Posts Tagged ‘interactive online brochure’

August 29th, 2012

20 Years Later: One Family’s AlphaGraphics Story

Lisa Slade was a stay-at-home mom in California nearly 20 years ago, when she and husband Tom packed up their three kids to head back to their roots.

Both sides of the family were from Southern Indiana, and Tom’s experience in paper and envelope manufacturing and Lisa’s former career in pharmaceutical sales led them to a major life change: they opened an AlphaGraphics business center in Evansville, Indiana.

“Tom had worked with AlphaGraphics before and thought a lot of the company,” Lisa says. “We signed a franchise agreement, rented a 2,000 square foot building and made a list of 1,000 people to call on.”

The rest, as they say, is history. Only now they have 17 employees, one of their sons is an integral part of the staff, and they’ve added 2,300 square feet to the back of the building. And they just signed another five-year franchise agreement.

“We’ve built a lot of great friendships and gotten a ton of support from the AG Network,” she says. “We really have to give AlphaGraphics a lot of credit, for encouraging us to invest in technology and marketing services and evolving beyond the traditional print model.

Lisa gained certification as a Women-owned Business, and leveraged it into several major clients, including a bank system, a casino and an energy company. But the most recent success story is with an ECHL pro hockey team, the Evansville Icemen.

“The Icemen asked us to put together a campaign around season ticket sales, so we built a mobile website and created a series of postcard mailings with a QR code linking back to the site,” Lisa says. “The client response has been tremendous, with more than seven percent of recipients scanning the code and requesting more information.”

It’s all about taking a printed piece and driving people online, creating multiple touch points for target audiences.

“We’ve really invested in that side of the business, with AG’s support, and our sales and marketing team is on fire,” she says. “Sadly, we’ve seen four competitors go out of business in the last year here, and one had been here for 100 years. They just didn’t embrace the New Now.”

The Slades’s staff includes a three-person marketing team, a full-time web developer and others with graphic design and other specialized skills that can service their clients’ needs in a comprehensive way.

They’ve focused on hard work, giving back to the community and delivering for their customers, while investing in the future. Twenty years later, the results are proof positive.

“We’re very good at putting ink on paper, but now we’re so much more than that,” Lisa says. “It’s been a lot of fun for us, and exciting to think what the future holds for our son Hunter as he takes more ownership in the business.”

It’s never too late to pursue your entrepreneurial passion. If you’d like to learn more about the AlphaGraphics opportunity, please click here.

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June 28th, 2012

Escaping the Danger of the Comfort Zone – With Guardrails

By Al Lautenslager, AG Regional Franchise Development Director

When the controversial book Danger in the Comfort Zone was first released in the early ‘90s, those who were working nice corporate jobs and earning nice salaries and benefits took note. Soon after, terms like right-sizing, down-sizing and cap-sizing became the buzz. It forced people to look outside of that proverbial comfort zone, to see the writing on the wall and investigate the possibility of doing something different – in many cases, something completely different.

I was one of those looking to break out of the comfort zone, without taking the plunge with no safety net. I needed help – a fast startup, something almost turn-key in nature. Quickly, my thoughts turned to a franchise business.

I wasn’t alone then, and things haven’t changed much in today’s times. Corporate jobs are being eliminated. Burnout among executives is rampant. People are yearning to “do their own thing.”

Some of the phenomena mentioned above can be attributed to the pure entrepreneurial spirit. Corporate frameworks restrict entrepreneurial thoughts and actions; by breaking free, we free our entrepreneurial spirit. How can we embrace that spirit, while mitigating the risk? Often times, the answer is the protection of a franchise network – the assistance, structure and support we need to help ensure our success.

Some turn-key franchise businesses are like purchasing a job – a cookie cutter model, where an owner follows a set recipe. Others are wide open as far as creating, starting, and running a business, one that builds equity and yields a return on investment.

Dave Buzza, AlphaGraphics’ VP of Global Development, is quick to point out that the ownership of an AG franchise is like driving on a six-lane freeway. The owner – or the driver in this case – can drive any direction at any speed anywhere on that interstate. The franchise organization is the guardrails that prevent the driver from going into the ditch. If you keep your eyes on the road, you’re less likely to hit the guardrails.

Be careful of that comfort zone, find your highway, know that the guardrails are in place as you like them, and drive away. The danger – or lack of it – is more in your control.

If you’d like to explore the AlphaGraphics opportunity, please click here to visit our interactive online brochure.

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March 13th, 2012

Solis Women’s Health – A Customer Service Case Study

Solis Women’s Health is a breast cancer screening and diagnosis company based in Dallas, with 24 locations in Arizona, Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio and Texas. When the physicians and staff of the individual centers need printed materials, they call on AlphaGraphics of Carrollton, Texas, and Corporate Account Manager Carla Beene.

Beene’s institutional knowledge proved to be highly valuable to Solis’ corporate office manager, Jamie Pack, when she started at Solis in January of this year. Pack is the liaison in the corporate office, working with Beene to ensure that everything gets to the proper location – on time, on budget and on message.

“All of our centers are getting materials specific to their individual locations, and Carla coordinates everything from the order to the shipping,” Pack says. “When we need a new product, she even meets with us and helps us design it.”

Pack says that, as a new employee, there was a learning curve that she needed to overcome quickly, and Beene was there every step of the way, helping her understand the background and history, what had worked in the past and how the online ordering and distribution system works.

“She’s taken my hand as a new employee and really gone above and beyond to help,” Pack says. “She knows the staff at our locations and works directly with them when necessary, and it makes it so easy. AlphaGraphics has been wonderful to work with.”

AlphaGraphics has evolved from a print shop to a marketing communications provider, and these kinds of stories demonstrate the value that we bring to customers. We wanted to share this great testimonial with you as you consider the AlphaGraphics opportunity. If you haven’t seen it yet, please take a look at our interactive online brochure. We’d love to talk with you in more detail about how we can help you realize your personal and professional objectives.

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