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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!

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Marketing During Calgary Stampede 2022

calgary stampede

Is your business ready for Calgary Stampede 2022?  

Last years Stampede wasn’t quite the same as it used to be, but this year promises another chance to do it up big. Planning for an event like this takes time, so if you don’t want to get bucked off your bronco before the bell even sounds, now is the time to get your Stampede-related marketing into motion. Each July, our city’s business efforts grind to a halt UNLESS conducted over a beer or a pancake breakfast – your marketing and branding needs to stand out to keep up.

It’s one of the most important times of year for business development and corporate relationship maintenance. So much business gets discussed during Stampede week. Maybe the contracts aren’t signed these 10 days but things get planned and finalized a couple weeks later. Love it, or hate it, the Stampede is a big deal for businesses in Calgary and you need to make sure you’re ready for it. Get your “YAHOO” on with these five Stampede marketing tips:

1. Ensure You Have Enough Business Cards

Whether you are attending a pancake breakfast or a beef-on-a-bun barbecue networking event, you need to be ready. If you are looking to expand or increase your sales and leads, make sure you always have your business cards on you. You have no idea who you are going to meet over a syrup-filled breakfast meeting, at the midway or cheering on your favourite chuckwagon team. Have fun with it. Make sure your business cards are imaginative and memorable. Afterall, jeans and a cowboy hat might be your attire of choice for a couple weeks but there 350+ other days in the year. Think about creating special cards just for the Stampede. Also, consider using a QR code so you are mobile-friendly.

2. Networking

Talking about pancakes and cowboy boots, events you can attend there are literally hundreds of business-related events you can attend. Or, consider hosting one of your own. Make use of these opportunities to attend all the breakfasts, parties and events possible. During these western-themed get-togethers, you have a natural ice-breaker to get a conversation started. Shine up your elevator pitch. Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself, your company and your line of business and talk a little work. Don’t forget to listen first – talk second. Be friendly and interested. And, be interesting in return – not just because of the hot-pink handkerchief around your neck. The city literally changes its personality for roughly two weeks. Take advantage of the relaxed atmosphere and do a little business.

3. Don’t Wear Horse Blinders

One of the best pieces of advice for marketing in Calgary during Stampede Week is to never stop looking for business opportunities. You just have to be ready to grab them when you see them. It might be as obvious as a sponsorship all the way to sharing a chat as you wolf down a dozen mini-donuts.

4. Host Your Own Stampede Breakfast

Consider hosting a breakfast for your company, your staff, your clients and your vendors. Send old-fashioned invitations by mail. Create posters for your staff to pass on to friends and family. This is a spectacular opportunity to get your name out there. Several businesses grind to a halt – maybe yours as well. Use this lull as a chance to communicate with your existing clients and NOT talk business. It may go without saying but NO SUITS ALLOWED. The wearing of jeans and a cowboy hat is *wink wink* mandatory. The breakfast may be free, but that doesn’t mean that people won’t come in the mood to spend future money with you.

5. Have a Little Fun

Embrace the opportunity to market the fun side of your business. Your image and brand awareness can evolve to exploit the moment. This can be as simple as temporarily designing a new logo. Or, have some fun and decorate your office with hay bales, faux wood corrals, etc. Plenty of businesses also use window signage to showcase their fun side.

6. Involve Your Team

The Calgary Stampede Parade is one the largest parades in North America. It is a single half-day event of the whole year. If your office is downtown, you may want to shut the barn doors for the morning. After all, unless you’re selling mini-donuts, you likely won’t be doing a lot of business that Friday morning anyhow. If that is impractical, maybe offer a rolling half-day off during Stampede to you’re your team an opportunity to attend/ engage with the events of the season. Let them wear jeans for the week and be a bit flexible with their time. Of course, you have a business to run, but remember, if they’re happy – they’ll be more productive. An appreciated employee will do more than expected. Also, if you are following through with #4 and hosting a breakfast, get them involved in the planning. Don’t force them to do anything they don’t want to do but maybe they are as excited about Stampede week as you are.


It is clear that the Calgary Stampede is a great time to do business, increase your company image and have a lot of fun. By the second Friday in July, with your eyes wide open, you’ll have found plenty of marketing in Calgary to shout, “Yahoo!” about. Designing and printing some of the ideas from above takes a bit of time. Reach out to our team today if you need some guidance on, “getting your Stampede on.” It’s not too early to start planning – and not just which jeans you are going to wear.
We Design. We Print. You Profit.

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Promote Your Rebrand – Tips for A Successful Rebrand In 2022 (Part 2)

Promote Your Rebrand

With the start of the year in our rear-view mirror, perhaps you started down the path towards a change in your business’s brand identity. Now you need to promote your rebrand to ensure it is successful. You’ve fully researched your rebrand purpose, competitors and timing. When you take all that time and energy (and investment) to refresh your brand, it is imperative you also allocate energy and resources to promote your rebrand.

