Mother and daughter Phyllis Lynch and Dawn Little are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Minuteman Press franchise they opened up together in Florence, Kentucky, in 1989.
“I was a secretary in Norfolk, Virginia, and my husband was in the Navy,” says Dawn. “My mom called me up just as my husband’s term was up and said to me, ‘I have a great idea.’ Mom chose Minuteman Press because she was an office supply representative and she had asked around about getting into her own business. She liked printing because it was compatible with her background. Luckily, there was a Minuteman Press for sale.”
Compatible with part of her background, true, but Phyllis says that while she was eager to launch a business of her own, owning a sign and graphics shop would be all new to her.
“We knew nothing about the printing industry—but my husband and I both wanted to invest in a business,” Phyllis says. “When a local business owner told us about the printing industry, Michael (her husband) decided to check a few shops out. We came across Minuteman Press as one of the first shops we saw. Sometimes when you are mining for gold, you actually find uranium!
“From there, we met our regional vice president, Gary Nowak, and he explained the industry and the advantages of going with a proven franchise. We especially liked the fact that they had (and still have) a cap on royalties.”
Mom and daughter say the combination of being able to operate their business independently, while also enjoying the support of one of the leaders in the franchise printing industry, has delivered the best of both worlds these past decades.
“For new owners, there is a reason you invested in a franchise—it is already a proven tactic and method,” Phyllis says. “Do not try to recreate the wheel.
“Also, never judge a book by its cover. In our first week, a gentleman came in and ordered a sizeable order. He gave me a check for half down. I could not wait until he left so I could go downstairs and ask the bank if the check was any good. When I did, the teller, laughing hysterically, told me that ‘yes’ it was good. That gentleman owned the bank and the building we were leasing!”
Dawn adds, “Laugh with your customers and treat them with the respect they deserve. Word of mouth can make or break you. Once you have a dependable staff, keep them! We have had our pressman for 12 years and our graphic designer for 16, and our shop runs so smoothly. They are an asset to our success and knowing that I can count on them makes the office run as it should.”
Phyllis Lynch and Dawn Little’s Minuteman Press is located at 7830 Highway 42 in Florence, Kentucky.
As the 30 years have gone by, technology has changed immensely, they’ve seen other businesses come and go in their community, and their customer base has always been and continues to be diverse, they say. But perhaps the most important thing is the bond between mother and daughter remaining as strong as ever.
“We both opened the doors of our new project together,” Phyllis says. “Thirty years, and believe it or not, we are still speaking to one another.”