FRANKFORT, Ill.— After looking for something more fulfilling than their corporate jobs, John and Lynne Regas are now proudly celebrating one year in business as Minuteman Press franchise owners. Located at 55 Bankview Drive, Minuteman Press in Frankfort has differentiated themselves from their competition for one simple yet often overlooked reason: 'We care,' says Lynne.
She elaborates, 'Yes, we are a full-service printing, marketing, and design company. We also have a full line of promotional items available. But we’re so much more than that, and if we’ve learned anything over the past year it’s that we are a business built around developing relationships and providing the best customer service possible. Whether we are producing something as simple as a business card or something as personal as a wedding invitation, we want the item to be a reflection of the customer but also to reflect well on us. We pride ourselves in giving each customer something that will help set them apart, and know by doing this that it will in turn set us apart.'
Why own a business?
For John and Lynne Regas, owning a business was always on their radar. 'John and I had both been employed by large corporations in purchasing/procurement positions,' says Lynne. She adds, 'We were both discouraged with corporate America and it seemed to us like we were working as hard as we always had with little to no reward for our efforts.'
Despite their aspirations to become entrepreneurs, there was still some hesitation on John and Lynne's part. Lynne explains, 'We’d talked about opening our own business for years, but it took life throwing us a curveball – John being laid off after 29 years, to give us the push we needed. It was at this point we began looking at franchising opportunities, and once we found out about and met with the Minuteman Press team, we knew it was the right fit for us.'
Lynne continues, 'After 25-30 years we had become stuck in a rut – we both had good jobs that allowed us to live a comfortable life, but neither of us was really fulfilled; it was more like a job than a career. We just got through each day, looked forward to the weekend, and would start all over again on Monday morning. There was no challenge, and we no longer felt like working hard would result in any kind of growth, so we just went through the motions. Once we were forced to make a decision – either continue on in a corporate job or make the change and open our own business – the decision was a no-brainer. We wouldn’t say it has always been easy, but it’s never been boring, and we’re learning and growing every day. We are taking pride in our jobs again, and that feels really good.'
Benefits of franchising with Minuteman Press
The full training and ongoing local support that Minuteman Press International provides to its franchise owners have made a real difference for John and Lynne Regas. Lynne says, 'One of the things that drew us to Minuteman was the people from the organization that we were introduced to prior to making our decision. We started researching Minuteman Press while we were living in Pennsylvania with the plan to relocate back to the Midwest, and everyone from there to here was so helpful and open. We met with several different franchise owners in both locations and got a real feel for the kind of support that was available. Now that we are in business we have also had several potential new owners visit, and we tell them the same thing that we were told – the support system for helping us to learn and grow has been unbelievable. Anytime we need help we have a field representative that goes above and beyond, and the corporate support is incredible as well.'
'John and Lynne Regas are very dedicated to their clients in Frankfort and they are working hard to provide the kind of high quality and personalized customer service that is synonymous with the Minuteman Press franchise brand,' says Doug Harlan, Minuteman Press International Regional Vice President for the Chicago region. He adds, 'Over the past year, John and Lynne have been valuable additions to the Minuteman Press franchise family and I look forward to continuing to support them and their business for many more years to come.'
Going into business and getting involved in the community
Going into business for themselves has enabled John and Lynne Regas to apply skillsets from their previous careers to their Minuteman Press franchise. Lynne explains, 'Having our own business has allowed us both to bring our unique perspective, developed over years of working for someone else, into our own company. John takes a more methodical, organized approach to situations, whereas I am much more spontaneous. It causes (healthy) arguments at times, but we’ve learned how to communicate better as a result.'
Lynne also credits her stellar staff with allowing John and Lynne to get their names out there and do the necessary networking and marketing that all new business owners should be doing. She says, 'Because we have such an excellent team, we are free to do the networking that is necessary to establish yourself in the community. We are each in a business networking group, we belong to two local Chamber of Commerce organizations, and try to attend as many ribbon-cuttings and Business-After-Hours events as we can. '
Getting involved and giving back to the community are very important to John and Lynne Regas. Lynne elaborates, 'In order to succeed, you have to be willing to become involved with the community you are working with. Joining the local Chambers has allowed us to volunteer for different events, which has enabled us to really get to know other business owners – and that’s what makes up most of our customer base. We also offer special pricing to any local non-profit, and have provided printing in exchange for sponsorship of the biggest fundraising event for the local area Lions Club. We have additionally been involved with an organization that provides recreation facilities and programs to children and adults with special needs, volunteering as well as donating items for their fundraising events. Doing this has allowed us to grow as a business, but also to grow personally.'
