Diana Renollet bought her Minuteman Press franchise located at 9105 E. 56th St., Suite E, in May 2020. Minuteman Press East Indianapolis is an essential business, so Renollet and her team have spent their first nine months supporting local businesses and community groups with critical printing, marketing, and communication services during the COVID-19 pandemic. She says, “Owning our own family business is a dream come true. I had done my research, and when the opportunity came I was ready.”
After thirty-three years of working for others, Renollet further explains, “With my own business, I feel like I am no longer wasting away years of my life on conference calls working for someone else. I am not answering to someone before making my own decisions. It makes me feel free being my own boss.”
Supporting Local Businesses During COVID-19
Under Renollet’s leadership, it is no surprise that Minuteman Press in East Indianapolis has been working hard on proactive community outreach and providing personalized local customer service.
She says, “Being an essential business means we can support other local businesses and organizations who are also essential and operating as well as those who are reopening. We design and print custom orders for items they are using right now such as face masks, banners, menus, and more. It’s great that they know we are here for them as their trusted local business partner.
“For example, we are members of the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce and fulfilled an order for 200 face masks. We have also donated to their Toy Drive as well as to the Lawrence Police Dept. Explorers program. We love what we do and it’s gratifying to be involved and give back to our local community who supports our essential business.”
Even before becoming a business owner, community involvement was important to Diana. She says, “For the past five years, I have been the Vice President of the non-profit organization Indy Blue Star Mothers, which supports parents of children who are actively serving in the military or who are Veterans. I have also become a member of the Sertoma Club of East Indianapolis. Now that I own this business, I feel even more connected to my neighbors.”
Print is Essential
Renollet’s passion for the printing industry and her business is readily apparent to her clients and anyone she speaks to.
She says, “Everywhere I look I see print opportunities and I know I can help my clients promote their businesses. From billboards to street signs, whether indoors or outdoors, every letter or image you see is created digitally and printed. I cannot help but get excited when I talk about this industry and the many ways we are able to promote your business through print.”
Renollet enjoys being the face of her business and has fully embraced the Minuteman Press franchise system including their marketing programs. The fact that she is a printing and marketing services provider herself allows her to implement effective strategies.
She says, “The key is to market, market, market. I have made countless phone calls simply letting our customers know that we are open and ready to help. I have sent out several hundred letters to customers making them aware of special discounts and promotions. We send back goodies of some sort with every order that is delivered to our customers. Sometimes we make goodie bags for our customers or send donuts from the shop next door.
“On every box that goes out of our center and back to a customer, we put a note that says, ‘Your business is greatly appreciated and we look forward to working with you.’ This is really important to me. If we deliver four boxes back to a customer, when they open that second, third or fourth box, I want them to be reminded again and again that their business is appreciated and valued.”
Minuteman Press also uses proprietary FLEX software that helps Renollet keep track of her marketing efforts. “I am staying four to six weeks ahead on sending out reminder emails and USPS mailers reminding the customer it is time to work on their project. Every day, I look at the different marketing opportunities available in FLEX and act on them. I also look ahead to future opportunities. For example, I am in the process of sending out mail with offers for relevant businesses looking to promote themselves during the upcoming tax season.”
What keeps customers coming back to Renollet and her team at Minuteman Press in East Indianapolis is their complete positive customer experience. “Every time a client comes to our center, we want them to feel comfortable and appreciated. We offer them coffee or water bottles and a free donut coupon for the donut shop next door to us.”
The little things add up to make a big difference, and Renollet sees that clearly. “Many years ago, I was the inspiration behind a national campaign. It was called the Celebrate Every Day Campaign,” she says. “I find something to celebrate about every single day. Sometimes it’s grand, and sometimes it’s small. It is a mindset and just a real nice way to live. It has helped me tremendously as I manage my business during this global pandemic.”
From Employee to Minuteman Press Franchisee
Prior to franchising with Minuteman Press, Renollet worked in various business and management roles around the printing industry for thirty-three years. “I worked for several companies and wore many hats. I’ve done everything from graphic design and printing to on site management. Most recently, I worked as On Site Manager at the Kroger Central Division Office in Indianapolis where I tripled my team and made the Division cost-efficient. I did hundreds of thousands of printing per month, along with producing anything else that was requested.”
Why Minuteman Press? Renollet answers, “I liked the idea that Minuteman Press had already created a plan for success, and I liked their plan. I also liked knowing that the FLEX software that Minuteman Press created and used would do everything from bringing me new potential customers daily to predicting reorders, quoting, creating work orders, invoices, and exporting accounting data directly into QuickBooks.
“Minuteman Press has done exactly what they said they would do as far as support. Someone is only a call, text, or email away when I have had any questions. I have all of the freedoms of running my own business but I when I need support they are right there for me every time.”
According to Steve Szymanski, Minuteman Press International Regional Vice President, Midwest, “Diana Renollet is a tremendous asset to her business community and to the Minuteman Press family. She truly cares about her clients and I am proud of her hard work in building her business in East Indianapolis. Renollet follows the Minuteman Press franchise system and communicates effectively. I look forward to continuing to work with her and provide local support to her business.”
Meet the Family Behind the Business
When Renollet made the decision to follow her dream, she knew she could count on her family to support her. She says, “My husband Brian is my best friend and my rock. He supported my decision to become part of the Minuteman Press franchise family from the first day I mentioned it until the day we signed the papers. Although he has maintained his current career path, he is a huge part of helping me run this business. Our wedding song was ‘You’re My Best Friend’ by Queen, and I am so happy to take this new journey in my career with him.”
She also credits her father as being instrumental in giving her the confidence to transition from her career to entrepreneurship. “My dad has been my go-to person and was really instrumental in making me realize this dream,” says Renollet. “Other than my husband, my dad was the only person who knew I was looking to take this leap. We talk every single day after work and he loves hearing what orders we received and how everything is going. He is so excited I am doing this and he is the one who taught me the value of hard work. My dad is truly a wonderful man.”
It is clearly evident that family means everything to Renollet.
“My husband and I have four children from our previous marriages. Our oldest daughter is thirty, and she has been in the medical field for the past seven years,” she says.
She has currently reenrolled in college to pursue a teaching degree and is a wonderful mother to three of our grandchildren.
“Our twin daughters are twenty-seven. One is a Staff Sergeant in the US Air Force. She is finishing her commitment soon and enrolled in college to pursue a degree in Nursing. Twin #2 works alongside her mother in a medical environment and she is a loving mother to our youngest grandchild. Our son is the youngest at twenty-five. He is a Marine Veteran and Active Guardsman. He also works full-time and is also enrolled in college pursuing a cybersecurity degree. My parents also celebrated sixty-two years of marriage this past November.”
Advice for Others
Renollet has a fascinating perspective to share as someone who is realizing her dream of owning her own business at such a unique time. When asked for advice she would give to others who are looking to own a business, she says, “Prepare yourself for the opportunity and be ready. Don’t limit your thinking and allow yourself to dream, then do your research. Owning this center was my dream, and because I had done my homework, I was ready when the opportunity came.
“Stay accountable to your goals and your dream can come true. I am living proof of that.”