For 35 years, Phil Van Kampen and his wife Liz built their family-owned independent printing business SprintPrint into a multimillion dollar company by doing what they’ve always done for their customers. “We make printing easy,” says Phil.
With the business doing well and retirement on the horizon, Phil has decided to sell the business to the Kenney family: Chrispin, Lynn, and their son CJ. Moving forward, SprintPrint will be rebranded as Minuteman Press in Madison as part of the Minuteman Press Conversion Program. The business will remain at their location at 2790 South Fish Hatchery Road. The Kenney family also owns a Minuteman Press franchise in Waunakee, which they have owned since 2013.
Selling the Business
As Phil approached retirement and was looking to sell the business, he wanted to make sure that there would be minimal disruption for both his clients and his employees that helped make SprintPrint a success. Phil says, “We had 12 employees, with at least half of them being with us for over 20 years. I wanted to make sure they were taken care of even after I sold the business.”
Phil continues, “Originally, we were approached by another company but all they wanted was to buy our customer list. We were also contacted by a business broker and found that their commission rate was expensive. They also seemed to have no sense of urgency as if we wouldn’t be a priority, and so we decided not to go forward with them.”
Eventually, Phil found the right partner to sell his business in Minuteman Press International. Phil explains, “After we decided not to use the business broker, Liz came home with a flyer from Minuteman Press that we received in the mail. I called Steve Szymanski, who is the Midwest Regional VP, and we talked for over an hour. I simply trusted him, liked what he had to say, and so we moved forward.”
“The Minuteman Press Conversion Program was exactly what we needed to sell our business. There was no charge, no commission, and no broker fees. I also liked the fact that Minuteman Press would aid the new owner in running the business, and that I could retire without worrying about my customers and employees. In fact, my wife Liz is staying on to work with them because she isn’t ready to retire and loves her job. Steve Szymanski helped coordinate the sale and made it work, and it has been an easy transition for all involved.” -Phil Van Kampen, Retired Owner, SprintPrint, Madison, Wisconsin
Meet the New Owners
Lynn Kenney is the majority owner of the newly acquired business that is being rebranded as Minuteman Press in Madison. Lynn shares, “For the last 17 years, I’ve been working for the post office as a rural carrier. I also have a background in accounting and payroll in my early career working at Excalibur in Las Vegas.”
For the Kenney family, the acquisition of SprintPrint simply made sense. Lynn explains, “My husband, Chrispin, was interested in expanding our current business while also building the business with our son CJ. We look forward to offering the same quality and experience customers have relied on in the past. In addition, we will be offering expanded products and services to existing and future customers.”
“I believe good communication, accountability, education, and execution are the keys to running a successful family business. After 9 years of building our first location, we are looking forward to building another successful Minuteman Press franchise with our son CJ and creating great relationships in the Madison community.” -Lynn Kenney, New Co-Owner, Minuteman Press, Madison, Wisconsin
CJ Kenney graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison in December 2021 with a degree in Communication Arts. After graduating, CJ knew that he wanted to take the next step forward with the family business. “I’ve been working with my parents at their center in Waunakee for eight years, since I was in high school. I did whatever they needed me to do. I ran deliveries, I helped with in-house apparel and production, and I loved going to BNI meetings and customer calls with my dad.”
CJ continues, “I love talking to people, and I learned a lot from my dad. It always seems like he knows what to say and how to build relationships. I love this business because we can meet so many people that become friends in addition to working with them as clients. I just felt like this was the right track to take for my career and for the family business.”
“With SprintPrint, we saw some tremendous expanding points for our business. Phil and Liz built a fantastic business over 35 years that will help us grow our in-house wide format printing services for the production of banners, signs, and posters. They also have a fantastic staff and clients I am excited to work with them as we begin this new chapter as Minuteman Press in Madison.” -CJ Kenney, New Co-Owner, Minuteman Press, Madison, Wisconsin
History of the Business
Before opening SprintPrint in 1987, Phil worked for another large printing chain based in Madison for 10 years. He says, “I decided to leave and start my own business. I knew what I wanted to do, and I decided I wanted to work for myself. We started the business and I made sure we differentiated ourselves as a quick printer focused on B2B clients rather than walk-ins.”
Like many other business owners, Phil grew SprintPrint by building long-term relationships and becoming the face of the business. He also provided products that made sense and helped him stand out. Phil says, “One thing that set us apart early on is that we got into the mailing side of the business, invested in the equipment and the expertise, and became a one-stop source for in-house printing and direct mail.”
After six years in business, SprintPrint moved to a 6,000 sq. ft. facility, then added onto the facility in 1997. “This is the same location at 2790 South Fish Hatchery Road that Minuteman Press is taking over, which I am very excited about because it makes for an even easier transition.”
Over the past ten years, SprintPrint has continued to evolve and grow. “The biggest change over the past decade was getting into large format printing, which has been a huge benefit to our clients. During the pandemic, we experienced growth in large format, and direct mail held steady. We always try to make printing easy, and the past few years have been no different.”
During the pandemic, SprintPrint continued to operate as an essential business and meet the needs of their clients. Phil says, “We have many long-term customers for 30 years or more with well-established businesses. They were able to weather the storm and continue marketing, and we were there to help them adapt and pivot as needed.”
Retirement and Advice for Others
Now that the sale is complete, Phil is looking forward to his well-earned retirement. “I’ve taken up woodworking as a hobby, and it is very relaxing to be able to enjoy each day.”
Phil summarizes his experience with Minuteman Press and shares his advice for others who are looking to sell their printing business:
“As owners of SprintPrint, my wife Liz and I had decided in the last year that, after 35 years, it was time to sell our business. It was of utmost importance that our employees were taken care of – we were looking for someone who would run the business in place and retain our staff. We originally explored selling it ourselves or working with a broker, which was not working out for various reasons. We then contacted Steve Szymanski, Regional Vice President of Minuteman Press International, to explore our options with their firm. We found their system to be very attractive as there was no cost to us to market our company for sale, and we could exit the business entirely upon sale. Minuteman Press was able to find a buyer that was the best fit for how we wanted to leave the industry. We could not be more pleased with the whole process. We would highly recommend working with them to any print shop owner looking to sell their business.”
Learn more about Minuteman Press in Madison, WI by visiting their website: https://minuteman.com/us/locations/wi/fitchburg.
For more information on how to sell your printing business through Minuteman Press International’s Conversion Program, call 1-800-645-3006 or visit https://bit.ly/minutemanpressconversions.