“We are busier than ever and that is becoming true for those we serve. Everything is coming back and people are enthusiastic to move forward and grow.”
Minuteman Press in Fairfield, CT is a locally owned design, marketing, and printing franchise that has remained open as an essential business during the COVID-19 pandemic. Owners Cheryl Camarato and Susan Wybiral have worked hard for nearly ten years as business owners to get where they are today, and they weren’t going to let anything get in their way. Cheryl explains, “Over the last four years we took our sales to incredible heights. We have mentored businesses of all sizes and we are proud of our operations and business growth both before the pandemic and during it.”
Cheryl continues, “The beginning of COVID-19 was a scary time for everyone, but we made fast moves to remain open and strengthen our clients’ connections so they could survive and eventually resume growth.” From her words to real world actions, her full staff was hard at work within weeks. A grateful community of entrepreneurs, graduates and families were well on their way developing new ways for keeping life and prosperity in Fairfield.
“What I did was shut the door and worked,” Cheryl explains. A lot of people were very happy Minuteman Press in Fairfield was still working on their behalf while they were under unbelievable pressure. “We got an email that said, ‘Thank God you are still working!’ and it was from a large landscaping customer with 90 locations. We take care of design and print, advising on strategy for all of them. I’d say we do postcard mailings for them to the amount of 40,000 per week, give or take.”
Cheryl’s reputation for meeting complex situations head-on empowers her capabilities as a problem-solver. “Challenging times are opportunities for us to utilize our full-range of technology. We help our clients by leveraging our products and services as well as the combined years of experience Susan and I have rerouting businesses into success stories, even against the odds.” They are unmatched when it comes to taking calculated risks and they share this talent with everyone who entrusts them with projects.
As it turns out, Cheryl has an uncanny ability to come out on the winning side of tough decisions during a time when it’s difficult to calculate because facts are still developing. As the world opens back up, she and Susan are part of the reason the local economy is becoming revitalized. “We bought our center with skillsets perfectly matched to make it all work and developed a healthy relationship with our franchise family over the years, too.”
She adds, “My wife and I went to our system-wide World Expo in Las Vegas and I met so many great people from headquarters as well as other franchise owners from around the world. We knew we would never have a slow time because our industry is filled with options that we can extend to our customers. We have recently added another large format machine, a heat press and have been printing floor graphics and doing vehicle wraps. So, while the holidays were bonkers around here with orders as might be expected, we are also busy right now. Our restaurants, small business owners, local government and non-profits are coming to us for help and we have them all covered. We do not have slow periods and we can see the good effects of our work in action all around the area.”
Cheryl reduced spending immediately and used her innate and earned business intelligence to bolster her bottom line. She called and visited her customer base to check on their welfare and help them strategize. “We remained open and busy because print is an essential business, so we did a great deal of work for the town, including the parks department which needed health and safety signage without delay. Then, we were sensitive to local families hoping to celebrate graduations. So, we designed printed options like lawn signs and put them online, including Esty as a way to create a special tradition and help our area preserve this rite of passage.”
The thoughtful designs were met with $15,000 worth of sign orders and happy families. “It was a strong sales month for us in the middle of lockdowns. We remained positive and somehow, we pulled it off. We took care of signage for between six and eight grammar schools, the same number of middle schools plus public works and the board of education. People really needed help preserving monumental moments and businesses needed help adjusting to unusual hours. Signage was in high-demand and our business never slowed down.”
Cheryl is humble about her role as mentor, but her reputation for being there for clients grows even as she models how to handle emergencies. Susan is a production master and takes care of the latest technology their modern printing center houses. Cheryl says, “I am on the money end of our business and with that came the decision to diversify years ago. We made wise equipment decisions that allow us to take care of clients in-house the majority of the time and we never stop devising new ways to make real connections with target audiences. The response is a stronger, more enduring business no matter which industry our client represents.”
Four years ago, Cheryl and Susan took an A-frame sign and cut it into the shape of a t-shirt, advertising customized apparel. “Within an hour people came in asking if we could print customized t-shirts. We knew we would work to make sure our clients’ options in marketing was not limited, so we provided things some people might not expect from a ‘print shop.’ During the COVID-19 challenge our efforts really paid off as we are able, for instance, to welcome our construction and landscaping customers into much more than they realized they could use to grow business.”
Today there are still uncertainties but Cheryl keeps her finger on the pulse of each brand under her care. She has helped them all make swift adjustments. “We move and groove an go on to the next thing while a lot of other printers just print basics. For example, we have a ton of construction companies and when their owners come in, they come in asking for work orders. We then show them how we can letter their trucks and provide A-frame signs, branded facemasks and an entire marketing strategy to take them around hurdles reaching customers.”
“Every time I provide a freshly printed, branded facemask as a sample, I get an order for up to several hundred,” she says. It is how Minuteman Press in Fairfield meets the reality of what her community faces and helps make it possible to keep buying and selling. She adds, “We move quickly and when people were working from home and under stress, we used our status as an essential business to create a bridge between their restricted activity and the message they need to keep in front of target audiences.”
Her commitment is firm and her approach to sales is no-nonsense but Cheryl’s devotion to the success of every project entrusted to her staff at Minuteman Press in Fairfield is deeply personal. This is met with lasting gratitude as she concludes, “We are busier than ever and that is becoming true for those we serve. Everything is coming back and people are enthusiastic to move forward and grow.”
For more information on Minuteman Press in Fairfield, CT, visit https://www.fairfield-ct.minutemanpress.com. To learn more about #1 rated Minuteman Press franchise opportunities, visit https://minutemanpressfranchise.com.