You have developed a fancy new look and feel as well as content strategy. You’ve decided which digital and physical assets you are refreshing. You have started to replace the old with new putting your new brand everywhere it needs to be. You’re finally ready to show your rebooted brand off to the world. So, what’s the best way to go about it?

How to Promote your Rebrand Internally

In Part 1, we covered how to prepare for a successful rebrand. Here’s how to promote your rebrand both internally and externally. A successful rebrand starts with your efforts to promote your rebrand to your most valuable asset – your people. They work with your brand every day and as such, need to be fully on board with the whole story of the rebrand, from the purpose to the details of your new messaging and brand values. In this way, they can start living your branding and become your key brand ambassadors.

Ways to engage your people to promote your rebrand starts with the following:

Provide clear communication

Ensure your team is fully aware of the reason behind the rebrand. If they are unclear, they may attempt to fill in the blanks on their own which could have very negative ramifications. Unstated purposes could even lead them to question their own job security and reduce productivity and engagement. Be 100% transparent with staff about the reason for the rebrand.

Share the business case

Explain to your team what’s happening and what they need to do throughout the process. Provide background about the rebrand strategy including competitor research, persona targeting, service/product offering changes, etc. Explain how the rebrand fits into short-term and long-term company objectives as well as how these changes impact their individual roles in the organization. This has a dual purpose of ensuring your team knows how they fit into the overall picture but affords them the large picture scope to be able to communicate to your customers and prospects as well.

Provide your team with FAQs

If there’s one thing you can count on, it’s that a rebrand will spark lots of customer questions. Ensure your team is well versed in the most obvious answers. They need to not only know the answers but be provided the tools to answer customer questions in the way you want those questions to be answered.  

Get executive buy-in

This should be obvious but without C-level support and resources, your rebrand initiative could get mothballed before it even begins. Your company’s leaders should be whole-heartedly behind your rebrand. In fact, having their active participation can lead to a stronger chance of overall success. Enlist your company leaders to promote your rebrand to staff by becoming spokespersons for regular statements, blog posts and internal updates. A clear vote of confidence from the top will encourage your entire team to embrace and promote the rebrand fully.

How to Promote your Rebrand Externally

Per the previous section, you have educated your internal team on why you are rebranding and their part in the equation. Now it is go time!!

One thing to note, regardless of the tactics you use to promote your rebrand, you need to keep the overall focus on your audience. What’s in it for them? You will be full of excitement about your rebrand and looking forward to showing it to the world. However, the reactions to it could be wide spanning from your prospects and clients alike. Keep their motivating factors in mind as you successfully launch your rebrand.

Be Decisive

The best way to corral reactions is to make the transition as swift and decisive as you can. While you do not need to share your business plan with anyone, a comfortable level of transparency can persuade the naysayers to understand your branding decisions.

You should also explain to your customers and prospects their role in the change. Do they need to start following a different social media handle? Have their login credentials changed? Another healthy strategy as you promote your rebrand is to ask for feedback. This builds trust with customers who will feel they are being heard and their views are important to you.

6 Strategies to Promote your Rebrand

Below are 6 strategies to promote your rebrand successfully to your current clients, prospects and general public (future prospects) to make transition as smooth as possible.

  1. Use Teasers . Think about your excitement level for an upcoming movie. How did you find out about it? Likely, you saw a teaser promoting an upcoming event. While your brand refresh might not rank as high as your excitement for the next MCU movie or Nicholas Sparks novel-turned-into-blockbuster-hit, it still can gain traction and attention leading up to the big reveal. Let your loyal customers and followers in on your excitement by piquing their interest about the big changeover. Use email, social media posts and in-store signage. You don’t have to give away much; just enough to know a big ‘thing’ is happening on a certain date.
  2. Excite your brand ambassadors. Past and present customers who are loyal and enthusiastic about you and your business should be used to advocate the exciting changes. Your brand ambassadors are the customers most passionate about your brand, likely to organically talk positively about your business at the best of times. Let them in on the news early and possibly even incentivize them to spread the word through loyalty codes and discounts.
  3. Provide FAQs. Within the internal promotion section we covered arming your staff with answers to commonly asked questions. Many of these same FAQs can be shared more broadly in an article on your website, social media, email or a FAQ page to send interested parties to.
  4. Leverage Public Relations. You can leverage traditional news sources through the use of public relations as an extremely effective to promote your rebrand. A rebrand makes for an interesting news story, so help your local journalists by spoon-feeding them a potentially interesting community piece. Provide press releases announcing the rebrand and have comments – and stakeholders for interviewing – ready to share for their publication.
  5. Don’t under-estimate Behind The Scenes (BTS). Let the public see the wizards behind the curtains. Invite them BTS. Behind every rebranding process is a story about a business. Your business. Provide posts, articles, videos about what made you want to rebrand. How did you go about doing it? What are your hopes for the future now that it’s done. It can be a fun an interesting experience for others to understand the logic and process of changing your logo for example.
  6. Storytelling is a powerful way to market your business because it adds a human element to the new. You have the ability to get people engaged with you on an emotional level.