There is one other added perk to operating a family-owned business. Lynne says, 'One of the best parts of having our own business is that we can bring our dog, Wrigley, to work with us! We have customers and delivery people that bring him snacks and treats whenever they come in, so he’s really happy we opened the business too!'
Typical day at Minuteman Press in Frankfort
For the team at Minuteman Press in Frankfort, Illinois, team-building and cross-training have become tenets of their business thanks to the leadership of John and Lynne Regas. Lynne explains, 'We start every day with morning production meeting. At that point all the employees get information on what jobs are lined up for the day, and everyone is assigned different tasks to insure the jobs are completed in a timely, efficient manner. We have put a very strong emphasis on cross-training, so with the exception of the more complex graphics jobs all the employees (including both John and me) are involved in all the day-to-day activities, including bindery, delivery, and taking the dog for a walk.'
When they do have a chance to relax, Lynne says that she and John enjoy pleasantries such as dinner and a movie. However, being new business owners, Lynne has purposely set up an environment that makes things comfortable even as they work hard. She says, 'One of the best things about having our own business is that we no longer feel like we need to have extended time away from it. If we’re here after hours or on a weekend it doesn’t feel as stressful. Because we’re a new center, we were able to set everything up in such a way that it feels comfortable, so being here is much more enjoyable than it was when we had to go into a corporate office in the past!'
Business goals and advice for others
What's next for Minuteman Press in Frankfort? Lynne answers, 'We would like to continue to grow the business. Being new business owners and opening a new center put us in a unique position. We were able to establish ourselves and our business the way we wanted, and we both feel like we’ve been doing that. Of course, it also meant that we had to work even harder to create a customer base. We are looking to expand our customer base and continue to grow both personally and professionally by continuing to become more involved with networking groups as well as local businesses, and we believe our business will continue to grow as a result.'
With one year in business under her belt, Lynne Regas offers the following advice for aspiring business owners and franchisees: 'I think the best advice we could give someone is be completely aware that success does not come easily or quickly. The adage 'it’s a marathon, not a sprint' really holds true. You have to be prepared for the hard work and the time it will take to see the growth you want. We know, even more now, that growth takes time, but this franchise really does all it can to help you reach your potential.'
Lynne adds one final piece of advice, saying, 'It’s also really important to get out of the center and market/network. There is no substitute for getting your name out there that is better than a face-to-face introduction. You will invariably encounter rejection, but you will also let the business community know who you are. We have had many people who did not seem even remotely interested in speaking with us contact us down the road with something they need, why? Because they remembered we took the time to stop in to introduce ourselves, and leave behind a pad of paper or a pen along with our business cards.'
John and Lynne Regas' Minuteman Press franchise is located at 55 Bankview Drive, Frankfort, IL 60423. For more information, call John, Lynne, and their team at (779) 254-2912, or visit their website: www.frankfort-il.minutemanpress.com.
About Minuteman Press International
Minuteman Press International is a number one rated business marketing and printing franchise that offers world class training and unparalleled ongoing local support. Started in 1973 by Roy Titus and his son Bob, Minuteman Press began franchising in 1975 and has grown to over 950 business service franchise locations worldwide including the U.S., Australia, Canada, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. Minuteman Press is ranked #1 in category by Entrepreneur 25 times and 14 years in a row, including 2017. Franchise Business Review has also named Minuteman Press International to its 2017 Top Franchises and 2017 Top B2B Franchises lists thanks to positive feedback and reviews from owners.
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.
To learn about Minuteman Press franchise opportunities and access Minuteman Press franchise reviews, visit www.minutemanpressfranchise.com or call 1-800-645-3006 for more information.
Minuteman Press International
Franchise Opportunities, 1-800-645-3006
Chris Biscuiti, 631-249-1370, ext. 249