Nothing escapes the attention of Minuteman Press franchise owner Avi Kumar when it comes to the growth and support of his local business community. Avi’s Minuteman Press printing and marketing services center in Greeley, Colorado is known as the place to go for marketing growth.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that Avi’s locally owned and operated essential business is the place to go for marketing salvation, too. He sensed an early downward dip affecting clients in March, and his pulse remained steady as he lined up new strategies to best serve his diverse range of clients.
Avi says, “We realized business was slowing down and as we are very close to our clients, the last two weeks of March consisted of us joining them in their struggles, keeping our heads down and using our capabilities to help them rise up.” Avi also has the unwavering support of his wife, Reena, a nurse practitioner and front-line worker in town. “She even comes in to help when she can with tasks like finishing.”
Colorado was shutting doors to commerce but printing was deemed an essential business so Avi and his staff had room to get creative.
“As the lockdowns happened, we were never going to close as an essential business. We figured out ways to keep generating sales for us and our customers,” says Avi. “Instead we kept our staff and pace as demand from our clients in medical facilities and restaurants increased with different signage and social distancing printing needs.”
April and May swept in with vastly different budgets than his clients were used to, but it wasn’t a problem. Avi accommodated everyone and orders for sensitive, sales-saving printed items were coming out of his center with speed.
“We followed what people wanted to buy and looked ahead on their behalf for what they needed to survive,” says Avi. “No matter what the price-point, we were there and jumped into producing signage for graduations. There were a ton of orders from individual parents and entire schools. We produced 2,500-yard signs in April and May alone.”
Building Businesses Together
Avi runs a team of three at Minuteman Press in Greeley, and they are part of a history of building business together that feels like family but with technology and the means to use it. The combination removes barriers between clients target audiences.
“We developed low-cost, high-quality signage for our schools’ graduations, but that is not the only reason why we got the job,” says Avi. “The district contact person called us, remembering the work we did during election season last year.
“At the time, she found us through a networking group, and we fulfilled nearly 3,000 signs and everyone loved them.”
Custom printed signs and banners were everywhere and the people felt less anxious, and more willing to spend.
“We did a lot of printing for restaurants so they could take care of customers curbside,” says Avi. “One of them in particular maintains six or seven locations and every one of those ordered seven to ten signs.
“With orders coming in and going out seamlessly, the signage also updated hungry patrons about hours and pick-up protocol.”
Avi designs everything to be perfect for the brand, so the print he provided inside and out did more than serve hungry guests.
“One of the owners said, ‘Things are going so well with the print we ordered, our whole operation is more organized,” explains Avi. “It’s neater, and our employees training is improved. People are staying home but still buying our food.’
“It felt great to hear that our design and print provided such a boost during this otherwise hard time.”
Months passed with flyers, coupons, banners, posters, window graphics, and directional signage needed in all shapes, sizes and customized without delay. “One big account of ours is a medical clinic and we had one day to prepare directional signage at five or six locations, while two local pharmacies needed updated appointment cards and instructions on how-to call in requests and pick them up when you are sick.”
Avi’s staff didn’t miss a beat and neither did their customers. Momentum began to build even before lockdowns were lifted, and Minuteman Press in Greeley was part of the certainty the community needed during uncertain times.
Sales During a Pandemic
Here are a few bright stories of connections coming together at a sensitive time for sales:
- Real estate was seeing lots of activity, and lots of customized print with full-color photos helped seal many deals under Avi’s direction.
- 15,000 facemasks are ready when the school district says the word, according to Avi, who adds, “We have the best pricing, too.”
With outdoor events modified too, promotional products will be in higher demand for swag and to act as a bridge between networking before and in a new framework.
“Restaurants, banks, credit unions and more are ordering pencils, erasers, mouse pads, child-friendly facemasks, koozies, lanyards, and even small, customized backpacks with coupons inside,” says Avi. “It is a delight to provide these branded items for organizations and companies so totally involved in our community.”
As he considers the range of ways his staff has come through in recent months, Avi adds, “It feels wonderful to know that our design and print services are going to help our clients, remembered for being strong in spite of the challenge. It’s great.”
Thousands of orders are coming in to support the health and safety measures put into place for school-aged children.
“So many of our promotional products need to be customized to adhere to the rules. We have prepared for different needs depending on the decision to educate full-time in the buildings or a hybrid mix of online and in-person schooling.”
Back to School
Always thinking beyond his hurried clients, Avi is investigating fun options for kids that help make school inviting.
“We will be offering customized t-shirts with the option to have kids’ names along with their school logo,” says Avi. “We can do small quantities in-house, if that makes it easier.”
Every single day, normalcy emerges with the added effect of new possibilities and even increasing sales. The common themes are continuity and growth.
“Our newest designer has printing industry experience dating back to 1989,” says Avi. “In fact, he used to work for another Minuteman Press franchise and has spent a lifetime in print.
“It is like our brand is instantly familiar because I helped him understand we are the modern printing industry now and he took off with the latest equipment right away.”
Avi continues to visit and check in on his clients as his bottom line indicates promise.
“We are blessed with another new team member, a young woman working with us now,” says Avi. “Things are looking up. This month’s sales were strong, and we expect next month to be even stronger as the economy heads upwards.”
For more information on Minuteman Press in Greeley, Colorado, visit https://greeley-co.minutemanpress.com.