Lyn and Charlie Church first met each other while doing sales calls at the same store, and the rest was history. In July 2016, Charlie was ready to leave his long-term sales job that put him on the road traveling across 17 states, and together Lyn and Charlie decided to open up a brand new Minuteman Press design, print, and marketing franchise located at 359 N. Easton Road in Glenside, PA.
Now, Lyn and Charlie get to spend more time together by running a B2B business that has Monday-Friday hours and provides the kind of work/life balance they were both looking for. This is their Minuteman Press franchise review:
1. Please provide an overview of your business – what do you offer your customers, and what would be your message to people who are interested in your services?
Lyn and Charlie Church: 'Minuteman Press in Glenside, PA, offers complete design and printing services. We can design and print pretty much anything you can put words or images on. This includes traditional paper products like stationery and business cards, as well as brochures, signs and promotional products. We also promote local businesses through the Minuteman Press Xpress Ads program and direct mail campaigns.'
2. You joined the Minuteman Press franchise in July 2016? What was your background before franchising?
Lyn and Charlie Church: 'Charlie has an extensive background in consumer product sales. Lyn used to work in sales, too. In fact, they met in a drugstore they both called on. She then had her own interior painting business. In more recent years, Lyn worked in operations for local nonprofit organizations. We also owned a children’s clothing boutique for a few years.'
3. Why did you choose to franchise with Minuteman Press?
Lyn and Charlie Church: 'After becoming empty nesters, Charlie left a long-term sales job that had him on the road covering 17 states. We wanted to spend more time together, so he looked for jobs closer to home. When he didn’t find anything interesting, he suggested attending a franchise show in Philadelphia. That’s where we saw Minuteman Press. We were familiar with the brand and we were impressed by the professionalism of the personnel we met. Lyn admits the Monday – Friday store hours appealed to her. We were ready to take on a new challenge, but we wanted a comfortable work/life balance. After visiting a few local stores and talking to their owners, we were impressed with the solid system Minuteman Press has in place to guide owners. We like that Minuteman Press International is still family owned and it seemed like there was a lot of support for owners on the local level.'
4. What would you say is the most rewarding thing about running your business? How would you compare that to your previous career/industry/life?
Lyn and Charlie Church: 'Without a doubt, the most fulfilling thing about owning our Minuteman Press franchise is being able to help people grow their businesses. When our customers are excited about the products we have produced for them, it is very satisfying. We have also helped with personal orders like funeral programs. Helping someone at a difficult time is also a good feeling. We are excited to come to work every day, which we couldn’t say about our prior careers.
Once, Lyn had a particularly challenging day. Charlie asked her if it was her worst day since we started our store. She said yes. Then he asked her if it was better than the best day at her previous job. The answer was a resounding yes! In our case, we are partners in life and in business, which makes it lots of fun!'
5. How has the ongoing local support you’ve received from Minuteman Press helped you along the way?
Lyn and Charlie Church: 'From the time we decided to explore a Minuteman Press franchise, our Regional Vice President, Richard Hornberger, has guided us every step of the way. He handled negotiations with our landlord for the lease and fit-out of our space. He also helped with the hiring process of our Graphic Designer & Production Manager, Tina Filice. She has been an integral part of our success and we have Rich to think for helping bring her on board.
Our local Field Representative, Richard Hartz, comes to the store weekly for at least half a day. He assists us with everything from marketing to production. We have also called Rich and Rich numerous times with questions and they have always replied in a very timely manner. We owned a children’s clothing boutique for a few years, and we were flying blind without experience in the field. The local support we have received from Minuteman Press has been invaluable in helping us achieve our goals.'
6. What local organizations (charities, non-profits, business organizations) do you work with and what causes are you passionate about?
Lyn and Charlie Church: 'Lyn has been a member of the Rotary Club of Glenside for 13 years. They support local special athletes and provide over 80 turkey dinners to families in need at Thanksgiving. As soon as we opened our store, we joined the local Keswick Village Business Association. We help plan and execute community festivals and events. Charlie is a member of a local LeTip group and Lyn has joined a Master Networks group. We are also members of the Eastern Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce. All of these groups allow us to stay involved with our community, local government and fellow business owners.'
7. What is a typical day like for you as Minuteman Press owners?
Lyn and Charlie Church: 'We arrive at the store a little before our 9:00 a.m. opening time. We check our voicemails and emails for any items requiring follow-up like internet leads. We have a brief meeting with Tina to discuss works in progress and priorities, then follow up with customer inquiries. Charlie usually tries to go marketing in the morning, bringing back at least 10 items to quote. Lyn usually goes out in the afternoon and tries to match Charlie’s count. We are a little competitive about who generates more sales!
As our business has grown, we find ourselves processing more reorders and Internet leads, so we don’t always get out marketing. Back at the store, we work on quotes and monitor ongoing jobs. We close at 5:00 p.m. and we have rarely had to stay past that time. Throughout the week, we also have meetings for our community and business organizations.'
8. What is your ideal day off or way to relax away from the business?
Lyn and Charlie Church: 'We have several restaurants for customers. Most Friday evenings, we go to one of those restaurants to relax with a nice meal at the end of the work week. On the weekend we enjoy things like going to the Philadelphia Art Museum or going to antique stores. We also enjoy watching Phillies baseball and Eagles football games. Given more time, we enjoy traveling.'
9. What are your goals for the rest of 2017?
Lyn and Charlie Church: 'We aim to increase monthly sales by 50% to 100% by the end of the year. In the first quarter of the year, we added 115 new customers. We plan to extend that to 500 new customers by the end of the year. We also plan to add another staff member.'
10. What are one or two pieces of advice you would give to potential franchise owners?
Lyn and Charlie Church: 'In exploring franchise opportunities, look for the level of support we get from Rich Hornberger and Rich Hartz. There is a system in place that works, so don’t try to reinvent the wheel. We also remember a great tip we got from Mike Jutt (Minuteman Press International Executive VP & Director of Training) at owners school: Go marketing every day. If you have a problem, marketing will solve it. We try to go marketing every day, and we see the results when we do.'
Lyn and Charlie Church's Minuteman Press franchise is located at 359 N. Easton Road, Glenside, PA 19038. For more information, call (267) 626-2706 or visit their website: http://glenside-pa.minutemanpress.com