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Monday, Dec 09, 2019
Why Minuteman Press Franchise Was Ideal Route to Entrepreneurship for Jeff Marshall
ST. LOUIS & ST. PETERS, Mo. – Jeff Marshall has been a pillar within the St. Peters community for many years and his ties have only been strengthened by his decision to buy a printing franchise with a famous name. Minuteman Press in St. Peters may have been previously established but Jeff has assumed ownership and has begun to infuse his hometown warmth and business smarts into the mix.
Even former clients are returning. “I have really reached out to the community. As an Ambassador for the Greater St. Charles Chamber of Commerce and a member of the board for a prominent not-for-profit for the past seven years, it helps that people know me personally. I have been reaching out to people who trailed off as regular clients and enjoying the fact that we have many reasons for them to come back and we are proving it.”
His lineage is filled with hard workers, “farm boys” as Jeff explains. “My son, Brenden, is on staff here and he has been raised as I was raised, to ‘work hard/play hard.’ His grandfather, my Dad, raised me with ethics that are unique to farm life.”
Also, on staff is designer Dawn Garver, who Jeff decided should remain on from the previous owner because he knew she was talented. “We chuckle about this because I literally call Dawn a world-class designer to people and she asks me why I do this and I tell her because it is true. I know this makes her feel a little pressure but that she strives and reaches a level of performance that is superior because of it. Dawn gives creative input for everything, starting from scratch and right through finished productions, including start-ups and rebranding of existing businesses.”
“My main focus is service,” Jeff states plainly. His ties to the community run more deeply than is typical and finding out what his neighbors’ and clients’ needs are is a focus from which he and his staff will never be distracted. “We give them a strong resolution to their needs not by just taking orders, but by consultation and using what we know to guide them.”
Jeff admits it can be difficult to stay focused in a contemporary printing industry that demands NOW results, but he is not intimidated by the leadership role that puts him in the hot seat. When deadlines are coming and his staff shows some concern, he is a source of calm. “I say, ‘BREATHE.’ Do not hyperventilate under pressure, but instead lean on me and let me help you take a step back and tackle each task. No one here is ever ashamed to ask for help and just because I am the owner, I am not above rolling up my sleeves to give it at times.”
Just one story about Jeff’s ability to make the lives of busy professionals easier is when a marketing director of one company left and took everything pertinent to their growth campaign with him. This left Jeff’s new potential client in a jam, not the least of which was figuring out where to begin. “They were going to five different places to compensate for a marketing campaign that needed to be revised. I hosted a lunch meeting and they brought me all of their samples. I was able to assure them that with their trust, we could do even better than before (and they own eight different companies).”
Jeff and his team centralized the needs of this dynamic company and just in time for them to launch a new rum venture, right alongside the big names in the liquor industry. “Since they were ready to get out there with the ‘big boys’ like Bacardi, I suggested a branded gift box and we are producing a prototype for that one. Also, they own a birth and wellness center for which we produce six different products. They are very happy with our work and now, they send me everything they need and we are their marketing services provider.”
Minuteman Press is recognized and this fact is something else that excites Jeff about his new career as a franchise owner. “I had a college student come in to see us and she said she used Minuteman Press in Florida and was very glad to see us because she knew it meant she didn’t have to worry.”
He likes to take pressure off his staff, but he also loves explaining the innumerable marketing options in store for his clients who assume “just a printer” applies. “We are so much more than a printer and I love saying that and being able to give real examples of ways their brand can be printed on anything. When I tell them that we can certainly do their letterhead and business cards but that we can also expand their footprint using direct mail and promotional products, their eyes widen and ears open. They simply cannot believe how much more we can do and I can say that I have yet to say we cannot print something. I do not see it happening because of the Minuteman Press brand with our capabilities and central facilities. We can print anything.”
Educating fellow business owners about marketing potential within their industries is far more enjoyable than his former career in collections, according to Jeff. It is also fun when he can tell them that EDDM (Every Door Direct Mail) provides a cheaper price point and he can help them. “I do not focus on the dollars and cents because I know that will come as we build strong relationships. Besides, I did collections for 24 years before selling my partnership. It is easily one of the hardest, most thankless industries and I wanted to get out of it for a reason.”
Jeff continues, “My aspirations to own a business landed me as a digital print, design and marketing franchise owner and I intend to keep enjoying a ‘thankful’ industry because people are thankful when we take their ideas and bring them to life.” Perhaps being a product of a farm boy yields a work ethic and the innate desire to grow good things as is evident in the everyday life at Minuteman Press in St. Peters.
“I had every intention of buying a business but no clue I would go into printing. Still, I have learned so much in the past few months with my training and support from St. Louis Regional Vice President Keith Cawley and everyone at Minuteman Press World Headquarters as well as from the experience of my designer. It is so great to see the people we help succeeding as a direct result of our help.” – Jeff Marshall
Ultimately, Jeff’s life is so far improved above his former career in collections that he can hardly contain his enthusiasm, which is further good for his business for the effect it has on his customer service. “It is actually ‘easier’ coming into the action of running my own business even though printing was new to me because I was used to managing 220 people. I love what I do now because it is on a much smaller scale. There is still pressure to hit goals and run my company, but it’s my company. I am also lucky to be working with Dawn and with my son, Brenden.”
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.