Need help promoting your rebrand? Reach out to Minuteman Press Calgary Shepard. We can help with creative design aspects as well as developing an in-depth marketing plan to make sure your efforts pay off.

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Tips for A Successful Rebrand In 2022 (Part 1: Strategizing Your Rebrand)

successful rebrand

With the new year upon us, this might be the perfect time for a change in your business’s brand identity. A freshened look and feel has value for your business for various reasons. Every successful rebrand (or refresh) should be conducted with purpose, consistency and delicacy not to alienate existing customers.

Below we share tips covering strategy, design and execution of your successful rebrand in 2022. In Part 2, we cover how to successfully promote your rebrand.

First, Why Rebrand?

The “how you do a rebrand” may in part be answered by the why. If you don’t know why you’re doing it, the level of success you have will likely be impacted. You need to be 100% behind it to ensure you execute a successful rebrand. Common reasons for a rebrand could include the following:

  • Perhaps you want to target a new geography or grow your territory
  • Maybe there is a new target group your products or services could solve for
  • Perhaps you offer new line of products or services that stretch the confines of your existing branding
  • Sometimes a new website triggers need for full rebrand across all mediums
  • Maybe a merger or acquisition necessitates a brand refresh
  • Maybe its as simple as you’ve had the same look and feel for over a decade (every 5-7 years is industry standard.)
  • In some cases, rebranding can help a struggling brand move away from a bad reputation

No matter the reason, it is important to understand why you are doing it.

Overhaul vs. Tweak

Are you ripping off an old Band-Aid and redoing everything? Or do you simply need to tweak your image to reach new people or inspire a plateaued audience? A partial rebrand is perfect if you want to give your identity a facelift or modernize it a bit. If a total overhaul is what you’re after, make sure you spend enough time researching and planning to be sure you have a successful rebrand.

Big or small, these are the common elements of a rebrand. Your efforts can include any or all of these:

  • Your Logo         They say a picture is worth 1,000 words. Well, a logo could be the difference between 1,000 potential customers.  It stands out front of your business representing everything you and your products stand for. Make sure you spend enough time designing your new logo. Since this opportunity is already a huge step for your business, don’t be afraid to go branch out to something new – even if it might feel less conservative.
  • New Name       Renaming is not a part of every rebranding exercise, but it is quite common to break away from the old when a purchase, acquisition or merger occurs.
  • New Marketing Strategy or Promotion          Content strategy and tactical messaging is an essential component of any successful rebrand. How you use messaging to connect with new and old customers will dictate how big your refresh/rebrand needs to be.
  • Brand Story      Telling your story – how your products and services perfectly solve the problems and needs of your customers – is what all branding should entail. Is your rebrand telling a new story that needs to be created or reframing an existing story?
  • New Website    Depending on your business model and the extent of your presence online could mean a rebrand is simply a new website. However, implementing a new look is also a good time to infuse your infrastructure with new technology and upgrades.

Caution: Rebranding Pitfalls to Avoid

Not all rebrands work the way originally intended. To ensure your successful rebranding, avoid these three common mistakes:

  1. Do not jump ahead to design. Your rebranding strategy is as important as the elements of the brand themselves. You need to strategize the various elements of your rebrand. Knowing how you going to roll it out is crucial to a successful rebrand.
  2. Having a plan to roll out a new look and getting your team on board must include a reasonable budget and allotment of time (it always costs more and takes longer than you initially think it will), research, a project timeline, goals, and realistic expectations. Will you allow the exhaustion of existing collateral to take place gradually over time, release the brand one medium at a time or will you update all collateral and mediums on the same day?
  3. Do not alienate your existing target, customers and prospects. Unless you’re completely changing your entire service/product offerings, it’s essential to keep your existing audience on board with big changes.
  4. New and bold is good but avoid confusing and/or unnecessary. At the onset, we hit home the fact you should only rebrand if there is a purpose. Stick to the purpose and make logical changes for that purpose.

Consider a Checklist for a Successful Rebrand

Your successful rebrand checklist can likely be broken into physical (print, signage, internal forms, etc.), digital (web, social, online advertising) and corporate cultural and branding itself (mission, vision, brand manifesto, job postings, etc.). Below is a (non-exhaustive) checklist to get you started:

Corporate Culture

  • Your brand values
  • Unique Selling Proposition
  • Sell lines / tag-lines
  • Brand manifesto
  • Tone of voice guidelines
  • Brand style guide 
  • Job postings

Digital assets

  • Web domain(s)
  • Social media accounts (do new handles need to be initiated?)
  • Online advertising (Google Ads, Facebook, etc.)
  • Email templates
  • SEO and metadata on web pages

Physical assets

In short, just about every touchpoint your business has with the rest of the world may need to be updated for you to achieve maximum chance of a successful rebrand.


