Category Archive: Franchise News

speedpro imaging’s december 2017 franchisee in focus: littie brown, marietta, georgia

December 22, 2017

Nation’s Leading Printing and Graphics Franchise Monthly Franchisee Series Focuses on Studio Owners Littie Brown and her Bold Approach to Business

Small business is the heart of America’s economy. The Small Business Association determined small businesses make up 99.7 percent of U.S. employer firms. Littie Brown is among the millions who determined entrepreneurship was the best course of action for professional and personal satisfaction. Littie Brown, along with longtime friend and confidant Karen Brown (no relation), are the owners of SpeedPro Marietta (Ga.).

Littie Brown joined SpeedPro, the nation’s leading printing and graphics franchise, after an extensive and accomplished career, including 26 years with Xerox. Littie’s strong sales background lead Grainger Industrial Supply to recruit her as Southeast Regional Sales Vice President. She served in that role for eight years. “It was going great up until the final year,” says Littie. “They wanted changes, something different that I wasn’t necessarily on board with. I determined it was a good time to do something new in my life, so I left on a positive note.”

But Littie didn’t immediately jump into the role of a SpeedPro business owner.

“There were several intriguing options I was considering at the time, and some of those didn’t involve entrepreneurship. I looked at running a non-profit in the Atlanta metro, I even looked at becoming a professor. That thought quickly subsided once they told me about the salary,” Littie said laughingly.

For years, Littie and Karen had discussed the thought of owning their own business. When Karen left her job, they were ready to transform those thoughts into reality. The pair sought out the services of a franchise consultant who highlighted a few businesses, including a high-end barbershop, a custom closet franchise and a cleaning services franchise. There was one that stood out.

“SpeedPro had an already established brand name,” says Littie. “The previous owner was looking to sell the business and it was in a great location for us. It was in the area where we live and attend church. The franchise location was already built out and had a little bit of a customer base. Karen and I felt like we could excel once we got the business jumpstarted.”

Being an entrepreneur opened Littie’s eyes to how this country relies on small business owners.

“After spending my life in corporate, I didn’t realize the importance of small businesses. That includes how many there are and how they make the country move. I have great appreciation for people who have been small business owners their entire lives. I now understand what it is like to rely 100-percent on yourself. We rely on bigger companies, but we’re going to push work to our fellow small businesses when we can.”

Business ownership isn’t a foreign concept to Littie. She also owns a real estate company and accredits her thought process in the corporate world preparing her for small business ownership.

“I always ran my corporate job like I owned that part of the business,” Littie says. “The SpeedPro business model was the closest to being in the same B2B, VP environment to which I had grown accustomed. Being in the corporate setting enhanced my sales skills, and I learned how to get the most of the employees I managed.”

It’s that experience with sales and success, that had Littie full of excitement when she finally signed on to become a SpeedPro franchisee in 2013. “We had a lot of support from family and friends and some awesome mentors,” she says.

Littie’s support system is deep. She is close to members of her church and is active in Alpha Kappa Alpha, the first sorority established by African-American college women. Littie is also a part of another proud group, the nearly 10-million women who own businesses.

Littie says being a woman, and a person of color, helps her SpeedPro franchise. “When you look different, some people want to know more about you, therefore bringing in more business.” Littie relies on the relationships built on years of networking to garner long-sustaining and revenue-generating business.

A recent relationship that has been built includes Major League Baseball’s Atlanta Braves. The team was looking for a large format printing firm as it moved into a new stadium and Littie Brown put a bid out. When Littie failed to hear the results, she reached out to the County Commissioner, someone she knew through previous networking. The commissioner put her in direct contact with the Braves’ president. A few calls later, she landed a contract with the baseball team.

“The proudest moment was when I was told the Braves chose me because they knew me, they knew the SpeedPro name, and that we delivered great work and service. This was said in front of a room full of business people, which resulted in additional jobs,” Littie says.

Of the many reasons why Littie loves Atlanta, she says she loves that it is the unofficial capital of the South and is a magnificent small business hub, particularly for women.

“Cobb County is a fast-growing county, people want to live here,” says Littie. “The quality of life is outstanding. The community is very supportive. It’s a great place to live, raise a family and have friends. Cobb County is a great place inside a fantastic Atlanta metro.”

That doesn’t mean the nearly five years as a business owner has always been smooth sailing. There have been some obstacles. “Managing financing and cash flow is one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced,” Littie says. However, she’s always up for any challenge. “I’ve learned that I can do pretty much anything. If I can install a vinyl sign on a building, I can just about do anything. You don’t know what you can until you put your mind to it. If I must do it, I can figure it out.”

Littie has figured out what it takes to run a business effectively. However, she’s quick to share the credit with her co-owner.

“I wouldn’t be in the business without Karen,” says Littie. “She keeps the operation going. She’s an extremely quick learner. Karen has self-taught everything we need to know about printing. Having a business partner with the same values and same focus on success allows us to run a business efficiently. We have cultivated a family environment, which makes running the business fun. We can get mad at each other, have our disagreements, but at the end of the day, we come back and keep going.”

