The Minuteman Press franchise in Northvale, NJ has been operating for over 40 years. Alan Schneider and his wife Nadine are celebrating 15 years as owners and share their insights and reflections. Minuteman Press in Northvale, NJ is located at 202 Livingston Street, Northvale, NJ 07647.
Congrats on 15 years! What does this milestone mean to you and what are the keys to your success and longevity?
Nadine and Alan:
“This is a tremendous milestone for us. Although we have hit this milestone in our tenure, the shop has been in business for over 40 years in this community. We are well known and very involved in the town.
For years, people were saying the printing industry was dying. Then the pandemic hit and I think everyone feared a little bit for the future. However, I have to say that I never expected the bounce back from the pandemic to be such a boon for business. I think people realized that community is important, supporting local business is important, and although online marketing has a place, it’s not the only game in town. Print is still king.
The keys to our success and longevity are: providing a warm and friendly place to do business; being knowledgeable about our products and services; letting our clients know that their success is important to us and we are here to help them; caring about our clients as people—not just as customers; and, most importantly, reliability and integrity.”
What are some of the key ways you’ve grown your business?
Nadine and Alan:
“Believe it or not, the pandemic was a blessing for our business. It forced us to take critical look at how we were operating. We took a hard look at our numbers, and strategized on what we could do better in both operations and marketing. On the operational side, we cut out some of the fat and streamlined things where needed.”
Alan: “My wife, Nadine, has an MBA in marketing and has owned a marketing and graphic design business for 15+ years. She joined me in our Northvale, NJ location and is providing all the graphic design services. Not only was this a strategic financial/operational move, it was the best marketing move we could have made. We are now truly a marketing, design and printing company – a one-stop shop!”
Nadine and Alan:
“Our clients are provided with a free consultation on the best ways to market their business. We do the strategy, design and printing. When the clients see the results, they come back for additional products and services—and they tell their friends! The savings we realized from our reduction in payroll was also reinvested in the business by increasing our participation in the SEO/Internet marketing program. We are starting to see an uptick in our internet leads!
A couple of other cool things… Last year, we expanded our marketing strategy by promoting ourselves as a local family business. Our holiday cards now feature our family photo – myself, Nadine, and our 4 grown children. The theme is, Family is everything. We appreciate you being part of ours. I can’t tell you how many compliments we received on that card. People feel like they know our family, and always ask how our kids are doing.
This year, we will be planning a marketing program to celebrate my birthday on October 26th. Why? Because we found out that it’s also National Printing Day! We are going to have a lot of fun with that.
We also do a lot of in-person networking by being active in our home and business communities. We are BNI members and directors, are involved with many not-for-profits, serve on the boards of the local Chambers of Commerce, and are Auxiliary Police Officers in our hometown. We are always visible helping the community in whatever way we can.”
What are your high-demand products and services?
Nadine and Alan:
“We do a ton of direct mail, particularly EDDM. Although the program has been around for years, it’s really been gaining traction since the pandemic. Once our clients see how well direct mail works for them, they either expand their reach or frequency…or both. We help them build their customer lists as a result of their EDDM efforts, then assist them with targeted direct mail programs to these new customers. We are proud to say that many of our clients credit us with helping them build their businesses through direct mail. They refer to us as the direct mail experts!
We also began heavily promoting branded apparel. It’s featured in the front of our store, and we make a point of mentioning it to our clients when they come into the shop. Once we learn about their business, we suggest what types of apparel and promotional items they may want to consider to boost their brand awareness.”
What are your key growth areas?
Nadine and Alan:
“Again, direct mail and apparel are huge for us. Design as well. Our previous graphic designer was more of a layout/production person. Nadine is a true creative. Everything we do for a client now has a marketing strategy behind it, and a creative, eye-catching design. Clients who come in with their ideas are truly blown away by how we bring their visions to life. One successful campaign for a client usually snowballs into more business—and more referrals! But our true measure of success is knowing how we are helping our clients grow their businesses.”
How would you best describe your community?
Nadine and Alan: “Northvale, NJ is one square mile in area, right on the New York State border. The community is comprised of mostly residential homes, a small downtown with shopping and a handful of light industrial/manufacturing. Since it’s a small-town area, we focus on serving the local trades, retail stores, restaurants, professional services and industrial businesses. We have also built a client list outside of our small regional area by creating relationships with professionals that can provide us with ongoing business.”
Why do you think printing remains so vital to businesses today? What are the benefits of print?
Nadine and Alan:
“Several years ago, email marketing became extremely popular because it was free. Today, in-boxes are flooded with messages that are deleted before they are even opened. A wasted marketing effort, even though it is ‘free.’ With print, your message is tangible. A direct mail piece in someone’s mailbox is handled – even if it is eventually discarded. Someone saw it, and handled it.
Print is the ultimate conversation-starter. Hand someone a brochure, mail them a postcard, or even embroider your company name on your polo – and you are now visible to them. The most successful businesses rely on print for the majority of their marketing, so it is definitely here to stay.”
What was your background before franchising?
Alan: “I owned a food distribution company prior to owning a Minuteman Press. I wanted something new, but I still wanted to be a business owner. I chose Minuteman Press because of the company’s reputation for training and support of its franchisees. Also, printing is a consumable business which means repeat business.”
What has the support from Minuteman Press International been like for you?
Nadine and Alan: “Pick up the phone, send an email, and someone is there to help. The conventions are invaluable. We always come back learning something new, whether it’s from corporate or fellow owners. We look forward to seeing everyone, and meeting new people. It’s like a family reunion! We’ve also come back with new vendors to try which really had an impact on our business.”
What are the biggest rewards of owning your business?
Nadine and Alan: “Being an integral part of other people’s businesses and helping them achieve their goals. Also, being part of the community.”
What advice would you give to others?
Nadine and Alan: “Be professional and be persistent!”
Minuteman Press in Northvale, NJ is located at 202 Livingston Street, Northvale, NJ 07647. For more information, visit their website: https://minuteman.com/us/locations/nj/northvale/
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