For Minuteman Press franchise owner Dan Murias, the time was right to move his design, marketing, and printing business to its new 6,800 sq. ft. location at 6781 52 Avenue on the "North Hill" of Red Deer, Alberta. Dan explains, "The vast majority of industry and commerce in Red Deer is on the North Side. We are strategically located in the centre of the area. We thought through location versus price and weighed it carefully. I believe we made the right choice in our location, which provides easy access, fantastic visibility and is centrally located. This has given us an increase in new customer walk in traffic. It is a stand-alone building with our own parking and a large staff parking lot with great access for couriers."
Since 2005, Dan and his team have provided today's business professionals with the products and services they need to help them grow. Minuteman Press is the modern printing industry, and over the past twelve years Dan and his team have continued to expand their capabilities for their customers. He says, "Minuteman Press in Red Deer has come a long way since 2005. We have design services, offset and digital press capabilities, in-house signage, promotional products and mailing capabilities. We are a printing company that knows the industry and the trends. We regularly take clients' ideas from concept to completion, designing the project, printing, finishing, and target mailing it to help their businesses grow."
Building the Business and Giving Back
When Dan first started out, Minuteman Press in Red Deer was providing quick turnaround for customers who needed jobs done fast. One customer at a time and with the help of the Minuteman Press franchise system, Dan was able to build a loyal customer base. He says, "As we grew our capabilities, we started to gain recognition and respect in the business community as the 'printer' to go to. Being a franchise helped that growth. I never said 'no' to any job. It got me in trouble once or twice but it worked to our advantage as we took on jobs and timelines that others couldn't or wouldn't provide. That is a key factor in growth, especially in the beginning."
Today, Dan Murias is a member of the Minuteman Press International President's Million-Dollar Circle for top performers. Dan knows he couldn't have built a successful Minuteman Press franchise without the support from his customers and his community, and so he prides himself on giving back in several ways. He explains, "We work with and for a lot of organizations. I try to support local only because that is what we are… local. From the very beginning, we would have local hockey teams come in to get a quote on printing programs for their tournaments and as I handed them the quote I would tell them that I would take the back cover in color, give them a color on the front cover at no extra cost and knock $250 off the price for the ad. Some customers were taken aback… I'd buy an ad, give them full color covers and knock money off without asking. The result was (and is today) fantastic. We get the parents and co-sponsors asking for quotes. Our ad is now on the covers of the majority of team programs in the community. It gives me a chance to help out youth sports and get a little advertising at the same time."
Among the organizations that Minuteman Press in Red Deer supports is the Festival of Trees, something that Dan is really passionate about. He says, "The organization raises funds for our Health Region and last year they raised $950,000 for our local hospital. They put on a very prestigious event and we are proud to be a part of it. It's important that we as business owners support a local foundation in some way, shape or form. Bottom line is that it's good business and it's the right thing to do."
Why Join the Minuteman Press Franchise Family?
Prior to franchising with Minuteman Press, Dan Murias was a 23-year veteran of the printing industry. While most Minuteman Press franchise owners do not have prior printing experience, it says something when someone like Dan decides to go into business for himself and turns to Minuteman Press International to get the proper business training and ongoing local support that is provided to all of their franchisees.
On this note, Dan says, "I worked for a printing company for 23 years and I knew I didn't want to work for someone else for the next 20 so I went to a franchise show as I did not have 'business experience.' As a result, it made sense to partner with a franchise as they have a greater success rate than independent business startups. I attended the Calgary Franchise Show and met Team Minuteman Press at their booth. I chatted with them for a bit and turned to my wife Shelly and said, 'No way am I going into printing. I need to try something new.' The next month I flew to Vancouver to attend the franchise show there just to see if there was anything else out there. Again, I ran into Team Minuteman Press, in fact, the same guys! I gave it some more thought and all of the other franchises were either too expensive, took too much in royalties or were too young. Minuteman Press was affordable, they have a royalty cap and they had been around the block. The kicker is I knew the industry was solid. It was the source of my income for 23 years… and so the rest is history."
To this day, Dan appreciates the entire team at Minuteman Press International for all of their continued efforts in supporting his business. He adds, "Local and corporate support teams are two different animals that have the same mission of helping me out. 'Home office' corporate support provides us with the technical side of support. Chris Multari and his team are always willing to hop on a computer to resolve an issue or to take a suggestion for a software upgrade. The fact that I can reach out to upper management and they are always there with advice on projects is worth a lot to me as a franchisee."
Dan continues, "The local support team members are the 'feet on the pavement' people. I have had to call on my Regional Vice President Neil MacLeod and his field support staff several times over the years for many reasons including new staff training, marketing assistance, and operational assistance. Both the local and home office teams have been essential parts of our growth."
Most Rewarding Thing and Business Goals
Every entrepreneur has his or her perspective on the benefits or rewards of owning a business. For Dan Murias, he quickly realized how much he wanted to work on his business rather than be forced to go to work for someone else. He explains, "I remember the first week as I went to work in my own business. I recall thinking that it was strange knowing that I didn't have to punch a clock or explain to anyone why I was 20 minutes late. It was great! Only thing is, I found that I wanted to be at my business even longer hours than a paying job. I found that as the orders came in and the marketing calls were generating quotes, the drive to be an entrepreneur became stronger. I no longer relied on the 9-5 cheque, I could write my own. Albeit the cheques were smaller in the beginning than they are today, but I could see that with hard work and drive, I could change that."
What is next for Minuteman Press in Red Deer? Dan says, "My business goal is to grow by 15%. My personal goal is to have staff trained to be able to take more of the quoting for orders. I want to be able to enjoy some more time off."
When it comes to the advice he has for other entrepreneurs and business owners, Dan is not short on words of wisdom. He states, "One piece of advice to a new owner is to set business goals early on. You have to live by those goals, not just write them on a piece of paper or whiteboard in your office. I printed a map of my city and put a little pin flag on every competitor's location. I numbered those flags 'guestimating' who was #1 down to #14. No question that I was #14. I had a goal to rise in rank 1 "flag" per year. Today, I am right on target. I no longer do this but it provided a great visual reminder of where the pecking order in the city was and where I wanted to be. The goal is only the first part; you need to have a plan to make the goal a reality. It sounds old but marketing door to door is still number one. Mailings, getting involved in your community, golf course, curling club, hockey rinks and social clubs are also important."
He thoughtfully concludes, "Promote yourself. Promote your business."
Dan Murias' Minuteman Press franchise is located at 6781 52 Avenue, Red Deer, Alberta T4N 4K8. For more information, call Dan and his team at 403-348-0302 or visit their website: www.red-deer10.minutemanpress.ca