Thursday, January 10, 2013

What’s A Small Printing Company To Do?

The government classifies a small business as a company in the $20 million dollar range.  For a printing company that is not a very good, accurate or even fair figure. It might be the governments but it is not reality in graphics. But then the government just goes and looks at raw numbers, then crunches them down without a thought to the real world and not what makes a certain industry or company. Have these guys in Washington ever done a day’s work in their collective lives?

While the government may never come to understand the difference between small and midsize or even large you need to if you have not already done it.  The most critical difference is that different-sized businesses, in their industry need to approach working and competition in totally different ways.

Up until 2006, many small printing business owners where fat and sassy. Life was good.  They could sit back crunch off impressions and produce $3 to $5 million of revenue.  The demand WAS there.

Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not saying it wasn’t competitive but those times just don’t match the pressures and climate of today.

Today, the printing sector as a whole is in total dismay.  Technologies are pulling us in multiple directions, we are rethinking our marketing approach, our equipment purchases are directionless, as are the people we hire and the product and service we sell.

Then there is the very idea on being competitive.  And that’s where the big difference between the little guys and the bigger “little” guys becomes apparent.

If you have a big $200 million company maybe you can have a few strategists and business development on staff, people who can sit back and think about things on how the world of business works (or should work), people who can help guide a transitional paradigm shift, and there is a big paradigm shift going on for printers and related services. If you have this kind of person, these teams of experts are continuously looking for ways to streamline, refine and generate new business.

The small printing business doesn’t have that luxury.  That might be a good thing or not. I mean really, since when has a small business person been afraid of hard work. You’re on your own. It’s your life’s work on the line and all those hours you spent working? You’re out there working your butt off just to keep your doors open. Then here I come along saying you need to be putting in more time to focus on redefining your company, and plotting a course for new and strategic growth.

I see you having two options.  You can do all this plotting and positioning into a brave new world all on your own, and redefining your company by yourself.  Or, you can surround yourself with the kind of strategists (or better ones I would hope) that you’d find in a larger company.  People who can help you plot a new course.

You’re not the same as a $200 million company.  But if you want to succeed in today’s more competitive marketplace, you need to find a way to act like one.

Larson Notes & Satire:  We here at Larson & Associates have a new proposal for you.

We have taken the time and effort to put a strategy together for printers, advertising agencies, graphic artists, sign shops and other people in the graphic and creative community that takes them out of commodity selling and become a value added communication marketer for your clients and customers.

With a book of advisors to broaden your vision that can white label services that only the big guys can even start to think of for your accounts letting you become more that just a printer.

We bring
> New thoughts
> New ideas
> New perspectives
> New services
> New markets

If you are stuck in stagnant sales growth, rising costs, price pressure on margins and you think you can exist on what is expected in growth for 2013 at 2.4% do what you have always done.

But if you want more out of your business call us for an appointment.

“We don’t sell lists, we find customers.”

Howard Larson
Larson & Associates
Target Marketing & Telesales Professionals for new account acquisition
Making good businesses great and great businesses even better

P.S. We make telesales for small business affordable by offering programs down to only 15 hours a week. Maybe you could add telesales into your marketing mix call today and find out.

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