Victoria and Carmine Camerato purchased an AlphaGraphics in downtown Boston in 2003 and have excelled as Franchisees. Read on for their perspective on the business, and what the future will hold.
Looking back 14 years ago, what were your goals and aspirations?
We wanted to be our own boss, and control our destiny. Carmine had just left Mobil after the merger with Exxon. After eight years in Asia, it was a great time to return to the States and raise our small children.
What has changed in your business since you started in 2003?
Lots of things! Initially, we grew very fast. We are in a downtown area of Boston, so we were doing a lot of PowerPoint presentations and and those types of projects went digital. We were doing a lot of courtroom graphics. Our approach has definitely changed—initially we were going after government work to fill capacity, and now we don’t aggressively go after that business.
What two or three key items have allowed you to be successful over the years?
A Great Team: our attitude is “failure is not an option.” The power of the Network, especially in the last four or five years, and specifically the AlphaGraphics run focus grous. Over the last four years we have invested time in personal growth, focusing on positive mindset and finding gratitude in little and big things alike.
What are a few of the challenges you were able to overcome?
The Recession has to have been our biggest challenge. Since our initial growth was so rapid we were heavily invested in capital equipment. It was painful for a while but we lived to tell the tale and the experience, though hard, was very educational.
What has impacted your business the most? Technology, the services you provide, the products you offer or the marketplace?
Technology, for sure. The upgrades have brought efficiencies, and we are excited about what’s to come. Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing have dramatically increased our leads.
If you were to envision three years from now, how will the business look differently?
It will look dramatically different. We have just acquired the Waltham location as of December 1, 2016, so we now have three territories. Our focus this year will be to nail down our processes, operating procedures, training, leading by example, defining our direction and leading the organization to where we are going.
We’d like to have one centralized production facility with remote sales offices. Within that facility, we have to have “Centers of Excellence” that offer the highest quality possible, i.e. signs/large format or digital color. Most importantly, we want to be customer-focused and easy to do business with.