A rebrand can be a tweak or a complete overhaul of your business look, feel and positioning. Exciting? Absolutely. Daunting? It doesn’t have to be. Once you’re clear on your goals for rebranding and you’ve decided on the scope of the project, it’s time to get started on making it happen. 

Need a hand in making a successful rebrand? Reach out to Minuteman Press Calgary Shepard. We can help with creative design aspects as well as developing an in-depth marketing plan to make sure your efforts pay off.

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6 Ways a Print Shop has got your Childcare Business Covered

Print Marketing For Your Daycare

The services provided by childcare professionals play an important role in the everyday lives of many families, and a print company can be called upon to help them in their work. 

If you run a daycare in Calgary, you already know how rewarding and challenging the everyday grind can be. Where do you find time for marketing your daycare? How can you attract new candidate families every year? A sound strategy for marketing your daycare is critical to the success of your business, whether you’re an established childcare center or a home-based start-up.  Are you ready to take your daycare business to the next level? Let’s get started! Minuteman Press Calgary Shepard has the six best ways of marketing your daycare. Follow along as we attempt to assist you with promoting your facility so you can quickly grow 

Six best ways of marketing your daycare 

It goes without saying that your facility won’t make any money unless you’re able to market your daycare effectively. If parents don’t know about you, they can’t learn to like and trust you. The following daycare marketing tips will help you develop a winning strategyOur tips below include: 

  • Marketing Your Daycare: Branding 
  • Marketing Your Daycare: Marketing Materials 
  • Marketing your Daycare: Direct Mail 
  • Marketing your Daycare: Get the Word Out  
  • Marketing your Daycare: Be Creative 
  • Marketing your Daycare: No Money Solutions

1. Marketing Your Daycare: Branding 

Branding your daycare is important because people purchase on emotion. Parents will choose your business if it shares their values, especially when it comes to their children. At a glance, your prospects need to be able identify you and your branding. Without a branded identity, you’re just another daycare in the neighbourhood. To identify your branded image, you must consider how you’re different from your competitors. What differentiates your business from the next one? You also must understand your customers, and what motivates them.  

Skilled graphic design can visually transform your daycare’s branded identity from conception to something that truly moves the needle. Your daycare colors, logo, fonts, tone, website, and other marketing materials are all a reflection of your branding. The goal is for your prospects to be able to glance at your material and instantly recognize who it’s from and what you stand for. When you achieve this, you’ve developed an excellent daycare brand identity. 

2. Marketing Your Daycare: Marketing Materials 

There are numerous tools online to assist every business with templates and more. A mistake many daycares make is printing their own marketing materials. They view marketing as an expense when it is an investment designed to make money. Professionally printed material will always achieve more responses than desktop-printed materials. We are obviously biased, but we highly recommend you choose an affordable printing company such as Minuteman Press Calgary Shepard to deliver your message with accuracy, quality, and professionalism. Some suggested (must-have) daycare printed marketing materials: 

  • Business cards are inexpensive and expendable. Print as many as you can hand out, and make sure everyone you meet has one.  
  • Postcards are likewise cost effective and a great way to get your clientele to take a closer look at your daycare. 
  • Posters, strategically placedcan grab attention. Place them on community bulletin boards, grocery store corkboards and large institutions in your geography (large firms, universities, offices, etc.) 
  • Flyers, like posters can be placed on bulletin boards and anywhere else your target audience frequents. Under windshield wipers in the grocery store parking lot is also aoption.  
  • Booklets can be an extremely effective approach to daycare marketing Educate parents on child development, programs, differentiators, etc. Not only will your booklet add value and have shelf life, but it will also demonstrate that you’re an expert in this field and build trust and confidence. 
  • Brochures give you a means to inform parents on everything they need to know about your daycare so they can make sound childcare decisions. 

Calendars. Who doesn’t like calendars? Make your calendars kid-friendly and interactive. You can include important date reminders, stickers, vivid images, and other fun add-ons that draw attention to your company all year long. 

Greeting cards are the perfect reflection of your very personal business. Parents’ children trust your business with their most important assets. Greeting cards are an easy and efficient way of showing your appreciation.  

Stickers are a hit with kids and parents alike. They’ll get used. Everywhere.  

Printed newsletters are a perfect take-home to keep your parent clients informed on everything all year long.  

Some non-printed marketing must-haves include a uniquely branded and conversion-focused website, social media, email newsletters, and even TV/Radio.   

