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Wednesday, Oct 16, 2019
Born Entrepreneur Richie Moore and His Family Thrive with Minuteman Press Printing Franchise in Macon, Georgia
ATLANTA & MACON, Ga. – Richie Moore, owner of the Minuteman Press franchise in Macon, was born to be an entrepreneur. When the opportunity came to leave behind a career at Progressive Insurance to finally realize his dream, Richie pulled the trigger with the help and encouragement of his father and his wife Michelle. Celebrating over two years in business, Richie is proud of his work and the relationships he’s built with his customers as they grow together.
Always an entrepreneur
Richie Moore was always good at being his own boss. He started by selling candy better than a six-year-old normally would to running lemonade stands that profited for his charm and hustle. He had a legitimate job starting at the age of eleven and he says, “I knew I always wanted to work for myself. I always had my own ideas about how to make business better.” It would happen, but not right away.
Even though his family owned some computer stores in the Macon, GA area, Richie spent the first six years of his career working with claims for Progressive Insurance. Then, one day his father called him because a known client, Minuteman Press in Macon, asked him to pick up all their PCs as they were selling. “My father encouraged me to ‘stop selling my soul’ and finally do what I always wanted to do. Buy my own business.” He took his bonus check from Progressive and left the workforce to pursue his dream.
Opportunity for growth by never saying no and delivering for clients
The established Minuteman Press printing business was very popular and had many clients so Richie and his dad were “flabbergasted” and could not figure out why the owner wanted to leave. “My dad called him and it was a simply personal decision to move on. We knew we wanted to check out the chance that we could do something greater with it as owners ourselves.”
They bought the digital print, design and marketing franchise in June of 2017 and went on to have a record-breaking opening month. Richie says, “July 2017 was our biggest month until April 2019 when we had another record-breaking month in our center. We love our clients and the fact that no two days are the same at Minuteman Press. It’s very exciting.”
He said his dad has always been his own boss and the father and son team worked well enough together to make sales soar for themselves and many customers, too. “Unfortunately, just six months in, my father endured complications from a surgery that made it impossible for him to run the business. At that point, I talked to him about what was fair and I decided to buy him out and my wife Michelle came in to be my partner here. It’s on our shoulders now and we are going forward.”
“Now that my wife, Michelle, joined me running our Minuteman Press center and she also worked in insurance before, we went from an insurance family to a printing family.” – Richie Moore
One major element that was lacking when the Moore family took over was strong customer care, as evidenced by weaker reviews than Richie and his team earn today. “Michelle handled the raw end of customer service when she worked for an insurance company. I had it easier as I was the guy who wrote the checks. Together, we know how to make people happy.”
The upgrade in the reviews the center receives under their command is proof. “They had a 2.5-star rating before us and only four or five reviews. Now, we have more than forty ratings and everyone gave us 5 stars, except just two… and one of those I found and won because he turned around and gave me 5 stars, too.”
Owning and operating a B2B franchise at the top of its game is something Richie describes as “fun”, even though he works harder than most and the reason is the element of surprise. “The fun thing about my business is that people assume we do business cards and letterhead, but they don’t realize we can design things for them. They don’t realize we do shirts, banners, signs and promotional products. It is always fun to say ‘YES I can do that’ and see how they are so surprised. Coming up with ideas as they are sharing their own thoughts is what we do and seeing how it helps clients increase sales is gratifying. That we do not have to reinvent the wheel thanks to our proven system is nice too.”
On staff is a former Minuteman Press franchise owner, Steve Hardison, and he knows “everything about printing” according to Richie. Steve bought his Minuteman Press franchise in 1988, enjoyed a 21-year career and sold it to the owner that eventually sold to the Moores. “Steve is so trustworthy and hardworking, so we are glad to have him remain with the center to help us.” In addition to part-timer Malcolm Simms, also on staff is Iannah James-Smith, a designer who came to the center from one of their most loyal clients and a state university.
“Richie and Elle have done a great job of taking advantage of opportunities. At Minuteman training school owners are taught to never say no to any job. Richie and Elle have embraced that adage. Every time I see them, they are working on an unusual job. Last time I was visiting they were getting ready to install a 200’ long printed fence barrier, all because they never say ‘no’ to the customer.” – David Walton, Minuteman Press International Regional Vice President
Brilliant grassroots idea becomes a business partnership in Macon
The work that is done every day in Macon’s favorite marketing services center is predicated on the idea that an outside perspective is necessary when you want to spread a message. “I love it when people set up a meeting and I have let’s say 30 minutes to give them my take on solutions,” he explains. “One time, finally, after chasing him down for four or five months, I met with a Vice President of parts and manufacturing for a 5-star auto dealership (and we have a lot of dealers here). It took a while to get the meeting until he got one of our ‘Xpress Ads’ in the mail. So, at the time I got the meeting, I came by and our ad was on his desk. He told me he hung onto it in case he saw me because he needed advice about retaining employees. It took him receiving a direct mail piece from us and from there, I gave him an idea he loved.”
