Abbotsford BC Minuteman Press Franchisees Share Experience


Jan 11, 2022

The Brandons have owned their Abbotsford Minuteman Press printing franchise since May 2013.  They have remained throughout the pandemic as they are an essential business.

Kerri and Mark share reflect on their experiences in operating and growing their Minuteman Press location as well as discussing their key business growth strategies.  These have enabled them – and their clients – to successfully adapt and pivot in 2021.

Kerri states, “Abbotsford’s business community is fiercely committed to supporting local businesses, which in turn has really made this community thrive despite the challenges of the pandemic. Through the Bounce Back Canada program, we were able to offer a free platform to promote, and encourage our community to support local businesses. Today, that local support remains strong as we all are in this together.”


Supporting Local Businesses

Throughout the pandemic and entering into 2022, it has been key for community members to support local businesses like Minuteman Press. Keri states, “Our clients and community have been amazing. Because we remained open, we were able to keep our connection to them uninterrupted and they have come to know that we are there to help, no matter the request. We made a concerted effort to keep the lines of communication open through email and by telephone during those times that we could not connect in person.”

“We were very thankful to be able to remain open and serve our community as an essential business. The fact that we were forced to think outside the box and pivot to move into new areas enabled us to help our customers in ways that kept them (and us) safe and moving forward. We are excited to help our clients who are ready to ramp things up get back on their feet and rebuild their momentum.”
-Kerri Brandon, Abbotsford BC


High-Demand Products Spark Growth

One of the biggest keys to Kerri and Mark’s growth has been adapting their products and services to meet their clients’ needs. Kerri says, “At the beginning of the pandemic, there was high demand for items such as floor decals, face masks and custom plexiglass barriers. So much so that it was hard to keep up with the demand.”

These days, Kerri shares, “Currently, direct mail has provided a great way for our clients to communicate with their customers and reintroduce themselves back into the marketplace. However, the largest demand has been for large format signage and decals. This can be attributed to our increased focus on marketing in various different ways over the past year.”

Kerri says, “Since taking over our business over eight years ago, we have definitely expanded our product lines with large format printing and dye sublimation.  She adds, “We also took advantage of the Lumpy Mail program developed by Minuteman Press International and landed some very lucrative accounts by simply reaching out with a phone call and following that up with some personalized goods, which translated into multiple orders.”

Kerri also recognizes community networking and the internet for improving local awareness of their business. She explains, “As previously mentioned, we stepped up our email marketing to keep in touch with our customers every step of the way. Being that everything moved online, we were sure to keep up our marketing using Minuteman Press International’s internet marketing program.”



The Power of Cross Media Marketing

Cross media gets its strength from combining print and digital channels to send strong and consistent brand messaging to clients across multiple points of contact. Kerri says, “Communication is vital in business and we offer multiple avenues to make this happen. This was made even more evident over the past year as our customers looked for ways to communicate with their customers at a time when being in person was not a possibility. As a business, being able to provide this vital service to our clients through direct marketing was an invaluable asset.”

She adds, “As we move forward and more businesses and events return, we have been able to help our customers with items including signage and banners, laminated or single use menus, scannable printed QR codes that link to menus or relevant websites, and custom pop-up tents. All of these items work together to provide a cohesive message across all touchpoints as well as increased brand awareness and visibility.”


Becoming Business Owners

When the Brandons launched their printing business in 2013, neither of them had a print background. Mark had been an operations manager for a car rental company for 20-plus years and I had an extensive background in customer service and administration.”

She continues, “We had always wanted to own our own business one day and when we attended a franchise show in 2012, we were approached by Western Canada Regional Vice President Neil MacLeod. Neil welcomed us to the Minuteman Press booth and said, ‘Even if you decide not to buy a franchise from us, maybe we can win your future printing business.’ After looking into many different business opportunities, the treatment we received from the Neil and the Minuteman Press team made us feel like we would be joining a supportive and reliable franchise and thus our decision was made.”

The Minuteman Press team have provided vital communications and support throughout the pandemic. “In the early days of the pandemic, the support was essential in helping us to maintain a positive attitude and keep moving forward. We ourselves took a proactive stance and we were so thankful to see that they were actively working to support their franchisees.”

Kerri adds, “As the pandemic rolled along, we had several check-ins from our field rep Ray Leung advising us to take ad­vantage of first the Bounce Back Canada program and then the Lumpy Mail campaign. Both of these encouraged us to actively reach out to our customers, the latter of which turned out to be very successful for us. In addition, we truly appreciated the constant communication from Nick Titus (President, Minuteman Press International) offering support and positive updates that included suggestions of what was successful for other owners.”

As to rewards of owning a Minuteman Press location, Kerri answers, “On the personal side, my biggest reward is being able to experience a client’s gratitude when helping them complete a project from start to finish, especially when they have been told ‘no’ somewhere else.”

Mark shares, “For me, it would be the sense of accomplishment of taking what was an underperforming location when we took it over and turning it into a strong, thriving, successful business.”

He continues, “Professionally, both of us pride ourselves on the level of customer service we are able to provide. We strive to do whatever we can to ensure our customers have a great experience when dealing with us, and on the occasion that they don’t, we are sure to do everything within our power make it right. We are rewarded every time we receive that 5-star Google review and are proud of our 4.7 rating which we have actively worked to achieve. We were especially proud when being recognized by Minuteman Press International with their Achievement in Customer Service Award.”

As for advice to business owners heading into 2022, Kerri and Mark have a simple answer. “Market. Market. Market! Even when trying to control your expenses, don’t skimp out on marketing. Traditional­ly, this is the first thing to go when the need arises to cut back on spending, however, marketing keeps you top of mind over your competitors and you never know where your next big client might come from.”

For more information on Minuteman Press visit their listing by clicking their logo on the sidebar.