Why Start Out With An Owner-operator Model

May 24, 2018

Among the things entrepreneurs think about when they consider investing in a franchise is what kind of business owner they want to be – absentee, semi-absentee or owner-operator.

Absentee owners, just as the name implies, are rarely present at their franchise business. They often view ownership primarily as an investment. Because they’re not present, they hire a manager to handle day-to-day operations, including hiring employees. Absentee owners run the risk of employing people who may not be as passionately invested in the success of the business as he or she is.

Semi-absentee owners are a bit more involved in the business than absentee owners, but still typically rely on a manager to run day-to-day operations. Like the absentee owner, the semi-absentee owner usually has other investments that divide their time as they seek to diversify their income.

Owner-operator 1At SpeedPro, we prefer the owner-operator model. Being an owner-operator of a franchise provides in-depth education on the business concept. You are present onsite most of the time and responsible for the day-to-day operations of the business. You take a hands-on approach and work alongside your store manager and employees. Owner-operators have the most power over their business’s growth because they are deeply involved.

Greater Familiarity

Because owner-operators work at their franchises, they become experts at running a business and are familiar with precisely how their own business operates. That in-depth knowledge will help a franchisee scale their business because they:

  • Can ascertain first-hand the quality of customer service provided
  • Observe whether employees are following the playbook for operating the business
  • Maintain quality control of products and services delivered to customers

undefinedThe SpeedPro business model was made for owner-operators. It’s focused on growing a single unit at a time, helping franchisees grow with additional equipment and personnel instead of opening multiple locations in a short amount of time. SpeedPro franchise owner-operators start with two employees, so oversight is relatively easy compared to many other franchise concepts. The average SpeedPro studio has two to four employees.

More Control

Being an owner-operator gives you total control over who is hired. Absentee and semi-absentee owners typically hire a manager, who is then in charge of hiring and overseeing employees. Assuming absentee and semi-absentee owners hire managers with as much passion for the business and a drive to succeed, the owner is still one step removed from bringing on the right people.

But, because owner-operators do the hiring, they can bring on board exactly who they want working for them. As the business owner, you are most invested and can select the candidates you deem to be good for business, which will help lead to growth. SpeedPro franchisees possess an incredible work ethic and a high degree of integrity, and therefore have the power to hire like-minded individuals who also emphasize customer service and quality workmanship.

Owner-Operator 2Overseeing day-to-day operations as an owner-operator also allows you to have more control over costs. You can observe exactly how much is being spent in what areas, and come up with cost-cutting measures, if necessary. You can implement efficiencies when you witness time-wasting practices first hand. This will increase workflow and elevate your bottom line. As an absentee or semi-absentee owner, you might not be aware of inefficiencies or bad work habits. You will struggle with figuring out the source of the loss of revenue or not growing how you would like.

Strong Support

As a SpeedPro owner-operator, you will have the support of other owner-operators in the network. Because every SpeedPro franchisee is deeply invested in their business, the camaraderie and owner bonds are strong. Franchisees are happy to share best practices, anecdotes and tips to guide you toward growing your own SpeedPro.

To learn more about what sets SpeedPro apart from other franchise opportunities, visit our website.

The Benefits Of A Collaborative Franchisee Network

May 16, 2018

In some franchise systems, individual owners operate completely independently, or even competitively.

This setup leads to many missed opportunities for collaboration, troubleshooting and client-sharing. In the printing and graphics industry particularly, studio owners benefit immensely from openly sharing ideas and best practices.

That’s why SpeedPro fosters a community of franchise owners that support and work with one another. We’ve created concrete initiatives that put our franchisees in touch and lets them easily share feedback with each other and SpeedPro corporate.

John Barber, co-owner of the SpeedPro studio in Norcross, Georgia, exemplifies the collaborative nature of our franchisee network. John and his partner Don Neder spearheaded a joint model of studio ownership that other franchisees have since taken up – and for good reason. John and Don doubled their studio’s revenue and tripled its customer count in less than two years after forming the partnership.

