From electrical and industrial automation to the printing industry!

Chris Harvey’s abrupt career change was not without its challenges.

Though it was an unlikely career change, Chris Harvey brought an important core value with him when he recently purchased a Minuteman Press franchise in London, Ontario – he continued to put his customers first, as he did when he worked in the electrical and industrial automation industries. Harvey always wanted to own a business and become his own boss. With the support of Minuteman Press International, he was able to buy an established Minuteman Press design, marketing and printing franchise in London South (at 100 Bessemer Road, Unit 7) despite not having any printing industry experience whatsoever. “All the tools were provided to me since day one,” he recalled. “The training I received from Minuteman Press, plus the ongoing field support, have provided me with decades of knowledge that other print companies simply can’t match.”

Harvey added: “I’ve spent my entire career in the electrical and industrial automation industries and have always focused on putting my customers first. This has allowed me to be successful in growing several different types of products and services across a few different corporations. Today, I apply those skills to my Minuteman Press franchise. We’re a full-service design, print, promotional and marketing company focused on helping small and medium-sized businesses become more successful. We’re also encouraged to run our centre the way we want to. Most franchises create a box and don’t allow you the flexibility to be a true entrepreneur. Owning my own centre also allows me to have solid work-life balance. I rely on my team to run the day-to-day operations while I focus on growing the business. This allows me to run the business, instead of the business running me!”

Harvey said that one of the advantages of owning a printing business is that the products and services offered are still essential to numerous businesses and remain in high demand. “Our customer base is very diverse and will continue to grow that way,” he added. “We work with several small, independent businesses that benefit from us becoming part of their teams. They can’t afford to hire the expertise themselves, so they rely on us. One of our customers has several retail locations and their marketing group is a small team. So our team does its very best to provide the highest levels of service and product quality, along with fast turnarounds. This customer has seen the benefits of our efforts as well as our products and services, and it’s nice to know that they really appreciate everything we do for them – just as we appreciate their business.”

Getting involved in their community in meaningful ways is another way that Harvey and Minuteman Press London South stand out. “It’s very important to be part of the community. I volunteer as Director of Marketing for a local Little League organization (Lambeth Little League) helping grow the amount of kids that play t-ball and softball. I also belong to our local Chamber of Commerce, which is proving to have great ROI, and a small networking group that meets each week for breakfast. The group includes about 13 small business owners, and I’ve discussed with them the challenges we all need to tackle. I’ve also seen a very high return from the networking group, as almost every owner needs some type of printed materials.”

Harvey’s advice to others business owners? “Make sure you’re doing your marketing, marketing, and more marketing! Do one or two things each day that move your business forward.”

Comments

Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.