Steve Webb knew he wanted to own his own business. He just didn’t think it would be a franchise. But when he dove into the AlphaGraphics model and saw the flexibility to carve a niche as a marketing and communications consultant while benefitting from the support of an entire Network, the decision became clear. Now, Webb has acquired two well-established AlphaGraphics Business Centers in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.
“Honestly I had some pre-conceptions about franchises, but I attended AlphaGraphics Discovery Day and realized that this is a unique model that has proven to be very successful. It’s not a cookie-cutter system, where every product is exactly the same,” Webb explains. “There are good, strong guidelines and support systems, but the way in which you execute is very individual.”
After a 30-career that started in accounting, led him through product development and consumer packaged goods marketing with the 3M Corporation, and most recently saw him leading a national data services company as its president, he was ready to apply that experience to his own organization. Working with a Franchise consultant, Webb found AlphaGraphics and discovered an acquisition opportunity in his hometown.
“The more I considered it, the more sense it made. We have a strong team, great brand presence and a large market with statewide growth potential,” he says. “I loved the B2B focus of AlphaGraphics, and then I saw myself in a lot of the other Franchisees. Everyone I talked with reinforced not only the potential of the marketing communications space, but also the integrity and professionalism of AlphaGraphics as a company.”
He’s been a witness to the rapidly evolving communications industry, and was intrigued with the prospect of helping other small businesses grow as their marketing partner. But starting from scratch didn’t seem viable.
“If you’re going to be in this industry, I believe it would be pretty tough to keep up with the technology as an independent. The AlphaGraphics leadership comes from the industry and has their fingers on the pulse of what’s coming down the pike – you don’t have to do it by yourself,” Webb says. “In fact, many of the pioneers are part of our Network. I have confidence in where I am, and that’s a lot of the value of a franchise like AlphaGraphics.”
Webb says the former owner’s willingness to stay on as director of sales offers continuity that will allow him to grow the business. His staff of 12 brings both relationships, market intelligence and operations experience to the table.
“We will focus on fanatical customer service as we strive to become the ‘go to’ marketing partner in the Twin Cities, and on making this a great place to work,” he says. “We’ll leverage our unique skills and capabilities to carve out a niche and develop competitive advantage, and we believe that will drive significant growth into the future.”