Jeff and Taunya Foley have owned their printing business for nearly fifteen years. With their daughter Kelsie and son-in-law Mike working alongside them, Minuteman Press in Wethersfield is truly a family-owned small business. Minuteman Press in Wethersfield has remained open throughout the pandemic as an essential business, providing high-demand products that are helping other local businesses reopen and ramp up their marketing efforts to bring back customers.
As a result of their hard work and ability to help local businesses adapt, Jeff and Taunya have been able to overcome the challenges of the pandemic and grow their sales while also assisting Wethersfield and the surrounding communities in any way they could.
Jeff says, “When the pandemic first hit, we were thankful to be considered as an essential business and immediately looked for ways that we could help our customers. We reached out to clients and prospects alike in the following ways:
- “For healthcare clients, we offered them another option for PPE and any other printed items they needed to reinforce their guidelines.
- “We reached out to schools offering signs and banners acknowledging students who were graduating or entering new grade levels.
- “We fulfilled requests from other essential businesses for social distancing signage, floor decals, and personalized face masks and neck gaiters.
- “We promoted our direct mail services and helped many businesses and non-profits communicate with their members and customers through printed mailers.”
With businesses coming back and more activities planned for the fall, Minuteman Press in Wethersfield is ready to help the business community continue to recover while providing products that make sense. “Direct mail, signage, and PPE turned into our highest demand products and services,” says Jeff. “We are continuing to see these as popular orders because clients still need these items to operate safely and market their businesses.
“I really look forward to being able to get out more and see our customers and prospects again. During this time, I have been doing the deliveries to help with maintaining our relationships with our customers and get a feel for the business environment around us. Because we are local, we believe in supporting all local businesses and doing our best to learn about their needs and help them thrive.”
Building the Family Business for Fifteen Years
In 2006, Jeff and Taunya made the leap to business ownership. Jeff says, “We have been with Minuteman Press for fifteen years this October. We started with a brand-new store entering one of the greatest economic downturns in American history. We grew the business primarily by visiting our business communities daily. We put in the time and effort by initially introducing ourselves, as it is encouraged in Minuteman Press training, talking with local business owners, managers and gatekeepers, and getting items to quote. We returned quotes and followed up regularly, which is the best way to build relationships with prospects and helps when the time comes for them to make a change for whatever reason. We have received the call many times from a prospect that wants to have us take care of their printing project to give us a shot.
“Our success would not have happened if we didn’t stick to our marketing and follow up. We have also done a lot of networking over the years through clubs, BNI and Chambers of Commerce. Throughout the pandemic, we have been doing direct mail and email marketing campaigns along with the internet marketing program that Minuteman Press International makes available to owners. It has all been a huge help.”
Owning a Business vs. Having a Job
Prior to franchising, Jeff worked as Director of Operations handling cargo for a wide range of airline customers, while Taunya worked in education. Jeff says, “I had helped this company grow from five cities to fifteen during the thirteen years I was with them and traveled weekly mainly putting out fires, doing startups for new contracts and auditing the managers operations. I worked endless hours treating the owner’s business as mine.
“Taunya and I felt that it may be time to start looking into me getting into a different job. Since I was a teenager, I had always wanted to be in business for myself. So, we started looking into franchise opportunities. We knew that we did not want to start something new and realized that the franchise option offered a proven system that provides a better rate of success. I found the Minuteman Press franchise opportunity reading Entrepreneur Magazine on a plane on the way home at the end of a long week. I showed it to Taunya and we decided to check it out contacting Minuteman Press to let them know of our interest.”
After being contacted by Minuteman Press and checking out the business for themselves, Jeff and Taunya decided that they would open their center in Wethersfield. “We wanted to be closer to our families in Connecticut and so we both jumped in with both feet and have not looked back,” he says.
One reason Jeff chose to own a Minuteman Press franchise was the ongoing support he would receive. He says, “We have nothing but good things to say about the Minuteman Press franchise. New England Regional Vice President Ron Rubin is always there for us providing encouragement, suggestions and guidance as needed. Field Rep Ed Connelly has been tremendously helpful and responsive as well. Corporate has been a great resource providing us with reputable vendors to work with, educational seminars, our fantastic FLEX software, the internet marketing program, and now the new Minuteman.com website that we signed up for immediately.
“We appreciate all the background work that HQ is doing to support our business. The tech support is nothing short of awesome as well. When we have an issue, we get a response to an email within minutes and in most cases the solution is found and implemented by them in a short time after we speak. During COVID, we were impressed how Nick Titus (President) and the team stepped it up even more providing us with tools and information to help us succeed and get through an unprecedented time in our history. This is the type of incredible support that confirms we made the right choice picking Minuteman Press as our franchise opportunity.”
When asked what advice Jeff would give to other local businesses right now, Jeff answers, “Don’t give up! Persevere and do what you need to make your business successful for you. Market your products and/or services and offer a higher level of customer service to turn your prospects who are giving you an opportunity into recurring customers.”