Littie’s business goal is to get to one million dollars in annual sales. Her ultimate goal is to get to the point where she can resume her love of travel and golfing. Littie knows she’s in a good position to accomplish those goals because of her ownership of a SpeedPro studio.

“SpeedPro is a B2B company on the cutting edge of all new trends in printing and graphics. Companies still need to market their products, so graphic solutions are not going anywhere. Whether its vehicle wraps or window graphics, SpeedPro does it better than all others.”

Littie and Karen are loving life as SpeedPro franchise owners. For more information on the SpeedPro franchise opportunity and what it takes to be a successful franchise owners, like Littie and Karen, please visit speedprofranchising.com.

SpeedPro imaging’s April 2017 franchisee in focus: Bruce Benson, Des Moines Iowa

May 1, 2017

Nation’s Leading Printing and Graphics Franchise Launches Monthly Franchisee Series with Bruce Benson’s Powerfully Inspirational Success Story Built by Patience and Perseverance

To know Bruce Benson is to know a man who is full of success. The Des Moines, Iowa businessman successfully raised two children with his loving wife and excelled in the corporate world in mechanical engineering and sales. Today, Bruce is thriving with SpeedProthe nation’s leading printing and graphics franchise, as a wildly successful franchise owner. However, it hasn’t always been easy as his road to success was lined with a couple of pitfalls – both professional and personal.

The Iowa native’s quest for a better work-life balance introduced him to SpeedPro in 2006. Bruce spent 16 exhaustive years working as a mechanical engineer, tackling sales for an industrial distribution company. Days on the road conducting business consistently outnumbered the days he spent at home with his wife, Dru, son Mitch, and daughter Naomi. That’s when he made the decision to control his own future growth.

“A year before I left, I was reaching my breaking point,” says Bruce. “I knew I had to do something to keep my sanity. I developed a relationship with the owner of a small business brokerage, who helped convince me to check out SpeedPro. I haven’t looked back.”

But Bruce didn’t know what was waiting for him further along that path.

Consistent with the experience of first-time entrepreneurs, Bruce encountered a few hiccups when he opened his Des Moines-based SpeedPro franchise. Bruce recalls an important learning curve/teaching moment in his first few months with the nation’s leading printing and graphics franchise. “We were jumping through hoops, allowing ourselves to be on customers schedules. I would rush to help customers walking in the door, doing and finishing work myself and putting in 80 to 90 hours a week.”

Thankfully, that insane schedule leveled off when Bruce hired a business coach, teaching him that it’s OK to turn down some opportunities to retain focus on controlled growth. Bruce and his team have retained the aggression and relentlessness that immediately earned them a phenomenal reputation with clients, but they’re more judicious with the projects they take on as a group. “I never agree to due dates or projects that put myself or my team in jeopardy. We have always gone the extra mile for our clients because we understand the value of relationships, but the difference today is that we set expectations up front and educate clients on the type of projects that make sense for both parties. That’s why we focus on much larger projects, like vehicle wrapspoint of purchase graphicswall murals and project work, because it’s a win-win for SpeedPro and our clients.”

The innovative approach from the business coach has certainly paid dividends for Bruce. When he first hit $20,000 a month of sales, he remembers thinking he couldn’t imagine reaching the $40,000 or even $60,000 a month. Bruce now has the capacity to generate up to $750,000 in sales per month, with six employees. In fact, in 2016, he became the first owner to generate more than $700,000 in a single month as a franchise owner with the nation’s leading printing and graphics franchise.

As he shared in his quote, like many SpeedPro franchise owners, Bruce has relied on specific verticals to help fuel rapid growth. Bruce also quickly discovered print brokers – a relationship with all different kind of print vendors – brings his crew several profitable projects.

It’s Bruce’s past experiences with upper management that helped mold how he treats his employees. He makes it a point to walk around and interact with his team every morning. Bruce feeds his staff every Friday. And once a quarter, he treats his crew to after-hours appetizers and drinks. Bruce says putting his people first has been the key to becoming one of the most successful franchisees with SpeedPro, the nation’s leading printing and graphics franchise.

“There are three primary reasons why I’ve been successful. First, I have hired very talented, high end people. Second, we produce a very high quality product at SpeedPro, customers are amazed because our product has a serious attention to detail and stands the test of time. And lastly, I love to entertain. From clients to staff, I love to reach out and treat people as a member of my family.”

Generosity, along with a health scare for wife Dru, rocked his world in 2008. Dru was diagnosed with breast cancer. Ever resilient, Dru told her oncologist, “it’s a win-win. If cancer wins, God takes care of me. If cancer loses, Bruce takes care of me.” And that’s exactly what Bruce did. He was by her side, caring for his wife, night and day.

However, taking care of Dru meant less time to handle other matters at hand, most notably, managing his rental properties. At one point, he lost $26,000 as renters took advantage of his diverted attention. On top of that, his SpeedPro business was going great, making cash flow a challenge during the early ramp up of the SpeedPro business. “As a brand-new owner, I was paying bills before I was getting paid,” said Bruce. “The mental anguish on top of the healthcare expenses, it was overwhelming.”

