Gill Kennedy met her goal to buy a business before the age of forty. Her loyal customers continue to gather and stay with Minuteman Press thanks to her personal style and the brand that leads the modern design and printing industry.
CABOOLTURE, Queensland, Australia – Gill Kennedy wrote a wish list prior to emigrating to Australia four years ago. She, her husband, and two children were making a big move and had a wish list for their new lives that included swimming with dolphins, visiting Harbour Bridge and finding ways to make a living that honoured both of their individual goals. While her husband intended to establish himself as a professional in a top-tier construction company, Gill wanted to return to design and print: “I always saw myself owning my own business one day but never quite had the confidence to take the reins and do it. If you told me 10 years ago I would be a business owner before I was 40 I would have laughed in your face.” Today, Gill’s laughter is a sign of victory as her husband did score the job of his dreams and she is now the proud owner of the Minuteman Press franchise in Caboolture, QLD.
“I started my Minuteman Press journey when I secured the position of Graphic Designer for one of the other Brisbane stores. I loved it. I loved the interaction with the clients, the variety of work and the feeling we got when a customer walked away with a product they loved. I love the challenge of coming up with a product that fits a brief but comes in under budget.” – Gill Kennedy, Minuteman Press franchisee
The chance to buy a printing business was exciting Gill. She also got to see, from the inside, exactly how hard the best Minuteman Press franchise owners work to create strong ventures. The opportunity to open a marketing services centre was near her home and while it was a huge step, she also knew it was well worth it because the brand itself was respected worldwide for a reason. She explains, “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 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.”
She is in her first year as a leader among women in business and one of hundreds of Minuteman Press franchise owners who say We Are The Modern Printing Industry™. It was a brand new store and she was charged with winning customers from the beginning. “Starting from scratch, I knew I needed to get out into the community to introduce myself and to spread the word we were ready to serve. My goal was to meet and interact with every customer, building rapport is so important to make every customer feel important and valued. I wanted to make every order as easy as possible for each customer and take the stress and complications out of printing for them.”
Gill used her vantage point as an employee to make an intelligent investment in a franchise purchase. In a similar way, as she references her experiences as a design and print customer to develop a stellar customer service experience in Caboolture. “I have a very high expectation for customer service when I am the customer – I want to feel valued and important however big or small my order is, so I have carried this ethos over to my own company – if it’s not good enough for me, it’s not good enough for my customers. We strive to make every experience a positive one – if that means going the extra mile to look for an unusual product, I will do it.”
When a business is brand new, getting the right staff is important to help the growth and development of the company. Like any new business, Gill says, “We had our ‘teething problems’ but when Renee, my Graphic Designer, joined the team, I truly feel like we are now a force to be reckoned with! Your staff needs to carry the same values and work ethic you do to make sure your customer service expectations are fulfilled when you are not in the store. I must trust who I leave behind while I am marketing to be the face of my business and uphold my expectations.” She has the team she needs and the trust within the walls of her centre that branch out and positively encourage the community to trust their services.
Going from employee to boss is a leap of great merit. Gill shares her experience: “Leadership is a challenge. I had only come from mid-tier roles and was not use to giving orders or managing other people’s workloads. I am a perfectionist in my work and I have struggled letting go and handing over some projects. It was very surreal moving away from design and letting Renee take over – she is very competent and knows even more than I do but it’s hard changing roles but something I feel I have done well and learned a lot from. I am thoroughly enjoying my new role though, it has many elements to keep me occupied!”
Jeff Lewis is Minuteman Press International Regional Vice President for Brisbane and Sydney supporting franchisees in Queensland and New South Wales. Jeff says, “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.”
An internet enquiry and a mutual love for animals connected Prestige Pet Products to Minuteman Press in Caboolture
All over Australia, pet owners count upon the high quality products Prestige Pet Products delivers. They are a family-owned, wholesale pet company with items pets love, available in mainstream Australian pet shops. “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.” Gill and her team met with Becki and colleagues with paper samples, so they could discuss what they needed and allow them to look and feel at ways Minuteman Press could accommodate those needs. She says, “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.”
Gill continues with the early days of their partnership, “We started off with quotes, we went back and forth on various items until Becki was happy she had enough information. They started on some smaller orders and then gave me newsletter order. We delivered on time and to budget and Becki and her team were very happy with the experience. I always deliver their orders to take the stress and expense out of delivery to them – this gives me flexibility on the busier months and Becki peace of mind they won’t get caught up with couriers or the postal service.”
The addition of branded promotional products is frequently wise in marketing, but especially so after personal consultation from a caring marketing services provider such as Gill. “I love the Prestige Pet Products brand and thoroughly enjoy producing these items for the team. We are always only a call or an email away and ready to help,” Gill adds.
On the receiving end of the digital print, design and marketing efforts of Gill and her staff, Becki is glad she was asked to find a new printing company and that her answer was Minuteman Press. “I was excited to find out that Minuteman Press had opened their doors in Caboolture (very local for our company). Gill offered very competitive pricing for top quality products. We have now had several newsletters, invitations, header cards and even 21st birthday thermal coffee mugs done by Gill and her team. I have never been disappointed with the end results. Gill is always on hand to offer advice, help and info on products and ideas we haven’t thought of! Being local, she also personally delivers our orders which is a really nice touch – I love delivery day!
As for the future of the partnership, Becki feels a sense of continued loyalty. “We are a family run business, so we love the idea of being able to partner with local people and businesses. Gill is fabulous, and her work is always top notch with quick turnaround times – I can see us working with her well in to the future!”
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 27 times and 16 years in a row, including 2019. Franchise Business Review has also named Minuteman Press International to its 2019 Top Franchises list 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.
For more information, call the Minuteman Press franchise team at 0390 690 309 or visit our website: https://minutemanpressfranchise.com.au