Business Spotlight: Minuteman Press
For this blog, the Chamber & EDC was pleased to sit down with Ramon Alvarez, President of Alvarez Enterprises, Inc., and owner of Minuteman Press, a small family business serving Colorado Springs as a full-service design, print, and direct mail provider. Ramon is a successful business owner in Colorado Springs and navigated the pandemic head on with solutions and ways to not only bolster his business, but to help the community.
Ramon applies his vast leadership and business experience to help businesses of all sizes create and execute print campaigns that integrate cohesively within their overall marketing strategy. Ramon’s experience includes executive positions in Domestic and International settings for Fortune 500 companies. Ramon has a BS in Business Management and MS in Organizational Leadership and International Management.
We hope the below Q&A helps business owners moving to Colorado Springs, new entrepreneurs, or anyone seeking advice from a seasoned professional.
You’re a member of several professional boards and organizations outside of your roles as owner of Minuteman Press and founder of Alvarez Enterprises Inc. How would you say this involvement has helped you grow your businesses in Colorado Springs? What advice would you give a new business owner relocating to the region?
Many mentors and leaders helped me along my professional journey, and I’m fortunate to be able to pay that forward in my community. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors for our Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC, I serve on the Board of Directors for the Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado, the Board of Directors of the Colorado Springs Hispanic Chamber, and consult businesses through the Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center, among other volunteer efforts. My purpose is to serve others wanting to succeed in business.
Although I volunteer my time in these organizations through my purpose of serving our community, the engagement creates visibility for my business. The visibility my small business receives influences some business leaders to give our small family business an opportunity to serve them through expert graphic design, full-service print, cool promotional items, and effective direct mail campaigns. The mission of our wonderful, high performing team then takes over, which is to create outstanding experiences through quality, speed, and reliability. Even as my involvement has provided our brand a certain degree of visibility, it’s our team that makes the difference, caring about serving every client as a VIP.
A new business owner relocating to our region has strong opportunities to engage in the community and leverage organizations poised to support them. Our community is experiencing excellent growth and creates an opportunity for new businesses to excel. I would recommend any business owner to follow their passion and engage in the community. Our clients tend to obtain products and services from a business they trust and whose impressions create positive perceptions, so engaging effectively in the community, with a purpose, can accelerate that trust. Those who do good, can do well.
You’ve been in Colorado Springs for about three years. What is the most innovative or rewarding project you’ve worked on with Minuteman Press or Alvarez Enterprises Inc. in your time here? In your opinion, what makes Colorado Springs a perfect location for innovative ideas?
Colorado Springs has been home to our small business for about three years now, although the region has been part of my professional territory since we moved to Colorado ten years ago. Colorado Springs was always a favorite market for me to visit and now I feel blessed to own a business here. Our community is fantastic. We are fortunate to have served thousands of clients since acquiring the business in 2019, and our reach has increased significantly. During the pandemic when 6 of our top 10 clients shut down, we became better at providing our clients ways to connect with their customers. Direct Mail campaigns-where we design, produce, and mail communication for our clients, became pivotal. Promotional items also became a key driver influencing brand impressions for our clients. We love the ability to customize every order for our clients, increasing their brand visibility. It’s very rewarding for us to serve businesses striving to succeed in the diverse Colorado Springs industries-from the owner operator to large scale organizations.
I believe Colorado Springs is an emerging powerhouse for innovation. Where in the country can a location offer such a diverse set of industries that can organically influence innovation? Aerospace & Defense, Space Command, IT & Cybersecurity, Manufacturing, and so much more! Those industries drive other business openings and opportunities for entrepreneurs to prosper in our region.
Given your experience opening retail locations from the ground up, and then expanding services to meet demand, what advice would you give upcoming entrepreneurs? How has networking and diversifying your business led to success?
I’ve been fortunate to have opened many retail locations, most with a footprint of over 200,000 square feet, in North American and South American markets. When I consult with upcoming entrepreneurs, I stress the importance of planning and leverage. Many entrepreneurs focus solely on their craft and could use more attention to their strategy and business plan. The good news is that we have many organizations willing to help entrepreneurs be successful. Our Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC, along with the other Chambers like the Hispanic, Black, and Women Chambers, are a great place to start. Other organizations like the Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center, and countless others, provide consultation, training, and development for upcoming entrepreneurs and existing small business owners. We must leverage our resources.
My purpose is serving others who want to succeed in business, while my small company, Minuteman Press of Colorado Springs, has a mission of delivering outstanding client experiences through quality, speed, and reliability. We still have much work to do and many businesses to serve. Networking has helped us grow our business by surrounding ourselves with experts who are great at what they do. We are stronger when we leverage those experts and surround ourselves with leaders better than us at what they do.
When the pandemic hit, we quickly realized that our growth strategy for year two needed to be shifted into year one. We diversified our business services to include categories that would help our clients connect with theirs. We even started providing vehicle wraps and large format services. Anticipating client needs, and working hard to solve their needs, has allowed us to continue to grow. The diversified portfolio of services creates a stronger need for top talent. We put a great deal of focus on top talent acquisition and retention, understanding that our people will determine our fate as a business. We are proud to serve our team, our businesses, and our community.