3. Marketing your Daycare: Direct Mail 

You have several options for designing your daycare direct mailMaybe you can design direct mails on your own. If not, you should hire a professional designer with the experience and skill needed. The DIY method is free, but if you’re not a graphic designer you’ll likely sacrifice quality. A professional designer like the team at Minuteman Press Calgary Shepard provides could be just the ticket. No matter whether you do it yourself or outsource your direct mail, you need 4 things: 

  • Craft a powerful headline 
  • Highlight your benefits 
  • Develop an incredible offer 
  • Motivate with a call to action 

4. Marketing your Daycare: Get the word out 

You must get the right message in front of the right audience, at the right time. And, each year, there are new challenges to fill your spots. Not to mention mid-year fills. As indicated previously, direct mail is one of the best ways to reach your prospects. Repetition is keyInstead of one postcard campaign, develop a strategy that incorporates multiple direct mailers during a six- or 12-month period. A long-term strategy contributes to your daycare branding efforts and allows you to develop long-term relationships. On top of direct mail, ensure your facility is listed with all the pertinent online advertising sites (Google My Business, Yelp,, etc.). Your best and least expensive advertisement is referrals and word-of-mouth. Word of mouth is daycare providers’ secret weapon. If one parent has a great experience, other parents will want their children to get a similar experience. In addition, make sure friends, family, and colleagues know what you do and are prepared to spread the word for you.  

5. Marketing your Daycare: Be Creative 

Sometimes, you need to think outside of the box. Creative marketing builds awareness, delivers valueand increases profits for you. Over the course of the year, you can try combinations of above with the below: 

  • Hosting an event can help you connect with the community – your clientele and prospects alike. Show them what you’re all about. Engage parents and children in fun family activities. And of course, have plenty of the above communicated print materials on hand to give away. 
  • Collaborating with complementary and non-competing businesses gets you in front of a whole other set of targets. It also allows you to split the cost of the event and giveaways. A joint newsletter sent regularly could also offer tips and tricks and simultaneously market your collective businesses.  
  • Creative message placement can make all the difference.  
  • Promote your unique differentiators 
  • Sell complementary products and services could be promoted to existing clientele as upsells or as loss leaders to bring in long-term daycare clients.  

6. Marketing your Daycare: No money Solutions 

A sound marketing campaign is the best way to market and grow your daycare. However, if you’re limited on funds, don’t worry. You can get started with little to no money. Start by engaging and networking your friends and family to see if they know families needing childcare services. Use your social media sites like Facebook and get your listing published in any/all free classifieds sites as possible.  

Post Press 

Childcare providers offer an invaluable service to most Canadian families. They supply a safe and educational environment for the children in their care, and in turn, they call on print companies to provide them with many of the materials they need during their day-to-day operations. No matter what type of daycare you’re operating – home-based, childcare facility, or preschool – you need to commit to a consistent marketing strategy to succeed. High-quality marketing materials will help you showcase the quality of your daycare, while intelligent marketing investments will help you yield greater return on investment. Don’t know where to begin, contact the team at Minuteman Press Calgary Shepard. We Design. We Print. You Profit. 

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Don’t Let Supply Chain Issues Squander Your Holiday Promo Plans!

Supply Chain Issues

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Would you believe us if we told you that Its time to start thinking about getting your product orders in for the winter and holiday season? While an early reminder never hurts, its especially relevant this year. Many factors are at play in 2021 that pose potential delays in raw materials and/or finished goods delivery times to our vendors and to us directly.  We source Canadian and local whenever and wherever possible but sometimes the raw materials originate from elsewhere. To ensure you receive your Q4 orders in time for holiday or new year timeframes, we recommend you consider planning and ordering them as early as today. Our Minuteman Press Calgary Shepard team are looking forward to working with you on your holiday orders such as promotional productscalendars and greeting cards to name a few. 

Although the situation remains uncertain, proper planning will ensure that you get what you need on time. Save yourself the time and stress by thinking ahead, your future self will thank you!  

Contact us today to start the conversation. 

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6 Effortless Ways to Use Print Marketing in Your Business

Print Marketing

There are plenty of things that come along with running a business that take time and work to do well. But what if we told you that marketing doesn’t have to be so complicated? It’s true. You can get fantastic results in relatively effortless ways by being smart about the tactics you use and being resourceful with the strategies you have available.

Through our experience in this industry, we’ve learned a thing or two about print marketing tactics and are excited to share our helpful tips below. Keep reading to find out how you can effortlessly market your business using print materials.

1.   Create Eye-Catching Signage

The convenient thing about signage is that its big, its visible, and you can use it to passively attract your audience’s attention. A well-designed sign is a powerful tool to draw curious eyes to your shop or business that will get people to look twice.

