Minuteman Press Helps Local Businesses Bounce Back from COVID-19
For long-time Minuteman Press franchise owners Paul and Sharon Rayner, the COVID-19 pandemic is unlike anything they have experienced in their 18 years of business ownership. Paul says, “We started just after the dot-com financial downturn in 2002 and we survived the 2008 financial debacle, but we had never experienced anything like COVID-19 - our business was basically shut down overnight. Our decision to be strong financially with our savings will be the most important reason our business will be fine. We have been able to retain all of our employees at just a couple of hours less per week.”
Knowing that other local businesses and customers could use a helping hand at this time, Paul and Sharon have introduced a free local marketing website called Bounce Back Westchase. The website provides local businesses with a chance to provide special offers and discounts to community members, and enables consumers to take advantage of these deals as well as support local business.
Paul explains, “Bounce Back Westchase resulted from our franchisor Minuteman Press International starting Bounce Back USA for all franchise owners who wanted to participate. We adapted everything for our area of Houston – Westchase. We involved the local Chamber of Commerce and Business District to attract the businesses. The Houston City Council Members and the local State Representatives allow these businesses to get the offers into the hands of potential customers.”
He continues, “We are proud to help local businesses by maintaining the BounceBackWestchase.com website and send out their offers every week through our sponsors and partners. In addition to going out to thousands of people every week, these businesses get promoted on our social media pages and sponsor social media as well.”
“Businesses have embraced Bounce Back Westchase after we reassure them that this is something we are doing to help our entire community. To be uplifting right now means a lot since so many people have been focusing on the negative aspects of the pandemic.”
Right now, Minuteman Press Westchase offers special deals of their own on the Bounce Back website. “Many businesses have taken advantage of the signage specials we are offering our customers. We let them know that these road signs, banners and sidewalk signs pay for themselves if they attract a few additional customers.”
To help keep business owners, employees, and customers safe during COVID-19, Minuteman Press has expanded their products and services to include social distancing posters, floor decals, and much more. Paul says, “We just started selling a tablet that scans every customer that walks in a business for body temperature and ensures they are wearing a mask. This protects employees from getting dangerously close to a potentially infected person. To take someone’s temperature, an employee must get within 30” of a customer. Why risk one of your team members’ health and well being when a tablet mounted on a display can give them an instant green for good, red for bad reading from a safe distance?”
“Working with these local business owners and managers has built a camaraderie. Too often as a business owner, you feel like you’re alone on an island. As owners and managers, we have talked about how to emerge from this downturn as a better and stronger business.”
One of the lessons that the COVID-19 pandemic has taught Paul and Sharon Rayner is to sharpen their social media skills and use referrals such as Google reviews to generate business. Paul says, “People find us from personal referrals or by looking online. When they see the overwhelming positive reviews, they want to do business with us. Incredible customer service and efficient operations make people want to give us positive reviews. But the timing must be right when we ask them.”
Paul shares the following advice that can help other local businesses as well: “We keep step-by-step Google Review instructions at the front counter. When a customer tells us how great we are, we pull out the instructions and tell them that it only takes a couple of minutes and they can do it while we complete the transaction. We let them know that their review is important and helps our business. We also ask for reviews when we do something extra for our customers. We will hand out the Google review instructions, tell them how important their review will be and ask for a review.”
Receiving Ongoing Franchise Support
Minuteman Press International provides crucial ongoing local and national support to franchisees like Paul and Sharon, and Paul appreciates being part of the Minuteman Press family. He says, “We appreciate that Minuteman Press looks for potential revenue streams which would allow us to grow our business in different directions. This must be one of the few franchises that wants the owners to grow their business as they see prudent. Can you imagine how quickly a fast food franchise would shut down a location if they started selling off-menu items?”
With 18 years in business, Paul has seen his share of changes. He is particularly happy with the proprietary FLEX software that Minuteman Press offers today. “We like that Minutemen Press keeps evolving with the ever-changing business landscape. Ask any old-timer about MSS-90 – in the beginning it was easier to produce quotes by hand. Now, our FLEX software allows us to run every aspect of our business easily and efficiently.”
Paul concludes, “As a franchisee, Minuteman Press International’s response to the COVID-19 crisis really demonstrated that they were thinking about the individual centers and helping us when we needed them most. We cannot say enough good things about our President Nick Titus and the whole team at Minuteman Press International World HQ in New York during these trying times.”
The preceding press release was provided by a company unaffiliated with Wide-Format Impressions. The views expressed within do not directly reflect the thoughts or opinions of Wide-Format Impressions.