Port Washington, N.Y. – For Port Washington community member Joel Ronis, buying the local Minuteman Press design, marketing, and printing franchise located at 437 Port Washington Blvd. was a natural fit. Joel bought the business from previous owners Mark and Susan Gutner, who retired after owning the business for 25 years.
Joel shares, "I researched many franchise opportunities. I knew I needed to have a solid franchisor backing me up in any venture I chose. Though many good opportunities presented themselves, Minuteman Press kept popping up as being both ideally suited to my needs and offering a management style, home office and philosophy with which I was most comfortable. As I said during my Minuteman Press training, almost all of the folks that trained me reminded me in one way or another of many of the people I'd worked with over a 30-year career. Good people, straight-talking individuals who were excellent at showing the value of the opportunity rather than trying to sell me on something in which they themselves did not believe."
In his 30-year career, Joel worked in the variable print service bureau business and gathered experience in programming, operations, sales, management, design, and mail piece design. Joel says, "After successfully selling my business to one of my clients I began looking for what would be the last leg of my career. I enjoyed running my own business so knew that was a requirement that needed to be satisfied. I also wanted very much to work in the community where I lived."
Aside from the obvious improvement in the daily commute, Joel also wanted to begin giving back to the community that had fostered his family for 25 years. He explains, "Community involvement does not come naturally to me. I spent a 30-year career commuting out of the community I live in and as such, it has only been recently that I've developed roots in the Port Washington community. However, I feel I've developed pretty quickly and deeply. I'm involved in an organization called HEARTS of Port Washington which raises funds for arts education in the schools and the community at large. I'm also a Player in a local community theater group, a member of the local chamber of commerce and contribute to nearly all local foundations."
Minuteman Press has the unique ability to serve a diverse group of clients with a wide variety of printing and marketing products and services. Joel appreciates being able to help other local businesses. He says, "The variety of clients we are able to serve right here in Port Washington is fantastic. We have corporate customers, foundations, schools, religious and social organizations, hospitals, banks, and investment brokers. There is also a strong amount of walk-in traffic. I love when people come in and want to preserve fascinating photographs and other artifacts of their lives that we would never have been exposed to if we weren't a part of Minuteman Press."
Being part of the Minuteman Press franchise family also gives Joel Ronis ongoing local support that is unmatched in the industry. He says, "Minuteman Press and the previous owners of the center have been fantastic about ensuring that I understood the proprietary FLEX software system, the customer base, and the philosophy by which successful franchisees operate. The field representative has been persistent in seeing to my success and the software support is readily available and smart. The main way the home office staff and field reps differ from other franchises is that in Minuteman Press they are all knowledgeable print professionals who came up in the industry in exactly the same way as I did. This is a big deal compared to other franchises where virtually everyone in the organization, top to bottom, appears to be new at what they're doing and in the end they can't offer a very deep level of assistance."
"Joel's work ethic and dedication to his community makes him the perfect fit for the Minuteman Press franchise in Port Washington," says Brian Sisti, Minuteman Press International Area Manager for the Long Island Region. He adds, "Joel has successfully applied the skills from his previous career, followed the Minuteman Press system, and I have no doubt he will continue to grow the Port Washington location."
Growing the Business
Since taking over the business, Joel and his dedicated team have sustained the high levels of quality and service that were established by his predecessors in Port Washington as well as the Minuteman Press franchise system. He says, "I'm currently benefiting from a large influx of business that directly ties to my living in the community. This is a natural development that I don't expect to last long. I participate in the outreach marketing that Minuteman preaches and that has yielded results as well."
Joel is also excited to continue to learn and grow as a printing franchise owner, saying, "I'd like to become more educated in areas of print that are not within my area of expertise such as promotional products, dye sublimation, garment printing, etc. But even beyond that I'm pleased to be gaining knowledge with respect to the fundamentals of the printing industry. My experience was always more in the data side of the business with my print experience being largely black and white on one or two stocks of paper. Minuteman Press helps me fill in those gaps in my knowledge which are crucial in developing long-term customer confidence and continuing to grow the business."
Advice for Others
When asked for the advice he would give to others who are looking into buying a business, Joel answers, "Do your homework and know what you want from a franchise. Listen most keenly to what the franchiser is telling you. If you don't feel like what they present as a formula for success makes sense to you, steer clear. The franchisor should know what it takes to succeed. You can add your own spice to the mix, but not right away. Get the benefit of those that went before you."
Joel concludes, "You're joining a team. Make sure you like working on a team and can properly utilize valuable teammates for their information, their expertise, and their camaraderie."
Joel Ronis' Minuteman Press franchise is located at 437 Port Washington Blvd., Port Washington, NY 11050. For more information, call Joel and his team at (516) 944-4449 or visit their website: www.portw.minutemanpress.com.