You can use this opportunity to be clever and witty or show off your clean professional design. There’s a million ways to capitalize on this tried-and-true print marketing strategy so have fun with it and see what it can do!

2.   Use Brand Consistency to Your advantage

You’ve already put in the work to brand your company – the signature colours, special fonts, and logos are already established. Using this toolkit to create promotional material that is on brand is easy once you’ve created your brand kit, which you can repurpose over and over again. Consistently sticking to your branding will not only make the design process a breeze every time, but it will contribute to your brand’s unique image and build familiarity with your customer network.

3.   Put a Logo On It!

One of the most low maintenance ways you can advertise your company is to let it advertise itself. How, you ask?

Branded apparel is walking, talking advertising. Your team and clients will be happy to represent your brand with great-looking t-shirts, jackets, etc. When someone asks where they got it, a conversation about your business will arise. The principle behind this is getting your logo out into the world for people to see. You don’t have to limit yourself to apparel either, branding all your products, when possible, with stickers or vinyl decals is a critical print marketing strategy that you don’t want to overlook. It’s the easiest way to associate your brand with your products and to build recognition.

4.   Keep in Touch with Your Customers

Securing that coveted “lifetime customer” is a goal that many businesses strive to attain – for good reason. Building a loyal customer base is a worthy goal that will grow your business over time and attract high value consumers who will come back to you again and again for your product or service, refer you to their friends and family, and support you through the highs and lows of business.

All it takes to facilitate this kind of community is maintaining a customer- centered mindset by continuing to care for them after they’ve made their first purchase. You can do this by reaching out with holiday greeting cards a couple times a year, or by building a customer database that will keep you informed of when they may need more supplies, what they usually purchase, and other personal details. Things like this make a huge difference in getting customer referrals and repeat business over time.

5.   We design. We print. We Take it Out of Your Hands

The great thing about hiring a print company like us is that we take care of the heavy lifting so you can rest easy knowing that your projects are in capable hands. Our in-house designer will tune everything up to standard so we can produce your high-quality items. From start to finish the Minuteman Press Calgary Shepard team will take care of you and make implementing your print marketing strategies a breeze.

Less time spent worrying about the details = More time you can devote to running your business.

6.   Business Builder Bundles

Lucky for you we’ve gone ahead and compiled everything you need to start you off with one easy package. Our Business Builder Bundles come in four options:

  1. The Brick & Mortar Bundle
  2. The Travelling Office Bundle
  3. The Manufacturing Bundle
  4. The Office Bundle

For example, the Office Bundle has all the print marketing you need to get started – business cards, envelopes, letterhead, notepads, and postcards. There’s no easier way to cover all your essentials in one fell swoop! Check out our packages to find out which one best suit your needs and give us a call today to get started!

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We hope this article has helped set you on the right path to taking full advantage of print marketing. These strategies have withstood the test of time for a reason, and we can’t wait to see where they’ll take your business! Place your order today!

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Business Cards 101

Business Cards 101

When was the last time you refreshed your business cards?

Used from professional workplace settings all the way to more casual events like festivals and conventions, you’ll find that your business cards come in handy in a multitude of occasions. If you haven’t already been carrying them, you’ll soon wonder how you got by without them. It’s infinitely easier to hand someone a card with your phone number on it than to exchange numbers or spell out an address.

A business card is the perfect opportunity to show off how creative and innovative your company is. Having a tangible item with your company’s information on it is a powerful asset to your marketing materials, especially an item that’s compact and portable in size. You should never underestimate the power of a great design. Yes. They are business cards. But they’re also loyalty cards, coupons, invoices, recipe cards, hang tags, appointment cards… Because those paper rectangles can be almost anything you like. Even (weird but true) Business Cards.

Keep reading to find out how to create knockout business cards that will wow potential customers and make you look great.

Designing Your Business Card

Use Your Logos!

This is the IDEAL place to make most of the amazing logos you’ve designed for your company.

In many ways, your logo is the face of your company, so it just makes sense to put it on your business cards. Play around with the placement and size to come up with a design that looks great and fits the information you need to include.

Keep in mind that you should try to include a version of your logo that incorporates your company name or allows you to still put your company name somewhere on the card, so that people who’ve never seen your branding before know who you are.


If you’ve already developed your brand guide, this part will be easy. If not, its likely you already have some signature colours that your brand uses to be recognizable.

Colours will make your business cards pop, drawing customers eyes to the stack on your desk, or catching their attention later when its on their kitchen table or in their car glove compartment. Through colour, you can influence the way people feel about your brand. Conjure up a positive and cheerful vibe with yellow, or take a professional tone with shades of blue, it’s up to you! Just make sure to use high contrast colours (light vs dark) for text, as you want to make sure it’s easily readable.


