Archive for March, 2014

March 20th, 2014

Our Latest Franchise Partner: Living the American Dream

Elio Valladares was born and raised in Honduras, first coming to America as a teenager to earn a degree in marketing from the University of Houston. After college, he returned to his native country to be the operations manager for a family-owned Screen Shot 2014-03-20 at 3.54.43 PMjanitorial service provider for banks, airlines, schools and others in major cities across the country. He oversaw 500 employees for the 43-year-old company.

It was a lucrative business, but other factors were beyond his control. He decided he wanted to make a change.

“I had turned 40 and I told my wife that I wanted to do something for myself. I needed to do it,” Elio says. “The political climate was changing there, and we have four children. It was not the place to raise a family.”

After meeting a business coach at a franchise expo in South Florida, he evaluated several options. He attended AlphaGraphics’ Discovery Day at the AG headquarters in Salt Lake City, and he knew he’d found the right choice.

“I looked at a lot of business opportunities, but none were comparable,” Elio says. “The truth is that most want to get your money and move on, but there’s an incredible amount of support within the AG network, and it continues beyond the launch.”

Elio and his wife, Marcella, recently purchased an AlphaGraphics Business Center in Aurora, Colo., outside of Denver. It’s a market where the brand has established a strong presence, and others are thriving in the area. His fluency in Spanish would be an asset.

“I spent some time with two AG franchisees there, and not only were they successful, but they were very open and sincere, and are always willing to take a call and offer their help,” he says. “You’re never alone – it’s like a family. The way I see it is, if you invest in Wall Street, you’re always wondering whether you made the right choice. You are gambling.  Here, I have the opportunity to grow a business, but with the kind of support that I find very comforting.”

With his marketing and operations background, he found AG’s consultative offering very appealing. He sees the way AlphaGraphics is constantly evolving to stay on top of a rapidly changing industry.

“AG is focused on the future, on educating people and sharing the vision and helping other businesses grow. Nothing is stagnant… it’s about providing solutions, and that’s what I do.

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March 5th, 2014

Financial Exec Becomes Latest AG Franchise Partner

Jac Bloomberg was a pioneer in digital printing, starting more than 40 years ago in bringing on-demand laser technology to consumers before gravitating to the marketing side of the industry.

“Our focus was on utilizing the technology to achieve specific business objectives,” Bloomberg says. “That was the early days of personalized direct mail, including things like automated statement processing.”

Living in suburban New Jersey and working in New York City, he found a niche in the financial services industry, directing major printing processes as an internal sales and production executive for companies like Merrill Lynch, Smith Barney (CitiGroup) and Morgan Stanley. For the latter, he recently built a website that allowed 18,000 financial advisors in the field to order personalized materials and generic marketing collateral on demand – think notecards, invitations, brochures and more.

When Morgan Stanley acquired Smith Barney, he took all of the marketing collateral that was sitting in a warehouse and converted it into electronic files that were ready for digital customization and on-demand production. In the process, he salvaged seven million pieces of material and saved the company more than $6 million annually in print spend!

That was when he realized that the time was right to start thinking about working for himself.

“Honestly, after all those years, I had grown a little tired of corporate America, and I was ready to do something on my own,” he says. “I love cars, so I’d even thought about opening a nice car wash. But when I found AlphaGraphics, I knew it was worth pursuing.”

With such a long history in the industry, Bloomberg remembers when the “print shop” concept came to market, where storefronts made copies for individuals and businesses and competed on price.

“A commodity-based business was the last thing I wanted to do. AlphaGraphics is leading the evolution of the industry, and it’s an opportunity to work as a consultant to small and medium-sized businesses,” he says. “That’s where my expertise lies, and I think the potential is in building and expanding those relationships. That’s what’s fun for me.”

Bloomberg recently purchased an existing AlphaGraphics location in Red Bank, N.J., with a solid revenue stream and a strong book of business.

“I’m a sales guy who provides value to long-standing customers, and those partnerships and the comprehensive marketing services offering are where I see growth for the future,” he says. “AlphaGraphics provides excellent support – it’s up to me to utilize the resources available to make my business successful.”

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