Garry Conley Talks Transitioning from Truck Shop Operator to Business Owner, Minuteman Press Franchise Success, and What It Means to Be Recognized as a Top Business Leader in Kentucky

LONDON, Ky., Oct. 21, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — When Garry Conley took over his Minuteman Press franchise in 2004, he had finally realized his dream. Ever since high school, Conley had aspirations of one day becoming an entrepreneur, but it wasn’t until he was spurned by his former employer that he decided to take action. Now, all these years later, Conley’s dream has been reaffirmed as he has been recognized by his peers in Kentucky by being awarded the Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award in the For-Profit Business category at the annual EIEA Awards presented by Eastern Kentucky University College of Business and Technology, Kentucky Highlands Investment Corp., Southeast Kentucky Economic Development (SKED) Corp., and The Center for Rural Development.

From Truck Shop Operator to Entrepreneur

Since he was 19 years-old, Garry Conley had worked as a diesel mechanic, and worked his way up as high as he could to the position of truck shop operator. Because it was a salaried position, the hours became long while the paycheck remained the same. When Garry was passed up for a promotion he knew he deserved, that was the moment he knew he needed a change.

“I knew I went as far as I could go,” laments Conley. “As luck would have it, right around that same time is when my wife Amy found the ad for a Minuteman Press franchise in the local Corbin, Kentucky newspaper.”

After seeing the ad, Garry didn’t hesitate. He visited the Minuteman Press website, filled out an online form, and the next day he was contacted by Regional Vice President Gary Nowak. “Gary Nowak called me the next day. We then met in Lexington so I could tour an existing franchise and speak with the owner. I liked what I saw immediately and found that this was possible.” Conley adds, “I then went to six other franchises in one day. They all said the same thing: You will get the support you need, and the opportunity is here.”

After touring seven different franchises in his area and being given the chance to speak with various franchise owners from all different business backgrounds, Garry Conley – with the support of his wife Amy – made the decision to leave the truck shop behind for good. After completing the Minuteman Press training program in Farmingdale, NY, Conley officially took over his Minuteman Press franchise in London, KY in April 2004.

Garry recalls, “The training program really helped me because I understood how business works. The more that the trainers talked, the more I could draw similarities when it came to running a smooth production operation and providing excellent customer service. I didn’t need to know anything about creative design or the technical aspects of printing; I just needed to do what I knew I was born to do, which was to get out there, work hard, and build my business.”

Franchise Growth

In the eleven years since Garry Conley started running his franchise, his business has grown tremendously. Sales are up, and a staff of three in 2004 is now a staff of eight in 2015. Conley employs two graphic artists/customer service reps, one graphics/promotional products professional, one digital press operator, one offset press operator, and one bindery/delivery person. He and Amy fill out the staff, and Garry is thrilled that he has the pieces in place to really offer his clients the highest levels of quality and service.

“We went from one offset press to being able to do so much now, from digital printing and direct mail to promotional products. Our promotional products business continues to grow, thanks to our staff member Carrie. When she takes a phone call, we don’t just create plans for giveaways but we come up with a complete marketing plan that helps our clients get the most out of their promotional products campaigns.”

Excellence in Entrepreneurship

The Excellence in Entrepreneurship award is especially meaningful to Garry Conley because it is the culmination of all of the years of hard work and a validation of his business. “To even be nominated was huge, and to win, I can’t even describe the feeling.” He adds, “It was very emotional for me, and it was very important to be recognized by this group. These were the most important friends in the business community that I could have.”

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