You can use a hierarchy of size to show people what’s most important on your business card. The name and logo of your company should command the biggest presence, followed by your contact information and any other details you want to include. A good practice to maintain is not to go smaller than 8pt font to maintain readability – after all, you want to make it as easy as possible for people to find you!

As for the size of the card itself, the standard size is 3.5 in by 2 in. However, there’s no law saying you have to stick to this. Feel free to change the orientation or size of your business cards as you please, just keep in mind that they may not fit in traditional card holders or wallets.


Another great way to add personality to your business cards is by using fonts to complete the look of your brand.  Make sure you choose something that is eye-catching, but beware using more than 2 or 3 fonts at once since it can make it hard for people to read.

There are 2 main types of fonts that are most commonly used: Serif, and sans-serif. Serif refers to the small stylistic lines attached to the ends of block letters which makes them a bit easier to read. The text you’re reading right now is sans-serif, which is better for when you are using small text as it appears less crowded. Choose which font style makes the most sense for your design or use both if appropriate.


Your choice of materials matters! Heavyweight cardstock is a must for a business card that will stand up to wear and tear. Keep in mind that the more unique/premium your materials are, the more it will cost to produce. You can mitigate this by downsizing the card and only choosing 1 or 2 fancy extras. Being able to customize the details of your business cards down to the weight of the paper is all part of the fun!

Don’t Forget the Info!

After all, the primary objective of your business cards is to promote your business. Make sure people will be able to find you by including your name and contact information. You can also take this opportunity to promote your social media handles, address, and website if you want to. Consider thinking outside the box by including a QR code that links straight to your site, there’s endless opportunities to make a statement with what you put on your business cards.

Be Thoughtful About Your Canvas

Don’t forget that you can make the most of BOTH sides of your business card. Consider featuring a graphic image or logo on one side, and the informational details on the other. Make sure to use the space to the best of your ability without cluttering it up, after all, you want your business cards to look clean, professional, and high quality. Crowding your cards with too many elements will achieve the opposite.

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Now that you have the tools you need to design effective and eye-catching business cards, we can’t wait to see what you come up with! Let us help you bring your vision to life with our premium prints and contact us today to place an order!

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Six Essentials You Need to Include in Your Brand Guide

Brand Guide

If you have never heard of a brand guide, stop everything you’re doing and read this blog all the way through. When most people hear branding or brand, they think of visuals only, but it’s far more than that. It is who your business is perceived to be, the feeling your customer gets when they see your name, and it’s imperative you know what that is and do all you can to control it. Brand guides are your guiding light to ensure your branding stays cohesive and true to who you are. It allows you to convey to your staff, your investors, and your customers that you know exactly who your brand is and that you are experts in your field. It’s that important. Here are six essentials you need to include in your brand guide:

1. Mission Statement

This is usually the first thing that businesses create as part of their business plan, so you probably already have this written. Your mission statement should explain your business’s current purpose in two-to-three very poignant sentences. It should be included in your brand guide as it tells your reader what your company’s current focus and capabilities are. All the company branding should support that focus.

2. Vision Statement

Mission and vision statements are similar and often confused. A mission statement states your current goals and capabilities, whereas a vision statement establishes your goals for the future, i.e. Your company’s vision for the future. How will your company’s product or services affect the world in the future if you continue your path set out in your mission statement? Including a vision keeps your team focused on the future and sets the tone for the rest of the document. It is not a static statement and should be revisited from time-to-time.

3. Target Audience

To create your mission and vision statements, you had to consider your target audience and what you are offering. How can you create a product (solution) for someone you do not understand? Your target audience’s demographics, behaviours, pain points, and psychographics should be included in your brand guide. Simply put: How old is your target market? What do you know about that age group? What do they do for a living? How do they make their purchase decisions? What problems do they have with their current solution and how can you help them? How will you reach them? Are they on social media or do they read journal articles? It helps to find a few ideal customers who you already have or to imagine an ideal customer. A general idea of your target market is good, but a few specific personas will really give your staff insights into who they’re talking to and how best to help them.

4. Personality

Your brand is its own entity. It has its own personality, and everyone needs to be clear about what that is. As we said in the beginning, your brand is a perception by your customers. It’s something that you cannot fully control, but you must establish ground rules to put what you want to be known for out there. You can do this by simply defining your brand personality in descriptive words. Are you a company who wants to be known for its high-end suits? Perhaps your adjectives could be elegant, sophisticated, simple yet elevated, respectful, polite, calm. Are you a childcare company who wants to be known for high standards of care? Perhaps your adjectives could be educated, fun, active, healthy, child led learning, professional, kind. These adjectives don’t mean your staff can’t step out of this box, but they give them an idea of what you expect them to convey to the client.

