Second-generation owner Dave Loudon talks about the company’s longevity, operating as an essential print business during the pandemic, and sales growth in 2021 and 2022
EAST NORTHPORT, NY – When Cathie Loudon bought her Minuteman Press franchise in East Northport, Long Island in 1984, her son Dave was 15. “I fondly remember working in the workshop during my high school years, then I started working full-time in the family business in 1988,” says Dave.
While the printing industry has certainly changed in the 38 years since the Loudon family joined the Minuteman Press family, there are a few commonalities that remain today. Dave says, “I’ve always believed in providing the personal touch and exceptional customer service. If we can deliver high quality products on time and ensure that we are there for our customers whenever they need us, we have seen for nearly 40 years how this will generate positive referrals for our business.
This customer-focused approach and proactive outreach helped Minuteman Press in East Northport remain stable during the height of the pandemic in 2020 as they remained open and operating as an essential business. Then, as more companies increased their production and promotion of goods and services, Dave and his team were able to achieve 66% sales growth in 2021 compared to 2020.
And today, Minuteman Press in East Northport is poised to achieve another year of record sales in 2022, including record monthly sales in April 2022 due to the pandemic. Some of those customers are now asking us to fulfill larger orders for even more items that they need now that business is picking up. »
Dave continues, “We’ve had a relationship with one of our start-up clients for many years. Suddenly, during the pandemic, they entered a boom period and have been growing ever since. What used to be smaller orders are now larger and larger orders that we are able to process. »
“Because we were open as an essential business, we stayed there for our customers. We have seen an increase in large format print orders as signage is in high demand. I also listen to my customers and suggest items that I know can help them grow, such as mailings with QR codes, clothing, and promotional items. -Dave Loudon, Owner, Minuteman Press, East Northport, NY
In addition to the usual outreach and customer service, Dave also invests in the Minuteman Press Internet Marketing Program. “Just sticking to the Minuteman Press system is really what has worked best for us and kept us going all these years.”
Asked about the evolution of the print industry over the past 38 years, Dave says, “Digital print, wide format and the internet are the three main differences. We can do a lot with digital and large format printing in-house, which is a huge plus for our turnaround times.
Regarding online competition, Dave says, “We get a lot of people coming in and asking us to clean up bad drafts that someone else has done online. When we settle orders like these, it helps us maintain our reputation as the go-to local printer, and it leads many of them to use us from the first step the next time. This helps us build and maintain our reputation, and generates more goodwill and referrals.
Dave has two tips for other business owners. “First, remember that customer service is one of your most powerful forms of relationship building and, in its own way, marketing.”
“Second, it’s important to remind people of the tangibility and viability of print. In other words, the impression has an impact. Whether it’s signage, restaurant menus, or postcards with QR codes, print has the ability to draw people to your business, both in person and online.
Minuteman Press in East Northport is located at 281 Larkfield Rd., East Northport, NY 11731. For more information, visit their website: https://minuteman.com/us/locations/ny/east-northport/
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