Minuteman Press franchise owner sparks local business growth during COVID-19 pandemic

April 13, 2021
Minuteman Press franchise, Germantown, Wisconsin – L-R: Brian and Barry Landowski Minuteman Press franchise, Germantown, Wisconsin – L-R: Brian and Barry Landowski

As Barry Landowski begins his 30th year in business this month, the long-time owner of Minuteman Press in Germantown, WI has spent the past year leading the charge to support local businesses in his community. “The pandemic has created a close bond between all small business owners around here. We’re all in this together and we need to stick together.  That’s the feeling I get.  No one wants to see anyone fail.”

Print is Essential

Barry’s Minuteman Press franchise is an essential business providing critical printing, marketing, and direct mail services. “Because I’ve been a leader in the community for so long, I’ve had several owners asking how we are doing and telling me they need us. I’ve tried to be very compassionate with them and I tell them not to give up.”

Because of his empathy as well as his ability to offer high-demand products and services, Minuteman Press in Germantown has continued to remain open and stay strong throughout the pandemic. “One of the smartest things I’ve done was triple our investment in Minuteman Press International’s internet marketing program. This year, we have received more requests and orders from companies I hadn’t heard of before. This was really helpful while everyone has been on lockdown, as buyers have found us online. We then work to turn them into satisfied clients who want to continue to do business with us.”

To be in business for nearly 30 years, Barry has successfully adapted his business to meet the needs of his clients. “I listen, learn, and change with the times. My Minuteman Press franchise of 2021 is a different business from my shop in 1992. Based on Minuteman Press’ recommendations, I have diversified my products and services. We added a large format printer to produce signs and banners in-house as well as a dye sublimation system and an embroidery machine for custom apparel orders.”

Barry continues, “We are now a certified USPS mailing center fulfilling bulk mailing and Every Door Direct Mail orders several times per week. These services are in high demand right now from our clients looking to reach out to their target customers, and we can do the entire project from custom design and printing to mailing.”

He adds, “For several years, we have also been selling many different types of custom promotional products. There are so many different ways companies can benefit from branded items, and customers always like receiving a little something extra for free.”

Barry also credits Minuteman Press International for supporting him all the years he has been in business including during the pandemic. “Minuteman Press is always there for me. This past year, we have had constant communications and additional resources to help us market our business. We have amazing vendor relationships with suppliers. Every time I attend the Minuteman Press World Expo, I come back with new ideas and ways to grow. Just when I think I know everything Minuteman Press gives me incredible advice or rolls out a new product and shows me why it’s important to always keep learning.”

Owning a Business vs. Having a Job

Barry reflects on his journey to entrepreneurship and his life before owning his own business. “In my prior life, I was on the corporate ladder.  My last position was Corporate Director of Procurement for a billion-dollar corporation.  I was responsible for about $250 million in annual purchases. I simply got sick and tired of the toxic corporate culture so I decided that I’d rather work hard for myself and be my own boss.”

He continues, “I had a pre-law degree but had no desire to go to law. I also had a real estate license but didn’t have the time to build an empire on my own. A friend and I went to a franchise show in Milwaukee in 1991. I didn’t like much of what I saw until I met with Minuteman Press. The wheels started turning and I liked the idea of printing. It’s simple to follow and everyone is a potential customer. I knew nothing about printing or running a business, and yet here I am 29 years later thanks to Minuteman Press.”

“Barry Landowski has done a fantastic job with his Minuteman Press franchise in Germantown. He truly cares about his clients and today he continues to be a community leader and an inspiration to other local businesses,” says Steve Szymanski, Minuteman Press International Midwest Regional Vice President.

Rewards & Advice to Others

When asked about the rewards of owning his own business, Barry answers, “I’ve had some really good times and made some mistakes, but they were my mistakes and I got smarter and tougher when learning from them.  My biggest reward has been the opportunity to work with my daughter for 2 years, my son for the past 15 years, and my brother for 25 years. I probably should have retired 7 years ago, but I love to come to work.”

Barry adds, “As I’ve tried to illustrate, the support from Minuteman Press is the only way that I could have started up and continued to operate for the past 29 years. They have laid the foundation and provided ongoing support, programs, and advice on products, equipment, marketing and staffing. This has all been essential to my existence.”

For people who ask Barry what it’s like to get started in business, he says, “Starting your own business is like cliff diving. You stand on the cliff looking down at all of the rocks below and it can seem scary. However, once you jump, never look back, and focus on what’s ahead of you.”

He concludes, “Minuteman Press will give you everything you need to operate a successful business with the exception of one thing – work ethic. You’ve got to get that yourself.”

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