Philip Milburn has assumed ownership of a firmly established Minuteman Press franchise in Norwich, England. After twenty years under the previous owner, Philip’s desire for growth and tireless dedication to every project is introducing new life to the business. In fact, since Philip bought his Minuteman Press franchise in June of 2018, he and his team have received 32 positive Google Reviews… and every single one gave Minuteman Press 5 stars!
Over the years, Philip has started many businesses from scratch and some of them ended up being national leaders in their fields. His most successful venture is one he describes as, “ending up with just under 1,000 staff and annual sales of £70m.” That sounds brilliant but the sacrifice of quality of life can be too great. According to Philip, “The problem with running national companies and living in east Norfolk is that I was always a long way from our key markets and customers. That meant spending a huge amount of time in my car and endless nights in hotels, which I hated. Going back to running a small company based only in Norwich, with a great team around me was probably not what I envisioned 10 years ago but I absolutely love it!”
Philip has employed literally thousands of staff over the last 30 years but describes today’s atmosphere as “the best one I have experienced.” He continues “We have 2 of the existing staff and 4 new staff. What a great team we are! They get the job done and still have a great time together. I’m sure this helps with our customers’ experience and explains why all our reviews so far are 5 stars.”
Minuteman Press in Norwich is honest about the reality of project demands vs. deadlines and in this way, few clients are left disappointed. “Firstly, we do make sure we can hit the customer’s deadlines before we take a job on. You must give an expectation on delivery you know you can meet. However, not every job goes to plan.” So how exactly does Philip take charge of inevitable “surprises” that threaten victory as deadlines approach? “If things don’t go as we hoped, we talk about it as a team and agree who is going to do what to get the job done and then we do it! Our standard shop hours are 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday. However, if a customer is running out of time because of heavy traffic, one of us will always keep the shop open for them,” he explains.
Philip has a clear vision for his digital print, design and marketing services centre that he always tries to share with his team. “We are positioning ourselves to be not just the print shop in Ber Street that offers quality copying, printing and finishing. We also want our customers to see us as being able to help them across all aspects of sales and marketing to include categories like SEO/PPC.” Minuteman Press Norwich has a close relationship with a Google partner company in the UK and they can offer our customers the best ROI on Google marketing and there is a track record that proves this. Philip adds, “We research the best ad words to use across all sectors, as well as really look at Google analytics on behalf of our customers. Without doubt, a company can only have a successful marketing package if they really understand and use SEO/PPC to the full.”
Social Media strategies are frequently assumed to be self-sustaining but this is often not the case in the real world. He says, “We have significant expertise in all aspects of social media marketing, in particular Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. We can offer advice and training to our customers’ own staffs or we also have an option to completely run their complete strategy.”
As well as with social media, email marketing campaigns are part of the digital marketing advantage his clients receive. Philip continues, “We fully understand GDPR issues in the UK and have our own legal advisors to ensure we comply across every aspect of these new regulations. We help customers build up accurate data bases containing customers that can properly receive marketing emails going forward. We then help the customer create vibrant and effective emails to promote their products in key areas.”
Loyal client Gemma Hyde, Marketing Manager at Castle Mall Management, has this to say in appreciation for the partnership with Philip and his team: “Minuteman Press Norwich is a fantastic local printing company within the city centre. As the name suggests, they are super quick at getting printing but the quality doesn’t suffer. They have printed our posters for years and we would recommend them to everyone.”
Too many studies continue to prove that marketing campaigns are lackluster without printed collateral to compliment the entire strategy, so two elements Philip uses to help is appropriate, targeted leaflet distribution and branded promotional products that are produced on premises. “We have a partner firm in Norfolk that can assist in leaflet distribution on a very specific basis. For example, all restaurants in Norwich, or all retail outlets in Norfolk etc. We also have our own equipment in the shop to print on T shirts, polo shirts etc. as well as print any logo on a coffee mug. We are also now really looking at other promotional items such as pens, mouse mats, key rings, eco-friendly tote bags etc.”
He acknowledges the prime objective, which is “covering all of the marketing requirements one might have with our customers, from one point of sale.” With any purchase, money is always important but it is only one factor in the equation. Philip says, “We all know that companies are offering online print services such as 500 business cards at very low prices but, and a big but, you don’t get the level of personal service. We find a lot of our customers want to actually come into our shop and then speak to friendly and knowledgeable people. This is a key factor for us and the relationship with our wide range of customers. We get told every day that talking to our team face to face is really, really important.”
Minuteman Press International provides a franchise family superior to others and, as Philip has been on the other side, selling franchises during his career, he is pleased with his choice. “I have been involved with franchising across the UK for over 30 years but as a Franchisor not a Franchisee. I guess I have personally sold well over 100 franchises all over Great Britain and Northern Ireland. What I have found with Minuteman Press is that they have a great brand, an excellent software system and good relationships with suppliers like Xerox. What I don’t get is people trying to micro manage me which just wouldn’t work at all.”
“I am always looking ahead, a visionary really,” Philip admits. “It is not always easy to keep reminding myself that I have to keep my team updated and keep re-stating our goals for the future.” Fortunately, his franchisor is adept at staying ahead of the technology curve and providing options from which Minuteman Press in Norwich can utilize for the benefit of their own growth and that of their clients.
“We have our shop in a fantastic location,” he continues. “We are only a few hundred yards away from Norwich City centre, so people can easily walk to us while they are shopping or working. It is also easy to get parking for an hour very close to our shop and if it is just a drop off or pick up a customer can park right outside the store. We see this as being key. Customers can come in the shop, look at paper samples, get ideas for flyers and booklets, perhaps to see if they want a photo cropped or not (and so on). They appreciate that our staff know them and fully understand their needs.”
Philip embodies the Minuteman Press of the 21st Century. He delivers the traditional and vital mainstay products and services of printing, promotional products, large format signage and custom branded apparel but he is also embracing new initiatives including PPC/SEO and social media to help his clients better market their businesses. He offers a composite solution in an effective, compliant and cost-effective way and never forgets the strong emphasis on customer service.
Source: Globe News Wire