5. Tone of Voice

Tone of voice goes along with personality. Now that we know what our personality is, how does our company talk? If you are elegant and sophisticated, would you share a silly meme? Is there room for that in your branding? If there are certain terms or taglines that you want to be known for then you should include them here. For example, you may not want to say no to a client and instead you want your staff to always say, “May I offer you an alternative.” If your team members should always be known as “crew” then that should be listed here. This way, your staff will know what words they can use to effectively represent your brand.

6. Look and Feel

This is also known as design, but it’s more than that. Design is a tool to give your customer the feeling that you want your company to be known. This section should include logos, logo placement, brand colour palette, fonts (typography), and imagery. This is the most visible part of your branding and its what people will see first and remember most. Therefore, though it is incredibly important, it is number six for order of creation. Your design must represent all of items one through five and must not be done before they are established so you can be sure you understand the messaging you are sending out into the world before you create it visually.

  • Logo placement should show examples of how your logo should be used and not used. Be as detailed as you can. Where can your logo be on a poster or on a social media post?
  • Fonts (typography) should give examples of different fonts across platforms and where they should be used in documentation and imagery to keep a cohesive look.  
  • Colour palette: These should list HEX/ RGB Codes for digital media and CMYK for print.
  • Imagery: Acceptable images should be described and shown as examples. Also define what is not acceptable. Establish the goals and how you want these images to make your customers feel.

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Like all things in business, stay agile and revisit what is working for your business. Don’t be afraid to ask your employees (your primary customers) what their first impressions are and involve them in your evaluations. Your brand guide will help each of your stakeholders understand who you want your brand to be and how to ensure it is known for those things. Involving your employees will allow you to see if your plan is working or needs a refresh.

A brand guide eliminates guess work when you need something sent to a contractor or to your friendly neighbourhood printer. Your printer will have far less questions and it will expediate the process as everyone will have a solid understanding of what you want to say with your branding. We love brand guides at Minuteman Press Calgary Shepard. We also love you too, so we want you to succeed. We are experts in design and branding and we are happy to help. Contact us for a consultation today because We Design. We Print. You Profit.

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Show Your Prospects, Customers and Employees Some Love with These Seven Swag Items


The weather is getting warm, and we are all getting into our summer, feel-good moods. Prepare for the inevitable urge to spread some love around by getting some branded swag. Your prospects, customers and employees will appreciate the thought you have put into their needs. Swag has an ulterior motivation as well. We also want your business to get your name out there. Always remember that if it’s functional then it will be used daily. The more an item can be used, the more likely your name will come up in conversation and lead to sales. Here are our top seven swag suggestions to offer your customers and employees.

1. Social Distancing Supplies

We know that everyone and their Aunt Sally are making masks, but have you noticed that it’s become a fashion trend? Latch onto that trend and allow your employees and customers to express themselves with your brand. The public will not even have to ask, “Where did you get that mask?” because it will be written on their face. Get your brand on this fashion runway called life!

2. Clothing

Well-constructed, branded apparel gets worn. Help your clients and customers look good while representing your brand. The more stylish the garment, the more likely it will be worn in public and that your name will be shared with the world. Choose something like a hoodie or a fashionable t-shirt.

3. Pens

People love pens. Pens are inexpensive to produce and very functional – even in the digital age. Who doesn’t look around their office or home and search for a pen to write that note while they’re talking on their phone? Give them a few extras. That way, when they reach to find that pen they’ve been searching for, they will see your name and remember you.

4. Notepads & Calendars

Where there are pens, there must also be notepads to write on! Notepads can be given with your branded pens or on their own. Print a to-do list with a magnet added to the back so it can be placed on a fridge or filing cabinet.
No one wants to buy a calendar, but we all need one. Ease your employees or your customer’s minds and offer them a branded calendar as a gift. You are giving them one less thing they need to purchase and leaving them a daily reminder of your company.

5. Stickers

Fun stickers are always a great swag giveaway. Stickers are especially popular with children. Parents love it when their children are offered something in a store, especially a store where children may not be engaged. It makes them feel welcomed instead of an inconvenience. It also distracts the children so they can allow their parent to shop in your store and make a purchase.

6. Hot & Cold Beverage Containers

Give the gift of hydration! A tumbler or coffee/ tea mug is the perfect ‘just because’ gift for anyone. When it is branded, each sip reminds them of you and the great times you have shared together. Positive affect is the best feature of this swag item.

7. Custom Gifts

Your employees move mountains for you and your company. As a small business, your staff is more like family than employees. Giving them a personalized gift will make them feel special, valued, and show that you are loyal to them. Custom gifts are also appropriate to thank a long-term customer for their business or a customer who made a large order.


So, what are you waiting for? Get on choosing the swag that will make your special someone(s) feel loved and keep your business in their hearts and minds. There are so many ways you can use print, so get creative. We can help you choose the right swag to keep your business top of mind with your customers while showing them some love. Let us help you because here at Minuteman Press Calgary Shepard We Design. We Print. You Profit.