Judith Hoefer celebrates one year as Minuteman Press franchise owner

February 21, 2019

In February 2018, Judith Hoefer realized her dream of becoming a business owner when she decided to buy an established Minuteman Press franchise in Marietta, Georgia. Judith says, “The challenge of building the business myself, with the help of my small team, is a great feeling. The addition of back office systems, management advice, and partnerships that come with the franchise is a good safety net and confidence builder. I also have flexibility to work around my kids’ schedules, so I make it to all of their games.”

Located at 800 Whitlock Ave., Ste 127 in Marietta, GA, Judith shares exactly what Minuteman Press does for local businesses in the community: “We provide quick turnaround and offer design and printing services. Brochures, catalogs, custom printed apparel, and direct mail marketing campaigns make up the bulk of our business. The addition of a large format printer allows us to make signs without the minimum order quantity that most other suppliers impose, and to print our own banners, posters, stickers, etc. in-house. The large format printer has been key to almost a quarter of our business. We promise great graphic design, quality workmanship, and quick turnaround, which is my definition of solid customer service that is personalized to each client we serve.”

Global Journey to Entrepreneurship in Atlanta

Judith Hoefer and family first came to the Atlanta area in 2012. Previously, she worked at a bank in Malaysia that laid the foundation for her desire to own her own business. Judith says, “This is where I started to understand business and got the urge to own one of my own. I then moved to Singapore and worked for five years as a flight attendant on Singapore Airlines. Their top-notch customer service drills and training gave me a solid foundation for handling different kinds of customers. This is a very important aspect of my business.”

Judith continues, “After that, we started a business similar to a ‘pack-and-ship’ in Malaysia, specializing in office supplies and printing. After 5 years, we sold the business to a family member before we moved back to Singapore. My husband completed his assignment in Asia and he got transferred to Atlanta in 2012. I decided to go back to work and began looking into on-going businesses that I could buy. After searching for quite a while, Minuteman Press caught my eye. We met Minuteman Press International Regional Vice President Dave Walton, who was able to answer all our questions and give us the confidence to take on a turnaround situation.”

Why Buy a Minuteman Press Franchise?

After Judith did her due diligence, she decided Minuteman Press was the right franchise for her family. She agreed to buy an existing franchise and moved the location to “an ideal shop lot in a busy strip mall” with the help of David Walton. Judith further explains, “We met Dave in January 2018, signed the lease as well as the franchise agreement a few weeks later, and I went to the Minuteman Press two-week training program in New York. This all happened within 45 days, which only goes to show how streamlined the Minuteman Press process is. I officially took over the business on February 19th, 2018.”

Judith cites three other key reasons she chose Minuteman Press in Marietta over the many franchise opportunities available:

  • “Minuteman Press had a reasonable upfront investment;
  • Taking over the established business meant that it came with an existing customer base;
  • Their royalty cap is a real incentive for me as a Minuteman Press franchisee.”

One year into running her business, Judith is very happy with her decision as well as the local support she receives: “When I really need something, Dave and our field representative Clay are there to help.”

Growing the Business and Giving Back to the Community

Judith has found Minuteman Press franchise success in Marietta by strategically growing her customer base and giving back to the community. She attributes her growth to following the Minuteman Press program and really getting involved at the grassroots level. For example, Judith says, “One of my most loyal customers is my children’s school. I expected to get a lot of business from them since I became an official business partner/sponsor, but the amount of business they’ve given has been a pleasant surprise.”

Judith shares another client success story, saying, “I have also been very happy with a crematorium customer who first approached us after I implemented Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) and got listed on the USPS site thanks to Minuteman Press International’s recognition by them as an EDDM provider. They have really demonstrated the value of this approach. In their mailings, they were able to consistently get a significant response.”

Minuteman Press’ presence in Marietta goes even further thanks to Judith’s leadership. She shares, “It’s important – I’ve just made arrangements with Briggs & Assoc., a nonprofit organization, to give a position to a special needs worker, who will work for 2 hours a day, 2-3 days a week. This will provide them with experience and inspire confidence in their abilities within the workforce. The local Chamber of Commerce has also been good for creating valuable networking opportunities.”

Networking is just one way that Judith has grown her business over the past year. She explains, “Personal networking and the Minuteman Press International Google SEO/SEM program have been key drivers of our growth. Since taking over the business last February our business is up by more than 100% from the previous year. My goal is to double the sales again this year.”

Advice to Others Who Are Researching Franchise Opportunities

Today, Judith is in a perfect position to share advice for other aspiring business owners considering she was just in their shoes one year ago. She offers these tips for those who are serious about pursuing entrepreneurship: “Don’t underestimate the amount of working capital you’ll need to grow the business, and the countless hours that you’ll have to invest even when the shop’s lights are off. But stick it through; be patient, keep working hard, and you’ll see your business grow sooner than you think.”

She adds the following about the benefits of franchising with Minuteman Press, saying, “One of the things I’ve learned from running an independently owned and operated business in the past was that setting up vendors is not easy. With Minuteman Press International, most of the vendors are already lined up. They know who we are and what we need.”

Judith concludes, “I have found that Minuteman Press FLEX business management software is indispensable in getting my cost and pricing correct. Their email marketing and other customer management features really do work. Lastly, adding large format printing in-house is something I recommend. It allows us to take smaller orders and maintain healthy margins.”

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