After finding huge success by working collaboratively, John has some advice for aspiring business owners looking to leverage a friendly, knowledgeable franchisee network.

“As a SpeedPro studio owner, we collaborate and know that tenured owners can share and mentor new owners, which makes the brand and system stronger – one question, one studio, and one client interaction at a time,” he said.

Achieve More Together

undefinedAfter more than a decade in the franchising industry as an executive vice president of franchise development, chief customer officer, senior vice president of franchise sales and chief development officer for large systems like Orion Food Systems, Focus Brands and Global Franchise Group, John decided to semi-retire.

Well, kind of. For him, “retirement” meant transitioning from the franchisor side of the industry to the franchisee side, and he started working with a franchise broker to find a concept that met his qualifications.

After a few twists and turns, John approached SpeedPro with an idea: He would buy into an existing studio and take the business to the next level. His expertise would help the current owner grow the business, while the co-ownership would give John some much-needed time off.

“I had many choices of brands and industries when I decided to be a franchisee instead of a franchisor, and I am very glad that my first franchise venture was under the SpeedPro brand,” he said.

John’s idea ended up being a huge boon for Don Neder and his already-successful studio. Together, the two employed a “divide and conquer” approach to the business. John handles finance, accounting, risk management, human resources and business development, while Don takes care of operations, project management and client relations.

This ownership model is a good fit for any duo with complimentary core competencies, John said. Shared values are also a must. Both John and Don are firm believers that the needs of customers and employees must come before that of the owners.

John and Don’s partnership is a perfect illustration of the power of collaboration. By combining their skills and expertise, they broke through a sales plateau and achieved a new level of success. Other SpeedPro owners have since reached out to them to glean insight, and John and Don are quick to share lessons learned and mistakes to avoid.

“No individual in a system is as smart as all of us,” John said. “I spent over a decade of my career as the franchisor for 11 franchised brands in the hospitality industry. In that time, I never saw such a collaborative spirit among franchisees to help one another grow and succeed as a system, that I’ve witnessed and am now a part of with SpeedPro. There is no competition among owners here.”

Find a Franchisor that Supports Collaboration

Franchisors play a huge role in developing mutually beneficial franchisee networks. Since the franchise is the tissue that connects all owners in the system, it’s up to that central team to create platforms for networking and information-sharing.

SpeedPro goes above and beyond to help our franchisees benefit from our network’s collective knowledge. Here are some initiatives currently in place:

  • Monthly open-topic conference calls between owners and SpeedPro regional developers
  • Franchise Advisory Council works with corporate to develop strategic initiatives
  • Regional networking groups tailored to specific business topics
  • Buddy Studio program connects new studios with established studio owners to ease their launches
  • “Ask the Owners” email system, which owners across the continent use daily to consult on various projects
  • Monthly training webinars
  • Procurement support with suppliers and distribution partners

To learn more about SpeedPro’s model and what sets us apart in the franchising industry, read about some of the perks of being a SpeedPro studio owner.

Become The Ceo Of Your Future With Speedpro Imaging

May 8, 2018

Every day, 51 percent of American workers wake up and go to jobs they don’t like.

There are multiple reasons for this workplace malaise – difficult bosses, undervalued employees and a lack of work-life balance, to name a few. Whatever the cause, 50 million members of the workforce report feeling resentful and disengaged at their jobs.

With all that negativity surrounding the workplace, it’s no wonder more than half of Americans want to start their own businesses. Beyond its position at the core of the American Dream, business ownership alleviates many of the frustrations that drive workplace dissatisfaction.

Business owners decide when and where they work. They dive into industries they’re passionate about and make time for family, hobbies and travel. And their own drive and determination are the biggest determinants of their success.

SpeedPro is proud of the many franchisees that have used our concept to achieve their dreams of business ownership. Our strong support, systems and brand provide a clear path to entrepreneurship that lets our owners take charge of their careers.

