Copying Kinko's Success

Kinko's founder Paul Orfalea talks about motivating employees, managing customers' emotions, and maintaining tidy bathrooms

Paul Orfalea started Kinko's in 1970 near the University of California at Santa Barbara. Today it has grown to more than 1,700 locations. Although its owner, Fed-Ex (FDX), is eliminating the Kinko's name (, 6/9/08)—replacing it with "FedEx Office"—the Kinko's story contains lessons for small business owners and entrepreneurs. On July 2, I had a wide-ranging conversation with Orfalea, who offered a bunch of ideas to help businesses stand out. I've synthesized them into three practices you can put in place in your own shop.

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