Bruce recalls his “rock bottom” moment. It was a Sunday, when he was in his office. The landlord of the building noticed Bruce’s truck parked outside and came in. The landlord asked what was wrong, noticing Bruce wasn’t his normal self. Bruce laid it all on the table. Dru’s breast cancer treatment. The struggles with renters taking him to the cleaners. The landlord, just as generous as Bruce, told him to delay rent payments indefinitely. “Thankfully, I didn’t have to take him up on the offer,” said Bruce. “I never missed a payment. But the gesture, the fact that the landlord even made the offer, has stuck with me to this day.”

In a matter of time, with newfound optimism, Bruce was back on track with the nation’s leading printing and graphics franchise. Business is booming. And his wife, cancer free, is by his side, now working alongside Bruce at SpeedPro. Dru is also engaged in activities across their community designed to help and boost the morale of cancer patients and survivors. Dru taught her husband to live for tomorrow, but enjoy every day.

Dru also designed and commissioned a local jeweler to produce a unique ring as a reminder of everything she’s endured with Bruce by her side. The 4 pink stones on top represent her 4 chemotherapy treatments. The bigger pink trilliant cut with 3 points represents: diagnosis, treatment and healing. The stone is also bevel set meaning cancer is now contained and will not return. Lastly, all the other diamonds represent strength.

It’s her way of remembering all she and Bruce have endured, and Bruce is doing his part to spread the seeds of success for any current or future cancer fighter/survivor. “If any organization wants banners or point of purchase displays, and your cause is to fight cancer, consider it a donation.”

Bruce’s fantastic story is just one of many we’ll be sharing with you as the nation’s leading printing and graphics franchise. For more information on the SpeedPro franchise opportunity and what it takes to be a successful franchise owner, please visithttps://speedprofran.wpengine.com/.

2015 speedpro imaging rookies of the year

January 11, 2016

SpeedPro is a national leader in the signs and graphics industry and continues to experience large amounts of growth. During their first year of business, SpeedPro franchisees are eligible to be selected for the Rookie of the Year award. For 2015, co-owners of SpeedPro Northern Virginia won the award after bringing in the highest gross sales number—over $260,000 in revenue during their first year after opening. Owners Roman Blazauskas and Shawn Flaherty were excited to receive the award and attributed their success to SpeedPro’s exceptional support, the team’s hard work, and the beginning of strong community ties. SpeedPro Northern Virginia has already joined local chambers of commerce and become involved in local charities. With backgrounds in accounting and public relations, the Rookie of the Year award-winners were intrigued by the business opportunities SpeedPro provided.

Read more about the Rookie of the Year award and the winning team by clicking here.

Third speedpro imaging studio opens in Houston

November 5, 2015

SpeedPro has 120 studios in 30 states nationwide. One-third of those studios have opened within just the last three years! The national leader in the signs and graphics industry continues to expand and has just recently opened its third studio in Sugar Land, just outside of Houston. This installment is part of a regional initiative that will eventually see five to six locations in the greater Houston area over the next few years. Houston is a booming business center. SpeedPro is expanding in Houston to meet the signs and graphics needs of businesses in the area. Visual marketing is a crucial part of any businesses’ marketing campaign. Kirby Ducayet, principal of SpeedPro Sugar Land, is dedicated to community involvement and has partnered with the Tourette Association of Texas in a charity project and has already completed between 30 and 40 projects, ranging from small business projects to projects with UPS.

To read the full article on our new stores, click here.

speedpro imaging: revitalized

October 22, 2015

SpeedPro has been around for nearly 20 years and has become a leader in the signs, printing, and graphics industry. In 2014, Boris Katsnelson bought the business from its previous owner and is now the president and CEO. Since he has taken the role, he has relocated the corporate headquarters from Phoenix to Denver. Katsnelson has a history in investment banking and finance and has experience working with companies in operations. He is well-versed in helping individual business owners reach their goal of success. SpeedPro’s rapid growth rate is just one factor that drew Katsnelson to invest in SpeedPro. The vision for the future? Katsnelson hopes to expand SpeedPro to as many as 200 stores by 2020. He also aims to bring other franchisees on board who have strong business skills. In an industry driven by creatives, business savvy is a necessary ingredient for growth. To achieve these goals, corporate SpeedPro is being revitalized with upgraded software, more transparency, and better franchisee support.

To read more about SpeedPro’s exciting new future, click here!

speedpro franchisee in marin featured for success

September 29, 2015

Running a successful business is no easy task. For Steve Moran-Cassese, principal of SpeedPro Marin, his strong work ethic, business background, and smart people choices have all contributed to his success as a SpeedPro franchisee. Steve makes sure to carve out time to focus on the business, setting goals and constantly evaluating and re-evaluating the store trajectory. On top of that, Steve knows that exceptional customer service is a huge part of any store’s growth. At SpeedPro Marin, Steve listens attentively to customers’ visions and helps them practically achieve their goals by educating them about the options available to them. He never assumes the clients know precisely what they want; instead, he helps them choose the best possible option for their goals and their budget. As the store continues to grow and experience success, Steve focuses on not overstretching company capacity, but on investing smart in equipment and people.

To read more about Steve Moran-Cassese and his SpeedPro success, click here.