Mike Boyd believes so much in the opportunities offered by an imprinting business he operates he plans to expand the franchise in Colorado.
In fact, Boyd hopes to oversee the development of more than 50 Instant Imprints locations in the state. And Grand Junction is among the first locations in which he’s looking for franchisees.
The Instant Imprints operation is unique, Boyd said, by combining multiple businesses into one. The company handles everything from apparel, embroidery and screen printing to banners, gifts and promotional products. The business model also offers high margins with low overhead and lifestyle-friendly hours, he added.
Based in San Diego, Instant Imprints operates franchises throughout the United States and Canada. Boyd and his wife, Linda, have operated an Instant Imprints franchise in Louisville for seven years and recently finalized an agreement to become area franchisees for Colorado.
Instant Imprints is the third franchise with which Mike Boyd has been involved. He also operated two McDonald’s restaurants and worked as a franchise consultant with the Entrepreneur’s Source.
With only two Instant Imprints operating in Colorado, Boyd said there’s ample room for more in locations across the state, including Grand Junction and the Western Slope.
Boyd said he’s enjoyed increasing sales at his Lousiville location since it opened. While sales leveled off a bit in 2008 and 2009 in the midst of the recession, sales rebounded in 2010. And 2011 was a record year, he said. The Louisville Chamber of Commerce named the Instant Imprints franchise its small business of the year based on its success and community outreach efforts, he added.
The diverse product line and convenience associated with one location drives a lot of repeat business, Boyd said, but with an important distinction. “They don’t always come back for the same thing.”
Since most of the products are provided on a customized basis, franchises don’t stock a lot of inventory, Boyd said. Rather, products are ordered from vendors and arrive within one to three days. Moreover, a small staff can handle most of the work, he added. That helps keep overhead low.
Boyd said he also likes the hours Instant Imprints franchises maintain — 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays. That makes the operation more conducive to franchisees who want to spent more time with families, friends and other pursuits.
Boyd said his new role as an area franchisee constitutes what he described as one part finding franchisees, one part training them and two parts supporting them and their operations.
Boyd said he’s looking for several attributes in potential franchisees — enthusiasm, teamwork and financial capacity. An Instant Imprints franchise requires an investment of about $170,000. Of that total, $100,000 goes into equipment and a leased space and $40,000 is set aside for working capital. The remaining $30,000 pays the franchise fee.
Given the level of support franchisees receive, they’re buying what’s virtually a turn-key operation, Boyd said.
Franchisees receive assistance in scouting, selecting and leasing space for their operations. Franchisees also receive four weeks of training, including a week at an existing location and two weeks at the San Diego headquarters, he said.
And Boyd himself will serve as a mentor to the franchisees he expects to recruit in Colorado. “I’m a fan of franchises and I know a lot about running a business.”