Eight Years into Running Their Veteran-owned Family Business in Ham Lake, MN, Minuteman Press Franchisees James and Katie Lawrence Are as Passionate as Ever
October 25, 2018 // Franchising.com // HAM LAKE, Minn. - For James and Katie Lawrence, owning their Minuteman Press design, marketing, and printing franchise located at 1321 Andover Boulevard NE, Suite 103 in Ham Lake, Minnesota was a natural fit. Katie explains, "I’ve been in printing for over 15 years. Honestly, working for other companies sure did teach me what not to do. We wanted to go into business for ourselves so we could treat people the way they want to be treated and to be honest with our customers. Also, I can put family first when I need to. I get to hug my son before he gets on the bus and wave at him from the driveway when the bus passes by. Flexibility for family obligations is important to my employees too. If something is important to me, it is important to them. We are a family first company always."
Just as important as treating their team right is the outstanding quality and customer service that Minuteman Press in Ham Lake provides to their clients. Katie shares, "We can print anything you put a name, image or logo on. We aren’t just a printing service company – we are a team of marketing professionals focused on partnering with our clients to create outstanding products at competitive prices. Our passion is to help others to succeed in whatever way that we can."
The passion that James and Katie have for entrepreneurship and helping others is something to be admired. Their backgrounds prior to owning their own business help provide a bigger picture as to why they have been successful over the past eight years. Katie says, "James has a business degree from UW-Stout. I earned my Bachelors of Fine Art with a concentration in Graphic Design from UW-Stout. James and I met while attending college and later got married. James is an Army Airborne Veteran and also served a tour in Iraq with the Wisconsin National Guard. After his tour, he worked in staffing and other business related jobs. I landed my first job at a small print shop in Minneapolis and always stayed in printing. During college I worked in the summers as a consultant building company website intranet ('internal internet') systems. I was interested in multimedia design at the time, but soon realized that print was my passion. James and I now work together running our Minuteman in Ham Lake. We are now in our eighth year as business owners."
Clients & Community Service
One of the best aspects of the printing industry is that print is both universal and versatile, which opens up the potential client base to virtually anyone who needs and uses print. On that point, Katie shares, "Our customers come from all walks of life. Most of them are small business owners themselves. It’s easy to connect to folks who share the same small business attitude that we do. When you give to others, you gain it back tenfold. I think within our community, we all are 'in it' together. I like that I know my customers very well and on a first name basis. The industries range all over from your seasonal companies to auto mechanics and dealers, to local cities and schools as well as industrial and medical companies alike."
Getting involved and giving back to the community in Ham Lake is also something James and Katie are passionate about. Katie says, "James and I both are part of local BNI chapters and we currently are involved in 3 local Chambers of Commerce. All of these provide excellent opportunities to get our names in front of larger groups of people within our communities. Plus the exposure during sponsored chamber events is next to none. We typically sponsor about 3-4 events every year. We often can trade out our printing services for these sponsorships since there is always a need for signs and banners as well as other marketing collateral for the events."
Katie continues, "This year marks the second year we have sponsored an all Veterans softball team just to be able to say thank you to our service men and women with a free day of softball. This is a special thank you from me since James is a Vet and because we support the organization, Trust Vets. We promote our name on the back of the jerseys and also donate bracket posters, banners and signs to the event every year. Players keep their jerseys of course as a souvenir. Since the tournament is a fundraiser, I’ve always kept my promise to donate the winnings back to the cause if our team wins the tournament. But that will have to stay my wish until we win one!"
Why Minuteman Press?
Why did James and Katie decide to own a Minuteman Press franchise? She answers, "I was looking for employment at another print shop at the time and I actually started by working for another owner. The opportunity presented itself to purchase and we jumped on it. I always thought Minuteman Press was 'doing it right' and this has been proven to me again and again. The buying power of the franchise and the ability to legitimately vet vendors to give them the 'Minuteman approved' stamp makes our job really easy. I also love that we can rely on other Minuteman Press franchisees like a family and that we are not out on our own."
Another benefit of franchising with Minuteman Press is the ongoing local support that is provided to James and Katie right here in Ham Lake. Katie explains, "Matt Peretz was our Regional Vice President and he is awesome. I’m so happy for him to now be working with the Minuteman Press International team in New York. He was wonderful to have in our corner. Our field rep Adam Peters and current Regional Vice President Keith Cawley are now our dynamic duo. They are both incredible. We are lucky to be able to work with them both side by side. The franchise home office support is also fantastic. The team has really done a great job including enhancing our business management software FLEX with some fantastic updates."
Business Goals & Advice for Others
Even with eight years in business, James and Katie are still striving to keep going strong. She says, "Our goals are to continue getting our foot in the door for more corporate accounts and staying ahead of our competition through innovation. A few months ago we invested in a new Konica Minolta color printer and Duplo cutter/creaser/slitter. The combined automation of the drag and drop hot folders for imposition along with the Duplo’s capabilities have sped up production dramatically. Its ability to program templates for multiple sizes and layouts to speed up the finishing process on business cards, postcards, scored cards and more, is amazing. Our customers directly benefit from upgrades like these and we are thrilled to be able to increase our capabilities and efficiency for them!"
What advice does Katie have for aspiring entrepreneurs? She answers, "Be everywhere. Network everywhere whenever possible. The more people you know the better! Find a balance between work and home. Try to run the business instead of letting it run you."
James and Katie Lawrence's Minuteman Press franchise is located at 1321 Andover Boulevard NE, Suite 103, Ham Lake, MN 55304. For more information, call 763-422-1059 or visit their website: www.mmphamlake.com
About Minuteman Press International
Minuteman Press International is the number one rated business marketing and printing franchise that offers world class training and unparalleled ongoing local support. Started in 1973 by Roy Titus and his son Bob, Minuteman Press began franchising in 1975 and has grown to nearly 1,000 business service franchise locations worldwide including the U.S., Australia, Canada, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. Minuteman Press is ranked #1 in category by Entrepreneur 26 times and 15 years in a row, including 2018. Franchise Business Review has also named Minuteman Press International to its 2018 Top Franchises, 2018 Top Franchise Leaders, and 2018 Top Franchises for Women lists thanks to positive reviews from our owners.
At Minuteman Press, We Are The Modern Printing Industry™ providing high quality products and services that meet the needs of today's business professionals and go way beyond ink on paper. Today, our centers offer innovative branding solutions and produce custom designs, promotional products, branded apparel, direct mail marketing, large format printing (banners and posters), signs and graphics, and much more. Prior experience is not necessary to own and operate a successful Minuteman Press franchise.
To learn more about #1 rated Minuteman Press franchise opportunities and speak with one of our experienced franchise representatives at no obligation, call 1-800-645-3006. Continue your franchise research, watch exclusive owner videos and access Minuteman Press franchise reviews at www.minutemanpressfranchise.com
Minuteman Press International
631-249-1370, ext. 249
SOURCE Minuteman Press International
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