Minuteman Press franchise in Brampton, Ontario thrives for 15 years and counting

January 10, 2020
Meet the Owners of Minuteman Press, Brampton, Ontario – L-R: Bill Chapman (co-owner), Christiane Deschenes (co-owner) Meet the Owners of Minuteman Press, Brampton, Ontario – L-R: Bill Chapman (co-owner), Christiane Deschenes (co-owner)

For over 15 years and counting, Bill Chapman and his team at the Minuteman Press franchise in Brampton have been providing design, marketing, and printing services to local businesses and clients. With no printing experience before joining the Minuteman Press franchise family, Bill has followed the system developed by Minuteman Press International and thrived as a result. His franchise is part of the Minuteman Press International President’s Million-Dollar Circle for top performers, exceeding yearly gross sales of more than $1 million.

While researching franchise opportunities, Bill went to a franchise show and looked at everything from coffee shops to consulting companies before determining that the modern printing industry was perfect for him.  "At the end of it all, I chose Minuteman Press because it was more professional than other printing franchises and royalties were more reasonable with less ‘big brother’ looking over my shoulder than all the others." 

As a Minuteman Press franchise owner, Bill was free to enact his own business plan with the support of a trustworthy system.  "My former boss didn't think subtle, concentrated, focused growth was good enough and I knew that was not the case.  I didn't want to have a dictator for a franchisor, a corporation that wasn't in my area telling me what to do and taking royalties for inferior support that could otherwise go back into my own marketing program."

Bill talks about his path to becoming an entrepreneur in Canada, saying, "I was in the corporate training business for fifteen years prior to purchasing my Minuteman Press franchise in Brampton and I taught software competency to people who had never used a computer before.  We had three branches and the work we were doing was groundbreaking back then."

Bill’s excitement for mentorship cannot be extinguished. In fact, his experience led him to teach at a local university. The training business offered one or two-day training as opposed to an entire semester so the client could go to work feeling more comfortable on pcs.  "I did that for ten years, but then my company was bought and it became a franchise with offices all over North America.  We had conferences two or three times a year and a bigger operation with twenty-five classrooms.  At the time I took a small ownership in that company, but life circumstances had me move to the Toronto area, then the industry started changing rapidly as Microsoft took over the desktop software world.  In time, people didn't need the classroom training as much and it affected demand."

What he has come to discover as a business owner was that his contribution to the world-respected Minuteman Press brand would combine with the virtues of a superior franchise agreement.  It would give him edges in areas independent print owners might struggle. Bill explains, "Minuteman Press provides me with vendor benefits, ideas for new growth markets, a royalty cap and autonomy so I can do my own thing while selling the products and services my particular clients want and need."

Bill's matter of fact approach to running the business has served him well. He is capable of keeping many balls in the air at the same time, and does it with grace. That's a true indicator of someone who will build a successful business.  He should take pride in the success of the business that he has built over the last 15-plus years, however I know he is not yet satisfied.  He's always on the lookout for the next opportunity."

Kevin Wittal, Minuteman Press International Regional Vice President for Eastern Canada

Purchased in 2003, Minuteman Press in Brampton was bought as a turnkey operation and has now been an established business for about thirty years. Bill and his wife Christiane took over the lease and assets of Minuteman Press in Brampton and they took on the task of revitalizing the stressed reputation of a centre that had two years of mismanagement.  "The original owner moved far away and sold it to an interim owner who could not handle the task, so our startup was painful, but we salvaged many clients and developed new relationships with them. We also got to know our suppliers and had to overcome some bad reputation that the previous owner was responsible for.  It was hard work, but over time, we have grown and now we have a great reputation in Brampton," Bill explains.

“If you don't sit and wait for things to happen, you can make a nice living and create a strong business.  We are now members of the Minuteman Press International President's Circle with our first trip to Florida in 2018. We have continued to grow and have maintained our status the past two years as well.  We aim to maintain our current, paced growth.”  – Bill Chapman

Christiane has a full-time job but still comes into the centre once or twice a week to help out with the books and HR concerns.  "She is our CFO, so if we want to buy something, we have to give Christiane a compelling reason to do it.  She is the one on whom I bounce off all my ideas. She is great support," Bill says.

Bill concludes, "I would be remiss to not mention that businesses such as these are only successful if the staff are committed to the goals and culture of the business.  We are fortunate to have a great team of people working at Minuteman Press Brampton.  They are skilled, dedicated and hard working. All of us are well aware of the goals of the business and we all strive to meet these expectations.  Treat your employees well, and if they believe in the business you will be successful."

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