Sherri Winslow has been the owner of the Minuteman Press franchise in Palm Desert, California, since April of 2002. When her husband suddenly passed away in 2012, Winslow made the difficult decision to carry on as she took a more prominent role in the business as the sole owner and operator. Since then, Winslow has continued to build her business and in 2023 she was honored and acknowledged as one of the newest members of the Minuteman Press President’s Club.
As she reflects on her accomplishments, Winslow shares her thoughts on 20-plus years and joining the President’s Club, keys to success and longevity, advice to others, and more.
Celebrating 20 years + joining Minuteman Press President’s Club
In 2022, Winslow celebrated 20 years of business ownership for Minuteman Press in Palm Desert. In 2023, she is now recognized as a member of the Minuteman Press International President’s Club for achieving yearly gross sales of over $1 million in 2022.
Winslow shares, “Reflecting on our 20 years in business makes me realize that we were fortunate to partner with a good franchisor. Very few small businesses were able to make it through this period without a strong management and operational program to follow. That along with proper training and support from people that have been in the print business have made a huge impact. We will always be thankful for this.”
She continues, “In 2023, I was proud to join the Minuteman Press International President’s Club. We have had fairly steady growth over the past 20 years. We started out making $19,000 in our first month after buying an existing business. In 2012, I lost my husband and I personally went from part-time to being the boss. My staff and Minuteman Press local support led by RVP Dan Byers helped me through one of the most difficult times in my life. It was a very foggy year but we made it. In the past few years, we were getting close to the $1 million milestone and we set that as our goal last year. My staff and I worked very hard to make sure we reached that goal. A lot of hard work and determination helped us get there.”
When asked about her keys to success and growth, Winslow says, “Our longevity and success is primarily due to our staff and customer service. We have had many referrals through the years without asking. Now that we have been through the last training session, we plan to start asking for referrals through different channels. Other contributing factors to our success are related to our direct & internet marketing along with expanding our services & products over the years. We added wide format in the beginning, then signage, direct mail, and blueprints.”
Winslow continues, “There are two other areas worth mentioning that I feel have been successful for us. The first has to do with Google Reviews, which has been a point of focus at regional meetings. At one meeting before the pandemic hit, there were around 50 people in attendance from many franchises in Southern California. We talked about how important Google Reviews are. We shared materials used to get reviews and it really blossomed here. I get a lot of new customers because they did a search and noticed how many good reviews we have.”
She further shares, “Next is having good storefront and building signage. My shop is on the main highway that people travel from one end of the valley to the other. You can’t miss my shop because we went big and bold with the signage. I would do more, but the local laws don’t allow it. People always tell me they find me from our signage.”
Printing industry & community/franchise support
Winslow shares her insights on the printing industry today, saying, “Printing remains vital to businesses today because it provides a connection that stays with the consumer as opposed to the internet or email. Your printed materials end up in someone’s hand, which can make that lasting impression. How many people swipe left or delete emails without reading them? They will always take the time to look at a business card, postcard or holiday card that they receive.”
In Palm Desert, she says, “We are a small set of cities that hold large events and conventions. This brings an increase to our population that is about triple the amount during certain months of the year. Thanks to our community, our key growth areas have included signage, blueprints, convention printing, and direct mail.”
She adds, “We would not be where we are today without the local franchise support, training, and the IT department that Minuteman Press International provides. We owe a lot of our success to this.”
Rewards & advice for others
As she looks back on over 20 years and reflects on the rewards of owning a business, Winslow says, “I would say my biggest personal reward is that I have been able to achieve everything that I have wanted to in my life. I can’t really ask for more personally except for time. My biggest professional reward has been reaching that $1 million goal and making the Minuteman Press President’s Club.”
As for what advice she would give to others, Winslow shares, “Make sure you are active with the quote process and follow-up. Understand the difference between shoppers (who are getting 3 quotes from various vendors) and buyers. I recommend you give the customer a day to digest the quote they received, then follow up and make sure you answer their questions. Lastly, make sure you let them know you want to meet their price point or their budget constraints if you do. Again, the difference between a shopper and a buyer will make the difference on whether you will want to meet their budget constraints.”