Monthly Archives: February 2018

Speedpro imaging celebrates Michael Price in honor of black history month

February 27, 2018

Michael Price is still deciding on his ultimate destination. He and Paula, his wife of 31 years, are avid travelers. Currently, Michael and Paula are working hard to make sure their 17-year-old son makes the right decision as he prepares for college. Luckily for their son, he doesn’t have to look far for inspiration. Paula is currently a full-time senior lecturer at Harvard Business School as well as a corporate board director. Michael is the proud owner ofSpeedPro Boston Metrowest.

Michael Price launched his journey with SpeedProthe nation’s leading large format graphics franchise, eight years ago after a successful career in ad sales. Entrepreneurship wasn’t something he was pining for, even though those around him knew it was a perfect fit for him. “A friend of mine told me a long time ago that I should do my own thing,” says Price. “I never gave it a second thought. I always resisted. I thought I would have to work constantly as an entrepreneur to earn my keep. The thought of working 18 hours, doing a ton of heavy lifting, didn’t appeal to me.”

Price’s career ladder involved working his way up through media ad sales. Out of college, he landed a job working in local radio. He quickly moved on to television ad sales – first at a local tv station, and before long, a national cable operation.

His wife was also experiencing similar success in her career. A job opportunity for Paula allowed the Prices to call London home for three and a half years. “We got to travel and see much of Europe!” Michael says.

They were reaping the rewards of their successes financially, but Price says they were smart with their money. “We were living below our means. We had nice stuff, but we weren’t living super extravagantly. We were investing and socking money away.”

Price says growing up, one of his nicknames was “Rich Man,” because, “I was tight with my money.” Being frugal with his funds paid off later in life because it allowed Price to self-finance his own SpeedPro studio.

After London, the pair moved to New York City and then on to Boston. In Boston, Michael worked at a Spanish language television station. That’s when Michael began to listen to the entrepreneurial whispers. “My heart wasn’t fully committed to that job the way it should’ve been,” says Price. “At the same time, I reconnected with a friend who had gotten out of the TV ad sales game and was now involved in franchising and doing well.”

Michael picked his friend’s brain and determined it was time for him to become a business owner after years of pushing back. “It was working for him, and I felt it was something I could do,” says Price. “He didn’t have a history of entrepreneurship. I was looking for something else to do – I wasn’t sure about the media business, even though it was all I’d really done. Franchising seemed like a natural progression.”

Price met with a franchise broker who introduced him to three potential businesses. “One was an expense recovery firm where you would pitch people how to save money,” he says. “That didn’t appeal to me. The other was a waste recovery franchise. I thought I could do that, but it didn’t appeal to me working from home. Plus, I didn’t want to have to deal with responding to an emergency call at three in the morning.”

Price said SpeedPro was right up his alley because of the business-to-business model. “You’re not hoping and praying people walk in your doors,” he says. His extensive background working in sales helped him quickly establish a quality client roster. But being a new business owner didn’t come without challenges.

“I did a lot of learning on the job early on,” Price says. “I went through the ups and downs. Some perhaps unavoidable. It’s important to grasp the nature of the opportunity and the effort required to successfully launch a business and keep it successful. Regardless, things are going very well and I’m thankful that the ’18-hour’ vision I once had is not the reality as a SpeedPro owner!”

Grasping the totality of being an owner is advice Price passes on to aspiring entrepreneurs. Particularly for young African-Americans. Price is among the two percent of African-Americans who are business owners in the United States.

“I want to be an inspiration and be that shining light for minorities,” Price says. “I want to counter the stereotype about minorities. These operations can succeed when they’re run by someone who looks like me. I can be an example of someone who happens to be black and is doing something that works. My goal is to normalize black ownership.”

Eight years later, Price remains excited to be a SpeedPro studio owner. “It’s a business model where the rewards are generally commensurate with the time and effort put in to it. It has also taught me the value of life outside of work by spending quality time with my son and continuing to see the world with my wife,” says Price. Michael is enjoying the fruits of his labor. It’s a lesson he hopes his son, and others, learn, too.

“Entrepreneurship is about doing something that you have a passion for, that matches your skill set,” Price says. “Don’t be wishy-washy about it. Wishy-washy isn’t going to work. Doing something halfway isn’t going to get you far in life. Be all in. Add something positive to the situation, and no matter what field you go in, be passionate about it.”

For more information on the SpeedPro franchise opportunity and what it takes to be a successful franchise owner, like Michael, visit speedprofranchising.com.

Speedpro imaging celebrates michael mckenny in honor of black history month

February 26, 2018

Michael McKenny is a husband, father, and son. He’s also a mentor, provider, community advocate, and one of more than 2.6 million African American business owners in the U.S.

McKenny is the owner and operator of theSpeedPro studio in St. Petersburg, Florida. As a business owner with the nation’s leading printing and graphics franchise, he is among a select group of Americans who have made the leap into entrepreneurship. As a black business owner, he is among an even more exclusive group.

Although 2.6 million may seem like a large number,data shows that African American owners make up between 2-6% of business owners in America. The figure isn’t surprising to McKenny.

“When I attend functions, such as chamber events, I’m frequently the only minority business owner in attendance,” says McKenny. “I have a huge opportunity to let minorities know that business ownership is possible if you are willing to put in the hard work, make some sacrifices and persevere.”

Being a pillar of the community is important to McKenny, but he’s a businessman at heart.

“I’m running a business. I’m here to make money. However, it’s important to give back to my community. I also want to inspire those who may only believe there is only one path to success. We are frequently met with the stereotype that you have to be a hip-hop artist or athlete in order to be successful. There are other ways. And most importantly: even if you have made mistakes in your past, they don’t have to define your future.”

