US Army Veteran Ken Tays, who owns the Minuteman Press franchise in Newark, was recognized with the award for Veteran Business under $3 Million by the NJ State Veterans Chamber of Commerce (NJSVCC) and The American Legion at the recent Disabled Veteran and Veteran Business Summit held at Middlesex College in Edison.
The Summit connected over 100 Veteran-owned businesses with private companies and state agencies to help facilitate partnerships on upcoming projects. Tays says, “It was a real honor to attend the Summit, connect with so many other Veterans and supporters of Veterans, and receive such a prestigious award from the New Jersey State Veterans Chamber and The American Legion. My business, Minuteman Press in Newark, is a small, Veteran-owned franchise, and an event like this is really helpful and inspiring to me.”
Tays served in the US Army for 11 years and then earned his degree in financial services. He shares, “I worked as a Federal Bank Regulator for 12 years and then entered the private sector working for companies like PwC and Citibank. I decided to research franchise opportunities because I wanted to be my own boss.”
In 2019, Ken bought Minuteman Press in Newark. He took over the successful business from Holly Kaplansky, who retired after owning and operating Minuteman Press in the city for 15 years.
Tays says, “At its core, Minuteman Press International is a family-owned business. I went out to Long Island and CEO Bob Titus talked to me for an hour and a half. I was looking for a printing franchise that had that family-like atmosphere and wasn’t so corporate. The other franchises I looked into just didn’t have that same feel to them where I felt comfortable like I did with Minuteman Press.”
As for why Minuteman Press is the right fit for Veterans, Tays shares, “I feel like this is my business and yet Minuteman Press provides me with that security blanket of local support and guidance. I have no printing experience and the training and ongoing assistance from Jim Galasso and the local field staff here in Newark really helps me. I know I can contact anyone in the company and they will respond and be there without breathing down my neck all the time.”
When asked about the rewards of owning his own business, Tays’ first inclination is to say, “Work life balance. That is something I feel like I have even though I am working hard and always on. I love the challenge of running my own business and being responsible for everything. I spent a lot of time in corporate America making money for other people and I wanted to do this. There are ups and downs but it’s on my time.”
Tays’ advice for others who are looking into business ownership or franchising is, “I would say that I looked at a lot of businesses. Find something that is a good fit for you, and find a franchisor that has what you’re looking for. I spent several months doing my due diligence, and once you make that decision, you have to be committed.”
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