Gabriel Leal Has an Impressive Professional Background in Corporate Finance and International Relations; His Desire to Continue the Family Tradition of Entrepreneurship and Own a Printing Business Led Him to the Minuteman Press Franchise in Plano, Texas
Plano, Tex. – Gabriel and Maggie Leal own their Minuteman Press design, marketing, and printing franchise located at 3115 W. Parker Rd, Suite 390 in Plano, Texas. They are celebrating three years in business with Minuteman Press International, the world's largest and #1 rated marketing and printing franchise by Entrepreneur.
Welcome to Minuteman Press in Plano
Gabriel and Maggie Leal know how to make an introduction that makes a lasting impression on their clients; it all starts with their proactive approach to marketing their business. Gabriel says, "Most people identify us as printing, and I am normally quick to tell them that we not only do printing but we also provide products and services such as professional graphic design, plastic printing, wall murals, floor graphics, promotional products, and more. We can produce anything you can put a name, image, or logo on. For example, we can produce everything a business needs for trade show displays, and one of our biggest clients just ordered 250 demonstration stands for an upcoming exhibition."
Gabriel continues, "When clients come into our lobby, we have everything on display: Retractable banners, business cards, plastic items, folders, paper bags. We try to make our lobby a representation of the wide variety of products and services that we offer, and our customers really respond favorably to this. They will tell us, 'I never knew you had so many different items you can produce.' A client who comes in looking for business cards will leave with several different quotes for orders for banners, pens, and many more items. It's amazing how they then pass along that information to others in the community."
Journey to Entrepreneurship
Gabriel Leal is a true leader. He began an impressive corporate career in his native Monterrey, Mexico and gathered respect and experience when he was transferred to Europe, receiving his Master’s degree along the way. He explains, "My undergraduate degree is in finance and I worked for Fortune 500 Company Cemex for seven years in their strategic finance department. It was a great corporate career. Then, I achieved my Master's in International Relations and worked as a consultant for five years in D.C. as a liaison to Mexico and Latin America."
In spite of the prestige he earned as a white-collar executive and the perks that came along with it, there was a calling that would not be silenced as he was the product of three proud generations of printing industry experts back in Monterrey.
In fact, Gabriel's father still owns the printing company that his grandfather started and his siblings are dedicated print professionals. Gabriel says, “My dad was so happy when he learned I was buying a Minuteman Press franchise. At the time, I was the only family member who was not involved in the industry and I always wanted to own my own business. I thought nothing could be better than getting into the same industry that had brought such success to my family in Mexico. My wife Maggie is extremely skilled with accounting and we knew we could run our own business. So, when we were living in Washington, D.C., we decided that moving closer to home and buying a printing franchise in Plano, Texas was the answer."
Why own a Minuteman Press franchise? Gabriel answers, "I simply asked myself, 'What do I like?' Then, I saw Minuteman Press was well-regarded and a reasonable investment to buy a franchise. When I focused on moving to Texas, I spoke with Dallas Regional Vice President Pete Scaglione, who was a huge help. The location in Plano was the perfect opportunity for us. I love the area. There are a lot of corporations, and Dallas and Plano are booming. I could see that we would be benefiting in a big way off a growing and booming economy."
Another big reason that Gabriel and Maggie wanted to own their own business was because they were raising a family, and Minuteman Press is a family-friendly franchise. Gabriel says, "We had two baby girls at the time, one was four and one was a year and a half. At that point, the family was young enough for us to move. This was a family decision. With the consultant job that I had in D.C., there was a really clear limit in terms of how far I could go. There was no way to move forward and so I thought it was time for that change."
Benefits of Franchising with Minuteman Press
Gabriel points out a few other reasons why buying a Minuteman Press franchise was appealing to him, saying, "I liked that everyone at Minuteman Press International seemed so nice, from the company representatives to the owners. When we were still in D.C., Regional Vice President Bob Heimbuch and the owners in that area were simply honest and open, letting me know that hard work pays off. I saw that the franchise system worked, the owners were happy, and that there was a general atmosphere of truthfulness and friendliness."