Owning SpeedPro St. Petersburg is a family affair for McKenny. His wife of 16 years and a U.S. Army veteran, Holly, serves as general manager of his SpeedPro location. They have two teenage daughters. Their oldest works part time at the studio, as does McKenny’s father. Speaking of his father, Michael credits his parents for being an entrepreneur.

“My parents were my biggest cheerleaders,” says McKenny. “It sounds cliché, but it is the absolute truth in my case. When Holly was in the Army, without my parents, I’m not sure how I would have managed it. When I was considering starting my own business, I consulted heavily with my father. He is a great sounding board for his thoughtfulness, experience, patience and wisdom.”

Before making the leap into entrepreneurship, McKenny spent 15 years working for one of the country’s largest personal lines insurers. He worked his way up through the ranks until his trajectory became stagnant. McKenny says the tipping point to his decision to venture out on his own was when a program he implemented was executed company-wide.

“I got a mention in a PowerPoint slide and a gift certificate. After years of giving the company my all, I was still in the same position. It motivated me to start searching for opportunities that would fully benefit my family.”

McKenny, a music buff who majored in music management in college, says SpeedPro allows him to tap into his artistic side. Michael adds that his fellow studio owners are also among the best perks. “The owners are an exceptional group of people. They are quick to help one another, provide exceptional guidance and offer advice whenever I need it.”

During the initial months after opening, McKenny says he faced some difficulties that come with starting any business from the ground up. Now he’s hitting his stride, as well as sales targets. That has allowed him to hire an additional sales representative this month as well as add additional production equipment. McKenny says he plans to become even more aggressive in the St. Petersburg market to build his SpeedPro clientele.

Since making the bold decision to become an entrepreneur, McKenny hasn’t looked back. He says he’s excited about the opportunities business ownership is delivering. And with his oldest daughter already in an entrepreneurial mindset – she plans to operate a business that caters beauty products to Type 1 diabetics and give a portion of all sales back to Type 1 Diabetes research – he has a feeling this SpeedPro franchise may stay in the family years down the line.

“Two years ago, if you would’ve asked our friends, they would’ve said there’s no way my wife and I could work together. We are really opposites in a lot of ways. Now, our relationship is stronger than it’s ever been. Those differences make for a great team and great balance. I’m fortunate to get to work with my father. I’m working with my daughter at times. I expect that this can be generational. The sky is the limit.”

And that’s his message to fellow African American owners, particularly the youth. The sky is the limit. Business ownership is within reach in McKenny’s eyes, if you’re willing to put in the hard work, dedication, and focus that he has displayed.

For more information on the SpeedPro franchise opportunity and what it takes to be a successful franchise owner like Michael, visit speedprofranchising.com.

Bonding through business: husband-and-wife speedpro imaging owners fall in love with working together

February 14, 2018

There’s a quote from Confucius that says, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” That’s certainly the case for the more than 130 SpeedPro owners who are living their life to the fullest every day. As we acknowledge Valentine’s Day, a day dedicated to the celebration of romance, SpeedPro is highlighting studio owners who are not only doing what they love, but are doing it with the person they love.

Rand and Lorna Scherff are among nearly four million “co-preneurs” – married couples who are in business together. The pair has owned SpeedPro of North OC in Tustin, California for the last eight years. Lorna says the business partnership boiled down to a matter of convenience.

“Since we hardly spent much time together during the day, Rand thought it would be nice to have us build a business together,” says Lorna. “We talked about not being afraid to go outside our comfort zones, not being afraid to take the financial risk. And to hire the best individuals to accomplish the job because we didn’t want to have to produce the products ourselves.”

It’s one thing in life to go into business with partners, such as colleagues, friends, or other like-minded individuals. But to go into business ownership with your spouse can sometimes be a risky proposition. Add to a marriage the stresses and rigors of business ownership, and it’s easy to understand the risks involved. It’s certainly a labor of love for the Scherffs, who will celebrate 23 years of marriage this May.

“It can be challenging at times, as far as trying not to talk about business when we are at home,” says Lorna. “But as far as working together, for the most part, we do fairly well. Rand has his strengths, and so do I. Obviously, many tasks are done together.”

The Scherffs began courting entrepreneurship after Rand retired as plant manager, a role he held for his entire professional life. “We considered a frozen treat restaurant and a portable storage facility,” says Lorna. The couple ultimately determined that SpeedPro was the perfect fit because, as Lorna explained, it seemed like the easiest business to get off the ground.

Like many relationships, there are some growing pains. The Scherffs experienced that early on as they got their SpeedPro studio up and running. “We did not have a single client, business, or even friend to sell to when we opened our doors,” says Lorna.

Their love for one another, and a desire to succeed, helped the Scherffs persevere. These eight years have served as an important lesson about business. Lorna says they have also taught them about the strength of their marriage.

“Since we are together a good deal of the time, it seems we have a strong tolerance for each other,” she says. “We actually enjoy working together. Now, there are times we disagree, but we move forward quickly and get the solution figured out.”

Patience and persistence are what the Scherffs lean on to get through tough times. Those, and faith. “I am a firm believer in God and know that He is guiding me through these moments of doubt,” Lorna says.

The Scherffs’ love for one another has never been stronger. And they’re still loving working together as the successful owners of their SpeedPro of North OC studio. It’s a work in progress, and an adventure that they’re enjoying together.

“Set your ego aside and realize no one person is always right,” Lorna advises. She adds, “You must not be faint of heart; it’s tough out here. Don’t expect instant success. You will work harder than you ever have.”

As the saying goes, “Love is worth fighting for.”