Minuteman Press eyes a bright future

By Ben Carey on 1 March, 2022

After 23 years in business, Minuteman Press has undergone a total business transformation. Following a £1 million move to new premises on Pines Way Industrial Estate in central Bath, the company has almost doubled production capacity, with quicker turnaround times. The Business Exchange caught up with Managing Director David Ghent and Marketing Director Dave Dixon to find out more about Minuteman Press’s plans for the future.

Most readers will be familiar with the Minuteman brand and many of them will have worked with you over the years. Where and how did it all start for Minuteman Press?

Dave: It all started in 1998 when our MD David Ghent had a vision to provide the best printing services in Bath. He saw a gap in the market for a city-centre location to offer on-site print and copying services. We’ve since outgrown our Walcot Street site and have developed into a commercial print, design and signage service in our new facility at Pines Way.

Over recent years the business has continued to grow. What would you say is the key to your success?
David: For us it’s always been about putting our customers first. We like to help them stretch their marketing budgets as far as possible. Sometimes it’s not about finding the cheapest option, it’s about the maximum return on their investment. The success of our customer base is our success. We still have customers today that placed their first orders back in 1998!

What would you say have been the major trends or changes in your industry over the past decade?

Dave: Speed and print enhancements! Sure, if you want a simple brochure to go through a door or get picked up with a load of other flyers that’s great, we can produce thousands of those and you’ll get a small percentage return rate. However, we find that once we add a spot of gloss, gold ink or foil it stands out from that crowd. We’ve also invested heavily over the years in the most up to date technology and most reliable kit to ensure that we can produce great results on time and quickly. After all you’ve seen it on your screen and you are keen to have it in your hand. 

Many firms will look to the cheapest online print job. What does Minuteman Press offer that sets you apart from online suppliers?
David: Online print is great if you want cheap bulk printing and you’re 100 per cent sure that your artwork is designed well, you’re not too concerned about the final colours and you don’t need any advice or are not expecting a long term relationship with a local supplier. 

Most of our clients value business relationships and like to discuss their print job and how they might make it look as good as possible. Alongside that excellent level of customer service, we are also able to meet almost any deadline; most of our work is produced the same day on site here at Pines Way, with real people checking your artwork, colours and print quality. 

We are also a one stop shop. We will deal with your business forms, flyers and brochures, and we can also produce shop signage, vehicle graphics and exhibition displays. You really don’t need to go to many different sources for your marketing materials.

What impact did the Covid-19 pandemic have on your business? Have you diversified your offering as a result?

Dave: We very soon discovered the joy of floor and wall graphics! We did a little bit of that pre-pandemic, but then we had to take it to another level. Our Large Format Studio Manager was in fact working hard during the first lockdown producing a catalogue with a full range of social distancing signage. We also had to test the materials to ensure that they were safe enough for installation on the ground – we really didn’t want people slipping on our floor graphics! 

We produced thousands of linear metres of floor and wall graphics. We continue to do so now, but for marketing purposes rather than safety.

The Minuteman Press success story continues with your move to bigger and better premises. Tell us about the move. Why now? What scope does it give you for the future? What changes will your customers see?

David: In reality, we outgrew Walcot Street many years ago. We were based across three different locations and we really could not reach our full potential there. The new location represents a £1 million investment in the business. We have two of Xerox’s top end presses and we have added the full range of speciality colours to those, this includes white, fluorescent, gold, silver and clear toners, the range of colours we can achieve really is impressive. We’ve added short run foiling in house and of course our huge vehicle bay means that we can now do signwriting on cars and vans.

Our signage team is expanding our offer further. Interiors will be a big growth area for us including printed graphics on walls, floors and windows. Window blinds are very popular at the moment and a really cost-effective way to keep your branding visible.

What have you been most proud of at Minuteman Press over the years?

Dave: We are proud of our level of customer retention. We work closely with our client base to ensure that they are always happy. We are also always happy to give back to our local community, through supporting charities and clubs with free or heavily discounted printing, as well as being proud to be a local business taking part in the civic life of our city.

With room for growth and a future-proofed set up, what’s next for Minuteman Press?

David: We are in the right premises at last, so we now need to consolidate and plan for expansion. We need to continue strengthening our print and signage offering and ensure that we are seen locally as Bath’s number one printer, as well as growing our online sales nationally.

To find out more about Minuteman Press visit: www.minutemanbath.co.uk

Pictured above: David Ghent (left) and Dave Dixon (right)