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Team Building for the New Business Owner

By Dennis Siggins

Behind every successful business owner is his/her team; vendors, customers, and investors, to name a few. But the most important team every new business owner will build is the team of people he works with every day – employees.  In 40 years of launching successful start-ups in several industries, I have developed a strategic process for each of the five steps to building a great team.  But before we dive into the team-building process, let’s take a side road and visit “Moneyball”.

Team building by the “Moneyball” approach

Based on the story of the 2002 Oakland A’s baseball season, the movie (book) “Moneyball” focusses on team building with a lower overall payroll.  The Moneyball story begins when Oakland does not have the money that the larger market teams (like the New York Yankees) have to spend on player salaries, so General Manager Billy Bean and his team of statisticians determine that most Major League Baseball teams are overpaying for talent.  Billy Beane theorizes that batting average, home runs, and pizzazz are overvalued assets, while on-base percentage and pitches taken are greatly undervalued assets.  Oakland is forced, by economics, to unload many players, including two key offensive weapons, All Stars Johnny Damon and Jason Giambi, who are picked up by Boston Red Sox and NY Yankees at combined salaries of $21 Million.  Oakland replaces Johnny Damon with aging centerfielder David Justice (The NY Yankees are paying half of Justice’s salary.) and Scott Hatteberg, who they scored for near league minimum $237,000.  

Throughout the 2002 season, Justice and Hatteberg put up on-base percentage numbers similar to those of Giambi and Damon (but at a fraction of the price), and the rest of the team fills in the gaps.  The experiment works and Oakland wins more games than any other team that year, including an MLB season-best 20 game win streak, and they do this with a combined salary that is one third of the Yankees.

Because the experiment worked for Oakland in 2002, The Boston Red Sox developed the same philosophy and, in 2004, won the World Series (breaking the Red Sox’ 86-year curse), and three more subsequent World Series’ in the new millennium, using Billy Bean’s Stat-based strategy.  Now, in major league sports, every team has a stat department, so secrets are hard to keep.  Since that 2002 season, all teams now consider on-base percentage and pitches taken to be key statistics, so the word is out!

The lesson we learn from Moneyball is simple; find the piece to the team building process, the undervalued assets, that everyone else is not seeing.  Fortunately for many of us, our competitors in business are not as astute as major league sports teams, so when we develop a creative way of team building, we can keep it in our back pocket and continue to use the method almost indefinitely!



Nick Titus Named President of Minuteman Press International, Making Way for Third Generation of Family-Owned Franchise System

Franchise Marketing Systems

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. – Minuteman Press International, the world’s leading design, marketing, and printing franchise, is proud to announce the promotion of Nick Titus to President. Nick is the third-generation President of Minuteman Press, which remains a family-owned and operated franchisor with World Headquarters in Long Island, NY and nearly 1,000 independently owned and operated franchises worldwide. Previously, Nick was Vice President of Marketing. Bob Titus will remain the Company’s CEO.

Nick Titus says, “We have a tremendous company with incredible people who care about its success. Most importantly, the foundation and strength of our organization relies on having dedicated franchise owners. I believe that our company is strong and we are in a very good position for continued growth.”

Nick continues, “Our three main goals are: 1. to get our stores’ average to $750,000 per year in sales; 2. to get our systemwide gross sales to over half a billion dollars; and 3. to reach over 1,000 locations. We are pushing our support staff to conduct more individual meetings and evaluations to help ensure strong profitability and help make recommendations for continued growth.”

Growing up in the family business, Nick Titus started working at Minuteman Press International World Headquarters during summer and winter breaks throughout high school and college. After graduating from Quinnipiac University in 2007 with a degree in Business Management, Nick joined the Minuteman Press team full-time. “I started out as a Marketing Rep working directly with franchise owners and learning the inside of the business, then moved into our marketing department working on different ways to promote the business. Each year, I took on more and more responsibilities and became involved in different areas. One of the things I love about our business is that every day is a new challenge. Our owners come from so many different walks of life and it’s so enjoyable to work with them and to be able to help them succeed in owning their own business.”