Here’s how SpeedPro can help you become the CEO of your future:


Unlike retail or food service franchises, SpeedPro owners don’t spend their nights and weekends at the store. Our clients are businesses, so owners keep standard business hours.

During the workday, owners enjoy a fast-paced environment with a huge variety of projects. Our focus on wide-format printing and graphics means not only do our products yield the highest margins in the industry, they keep owners thinking creatively and strategically all day long.

Profitable, Professional and Scalable

Because SpeedPro is a business-to-business company providing top-quality marketing graphics, our clients view us as consultants and business partners. These long-term relationships foster repeat business and larger sales. They also make for a professional work environment that hinges on promptness, quality and communication.

Due to the high demand for wide-format printing and graphics, SpeedPro owners have limitless potential to grow their businesses in their target markets. To scale up, they simply add employees and equipment to their existing spaces.


SpeedPro owners call the shots at their businesses, but they never have to go it alone. SpeedPro provides a best-in-class support system to guide franchisees through each phase of business ownership, from startup to grand opening to ongoing growth.

From the moment owners signs on, we work to set them up for success. Our initial field training is designed to help franchisees ease into their business, completing larger and more complex projects until they are ready to take on a full workload. Going forward, our field consultants offer hands-on help to owners whenever they need it – or simply assist them with setting business goals and creating strategies to get there.

Our franchisees themselves are also a source of support. We foster a collaborative owner network that confers frequently about projects, marketing tactics and more. Some even share and refer clients.

If you’re one of the 50 million Americans who feels unfulfilled at work, it’s time to make a change and build a career that excites you. SpeedPro can help you get there.

To learn more about what sets SpeedPro apart from other franchise opportunities, visit our website.

Speedpro Imaging Studio Owner Profile: Q&a With Mike Retherford, Orlando

April 25, 2018

Life consists of taking risks. Some of us tend to avoid them at all costs while others will dive into a new situation without a second thought. Mike Retherford is the owner of one of the top performing studios at SpeedPro, the nation’s leading wide-format graphics franchise. Retherford will celebrate eight years as the SpeedPro Orlando studio owner this May. Part of the success in Retherford’s life can be defined by calculated risks. Retherford is certainly not risk-averse, but as a former insurance company executive, he seeks to minimize any foreseeable obstacles. This strategy has proved successful and profitable for Mike and his team.

Retherford spoke to us about his experiences as a SpeedPro studio owner, how the native Iowan ended up in Orlando, the perils that come with being 6’6” and why he finds wide-format printing… Sexy.

Success 1Can you tell us a little about yourself, Mike?

I’m 59 years old and have been happily married to my wife, Denise, for the last 35 years. We have three wonderful sons and three adorable grandchildren. Denise, along with my middle son, Taylor, and I work at our SpeedPro studio here in Orlando.

I’m deeply involved at my church. For me, it’s family, work and church, with a little travel and sight-seeing mixed in as well.

What was your professional experience before joining SpeedPro?

I have a financial background. I have a master’s degree in business after double majoring in accounting and financing with a minor in computer science. I always considered myself a very process-oriented person. That worked to my favor as I rose quickly through the ranks at the insurance company where I spent the first 18 years of my career. By the time I turned 30, I was both the chief financial officer and chief operating officer. I was running the company my final eight years.

After a two-year stint running an IT company, I made the decision to go into business for my own. My first foray involved coaching 30 CEOs across Iowa.

How were you introduced to the SpeedPro franchise opportunity?

I first noticed SpeedPro in 2008. When my oldest son graduated from college, I tossed out the idea to him of opening a business together. Coaching CEOs had introduced me to the franchise model and I found the prospects of running a SpeedPro studio interesting. We were in Des Moines, Iowa. The studio opportunity was in Omaha, Nebraska. My son’s wife got a great job in Des Moines, so he was unavailable. Time passed, but I was still interested. Up to that point in my career, I had only dealt with intangible products — insurance, IT and coaching. In SpeedPro, I saw a business manufacturing wide-format graphics, and I couldn’t get it out of my mind.

