An Ontario-based Minuteman Press franchisee has described how his printing business was able to survive during the summer’s COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to continuing demand.
Rustum Fataar is the proud owner of two Minuteman Press branches in Kitchener and Cambridge, Ontario. When news broke of the COVID-19 virus and lockdown, he remained calm, saying:
I had managed the 2008 recession and we would manage this, too.
From the very start of the virus outbreak, Rustum put his workers first. He explained,
My largest concern was the well-being of my staff. We rode it out and stayed open because printing is an essential business. My employees were never without work, from the beginning.
In time, various staff members worked partly from home, but all received their full salary every month.
When the virus spread into Ontario, Rustum’s sons took responsibility for the two printing franchise units; Mujeeb working in Kitchener and Zayd in Cambridge.
The boys were at each store, every day with a positive attitude and they insisted my wife and I stay home and safe. We maintained decent sales through being inventive and coming up with pandemic-era solutions like branded floor decals, producing enormous amounts at each centre.
Mujeeb and Zayd’s innovation proved incredibly valuable for the businesses, as they could fill gaps in the market.
We devised ways to create counter screens (sneeze guards), with branding optional. We saw no one else producing them at the time and now, they are in big demand.
By June, the Minuteman Press franchise units no longer needed the government’s support. They were able to keep generating income by selling customised PPE, such as sneeze guards with schools’ names and mascots. Rustum added,
We stayed focused on our clients the entire time and while things aren’t as good as last year, we are satisfied things are getting better here.
Becky Martin, Point Franchise ©