Minuteman Press Franchise in Footscray, Melbourne Brings Fun and Expertise to Strong Partnerships with Clients Like The Western Bulldogs
Veteran Australia print franchise owners Fiona and Ed McDonnell greet every project with excitement. Their local football team The Western Bulldogs are among the many entrusting them in design and print.
May 30, 2019 // Franchising.com // FOOTSCRAY, Melbourne, Australia - Fiona McDonnell is everything you would hope to have in a marketing services provider. She collected an impressive and diverse professional career that lends itself to finding excitement, drawing it out in people and directing it into success. As she and her husband Ed own the Minuteman Press franchise in Footscray, this means every one of their clients can count upon digital print, design and marketing from a most respected brand in the world. They are only gaining more respect and having a grand time while they do it, fourteen years into their franchise ownership.
Prior to buying their business, Fiona gathered experience in a range of industries. She says, “Ed, my husband and business partner, says even after 21 years together he still has trouble piecing my career together. I've done so many fun things (often having 3 jobs at once). I've been a promotional model, worked as an Assistant Fashion Buyer, helped to manage and run a very popular Irish pub, marketed and sold everything from cosmetics to car alarms and aromatherapy. I also worked for GE, Lendlease and had two or three business partnerships.”
She and Ed met when Fiona was a partner in a sales training and marketing business. Even then, they were helping people sort out the best ways to communicate. Fiona explains, “The company trained such clients as BHP, the largest Australian mining company to manage tele sales (training scientists to be less technical and listen to their own stories to make sure they translate to a non-technical audience).”
Fiona did not intend to become an entrepreneur, but Ed approached her with exactly that in mind. She says, “I had just returned to my first full time Account Management role after having our son, Scott. I was working hiring plants and maintenance services on plants into 5 Star Hotels and Corporate Offices when Ed got the idea that a Minuteman Press centre would be our future.”
For Fiona, business ownership was not going to be a full-time endeavor, until after she attended training at Minuteman Press International and became particularly enthusiastic. “I was supposed to be part -time but got so excited by the time we attended training on Long Island, New York.” She has a personal history with print and working in her uncle’s print business as a child. “I was hand-collating carbon duplicate sheets. I thought that it would be the last industry I would ever work in and yet I love it. The industry offers a lot more creativity than you can imagine looking in from the outside.”
As Minuteman Press franchisees, Ed and Fiona also receive ongoing local support from Minuteman Press. Andy Barratt, Minuteman Press International Regional Vice President for Melbourne, says, “Fiona and Ed make an impressive team and their hard work over the years while following the Minuteman Press franchise system has really helped them build their business and do right by their clients.”
“The opportunity to spend time overseas and in Australia with peers from the Minuteman Press franchise family of owners has been far more rewarding than we could have imagined 14 years ago. I was able to attend all the big events in our son’s school life and even go on interstate camps. There is so much diversity in my career that no two days are the same - it is never boring.” – Fiona McDonnell, Minuteman Press Franchisee
A service culture is really a big part of what they do and how they welcome people into long-term partnerships with measurable growth for businesses of all sizes. “Our whole team jumps to ensure the phones are answered within 3 rings and with a smile on their faces. We keep the Minuteman Press phone credo at every phone station and ask a lot of questions to ensure we understand what people need from us before they leave the call. It has also been vital to us that while ‘the customer is always right’ we educate the customer so that expectations are managed - this is particularly important to ensure clients get value from graphic design services,” she says.
Fiona gives insight into the formidable business skills earned by her husband and attributes their centre’s success to him appropriately. "Ed revolutionised the chocolate business in Australia when he arrived as the General Manager for Russell Stover Candies.” Ed became a tremendous asset to the companies for which he worked before he bought his franchise with Fiona. “Obviously, his additional experience with Johnson and Johnson Consumer products and Pepsi made him a very competitive marketer.”
Adrian is the Manager at Minuteman Press in Footscray and he has been with Fiona and Ed for 10 years. She adds a note about employee longevity and the outright fun attached to the projects they complete each day: “Most of our team has been with us over 7 years and, like us, they enjoy the diversity of a day at Minuteman Press, where you may be printing anything from branded toothbrushes to tea canisters along with more typical jobs of business cards, magazines and publishing books.”