How did you wind up owning a SpeedPro studio in Orlando?

In September of 2009, I went to Omaha to look at sites for the studio. I stepped out of the car and was promptly greeted with a bone-chilling wind. The second the wind hit me, so did a moment of clarity. I thought, I can open a SpeedPro studio anywhere. I looked at the open territories and discovered Orlando was open. I discussed it with my wife and once she signed off, we moved to the Sunshine state.

How did your previous experience translate to being a studio owner?success 2

I was a decisive decision maker in the corporate world, and I bring that same instinct to our SpeedPro business. Luckily, I’m able to determine the outcome of potential issues quickly. I’ve learned it’s human nature to make mistakes. I try to determine what happened, how can we prevent it from happening again, and constantly refine situations to make them bulletproof.

In the insurance industry, the main goal is to reduce and eliminate risk. Risk hurts your bottom line and harms your customers’ confidence in your abilities. At our studio, we make sure we are G7 color accurate on all our wide-format printers. Very few people do color profiling to the extent of our studio. Then, we leave the cutting to the machines. That eliminates human error. I want the size to be perfect. I want the color to be perfect. All we do is print and the rest should take care of itself.

How is SpeedPro’s franchise model effective?

I’m 6’6” and 220 pounds, so I can be a little imposing to some people. I’m not much of a networker and I consider myself to be a slight introvert. But SpeedPro’s model is set up to put an owner in the best position for success. If you follow the model, go in and pitch to potential clients, how our product can boost their brand and help their growth potential, you don’t have to be America’s top salesman. The confidence comes with the products SpeedPro offers.

Why do you feel you have been so successful in Orlando?

We focus on producing quality products, faster than anyone else in Orlando (usually within 24 to 48 hours). We quote every job, and try to deliver that quote in hours, or at the latest, same day. BySuccess 3 quoting all jobs quickly, you can win the job by sheer default, plus we never have issues with our customers, when the invoices are sent for final payment. We want our customers to know that we appreciate them, and we are always paying attention when they need our services, plus we rarely charge rush fees, even if it’s same day production. From a strategic perspective, we teach our customers that they can deliver artwork to us at the very last possible minute, and we will still execute to deliver quality products for them and their customer on-time. Our focus on quality and speed, allows us to deliver a premium solution, at premium prices, and our customers find it difficult to move away from us, to one of our competitors. Our 3-legged stool strategy (Quality, Speed & Premium Price) works in the Orlando, and we’ve been extremely successful executing it. Thankfully, our amazing clients have no issues referring us to others.

Why should someone transitioning into franchise ownership consider SpeedPro?

This is a super sexy business and I love the process part of it. When I walk into Orange County Convention Center, look up and see the graphics hanging from the rafters and on the wall and on the window, it brings me joy to be able to say “We did that!” We’ve also decorated Daytona International Speedway. If you make good money out of it and enjoy some of the quirks that come with it, there’s nothing better.success 4

I’ve also enjoyed spending time with my wife. I went into this business with my wife as my partner, and our partnership in and out of the office is stronger than ever. It’s been so amazing watching her growth in this business. We’ve always loved building things, including in and around the house, and we’ve built something amazing with this studio.

What does the future have in store for you, Mike?

I’m looking to achieve $5 million in gross revenue by 2020. I think this business can go even further. I’m trying to figure out what the business can look like at that milestone. I’m also looking to retire soon. I’m putting a Board of Directors in place that can operate the business once I make that decision.

As I said earlier, I like to travel. One of my frequent destinations is Iowa to visit my three grandchildren. The great thing about owning a SpeedPro studio is that I can run it from anywhere in the world. I don’t have to sit here for it to be successful. I’m able to enjoy the best of both worlds: being a successful business owner while getting the chance to spoil my grandchildren every other month.

If you’re tired of working for someone else and want to lead an independent lifestyle, just like Mike Retherford, consider joining the SpeedPro owner team. For more information on the SpeedPro franchise opportunity and what it takes to be a successful franchise owner like Mike, visit speedprofranchising.com.

