As any business owner will say the first 12 months are the toughest. With that in mind Gill Kennedy, who bought a Minuteman Press franchise in Queensland last year, is about to celebrate.
Kennedy, a graphic designer by trade with 15 years experience in print under belt, moved to Brisbane from Cardiff with her husband and two children four years ago. When she landed on Australian soil she had a plan to buy her own business before she hit 40 and last March she realised that goal.
Next month her Minuteman Press outlet will have operated in Caboolture, north of Brisbane, for one year and while she says it’s been tough, she wouldn’t trade anything and loves the day to day business of working with her customers to deliver a top quality print product.
“It’s not an easy thing but we are hitting our stride now,” Kennedy says.
“I think a lot of people think that if you buy into a franchise it’s all there on the plate for you. There is a lot of support which is great but you still have to get yourself out there and get yourself established.
“We did that and are still doing it and we are growing. It was tough but it was enjoyable, a roller coaster.”
Kennedy says buying into the franchise had the advantage of including a package of equipment that allowed her to be up and running. From there she says she could expand her equipment when the time was right.
The start-up kit she received as part of her package was a Konica Minolta AccurioPress C2070 four colour digital press, as well as a folder, binder and guillotine.
Since then she has added an Epson T5200 large format printer to her equipment offering enabling her to produce plans, posters and pull up banners, while larger sized jobs are outsourced.
“They set you up with what you need and then you can add to it. So I’ve added things like a drill, a large format printer, which I’ve done off my own back but Minuteman kind of get you in the door and ready to trade,” Kennedy said.
Having never owned a business before, investing in this franchise was clearly a big step for Kennedy but her experience working for another Minuteman Press outlet in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley gave her the courage to take the step.
“Since I previously worked with Minuteman Press, I was given a raw insight into how things worked and how well you were supported as an owner. The onsite support and the training in New York give you a great foundation to build on an already reputable brand and add to it with your own finesse,” she said.
She had a stronger reason to push through any remaining fears, continuing, “I wanted to be a good role model for my daughters and show them that with hard work and dedication you can succeed at anything you put your mind to – something in which I am still a strong believer. And so, my life as a business owner began.”
Minuteman Press International regional vice president Jeff Lewis supports franchisees in Queensland and NSW.
“Gill has done a fantastic job in her first year building her business the right way. She follows the Minuteman Press system closely and goes above and beyond for her clients,” Lewis said.
An internet inquiry and a mutual love for animals also led to Kennedy securing family-owned business Prestige Pet Products as a client.
“I was lucky enough to have an internet enquiry from Becki Mulcair, their Marketing Coordinator. She was looking for a new printer to facilitate her with a number of needs. I responded to her as I would with any internet lead – promptly, and with a desire to help her,” Kennedy said.
“We instantly had a connection with our love of animals and as Becki needed to have newsletters printed monthly, sometimes to a tight deadline, I was happy to help. They were an unusual project as they need to be drilled for her retail customers for storage in folders, but I was happy to help.”
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