How one father and son make their franchise work.
Father-and-son duo Peter and Simon Kelly own and run the Balcatta (Western Australia) Minuteman Press franchise.
Inside Franchise Business chats with Simon Kelly, who opens up about the franchise business he runs with his father, and what he has learned along the way.
WHAT IS YOUR BUSINESS?
Our aim is to offer a one-stop shop for print, design and promotional requirements. This could include business stationery, signs, promotional flyers and websites. We also offer canvas, fine-art and photographic prints.
WHAT YEAR DID YOU JOIN THE MINUTEMAN PRESS FRANCHISE, AND
WHAT WAS YOUR BACKGROUND?
We started with Minuteman Press in December, 2015. My father Peter had sold a successful garden products business and 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 the company’s offices, and working as a musician.
Peter was looking to expand the stationery business. Newly married, I was looking for a more settled lifestyle. We had been in contact with Glenn Coyle, the Minuteman Press International regional vice-president for Western Australia. He was very helpful and knowledgeable, and it just took a little while to find the right fit and the right timing on our end.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO BUY A MINUTEMAN PRESS FRANCHISE?
The stationery manufacturing business 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 is also great.
WHAT 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 eightmonth-old child, so having flexibility with my working hours has been important.
Peter and his wife Trudy are also at an age where they are looking to retire, 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 co-ordinate our schedules to make sure someone is in the shop.
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED 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.
HOW HAS THE SUPPORT FROM MINUTEMAN PRESS HELPED YOU?
Local support has been very important, especially in the early days when we were still finding our feet in the print industry. Knowing we can call on someone from Minuteman for a second opinion or advice is still very helpful, and gives you great peace of mind if you ever run into any trouble.
The feeling of being in charge of your own destiny is probably one of the major benefits
of running your own business.
DO YOU WORK WITH LOCAL ORGANISATIONS?
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.
WHAT IS A TYPICAL DAY LIKE?
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 members where we go through all jobs in progress, quotes and any general issues that need attention.
WHAT IS YOUR IDEAL DAY OFF
OR WAY TO RELAX?
Peter and Trudy are keen golfers so their ideal vacation is 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 we have a young child.
WHAT ARE YOUR NEXT
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.
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 get out of it only what you put in. Pay attention to details and always give the customer more than they expect.