Steve Wilms now owns two Minuteman Press printing franchises in Canada – Coquitlam and New Westminster, BC.
COQUITLAM & NEW WESTMINSTER, British Columbia, Canada – Steve Wilms was going to school for graphic design when started working part-time at a local Minuteman Press design, marketing, printing franchise. Steve says, “I was learning on the job, figuring out what worked and what didn’t. I was able to learn and figure out staffing, marketing, built a foundation. The business grew and I worked with the owner to build out some equity.” Four years ago, Steve officially became the owner of that Minuteman Press centre in Coquitlam, BC, and today Steve now owns a second Minuteman Press franchise in New Westminster.
What is Minuteman Press? Steve answers, “We are full-service printer. Generally traditional print is the entry point – business cards and flyers. The business has changed and we’ve added products and services including signage and large format printing, promotional products, and apparel as well. We are here to be your partner both from an operational and marketing point of view. If you have a project, we’ll find a way to get it done.”
Minuteman Press International is the world’s leading printing and marketing franchise that began franchising in Canada in 1979. The franchisor is well-known for its wide variety of products and services, strong core values, and ongoing local support that is provided to owners like Steve Wilms.
Steve says, “The support from Minuteman Press is great. As a business owner, there are some skills you have and some skills you don’t have. The ongoing local and corporate support we get fills in those gaps nicely. For example, when it comes to outside sales, Minuteman Press field reps will train my staff. Also, they have dealt with every situation before and so we are given a head start on things like acquisitions, which is a tremendous help.”
Steve also appreciates the Minuteman Press franchise business model for its flexibility, which is one of the reasons he bought the second franchise location in New Westminster. He says, “An opportunity came up in New Westminster that was too good to pass up. It just made sense to expand and it has been very good for us.” He adds, “There are so many different ways to scale up your business. Minuteman Press gives us the ability to be flexible yet follow a system that has worked for others. It’s a great spot to be in.”
Having the right staff in place is vital to any business. That is why Steve decided to bring long-time employee Paddy Carty on board to manage the New Westminster location. He says, “Paddy was a long term employee of mine in Coquitlam. When the opportunity for opening a second franchise came up, he was the perfect person to run the day to day operations. One of the most difficult aspects of scaling your business is to find good people to grow with it. I’ve been lucky to have staff that has been willing to learn and develop with me into a bigger and busier environment.”
Neil MacLeod is Minuteman Press International Regional Vice President for Western Canada, providing ongoing local support to franchisees in his region. Neil says, “Steve Wilms has been an exemplary Minuteman Press owner who truly cares about the clients he serves in Coquitlam and New Westminster. He is a great asset and resource for his clients and continues to provide the highest levels of quality and service at both of his centres.”
With Minuteman Press, Steve and his teams in Coquitlam and New Westminster have the ability to serve many different clients across several industries. One sector that really stands out is the real estate industry. Steve says, “We have a lot of customers in different industries. Realtors represent an interesting field because no matter how the real estate market is doing, they need and use our products and services. It’s a steady stream for us and Vancouver is a great market for that.”
Steve adds, “Signage is a natural progression for both us and the realtors we work with. Higher end finishes have also become more cost-effective and that helps us produce really high quality signage that allows them to stand out.” He further explains the most rewarding thing about being a business owner, saying, “As clichéd as it is, being your own boss is really gratifying because you get to implement your own ideas and initiatives and see them succeed. It’s fun to see it work.”
Community involvement is another way Steve strives to stand out with Minuteman Press in Coquitlam and New Westminster. He states, “You have to show you are permanent fixture locally in your community. Small and medium-sized businesses feel a connection to their communities and it’s important that we are a part of that fabric. It’s crucial for us and our clients to see how involved and how long we’ve been involved. BBB and Chamber of Commerce are two groups we are involved in.”
Growing the Business
Steve has followed the Minuteman Press franchise system closely and successfully grown his business by doing all of the right things. He says, “There are three main ways we’ve grown our business:
1. Word of mouth: This is by far the most cost-effective to grow. It takes a long time to get known and have a strong reputation at the grassroots level. It’s a huge part of our long-term growth;
2. Acquisitions of a couple of local print shops: This helps by building our client base;
3. Outside sales: This is the most proactive way to really grow. Getting out the door and seeing people is something you can ALWAYS do to continue growth.”
Steve adds, “You need to continue to grow and look for more opportunities either in acquisitions or products and services. We are really looking at large format printing and signage, as well as higher-end finishes as ways to grow our business. The Minuteman Press International World Expo helps expose us to different technologies. One easy addition we are making is dye sublimation printing, which will enable us to provide our clients with even more products and services.”
When asked about what advice he would give to others, Steve says, “The most important thing is to recognize your strengths and weaknesses. Find people and resources that can help you shore up your weaknesses. This will help you free up your time to focus on what you do best.”
Minuteman Press in New Westminster is located at 615 Agnes Street, New Westminster, BC V3M 1G9. For more information, call 604-522-5234 or visit their website: https://newwestminster.minutemanpress.ca
Minuteman Press in Coquitlam is located at 2233 Hartley Ave, Coquitlam, BC V3K 6W9. For more information, call 604-777-1202 or visit their website: https://www.coquitlam.minutemanpress.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. Independent franchisee satisfaction firm Franchise Business Review has also named Minuteman Press International to its 2018 Top Franchises, 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 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 and access Minuteman Press franchise reviews at www.minutemanpressfranchise.ca