Archive for September, 2012

September 7th, 2012

Printing Industry Veteran Becomes Latest AG Franchisee

John Chrisostomou has been a salesman in the printing industry for 30 years – first with a bindery, then in large equipment sales, and, more recently, as director of business development for Cardinal Health, where he sold pharmaceutical packaging to Fortune 100 brands.

When the company was acquired, John started exploring his options. He always knew he wanted to own his own business, something within his industry.

“I made up my mind very early on in the process that it would be AlphaGraphics,” he says. “Having worked with several large corporations, I had an appreciation for the resources available to me through a franchise – from HR to accounting and marketing. I could operate my business as I wanted, and sort of pick from the menu of support services I needed.”

John didn’t want to be stuck in a system where the flexibility to utilize his business experience was limited. He says he asked probing questions about the level of control he’d have as an AlphaGraphics owner, and what the growth opportunities would be.

“When I attended Discovery Day in Salt Lake City, AG really got my attention,” he says. “I learned more about the support systems, and about the possibility for acquiring an existing business. I really began to visualize how the AG Network could help me make decisions, leverage a paper supplier, purchase a large piece of equipment, implement marketing programs… there’s great value in that.”

Today, John and his wife, Michele, own an AlphaGraphics Business Center in Mahwah, N.J., which opened around the first of June. His first month exceeded expectations, and sales in the first week of July beat the budget for the full month.

His new center was formerly an independent print shop, and the previous owner is vested through earn-out as part of the purchase agreement. Customer retention has been nearly 100 percent, and the transition has been a smooth one.

“The former owner had built a wonderful business, with a loyal customer base,” John says. “He thought, properly so, that his clients would have an opportunity to grow with us – that we brought new capabilities in marketing services and other areas that would be attractive to them. We’re doing things that an independent can’t do on their own.”

Earlier this year, AlphaGraphics implemented an intensive training and support process for new franchisees, which John says streamlined his path to opening. Read on to learn more about what this team is doing to make a difference from day one.

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