The dealership was having a hard time retaining entry-level employees and was going to do a mailing for a “5-Star technician.” They pay well, wanted to offer benefits, but employees kept leaving for other positions. “I suggested we do a highly targeted printed marketing campaign. Instead of wasting resources on four-thousand people when only a hundred may qualify for the position, why not shoot for better odds,” Richie proposed.
The idea was pitched and accepted and it was clever. “I told him all the people around here are putting labels on the parts you sell. Let’s print your contact information and “Help Wanted” on them so when people leave your dealership and they eventually take their vehicles for service at different auto shops, the technicians who may want to work for you will see it. They will directly handle the parts because people usually do not go back to the dealership for service and your target audience will be handling these parts and seeing your ad.” The client loved the idea, ordered twenty-thousand labels and re-ordered them because it did the trick.
Though he says, “I will bend over backwards and never say I cannot help a customer,” Richie is proud that he is not the cheapest in the area either because quality and care have value. “I will never say no because I know they will go to someone else and I do not want that. I want to be the one they trust. Let’s say someone needs a stand-up banner by 2pm, but it’s not in stock. I will say I can do an 11 x 17 stand-up that can be displayed on a table and will knock it out for you right away. There will always be a solution. We do not turn anyone away.”
Charities including Jay’s Hope and Georgia Fallen Firefighters Association benefit from the alliance between Minuteman Press and Macon- Bibb County Fire Department Station 6
There are sixteen stations in the Macon-Bibb County Fire Department and one of them, Station 6 is operated by Lieutenant Phillip Herndon and he had an idea that would take some work, beautiful scenery and some help from Minuteman Press in Macon.
“Phillip is in charge of a firehouse and is an entrepreneur with experience running a transport company and a company that needed help printing a firemen’s calendar with incredible photography. It was a twenty-thousand- dollar project and they trusted us to help them with it,” according to Richie.
All the proceeds from the 2017 calendar went to the charities Jay’s Hope, a local children’s cancer charity and Georgia Fallen Firefighters Association, a charity that supports families in need. “It was a 24-page (plus cover) calendar and every detail needed to be perfect.”
Phillip is proud of his life’s work and is glad he walked into Minuteman Press when he knew he had a good idea. “I am the president of the calendar company and along with my buddy, Blaine, we put in a lot of man hours to get it together on our own. No one donated money. We went out and sold advertising space and came up with about half the cost. After we got everything approved through the city and the fire chief here, we went to one of the coolest places in the country to take our pictures, The Guardian Center. It’s 800 acres with four miles of railroad under the ground for training purposes. Firefighters work through obstacles to learn how to get people out of trouble.”
Though the President of The Guardian Center welcomed them to shoot the calendar free of charge, they still needed to get them all printed and make sure they looked fantastic. “The fire department was already using Minuteman Press and when I went in it was as the ownership was changing over to Richie and his Dad. I was glad about the change as Richie is easy to work with and he donated a lot of signs and time helping us sell them at events. They came out looking great,” Phillip says. “It was a lot of meeting at ‘Richie’s roundtable’ and we really put Minuteman Press to the test because we wanted it to be the best. We were hard on them and they took care of everything.”
“It seems people want to make a lot of money and retire when they are thirty,” Richie says of his generation. “I don’t want to retire. Even though I always knew I wanted to own a business, if you told me I’d be running a Minuteman Press printing franchise in Macon, I would have laughed. But now, I wouldn’t change anything because I love where I landed.”
He adds, “I want to grow and own five or six more centers. The future is bright.”
About Minuteman Press International
Minuteman Press International is the number one rated business marketing and printing franchise that offers world class training and unparalleled ongoing local support. At Minuteman Press, We Are The Modern Printing Industry™ providing high quality products and services that meet the needs of today's business professionals and go way beyond ink on paper. Today, our centers offer innovative branding solutions and produce custom designs, promotional products, branded apparel, direct mail marketing, large format printing (banners and posters), signs and graphics, and much more. Prior experience is not necessary to own and operate a successful Minuteman Press franchise.