers. There’s nothing like getting that consistent reassurance from people who need you.
How did you fund your franchise? Did you receive any discounts/incentives?
We took out a margin loan on an equity account. This had a low-interest rate and made sense for us.
What advice do you have for prospective franchise buyers?
Make sure you have great people working with you. We bought an existing franchise and our graphic designer Katie has been amazing. We had no printing experience and the Minuteman Press regional support team and Katie have helped us tremendously. Also, the right time for marketing is NOW! It doesn’t matter if business is slowing down one month or busy another month. Social media, Google Adwords, networking, everything matters. We get 70% of new customers from Google Adwords with help from Minuteman Press’ Internet Marketing Program, and it’s up to us to build those relationships and make a lasting impression that keeps them coming back.
What do you wish you had known prior to going into franchising?
As for what we would have wanted to know before franchising, all we can say is: We wish we had made the transition earlier because the rewards of owning your own business are there and it just takes time. We also wish we had taken advantage of the opportunity sooner. It’s not just about potential financial rewards but the feeling of having a purpose and being needed.