Minuteman Press franchise owner Jim Hilliard shares insights on running the family printing business

February 27, 2019
Jeromy Hilliard (left) and Jim Hilliard (right) at the family-run Minuteman Press design, marketing, and printing franchise in Canton, Ohio Jeromy Hilliard (left) and Jim Hilliard (right) at the family-run Minuteman Press design, marketing, and printing franchise in Canton, Ohio

For Jim and Cindy Hilliard and their team at Minuteman Press in Canton, providing customer service with a personal touch and following the Minuteman Press franchise model have been the key drivers of their business.

Celebrating 14 years in business, Jim and Cindy Hilliard are the proud long-time owners of their Minuteman Press design, marketing and printing franchise in Canton, Ohio. More importantly, what Jim and Cindy offer their clients and their community is a trusted business services provider that puts their customers first. Jim explains, “For 14 years, we have shown that our business is a little different. We offer expert customer service with a smile. We are for our customers, and nothing less will do. We enable our clients to have the best-looking products with a fast turnaround time at competitive pricing.”

Jim adds, “I have my two sons, my daughter and my wife all working in the business. When we took over in 2005, the center was underperforming. Since 2005, we have grown and here we are 14 years later!”

Changing Careers and Industries to Own a Minuteman Press Franchise

Before franchising with Minuteman Press, Jim Hilliard had various jobs across different industries. He says, “My background prior to Minuteman Press included 10 years as an auto mechanic, 11 years in a small machine shop, and 11 years in retirement services. At one point in time, I had 15 direct reports at my job.”

Minuteman Press appealed to Jim and Cindy because they saw some of the key benefits of franchising when going through the research phase. Jim states, “I had a fantastic meeting with Minuteman Press International Regional Vice President Gary Nowak and determined from that meeting that owning our own Minuteman Press franchise was the way to go. The reasonable franchise fees and the details of the transaction made it an easy decision. The support has been outstanding right from the get-go. Anything I need or have a question about I can pick up the phone and call. I would not be where I am today without their support. I would not trade the Minuteman Press franchise team for anything!” 

Rewards of Owning a Family Business

For every entrepreneur, there are different reasons that owning a business is such a rewarding experience. For Jim Hilliard, it’s all about the customer experience. He elaborates, “I would say the most rewarding is when we are able to help people meet their goals. When we are able to help our clients with products and deadlines, it feels great to do our best to accommodate them. I enjoy speaking with the customers and finding out what they do in their spare time. Building relationships is huge.”

From local schools and wineries to companies in the medical field, Minuteman Press in Canton has a wide variety of clients that helps them grow and thrive. Jim says, “To grow my business was to simply follow the franchise system and the marketing campaigns of Minuteman Press International. I pounded the pavement and continue to market through direct face-to-face contacts. If I am making a delivery to a business but we do not print for their neighbor, we drop off a few pens and pads and ask if we can quote anything. We pick up a lot of business this way.”

Minuteman Press in Canton is also a member of the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce and has remained active in the community. “We are here if you need us. We have volunteered for several events and offered our services for others. It is great to stay involved and give back.”

Advice for Others

With 14 years in business under his belt, Jim Hilliard is the perfect person to ask for entrepreneur tips and advice. Jim says, “The main regret I have is that I didn’t do it sooner! I would look at the big picture prior to purchasing a franchise and review the royalties that will be due. Also, look into the advertising fees as a lot of franchises bill their franchisors for this (Minuteman Press does not).”

Jim concludes,

If anyone is considering a franchise, please review all of the fees. You will find Minuteman Press International is among the most reasonable and their ongoing corporate and local support is out of this world!”

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