Speedpro Imaging Highlights Bob Kelleher’s Successful Game Plan To Team Up With Local Colleges And Universities

March 23, 2018

Success as a business owner is far from a slam dunk. Being successful takes hard-work, discipline, tenacity and strategy, all traits that lie within Bob Kelleher, the owner of SpeedPro Central New York. The location is what affords Kelleher to thrive. He is strategically situated within driving distance of several key universities in Central New York, including Cazenovia CollegeIthaca CollegeSt. John Fisher CollegeSUNY Oswego,SUNY CortlandCornell UniversitySyracuse University and Binghamton University.

The college and university systems in Central New York are vital to the area. “Binghamton University is one of the largest employers in Binghamton, and the same can be said for Syracuse,” says Kelleher. “The good news for me is I have had the opportunity to work with most of them.”

Successful 1This April will mark Kelleher’s eighth year as a SpeedPro studio owner. He became an entrepreneur following a productive career in electrical engineering and sales management. “I was managing sales people across North America,” says Kelleher. “I was at an executive level and I felt like my own boss, even though I wasn’t. When I left, I decided I actually wanted to be my own boss.”

That sales experience helped Kelleher make the transition into the world of entrepreneurship. “For 30 years, the job market was extremely cyclical; there would be some ups and downs,” Kelleher says. “I escaped unscathed during two down cycles. When the last one hit in 2009, I wasn’t in the mood to ride it out. I looked at it as an opportunity to move on.” Kelleher consulted with some old co-workers who were experimenting with business ownership, and one put him in touch with a franchise broker.

“I was considering home health care franchises and a few painting firms, as well as flooring businesses,” Kelleher said. “None of them seemed like fun, except for SpeedPro.”

Now, Kelleher is enjoying the opportunity to work with clients of many shapes and sizes, including his deep roster of colleges and universities. “What makes college campuses great is that there isn’t simply one point-person you deal with. Each department is responsible for its own purchasing. That provides ample opportunities to make an impression. All it takes is one great job, and I’ll get referrals from all over the campus.”

Kelleher has helped the famed Carrier Dome on Syracuse University transition from football to basketball and now lacrosse seasons with big, vivid action banners that hang in the locker room.

undefinedBinghamton University is one campus where you’ll find Kelleher’s fingerprints in both academic and athletic facilities. That includes a timeline of the school’s history that spans the length of two walls in a main campus building.

Kelleher was also instrumental when Binghamton made the decision to overhaul the arena’s men’s basketball locker room. “It’s one of the things that we’re most proud of on campus,” says Kelleher. “The university wanted to up its game as it looks to recruit players. Part of the recruiting involved dressing up the locker room. The athletic department called me in, told me, ‘here’s what we need.’ I gave them some ideas, then they signed off and told me I had two weeks to complete it.”

As teams vying to be crowned champion continue their march, Kelleher says he can draw a lesson from the unpredictability of the tournament. “You don’t know how things are going to turn out, whether it’s on the basketball court, or in a boardroom,” he says. “There is a lot of luck involved. However, it seems like the harder you work, the luckier you get. As I first started this business, I had nothing else to do than sales. I made it a point to stop at every likely target and sell my new business to potential customers. Now some of those business remain some of my best customers.”

successful 2Including the colleges and universities. “A lot of people who work at colleges tend to move to other campuses,” Kelleher says. “The good news is that they often remember my work, give me a call and introduce me to new clientele.”

If you’re tired of the madness and want to take better control of your life, just like Bob Kelleher, consider joining the SpeedPro team. For more information on the SpeedPro franchise opportunity and what it takes to be a successful franchise owner like Bob, visit speedprofranchising.com.

The fighting irish: speedpro imaging celebrates st. patrick’s day with studio owners patrick and susan mcginnis

March 16, 2018

Dictionary.com defines Irish as “of, relating to, or characteristic of Ireland, its inhabitants, or their language.” What is lacking are the intangibles that define the Irish-American spirit: tenacity, perseverance and a fight to never give up until the job is done.