It is as if those who come to trust Fiona, Ed and their staff are drawn first to their enthusiasm for building business together, but they stay because it is clear very quickly that Minuteman Press is a true ally, especially under pressure. Fiona shares, “We had a client call one day to say that the pizza he ordered for the lunch took longer to arrive than our business card order - a good relationship with the couriers certainly helps to establish a reputation in the community that we are so fast - you'll get windburn if you stand in our way. We had a client going overseas the other day and I was literally dropping the job on his doorstep as he pulled his cases out the front door - he thought there was no chance the manuals would be done in time. I got the biggest hug and a fab google review!”
As it is their nature to anticipate the next smart move, Fiona and Ed got into promotional products early in their business ownership, buying a client list from another printer as well as some equipment including a wide format press. We Are The Modern Printing Industry™ is a statement they made early and one they prove with each passing year through results. She states, “The ability to do pull up banners on the same day has saved many of our clients headed for a trade show or presentation from going empty handed. There is a lot of satisfaction when clients light up about being able to do all their corporate or trade clothing with us and at the same time provide some unique branded gifts to their clients. We have done everything from rulers and pens to marquees and media walls.” As if to firmly punctuate the great range available to their clients, she continues, “Mouse matts and pens are an everyday item around here and we love tailoring ideas to a market or launch especially for some of our time-poor clients.”
In business, people love the shortcut of talking to someone who is an expert in their field and willing to show them ways to move the business forward. Fiona expands on this, “We put the title of “solution provider” on all our Business cards for a few years to remind us that is our prime reason to do what we do. There are fast track ways to grow a business and we have done it successfully across so many industries with our clients and our own business. Marketing is not a mysterious artform; it is a proven formula. We believe if we are looking after our customers, the profit is there and so far, we have been correct on that!”
The Australian Rules Football Team Partners with their local Minuteman Press in Footscray for winning results on and off the field.
Sometimes two passions collide as it did for Ed when his Australian Rules Football Team, The Western Bulldogs, won the premiership in 2016 after 54 years! As Fiona says, “We are in the local community and have sponsored the "Doggies" (as they are affectionately known) long before they were winning. They have often relied on us to pull a rabbit out of a hat and get printing, pull up banners, lectern signs etc. done in double fast time frames.”
Ed's faith paid off and for many years The Bulldogs have been a trusted client. When they won the premiership flag our A2 “Woof Woof” Posters were on every seat in the stadium,” Fiona says with pride. The “Woof Woof” they printed adorned every window of every business and home in the western suburbs. She adds, “As the coach relayed his instructions to the players on TV our foam core mounted signage (for another major sponsor) was beamed into millions of homes across the country.”
At last, for another job well done, The Bulldogs displayed class in their appreciation for Minuteman press. According to Fiona, “As a thank you for all our help and support in that winning season we proudly hosted the Premiership Trophy in our centre, allowing us and our team to be photographed at our leisure as part of the “Doggies” Championship team; and that (as the advert we printed for them says) was priceless.”
Australians embrace Minuteman Press and Fiona attests to the loyalty her brand has earned over the years. “If a company moves into our geographical location and has been using Minuteman Press they tend to favor sticking with the brand they know. I think we also have a larger online presence as we have been doing SEO/SEM not just for a long time, but effectively for a long time. The longer we have been doing this the more brand recognition is occurring in our marketplace. Let's face it. There is something of a foot in the door when people know the brand ahead of engaging with you.”
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 28 times and 16 years in a row, including 2019. Independent franchisee satisfaction firm Franchise Business Review has also named Minuteman Press International to its 2019 Top Franchises, 2018 Top Franchise Leaders, Top Franchises for Women, and Top Franchises for Veterans 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 franchises 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 0390 690 309. Continue your franchise research, watch exclusive owner videos and access Minuteman Press franchise reviews at https://minutemanpressfranchise.com.au
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