Chandler couple’s stores complement each other SanTan Sun News

Chandler couple’s stores complement each other

February 4th, 2020 development
Chandler couple’s stores complement each other
Business
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SANTAN SUN NEWS STAFF

Hailey and Jason Riley own the same kind of franchises but don’t call them competitors.

Indeed, their businesses, both International Minute Press franchises, complement each other in a way.

Riley’s store has owned his store for a while at 460 E. Warner Road on the city’s eastern side. Hailey recently opened her own International Minute Press on the city’s western side, 6140 W. Chandler Blvd.

Together, they figure, they have Chandler covered.

Hailey holds a master’s degree in legal studies from Arizona State University and planned to become a patent agent, a federally licensed professional who helps inventors get a patent.

Though she said those jobs pay well, she found the lure of owning her own business too strong to resist.

“Owning a franchise was always his thing,” she said of her husband of 10 years. “But when an independently run print shop went up for sale, I was given the chance to convert it to an International Minute Press center and in a way, the timing was good.”

She had just finished her internship at a law firm, she said, “so I took the time to think about it and Jason and I weighed the pros and cons.

“Patent agents are well-paid, but being a business owner, if you are doing it right, has the potential to surpass the salary of a patent agent.”

The couple, parents of three children ranging in age from 4 to 9, “did their own thing” when it came to their professional careers.

Jason first went into the business in 1998 with his father Zane, who is now retired.

When Jason told her that Minuteman Press International was giving him the chance to buy another franchise in Chandler, Hailey started giving entrepreneurship serious consideration.

But the road to that goal was a challenge.

She was away from home for 12 days for training and while “the break from my hectic life was welcome,” she missed her family.

She had spent several years commuting downtown to ASU law school and atop that, she was helping her father, who had been diagnosed with leukemia and had to be taken to chemotherapy and stem cell transplant consultations.

Throw in three young children and “I really looked at training as a welcomed break.”

“After my dad’s successful stem cell transplant and the completion of my master’s and law clerk internship,” she added, “I was ready for a change and the new challenge of running a business.”

Hailey has been busy giving her shop a much-needed upgrade.

“The previous owner was older,” she said. “He was very ‘inside the box’ and didn’t go outside of that. He was replaced by a 40-year-old woman and I am the opposite.  My team does it all, including large format printing.

“I am willing to take on any idea and if it is something new, I let the customer know and ask them to bear with us as we explore options,” she added.

She recalled how a customer who was on the way to an event in Oregon came in with an unusual request.

“We successfully took photos of colleagues not in attendance and printed their faces on thick stock, so they could be attached to sticks and placed in chairs in their absence,” she said.

Both Hailey and Jason see a lot of potential in the Chandler and East Valley markets – as well as a big challenge.

“Phoenix and Chandler make up a huge tech corridor so there is no shortage of competition in my field,” she said. “But I know who my competition is and I know I am here to make people happy with what we produce for them.”

Jason added, “Today, we help companies and organizations brand themselves with apparel, promotional products, design, printing and making them look their best to their clients and prospects.”

Jason said he’s joined a small peer group of other franchisees “where we found that we can all relate to each other.”

“We are all parents of school-aged children and we plan to own this business until we retire,” he said, calling that prospect “a huge unseen benefit of being part of Minuteman Press International that deserves more attention and praise.”

Both Rileys said the company’s FLEX software has been a big help as “the engine that helps run our business.”

“It’s the hub of everything we do. Management, sales, marketing – FLEX really includes everything,” he said, adding that the return on investment for digital printing “is dramatically better than when I first started in 1998.”

And both husband and wife enjoy the independence of owning their own businesses.

“As a business owner and member of the Rotary Club of Chandler, I feel there is a level of ownership and pride in the community,” Jason said. “When I see household names around town and say, ‘Yeah, we print for them.’ For me, that’s the community I am so happy and fortunate to be a part of.”

Saying the Minuteman International has been highly supportive of her, Hailey said she enjoys the interpersonal relationships she has developed.

“It is always fun to be in contact with customers because I am a people person,” she said. “I learned from my time at the law firm that I am not into sitting at a desk, working and not conversing with people. I am excited to go out and explain things. My location is on a main road, so I get a lot of walk-in traffic and I find it enjoyable.”

Hailey, a Wyoming native who has lived in Chandler for 17 years, and Riley, who moved here 22 years ago from South Dakota, think their experience with their respective businesses offers some hopeful guidance for others who are contemplating going off on their own or buying a franchise.

“Start by asking yourself, ‘What do I love to do and what do I hate to do?’” Jason said. “Identify those key items and don’t forget them when you do own your own business.”

Added Hailey: “I am making a good living and I am having a good time because I love building relationships. Knowing I am helping people as I get to know the needs of their businesses is why I love what I do at International Minute Press.”

Information: Hailey’s business: printwithimpchandler.com; Jason’s: impchandler.com.

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