Duo launch new print business
Monday, September 13, 2021
A father and daughter team have expanded Minuteman Press’s footprint in the South East with a new business, their first foray into print.
Franchisees Russell and Romi Pinsent, whose backgrounds are in running care home services, decided to expand into printing after visiting a London franchise show at the start of 2019, originally looking for a business in hospitality.
However, after meeting the Minuteman Press team at the show, the Hove-based pair decided to buy into the franchise, tasking it to find a potential business the pair could buy and rebrand – which resulted in the pair buying Hove-based print shop TJ’s Branding Solutions and rebranding it Minuteman Press, Hove.
“We are sociable and personable people and we wanted something that was less about dealing with government and legislation and more about dealing with people and relationships and this seemed the right fit,” explained Russell Pinsent.
“After the event Minuteman Press regional vice president, Mark Jones, took us around half a dozen stores in the South East and showed us what they do. Then in Easter 2019 we had planned a holiday in Florida so we were able to go and see some stores out there too,” he continued.
“We were hearing positive stories on both sides of the Atlantic so it really gave us confidence and by the time we got back Minuteman had found TJ’s Branding Solutions in Hove, an independent store that had been running for more than 30 years and the owner Tony was ready to retire,” he said.
The Pinsents were able to undertake Minuteman’s basic industry training via Zoom, rather than travel to New York had circumstances been normal, while Jones, area rep Sam Fernandez and Minuteman’s Scottish RVP have provided in-person support and training, Pinsent explained.
The process of transferring the business and finalising paperwork was delayed by the Covid pandemic, but the Pinsents finally stepped into their new shoes in June this year.
The business predominantly specialises in wide-format format work such as signage, wallpapers and window graphics, car wrapping and promotional apparel, using HP large format equipment, with smaller print jobs previously being outsourced.
However, since converting to Minuteman Press, the business has invested in a Xerox 2800, an Ideal guillotine as well as a number of smaller devices such as a creaser, padder and stapler to enable it to bring more work under one roof.
“We want to increase our offer and most of our clients get their small print jobs done elsewhere, so we saw the growth potential in that area. It’s a steep learning curve for us, but we are gaining some traction. It’s great for us to be doing this stuff in-house and upskilling the team to use different machinery,” Russell said.
The business has a turnover of around £420,000 and Pinsent hopes to increase that to around £650,000-£700,000 within two years. As well as Pinsent and his daughter, the team comprises four staff in production, two designers and a designer/manager with recruitment on the cards as and when needed.
Pinsent said his daughter Romi is front-of-house and is working on quotes and pricing, while he considers his own job title to be “whatever it takes”.
“I’ve been out working with signs, delivering, collecting and dealing with clients. Whatever is needed to get us off the ground and I think we are getting there.”
While pricing on small print jobs had previously been fairly high, Pinsent said, bringing the work in-house has enabled the business to undertake a review and make pricing much more competitive.
“I think our growth plans are entirely achievable on this site and we can appraise as we move forward, perhaps adding a new production site as we grow.
“It’s a good time to help people sell their products and grow their businesses because the world is opening up again – depending on which newspaper you read,” Pinsent added.
Minuteman Press is a US-based global franchise business set up more than 40 years ago and now has around 1,000 franchises producing digital print, design and promotional items to firms across all sectors. It expanded into the UK around 25 years ago where it now has almost 50 stores.