James McGinnis encapsulates the Irish-American spirit that will be celebrated across the country this weekend on St. Patrick’s Day. James is the son of Patrick and Susan McGinnis, the proud owners of SpeedPro of Lenexa-Overland Park in the suburbs of Kansas City.

The McGinnis family will be active participants during the 46th annual Kansas City St. Patrick’s Day Parade. James will be featured on one of the participating floats in the parade. Patrick and Susan will be marching by the float’s side. The honor comes courtesy of a client of the McGinnis family’s SpeedPro studio.

Patrick and Susan McGinnis first joined on with SpeedProthe nation’s leading large format graphics franchise, 12 years ago. Patrick was in management. Susan had experience with pharmaceutical sales before giving birth to her daughter, Megan, and then James four years later. When the children grew a little older, Susan took a job at a pre-school.

Patrick’s transition into entrepreneurship became clearer during an emotional conversation he had with a young Megan. “I remember she asked me if I liked James’ events better than I liked hers,” Patrick recalls. “She asked because my job had me on the road during the week. I would miss her events, but I was able to make James’ events on the weekends.”

That exchange laid the groundwork for major changes for Patrick and Susan. “I resigned shortly afterwards and gave myself six months to start a business,” Patrick said. “If it didn’t work out, I was going to get back in the corporate world.”

The pair chose SpeedPro because of the business-to-business, recession proof model and the flexible hours.

For the first six months of their business, Susan found herself working at her preschool during the day and at her SpeedPro studio during the afternoon. She found similarities between the two industries.

“When we first started out in 2006, many people weren’t educated on digital printing,” Susan says. “I found myself doing a lot of hand holding, teaching clients about the services we could provide.”

The pair says it took about two years of hard work to get their business on stable ground. “Networking and sales were a top priority during our launch,” says Susan.

“Our philosophy is that we don’t want the customer just for the first order,” says Patrick. “I want the second, third and fourth order. It’s harder to get a new customer than retain a new one. If you treat them right and live up to their quality of expectations, they’ll become the best sales person for your business.”

“A happy customer is the best sales rep you can have,” adds Susan.

Patrick and Susan say they have a great working relationship, in part because they rarely see one another during the day. “We’ve always been close, and we can resolve isSusans,” says Patrick, before quickly adding, “The main thing is to not share an office.”

“We have separate offices because he can’t handle the fact that I’m a talker,” Susan adds. “I talk to myself, I talk to the computer, I have cordial conversations with our clients. We know our differences and appreciate them.”

Patrick and Susan appreciate how being business owners gives them the ability to set their own schedules. That would never be more evident than in the fall of 2014. James suffered a traumatic brain injury during a high school football game. James spent months in a hospital in Lincoln, Nebraska, three and a half hours away from home. At least one parent was always by his side during that painstaking period.

“I look at the injury with our son, and it was a blessing we had our own business,” Patrick says. “Where we were, it allowed us flexibility that I wouldn’t have been afforded if I had been in a corporate environment.”

“My ability to be with James wouldn’t have happened without being a SpeedPro studio owner,” says Susan. “Even now during his physical therapy, I can go back and forth between working and being with James.”

The recovery for James continues today. He is enrolled in school classes, and earned a spot on the honor roll during the most recent semester. You’ll also find James joining Susan when she is making deliveries or hanging out at the SpeedPro studio, bringing his trademark smile and jokes to the office.

“I feel like the Irish spirit is to never give up, and that heritage lives strong in James,” says Patrick. “When the Irish first came to America, they were faced with several setbacks. They persevered. You’re going to be dealt with setbacks. But, we never step away from a fight. That’s the spirit I see in James. He never backs away from a fight. Not when he was growing up. Now we see it in his fight to regain normalcy. Failure is not an option.”

The fighting spirit that James displays is the same attitude Patrick and Susan apply to their business. “You have to put the work into it,” says Patrick. “It’s not a business you buy and sit back and collect a paycheck. You have to work.”

