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Monday, Mar 22, 2021
Minuteman Press Franchise Owners Lynne and John Regas Show Print is Essential in Frankfort, Illinois
Minuteman Press Frankfort Has Remained Open As an Essential Business During Covid-19; Owners Lynne and John Regas Share Their Insights on Adapting During the Pandemic and Helping Local Businesses “Bounce Back”
John and Lynne Regas, owners, Minuteman Press franchise, Frankfort, Illinois. Minuteman Press Frankfort has remained open and operating throughout the COVID-19 pandemic as an essential business.
CHICAGO & FRANKFORT, Ill. – As Lynne and John Regas approach five years in business, no year has been more defining for their Minuteman Press printing franchise than this one. “We both feel very fortunate that we were considered essential and were able to remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic, not only to be there for other local businesses and organizations, but to help us stay sane and keep working,” says Lynne.
Print is Essential
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Minuteman Press Frankfort has continued to provide high-demand products and services that have been critical in helping local businesses reach out to customers while promoting community solidarity. “Early on in the pandemic, we saw high demand for yard signs. We were able to supply local schools with graduation signs, and now those same school districts are coming back to us since it was so popular. Banners and flags have been in high demand from businesses who simply want to let customers know, ‘We’re Open.’ Restaurants have also come to us for takeout menus as they update their specials, menu items, and safe pickup and delivery options.”
Lynne continues, “We are also helping a number of businesses reach out to the community via direct mail postcards and flyers. We’ve already reached out to several business categories about the power of mailing campaigns. For example, we have recently helped a local chiropractic office, a local physical therapist, and a local small gym owner increase their visibility (and therefore their customer base) by designing and mailing flyers using both direct mail and Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM). These are businesses that can really benefit from letting people know they are there and following every safety protocol to make sure they can provide their services and still keep you healthy.”
“This pandemic really forced a lot of local businesses to rethink their paths forward, and we are here to help them do that and provide them with the design, print, marketing, and mailing services they need to do so. We are a local business ourselves, we support local businesses, and we are all in this together.” -Lynne Regas, Minuteman Press franchise owner, Frankfort, Illinois
Helping Local Businesses Bounce Back
When the pandemic first hit, Lynne and John launched Bounce Back Frankfort (part of Bounce Back USA by Minuteman Press International), a free community website that provides free local listings to businesses as well as free COVID-19 awareness and prevention posters. To date, 44 local businesses have signed up to reach out to community members with special offers. “The idea is simple,” says Lynne. “Let’s support local businesses, and let’s bounce back together as a community.”
Lynne continues, “We spent those first few weeks doing what we could to focus on a path forward and to give back to other businesses. Bounce Back Frankfort is special because it provides an uplifting message as well as a free way for people to advertise at a time where they could use that extra boost. It not only lifts our spirits, it also reminds everyone that it’s so important to communicate, connect, and engage with our community, especially right now.”
“Our message to other local businesses is to hang in there. It’s important to remain calm and focused on the future while we navigate through these times. Knowing that everyone is in this together has caused a renewed sense of unity in the small business community we are a part of here in Frankfort. We’ve made sure that everyone knows we are here to support them – both now and in the future.” -Lynne Regas
Adapting the Business and Receiving Ongoing Support
Minuteman Press Frankfort is locally owned and operated but being part of the Minuteman Press franchise family has really helped Lynne and John learn and grow as business owners over the past five years and throughout the pandemic.
Lynne says, “We have always been grateful for the support we’ve received from Minuteman Press, but 2020 and 2021 have really showed us that we made the right decision when we joined this family. The ongoing support during the pandemic has been above and beyond what we expected. From the Bounce Back program to the daily emails of suggestions and encouragement from Nick Titus (President of Minuteman Press International), we absorbed everything and did what we needed to do to adapt and pivot. It is so helpful to know what is happening with other franchises, both local and across the country, to know that we aren’t alone and to be reminded that there will be an end to this pandemic.”
Lynne explains how she has learned and grown from this experience and is better positioned for the future. “We’ve started using social media much more to communicate and promote our business. We’ve had many businesses reach out to us as they start to reopen. For example, we ran a promotion for menus and restaurants responded.”
She continues, “We have learned to incorporate marketing strategies and new ways of communicating so that we can reach and interact with clients safely. Whether it’s a promotion on Instagram or targeted local marketing, we are here to engage with customers across all touch-points.”
“Lynne and John Regas have done a tremendous job supporting local businesses in their community and finding new ways to pivot and connect with their clients. They’ve followed the Minuteman Press franchise system closely and have built a solid foundation for their business over the past five years. They are great people and caring business owners, and I am proud to support them.” -Steve Szymanski, Minuteman Press International Regional Vice President, Midwest
Reflections on Owning the Business and Advice for Others
Prior to becoming business owners, Lynne and John worked in corporate sales. “We were both involved in purchasing roles with different corporations. John had worked for the same company for almost 30 years and was laid off. I had worked for several different companies but was really just going through the motions. After John was laid off and began seriously thinking about opening his own business and being his own boss, I was supportive – but I’d be lying if I didn’t also say I was a little apprehensive. Looking back now, we certainly made the right decision.”
She adds, “It’s so surreal that we’ve been doing this for almost five years because the time has gone by so quickly. We’re no longer in that ‘rut’ we were in when working our previous jobs, and every day is truly a new adventure. We are becoming the people we wanted to be – entrepreneurs who are doing what it takes to make their business successful, no matter what comes our way. The biggest reward, definitely, is no longer feeling like we are working hard for someone else. We’re working harder than we ever have but it’s for us and our business – and that makes it all worth it!”
When asked what advice she would give to others, Lynne answers, “If you’re being honest with yourself, there is a lot of risk when you open your own business. Being a part of a company like Minuteman Press that really invests in its franchise owners helps mitigate that risk and should put any potential owners’ minds at ease.”
She concludes, “We have potential new owners visit our center and we share our experiences as franchisees. We tell them how impressed we’ve been with the level of support we’ve received from day one. Ultimately, Minuteman Press International has always cared about us and their support during this pandemic has clearly demonstrated just how much they truly care.”