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Local Business Strategies: A Q&A with Minuteman Press Calgary Shepard

local business strategies

Today we are talking local business strategies with Theresa Daigle, the owner of Minuteman Press Calgary Shepard. Located in south Calgary, Theresa and her husband Dennis have been running their business since 2017, where they’ve had the opportunity to support local business in Calgary while growing their own. The last two years have brought about certain changes and challenges, but these inspiring business owners have persevered to continue to support their community.

Keep reading to learn about their experiences and the local business strategies they have adapted during this time!

1.   “Why do you think print remains so vital to local business strategy today?”

People like to say that say print is dead, but that’s just not true. Print is vital to almost every single business you interact with on a day-to-day basis. All it takes is to open your eyes to the world around you, where you’ll find printed mugs at your local coffee shop and signage on the side of the road during your daily commute. Don’t forget that the most common advertising you see is all print. You go into a store and are surrounded with labels, posters, window signs, and staff uniforms.

At work there’s mail that’s printed, flyers, offers etc., which is not even counting the print materials your team needs to get their jobs done: letterhead, envelopes, blueprints, manuals, and hard copies are an essential part of all kinds of businesses. The need to communicate with demographics of clients that simply trust print more than they trust digital will likely never disappear. When it comes to overdue statements, payroll, or invoices, you often need a paper trail to back up this important information. Of all the local business strategies you can adopt, print continues to be one of the most powerful tactics that stands the test of time.

Paper Products will always stand out

There’s a difference between transitioning to being more paperless in your office and in your personal life. On the fun side of things, everyone likes to receive paper birthday cards and holiday greetings. An e-card will never compare to the feeling of specialness a physical card brings. Print will always stand out among the digital communications we are bombarded with in our daily lives.

“Print is dead” comes from people marketing digital. Of course they would say such a thing. Print is a large category of marketing that encompasses all kinds of things from bus stop signs to billboards. Print is not going anywhere anytime soon.

2.    “What has it been like helping local businesses during the pandemic? Have you had to adapt your services as a result?”

We’ve adapted our services with the changing circumstances to offer the products our clients need, such as social distancing floor decals, safety signage, safety screens checklists, masks, etc. As an essential service, we have stayed open, using contactless pick up and delivery, reducing staff, and masking in store. One of the challenges we had to adapt to was the learning curve of providing graphic design services over zoom. Where we would have normally worked with the client seated next to us, watching the changes in real time, we found that there was a lot more back and forth with sending different versions of designs over after incorporating edits. Despite this challenge, we have prevailed and continued to offer our full suite of services during this time.

“Did the small business network change much during Covid-19?”

Surprisingly, very few of the businesses we work with did not survive Covid-19. It was very encouraging to see our clients adapting to new local business strategies and starting additional businesses to keep up with a changing landscape. Many of the new businesses were complimentary to the original business or filled in a gap that the original business didn’t quite fill. Some examples include a construction business branching out to offer a deep cleaning business, and certain essential trades expanding to offer in home services. By using their pre-existing skills and networks in a new way, many of our business clients adapted to the new circumstances.

3. “What advice would you give to other local businesses right now?”

Stick with it and persevere.

Every hard time passes. Nobody ever said that running business was easy, even under normal circumstances. People just need to be patient with themselves and with others. With supply chain issues there are going to be things that are out of your control like longer wait times, and higher pricing. You may have to compromise on the quality you are used to in order to get through it. Many of us are used to instant gratification, but its not a feasible reality anymore. Shipping containers get lost in the ocean, manufacturing facilities get shut down, trucks get stopped, this is just the way the things go sometimes.

Another harsh reality is that prices will rise and its not that people are trying to exploit you. Many business owners are reducing their margins as much as they can but there comes a point where a price increase or change to the business model is necessary.

Supply and demand of paper products has changed in funny ways

Has your online shopping increased over the pandemic? You’re not alone. The volume at which people are shipping things to their house has increased so dramatically that papermills are switching from making paper products to making cardboard boxes for shipping companies. Like every other business, papermills have had to adapt their local business strategies, and this is one of the ways they are responding to customer needs. Supply and demand for paper milling services makes our materials harder to come by, increasing both pricing and wait times. If your business is having similar challenges its important to focus on the things you can do to mitigate issues that are out of your control: order with plenty of time in advance of when you need your products and have patience while everything sorts itself out.

4.   “What are your most high-demand products and services that have really been helpful for your clients?”

Our most high demand products have been product manuals and product stickers for packaging. It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that these are popular products because of the increase in items that are being shipped to customers, as they require packaging before they can reach their destination.

Second in popularity are brochures with product information, price lists, and surveys. In the warmer months we see more orders put in for things like window decals and lawn signs.

5.   “What are some of the key ways you’ve grown your business?”

The most impactful ways we have grown our business have always stemmed from listening to the needs of our clientele. When we decided to buy a second blueprint printer to increase our manufacturing of blueprints, it was because our customers were struggling to find another print shop that offered this service in Calgary. Ever since we expanded this area of our business, we have kept both machines busy every day. We began offering dye sublimation and heat transfer services in house during Covid, because our customers told us that they were unable to find custom products they could purchase in small batches to suit their needs. In adopting this new service during Covid, we started supporting a local mug supplier in our community, which has positive effects that reach beyond Minuteman Press Calgary Shepard.


We hope you enjoyed this insight into our business’s inner workings and the one to one with our very own Theresa Daigle! We love having the opportunity to connect with you and look forward to working with you on your next print project.

Contact us anytime for a quote or consultation about your print needs!