Peter Castorena Joins Minuteman Press International President’s Million-Dollar Circle for Top Franchise Performers

Franchise Marketing Systems

LOS ANGELES & LANCASTER, Calif. – When Peter Castorena left his previous career behind as a retail buyer for Macy’s 13 years ago, he decided it was time to bet on himself and become his own boss. He decided that joining the Minuteman Press franchise family in Lancaster, CA was the right fit for him. Today, Peter is the newest member of the Minuteman Press International President’s Million-Dollar Circle as his design, marketing, and printing franchise has now achieved yearly gross sales of at least $1 million.

On this accomplishment, Peter says, “It honestly feels like I finally made it, but as I look back at the years it took to get here and the business that’s been built, I’m glad for the journey along the way.  It’s been a fun 13 years with Minuteman Press and I look forward to many more to come.  Just because we’ve reached the Million-Dollar Circle, no one is interested in taking a break.  We’re excited to see what our little center in Lancaster, CA can do and what we can accomplish.”

Looking back on his past and seeing where he is today, Peter reflects, “I was a buyer for a national retail organization. It was a great job. I got to use someone else’s checkbook to develop a brand of business – everything from buying the right product, advertising it and selling it. One of the biggest knowledge gaps Minuteman Press helped me fill was corporate compartmentalization. In my previous life, there were departments that helped me handle things (HR, advertising, accounting, operations). From the first two weeks of franchise training through to today, Minuteman Press helps me with whatever aspect of my business I need a hand with, and they have taught me how to do all of these things as the business owner and not just an employee.”

“Congratulations to Peter and his team for their exceptional efforts in building his business in Lancaster,” says Dan Byers, Minuteman Press International Regional Vice President, Southern California. “Peter follows the Minuteman Press franchise business model and he is truly passionate about helping his clients and community in any way he can to make a positive impact in Lancaster.”



U.S. Marine Corps Veteran and Retired Firefighter David Farmer Brings a Life of Public Service to Minuteman Press in Chester, VA

Franchise Marketing SystemsCHESTER, Va. – After dedicating his life and career to public service, David Farmer has realized his dream of owning his own business. A former U.S. Marine Corps Veteran, David is the new owner of the Minuteman Press design, marketing, and digital printing franchise located at 4100 W Hundred Rd. in Chester, Virginia.

David reflects on his journey to Minuteman Press: “I am a retired firefighter/ paramedic with over 30 years of public service. I also served 11 years in The United States Marines Corps Reserves. I was honored to serve 18 months of active duty post 9/11. My latest career path prior to entering the Minuteman Press family was as an emergency manager for HCA.”

Today, David provides the community of Chester with high quality products and services that are provided by the trustworthy team he is happy to have in place. He says, “Minuteman Press in Chester is a Veteran-owned small business that offers a wide range of services to assist your business, organization or team reach their goals. We are a full-service print shop that produces excellent products along with an endless variety of promotional items, marketing items, graphic design and website creation. We want to assist you in completing projects, delivering your marketing messages and promoting your efforts.”

While David is new to business ownership, he has a unique understanding of his customers’ needs because he used to be a client himself. He explains, “I chose Minuteman Press because of the positive experiences that I have with the company. I utilized the services of the Chester store on numerous occasions and for different organizations. I was impressed with the ability of the store to assist me in creating my projects. The franchise seemed to care about each customer and worked hard to satisfy my needs.”

David elaborates on Minuteman Press in Chester’s unique ability to serve such a diverse group of clients: “We serve a wide variety of clients in the Chesterfield area. Our largest client is a local trash collection company. They request several large projects per month. We also serve several churches, schools, restaurants, charities, and sports teams. One of my favorite groups to work with is a paralyzed Veterans organization. Another of my favorite clients is a local preacher. He brings such a positive vibe to the shop while he’s there due to his friendliness, eagerness to serve others, and his desire to always improve his sermons.”



