Monday, May 16, 2022

Steve Weber Reflects on 30 Years in Business As Minuteman Press Franchise Owner in Norwich, CT

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Steve Weber Reflects on 30 Years in Business As Minuteman Press Franchise Owner in Norwich, CT

NORWICH, Conn. – Located at 595 W. Main Street, Minuteman Press in Norwich, Connecticut first opened in August 1992. Owner Steve Weber shares the following insights and advice as he reflects on celebrating 30 years in business.

Building the Business

On building Minuteman Press in Norwich into a successful business, Steve says, “I guess looking at it from the outside 30 years is quite an accomplishment, especially when you realize I was 40 years old when we started. I think that this milestone means it is almost time to retire.”

He continues, “Our success can be attributed to a number of things. For the first 25 years, my wife and partner Gail helped grow the business and keep me on track.  Since she has retired, I think our continued success can be attributed to surrounding myself with the best people as well as giving excellent customer service and evolving our business to meet the times.

Our equipment and services have definitely evolved.  Several years ago, we became an all-digital shop.  We have invested in the equipment needed to provide excellent quality with the quick turnaround time our customers expect. We also have great suppliers who can provide old school offset printing when the job calls for it.

We have expanded into the ad specialty market and learned the specifics of selling clothing.  We have also invested in mailing equipment. This has been an excellent complement to our printing.  We never sell a large printing job without asking, ‘What are you doing with this printing?’  Often, the answer has been we are mailing it. Providing mailing has earned us many new customers.”

Print is Essential

When asked why print remains so vital for local businesses today, Steve shares, “Our community is relatively rural. We do not have any trade binderies to help support our business.  To that end we have invested in our own bindery.  We have a collator / booklet maker, as well as a perfect binder and a small die cutting unit. To complement the mailing services, we also have a folder inserter.

We do over 100,000 business cards per month so we added a slitter cutter to automate that service.  The machine is relatively slow but we have nicknamed it ‘set it and forget it.’  The person in bindery can set it up and do another job while it is running.

We are proof that ‘print is dead’ is not truthful.  Our customers still want business cards to hand out and annual reports to distribute. We also work with many nonprofits who have learned that the best return on fundraising is by mailing the information. Email just does not work to this end.”

Support from Minuteman Press

With 30 years as part of the Minuteman Press franchise family, Steve reflects on his experiences with the franchisor. He says, “Minuteman Press International has guided us every step of the way.  From our first meeting with Roy Titus to now working with Nick Titus, we always feel comfortable.  We have been fortunate to have Ron Rubin as our New England Regional Vice President.  His wisdom and guidance have kept me focused on the goal of success.  The proprietary software we used originally developed by Minuteman Press has also evolved. The current FLEX management software has been a great help especially when training employees in our company.”

Steve adds, “We have been fortunate over the years to introduce more than a few other people into the Minuteman Press system.  Our son Michael and his wife Lindsey now have 3 Minuteman Press locations of their own in Enfield, CT, Springfield, MA, and Brattleboro, VT.”

Value of Acquisitions & Advice for Others

Steve shares the following insights on how acquisitions have helped him over the years and also shares some advice for other business owners. On acquisitions, he says, “We did a mailing a number of years ago to the printers in our area.  We have been able to acquire four different independent businesses who were competitors. It creates a win/win because the owners are typically retiring and they know their clients will be left in good hands.”

As far as his advice for others, Steve concludes, “Lastly, this is not a business for an absentee owner.  You must work in your business to succeed.  After 30 years, I no longer work 50 hours/week, but I am still involved.  My staff now does the heavy lifting but when we are bidding a large project, I appreciate them reaching out to me to utilize my years of experience.”


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