There was also an added incentive for Gabriel and Maggie to choose Minuteman Press. He says, "Also, at the end of the day, Minuteman Press has a royalty cap that caps royalties above a certain monthly sales level. That is a huge benefit."
On his journey from D.C. to Texas, Gabriel states, "The previous owner of the business wanted to sell the business. While I was training, Pete Scaglione and his team were here to help me every step of the way. The support I received the first two months was critical, and I'll never forget how they were there for me on the ground. They will help you with everything from customer service and pricing to so many other things."
Minuteman Press International recently held its World Expo in Orlando, Florida. Gabriel Leal was one of hundreds of Minuteman Press franchisees who attended the event that featured a full trade show, seminars, guest speakers, a gala awards dinner, and more. On this experience, Gabriel reflects, "The World Expo was great. Having that camaraderie between Minuteman Press franchise owners is really inspiring and people are genuinely respectful and willing to help each other out. The atmosphere and experience was even more rewarding than I expected. Meeting other owners and being able to network with them was priceless. Having that floor exhibition was huge. You get the discounts and the service from vendors, and it's a huge advantage."
Growing the Business
When it comes to growing the business, Gabriel and Maggie have a plan that makes perfect sense considering they joined the #1 rated marketing and printing franchise with a tried and proven business model. Gabriel explains, "A lot of our growth strategy has to do with following the Minuteman Press franchise playbook. We do direct marketing especially while doing deliveries. I do a lot of strategic planning and I enjoy talking to people. We attend networking events and are involved with the Chamber of Commerce. If people like you and you can help them, they will do business with you. We are active in the schools. Everywhere we go, everyone needs something we do."
As a result of their marketing efforts, Minuteman Press in Plano has gained a diverse group of clients. Gabriel explains, "We have so many different clients across so many different industries. Dallas is very diverse and we love helping everyone. One of our biggest clients is in the food service industry, and others are in recruiting. We work with doctors and dentists, alarm and security companies, pest control companies. It is all very gratifying."
For each entrepreneur, the rewards of owning a business are varied. For Gabriel Leal, it's all about taking ownership of his career path and passionately following in his family's footsteps: "I have to say that the biggest reward for me is having that peace of mind knowing that I am in control of my own destiny. It's not only the financial aspect, but knowing that my hard work is paying off. You can't get fired from your own company. My wife is also involved in the business, and I feel like we've come full circle thanks to Minuteman Press."
One key driver for any business is being active and involved in the community. Gabriel says, "We are a member of seven different organizations and community groups, including non-profits. One group I am proud to be associated with is the North Texas Latin American Physicians Association (NTLPA). The group does a lot including helping younger Hispanic medical professionals pursue their dreams. We do scholarship collections and I can be part of an organization where my dues go to a great cause. Being active with groups like NTLPA is personally rewarding and it has really helped our business."
Advice for Others
With a successful corporate career and three years in business under his belt, Gabriel Leal is the perfect person to ask for advice about pursuing the entrepreneurial dream. He shares, "I think that the most difficult thing is to stop being afraid of making the move. The most important obstacle to overcome is that sense of fear. As much research as you do, there is nothing like doing it yourself."
Gabriel concludes, "Be smart. Be prepared. If you have the financial capability and investment in hand, then plan really well, do the numbers, and make sure they work for you."
Gabriel and Maggie Leal's Minuteman Press franchise is located at 3115 W. Parker Rd, Suite 390, Plano, Texas 75023. For more information, call 972-599-1204, email [email protected], or visit their website: www.plano.minutemanpress.com.
Gabriel also co-owns a second Minuteman Press franchise in Dallas (Deep Ellum Area) located at 2542 Elm Street, Dallas, Texas 75226. Gabriel and his team can be reached there at 214-712-9600 or visit their website www.deepellum.minutemanpress.com for more information.