Husband and Wife Franchise Team Jeff and Dawn Brown Open Minuteman Press in Kent, Washington

Franchise Marketing SystemsKENT, Wash. – For Dawn and Jeff Brown, buying a newly converted Minuteman Press franchise in Kent, Washington simply made sense. Dawn says, “We chose Minuteman Press International for a few reasons. The first was that their core values aligned with our own. Minuteman Press is still a family-owned franchise business and that appealed to us. It had that small-town feel, but with the resources of an international company. We also liked how as franchisees we had a full support system behind us as owners.” Jeff and Dawn have been married for over 25 years and are excited to own their business together. Prior to franchising with Minuteman Press, Jeff worked in software development for over 20 years. He and Dawn have five children and they enjoy volunteering, camping, and spending time with their family. While raising their children, Dawn enjoyed philanthropy work for several non-profit organizations and she returned to college to finish her degree in Communications.

Dawn says, “Since we have been married for over 25 years, we are well accustomed to working together. Our business relationship easily transitioned from our personal relationship. We both have strengths that when combined, make up a pretty amazing team.”

One crucial aspect of franchise ownership that Jeff and Dawn also appreciate is the positive team culture fostered by Minuteman Press International that they have seen first-hand. Dawn says, “We love the franchise support we receive from Minuteman Press. Our local Regional Vice President Chris Jutt is a rock star at marketing and encouragement.”

Minuteman Press in Kent serves a wide range of clients in their business community. Jeff says, “Some of the different types of customers and industries we support range from the startup business such as a new flower shop to the big corporate players and government contracts. We are also well-known for our vehicle decals and wide format outdoor signage.”

Dawn elaborates, “One of our clients is the Muckleshoot Gaming Commission. They created an employee reward program using variable data printing on plastic cards. We worked closely with them on this project and are looking forward to seeing how the program impacts morale. Another client is a new restaurant just across the street Bahn 12. We have developed a friendship as a result of our business partnership and they have the best Laos food!”

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Why Franchise Marketing Systems Exhibits with National Events

Franchise Marketing SystemsFranchise Marketing Systems is entering its 7th consecutive year of exhibiting with National Events franchise expositions.  The National Event shows have consistently been high-performing shows for the franchise marketplace and have historically been some of the franchise industry’s most premium and professional franchise shows.  Franchise Marketing Systems is a franchise development and franchise consulting group who works with new and existing businesses to develop, promote and market franchise concepts to scale brands into new markets.  The National Event shows are held on a relatively frequent basis in markets across the U.S. and Canada and are excellent venues for meeting and interacting face to face with other franchise industry professionals and franchise brands. 

One of the reasons that Franchise Marketing Systems chooses to exhibit at all National Event shows is the size of the exhibits.  There is a sense of coziness and intimacy with the franchise expositions where with 60-100 franchise exhibitors almost every exhibitor is able to interact with each attendee that visits the franchise expo.  These shows will generally bring one to two thousand attendees and are held in both primary and secondary markets allowing franchisors to promote their brand in areas that are generally underserved by larger franchise expositions.  The shows are held in convenient locations in and around metro areas which serve not only the local city, but also the region. 

Franchise Marketing Systems has found the shows to be professionally managed, well attended and consistently marketed to drive traffic and awareness in the markets they are held.  The staff at National Events is always attentive and makes the experience of marketing a service or franchise model through them efficient and easy.  In addition, National Event has provided a variety of franchise industry professionals the opportunity to speak and conduct workshops on their area of expertise free of charge to attendees.  These workshops are valuable, interactive and always serve as great venues for people considering franchising to learn more about the business and the franchise practice. 

Franchise Marketing Systems works closely with a wide array of new franchisors who are bringing their system to market and working to promote their brand in order to attract the first franchisees.  The investment to market at the National Event shows are reasonable enough to make the shows work incredibly well for new franchise brands with somewhat limited marketing budgets.  Even with the transition to digital marketing and advertising in franchising, the franchise expo model has proven to be remarkably effective for franchise brands which proves that nothing will replace the value of a face to face meeting with a handshake. 

Chris Conner, President of Franchise Marketing Systems, had this to say, “We’ve always supported the National Event shows and believe strongly in the concept of franchise expositions, although we recommend a variety of marketing channels to franchisors, the Franchise expos are consistently part of new and existing franchise marketing plans.  We appreciate the consistency and professional relationship that National Events has always shown us and our clients who exhibit with them.”

Franchise Marketing Systems has signed up for the balance of the franchise shows in 2018 and committed to the full schedule of shows for 2019. 

Charles White