Connections forged through their SpeedPro studio have helped the recovery process. James has received V.I.P. status from the operators of the local NASCAR venue, the local professional hockey team, and the company playing host this St. Patrick’s Day.

Patrick and Susan work hard for themselves as well as their family. They’re in the process of writing a book with James, with the eventual goal of landing him on the speaking circuit. You can follow James’ journey as he educates and brings awareness to traumatic brain injuries on Facebook or his YouTube channel.

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

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.”

Speedpro imaging announces record-breaking january

January 31, 2018

Larry Oberly, New CEO of Nation’s Leading Printing and Graphics Franchise, Quickly Fueling Unprecedented New Studio Sales Growth

Centennial, Colo – (January 30, 2017) – SpeedPro, the nation’s leading printing and graphics franchise, is announcing a fast start to 2018. The company is smashing franchise sales records under new corporate leadership as CEO Larry Oberly’s vision is paying immediate dividends. With Oberly at the helm, SpeedPro just set a record for new sales for the month of January.

Speedpro has hit the ground running after a fantastic finish to 2017 with three new studio sales in the past 30 days. That’s a new January record for the Centennial-based company, whose reach spans coast to coast. Add those new sales to the two studios that opened in December and three more opening by end of February, and the SpeedPro franchise network has grown to 126 locations in 31 states.

Oberly, who officially became CEO on November 6, 2017, says the SpeedPro franchise opportunity has never been more attractive and credits his team for quickly implementing a new company vision that prioritizes franchisee profitability.

“The record sales growth we have experienced in January speaks to the attractiveness of the SpeedPro brand and all those who represent it,” says Oberly. “We’ve strategically made our franchise owners a top priority as we begin a brand-new era at SpeedPro, including implementing new digital marketing initiatives. Prosperity for all will be accomplished as we continue to expand the number of franchise partnerships in our network in 2018 and beyond.”

The three new members who joined the SpeedPro family in January 2018 are:

 Lance Springer – SpeedPro Visual Solutions (Waterloo, Iowa)

 Steve Rowe – SpeedPro Affinity Solutions (Sarasota, Florida)

 Lily, David, and Jill Smelser – SpeedPro All-Stars (Rochester, MN)

As mentioned, SpeedPro is in the midst of a series of fantastic grand openings as well. The five new business owners who recently opened their studios, or will open in the coming days/weeks, include:

December 2017 SpeedPro Studio Openings:

 Chavah Avraham – SpeedPro Pearland, TX

 Marc Bouchard – SpeedPro Towson, MD

January 2018 SpeedPro Studio Openings:

 Dave Poche – SpeedPro Durham, NC

 Barry & Amy Word – SpeedPro Centreville, VA

February 2018 SpeedPro Studio Openings:

 Steve & Jean Jaszai – SpeedPro Northglenn, CO

As the nation’s leading printing and graphics franchise, SpeedPro can handle any printing project on behalf of their clients. Each of these new owners is proud to offer a full range of large-format printing services, including:

 Banners, decals, digital signage, directional signage, elevator wraps

 Event graphics, event tents, flags, fleet wraps, floor graphics

 Indoor signage, outdoor signage, point of purchase displays

 Retractors, signs & graphics, table coverings & table-toppers

 Trade show displays, vehicle wraps, wall murals, window graphics

For more information about SpeedPro’s printing and graphics solutions, please visitspeedpro.com.

For more information about the SpeedPro Franchise opportunity, please visitspeedprofranchising.com.

About SpeedPro

With more than 20 years of experience, SpeedPro is the nation’s leading printing and graphics franchise – creating professional large-format imaging for a wide variety of companies in any industry. The company specializes in high-quality products including wall murals, event graphics, tradeshow displays, vehicle wraps and window graphics. Through extreme resolution levels and unparalleled quality standards, SpeedPro takes visual communications to the next level. Today, there are more than 135 studios open and in development in 32 states.