When Chris and Pat McGroder bought their Minuteman Press center in Concord, NC in May 2014, they set lofty goals for themselves immediately. Chris shares, “When we started, we bought an existing Minuteman Press shop barely doing any revenue with only one employee. There were 3 key areas we focused on the first year: hiring additional staff; identifying equipment to replace/upgrade; and increasing revenue.”
She continues, “I also left training with a goal to grow to a successful shop. But that goal has always had top of mind awareness not only for us but for the entire staff. We followed the advice of our field rep and regional vice president to increase business through marketing calls, utilizing FLEX for email campaigns, and always looking for opportunities to suggestive sell to our existing customers.”
Today, after eight years in business, Chris and Pat have successfully achieved their goals, becoming members of the President’s Circle. Minuteman Press in Concord is located at 400-50 McGill Ave NW.
In addition to expanding products and services and following Minuteman Press marketing strategies, one of the biggest ways they have grown is through strategic acquisitions. Pat says, “Our most successful steps to growth are attributed to acquisitions. In February 2016, we hired a sales person and acquired his extensive book of business in the apparel industry. This propelled our growth in this area of business and screen printing/embroidery grew to be 30% of our business for the next 5 years. In October 2021, we acquired a large independent printer in Concord when that owner retired. In both cases, these acquisitions not only grew the business with additional customers but also expanded the types of products we could now provide to these customers.”
Creating Positive Customer Experiences & Providing Custom Branded Apparel
Chris shares the following insights on providing a positive customer experience. When describing Minuteman Press in Concord to prospects, Chris shares, “We educate our clients and explain how we are a full service commercial printer specializing in graphic design, printing, signs and banners, branded apparel, and promotional products. There are a couple of key areas that set us apart from our competition: It all begins with exceptional customer service. Our customer facing staff excel at making each customer feel important. Whether it’s a simple business card order or a complicated apparel order, each customer feels like an individual.”
She adds, “Secondly, our production staff ensures quality results at each step of the production process. We excel at providing a wide range of products within the reasonable time frame they request. We frequently hear our customers say they love the convenience of being able to have all of their printing needs met at one location.”
For Minuteman Press in Concord, high-demand products and services include “apparel (screen printed and embroidery), promotional products, and wide format products including signs, banners, and labels,” according to Chris. “Our new customers who come in for traditional ‘ink on paper’ products are excited to learn that they can also get these additional items through us.”
She continues, “Our key growth area continues to be apparel. Almost every business has a need to outfit their employees with some type of branded apparel. We have plenty of opportunity to grow this part of the business just with our existing customer base.”
Pat and Chris McGroder have expanded their capabilities and sales by making custom branded apparel a point of focus and key growth area of their business.
Keys to Growing the Business
Chris shares the following 5 keys to growing Minuteman Press in Concord, NC, into a successful business:
- “Customer Service: Creating a skilled, customer service-oriented staff. This is the first impression a customer has when the speak with us. Our philosophy is to do what we can to build and maintain such a strong relationship with each customer so that it would be difficult for them to want to go to a competitor.
- Always looking for additional opportunities to meet the needs of each customer – asking questions and suggestive selling. (i.e. “Your logo looks great on that polo you’re wearing! Are you happy with your current apparel provider?”)
- Marketing and Advertising: We aggressively participate in SEO & SEM programs which results in Google being our number one lead generator.
- Participation in BNI, Chamber of Commerce, and other small local networking groups
Background Before Franchising & Why Print Is Alive and Well
Prior to buying Minuteman Press in Concord, Chris and Pat had some experience with franchising as well as other industries. Pat explains, “Prior to purchasing our Minuteman Press business, we were the franchisor for The Perfect Wedding Guide – a quarterly buyers guide for wedding and honeymoon services published in 65 cities across the US. As franchisors, we knew the value of having a proven pattern of success to ensure our franchisees would succeed.”
He continues, “After we sold Perfect Wedding Guide, we both went into different careers that interested us at the time. I dove into real estate, opening a highly successful brokerage office, and Chris pursued a Master’s degree in Elementary Education and became a 4th grade teacher.”
Chris adds, “After four years of teaching, Pat convinced me we should look at buying another business. He came across the opportunity with Minuteman Press and we both saw the potential of the business. Knowing that virtually every business has a need for what Minuteman Press shops can offer along with the support of a proven franchise system made it an appealing business opportunity for us to pursue.”
Pat and Chris McGroder inside their lobby of Minuteman Press, Concord, NC, located at 400-50 McGill Ave NW.
Chris also shares what it’s like to own a business in Concord. She shares, “Our community values doing business with local companies and people are very loyal to local businesses that offer a quality product delivered when promised. As business owners, we enjoy getting to know our customers and developing those relationships. Our goal is to make doing business with us so effortless and enjoyable that they have no need to go elsewhere. We enjoy the business because it offers us the opportunity to interact with so many different types of businesses and everyday poses new opportunities and challenges.”
As for why printing remains popular today with clients, Chris explains, “I don’t think print will ever be eliminated. I still feel that print has a more marked impression on the consumer than anything digital. It provides something tangible that the consumer can refer back to later. I also think there’s a perception that a printed piece required more effort to get into the hands of the consumer so there’s a higher perceived value to that message than say, an ad that appears in your Facebook feed. With so much information being received through so many channels (social media, email, tv, radio), printed pieces have a higher potential of being remembered. Print helps to reinforce the messages that consumers are being bombarded with through digital methods.”
Rewards & Advice
Aside from being members of the President’s Circle, Chris says, “The biggest personal reward is the ability to reward yourself for your own efforts. The biggest professional reward of owning this business is the opportunity to work with such a diverse group of businesses in Cabarrus County and to play an important role in the community. We have relationships with many customers that go back 20 or 30 years. We are also proud of the fact that we continued to grow and thrive during the pandemic.”
Company Name: Minuteman Press
Contact Person: Pat McGroder
Email: Send Email
Address:400 McGill Ave NW Suite 40
Country: United States