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Tuesday, Aug 03, 2021
25-Year Independent Printing Business Custom Printing Converts to International Minute Press Franchise in Nampa, Idaho
NAMPA, Idaho & FARMINGDALE, N.Y. – Mike Cutler started selling print out of his garage in 1996. Over the next 25 years, Mike built a successful printing business that averaged over $1 million in gross sales over the past 5 years. Mike shares his experience in attempting to sell his independent printing company Custom Printing on his own for six to eight months and reveals how Minuteman Press International was able to step in to help him successfully sell the business.
History of Custom Printing
Mike says, “Custom Printing was a true family business I built from the ground up. I learned the printing trade through my father, who was a line and typesetter dating back to the 1950s. After starting the business in 1996, I quickly out-grew my garage and opened my first retail location in 1998. At the time, my specialties were thermography, offset printing, and stationery (envelopes and forms). By 2006, we out-grew the original location and expanded to a 6,000 sq. ft. facility. Between 2006 and 2014, I completed eight acquisitions to expand my business. The companies I acquired were in the areas of large format printing and signs, lithography, trophies, and reprographics.”
Mike continues, “In 2015, we expanded even more, giving us 8,200 sq. ft. of space to work with. When the pandemic hit in 2020, we actually excelled and recorded our biggest sales year operating as an essential business. At the time of the sale, we had nine full-time employees and some part-time staff. Our 5-year average was $1.2 million in yearly sales.”
Selling the Business
By June 2020, Mike decided that it was time to sell Custom Printing. At first, he was asking different colleagues and people he knew. However, Mike quickly realized that this wasn’t going to be easy. He says, “I tried to sell the business that I worked so hard to build for six to eight months on my own. I was also preparing to let it go at a very undervalued price as I couldn’t find the right people to buy the business and I found many of them were time-wasters and tire-kickers. On top of that, when I consulted with a business broker, they were asking me for 10% off the top of the sale, and they also wanted a percentage of my lease agreement.”
After experiencing these challenges on his own, Mike turned to Minuteman Press International to help sell his printing business. “One of the franchisees I knew locally in Idaho referred me to Chris Jutt, Minuteman Press International Regional Vice President. After our first phone call, I felt confident that Chris had the ability, drive and connections to make this dream a reality for me. Our meetings were always super easy going and comfortable. Chris took all the pressure off of me and said to focus on my successful business and he would do the rest. That is just what he did.”
Before meeting with Minuteman Press International, Mike even went as far as to get a professional valuation of his printing business. He shares, “When I knew I was going to be selling, I made sure to get the shop ready. I made sure my financials were in proper order, I kept up with equipment maintenance and repairs, and I kept running and growing my business. Just to get a valuation of my business, I spent $3,000 to get it done professionally. Minuteman Press International did this for free and came up with the same number. That really impressed me and reassured me that the sale of Custom Printing was in capable hands.”
“We set a price for my independent printing business that was significantly higher than I anticipated, and Chris Jutt recommended some terms. Within one week, I had several very interested parties. Chris found the perfect people to purchase my business – James and Sheryl Wisler – that will continue what I started some 25 years ago. Minuteman Press International knew that the most important things to me were my long-term employees, my clients, and the reputation I had worked so hard to build. Chris found buyers that valued the same things. He and the entire team at Minuteman Press International delivered on all of my expectations and exceeded in most of them. Looking back, if I knew this was going to be this easy, I would have contacted him years ago.” -Mike Cutler, independent print operator, Custom Printing (now International Minute Press, Nampa, Idaho)
Transition to New Owners
After the sale of his business, Mike quickly realized how beneficial it was to have the team at Minuteman Press International assist with all aspects of the transition to the new owners. He shares, “At first, I was apprehensive about how the transition would go. I was immediately relieved when I saw how Minuteman Press International took the reins to teach and train James and Sheryl. We are only two and a half weeks into the transition phase, and already I feel like I am not needed as much as I thought I would be. My employees are in great hands, my clients are being taken care of, and James and Sheryl are doing a fantastic job.”
He adds, “The entire team both here locally and at their corporate headquarters has been phenomenal. No matter who I’ve talked to or worked with during this entire process, everyone has been professional as well as instrumental in making this happen. It’s a win-win situation all around.”
“The smooth transition has reassured me that it was the right move to sell my business with Minuteman Press International. They have the right plan, the right experience, and everyone has been incredible to the very last detail. In my acquisition experience, nothing has ever been as easy as this. I had everything to gain and nothing to lose, and there were absolutely no hiccups along the way. I would easily rate my experience as 10/10.” -Mike Cutler
Advice to Other Sellers
When asked what advice he would give to other print shop owners looking to sell, Mike answers, “Don’t even waste your time trying to do this yourself. When you try to sell on your own, there are so many bottleneck issues and you will likely undervalue your business. I couldn’t find the right buyers on my own and I had to spend too much time to meet with people repeatedly while still running my own business.”
Mike concludes, “Minuteman Press International alleviated the bottlenecks and came forward with qualified buyers who were ready to write the check for the right price. I am 100% satisfied beyond my expectations. This was a total team effort by everyone, and they all came through for me.”
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