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Minuteman Press father/son team share how they took charge

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Father and son duo Peter and Simon Kelly own and operate the Balcatta (Western Australia) Minuteman Press franchise. Inside Franchise Business: Father/son team take charge of their destiny.

Inside Franchise Business caught up with Simon Kelly who opens up about the business, his parents, what he's learned along the way.

1. Please provide an overview of your business.

Our aim is to offer a one stop solution for our customers print, design and promotional requirements. This could include anything such as business stationery, signage, promotional flyers, and websites. We also offer canvas, fine art and photographic prints.

2. What year did you join the Minuteman Press franchise? What was your background before franchising with Minuteman Press?

We started with Minuteman Press in December of 2015. Peter had sold a successful garden products business and had retired to a farm in the southwest but eventually moved back to the city and was running a stationery manufacturing business where I was working part-time. I was also running a small printing business out of one of their offices and working as a musician.

Peter was looking to expand the stationery business. At the same time, I was recently married and looking for a more settled lifestyle than being a musician offered. We had been in contact with Glenn Coyle, Minuteman Press International regional vice president for Western Australia. Glenn was very helpful and knowledgeable, and it just took a little while to find the right fit and the right timing on our end.

3. Why did you choose to buy a Minuteman Press franchise?

The stationery manufacturing business that we owned made us somewhat familiar with the printing industry. We were running the business with a digital press, offset press, and large format printing. One of the most attractive aspects to me was that Minuteman Press International has proprietary pricing and management software called FLEX that really helps run the business. The support and training offered by Minuteman Press was also great.

4. What would you say is the most rewarding thing about running your business?

The feeling of being in charge of your own destiny is probably one of the major benefits of running your own business. Running a family business also has many advantages. My wife and I have an eight-month-old child so having flexibility with the hours I work has been important. Peter and Trudy are also at an age where they are looking to retire in the not-too-distant future and they like to sneak off for a round of golf. We have great staff that can keep things running smoothly when we aren’t around but between us we can generally coordinate our schedules to make sure someone is in the shop.

5. As part of a father and son franchise team, what would you say are the one or two things you have learned most while working with your dad?

I have been involved in the family business since a young age so most of the things I have learned about running a business have come from my parents. Also, my generation is much more tech-savvy so they sometimes need my guidance in that aspect of the business. It's nice to be able to help them with all the years they have spent raising and mentoring me.

6. How has the ongoing local support you’ve received from Minuteman Press helped you along the way?

Local support has been very important especially in the early days when we were still finding our feet in the print industry. Knowing that we can call on someone from Minuteman Press International for a second opinion or advice is still very helpful and gives you great peace of mind if you ever run into any trouble.

7. What local organizations (charities, non-profits, business organizations) do you work with and what causes are you passionate about?

We think it is important to share our good fortune and give back to the community. We have provided print for many charity events and fundraisers. We also work with non-profit community radio stations and offer special rates for independent artists and musicians.

8. What is a typical day like for you as a Minuteman Press owner?

Every day is different, which is another reason why the print industry is appealing. We begin the day with a production meeting with our staff where we go through all jobs in progress, quotes and any general issues that need attention throughout the day.

9. What is your ideal day off or way to relax?

Peter and Trudy are keen golfers so their ideal vacation is to Bali where they stay at a golf resort. I have spent most of my life travelling as a musician so these days I like to stay close to home when I have time off, especially now that I have a young child.

10 What are your next business goals?

Our main goals for the rest of this year are simply to continue to grow the business by expanding our customer base and to search for new ways to run the business more efficiently.

11. What is your advice for potential franchisees?

My advice to potential franchise owners would be to go for it, but to keep in mind that you will only get out of it what you put in. Pay attention to details and always give the customer more than they expect. 

Noha Shaheed

Noha writes for Inside Franchise Business. She has worked across the communications landscape, with a background in PR, digital communications, and editorial. She is no stranger to digital and print media, as well as social media platforms.  View More...
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