Printing Impressions

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President

Perception IS Reality

By Ryan Sauers

About Ryan

Ryan T. Sauers is president of Sauers Consulting Strategies and spent nearly 20 years leading printing and promotional product companies prior to founding the firm. The organization consults with printing and promotional product related companies across the country, helping them grow the front end of their organization. Sauers is working on his Doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership and is the author of the top-selling book “Everyone Is in Sales”, with another book in the works.  He is a Certified Myers Briggs Type Indicator and DiSC Practitioner and Certified Marketing Executive. Ryan writes national feature articles and speaks at national conferences on such topics as sales, marketing, communications, leadership, organizational strategy and social media. He is also an adjunct university professor. More info at ryansauers.com.
 

The Family-Run Printing Company

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It is hard to separate the word family from a privately run printing business. Why? Most printing companies are run and/or influenced by family members. You will notice many such companies have the family name tied to the company. Moreover, I often ask people, in classes, training or speeches, if family businesses are good or bad. The answer I hear is both. There is an upside and downside to every family business. In some companies, I see family members treated as second class citizens, told to wait their time to move up and are really treated poorly. In other ones, I see long term and personal family issues playing out in the workplace and thus drama is everywhere. In other family printing businesses, family members come into the company at a high level whether they are great or bad performers...making these companies more like an entitlement focus than a results-based focus. 

So what does this mean? Family businesses are complicated, special, confusing, emotional and exciting. Yes, they are all of these things at the same time. Wow, does this seem overwhelming? Yes it is to many. However, not to me. My firm specializes in working with family businesses. Why? I love them. They are so much fun, yet quite complicated at the same time. However, the upside always overshadows the downside. You know the expression...blood is thicker than water. Of course, that does not include instances of family members stabbing or punching each other.

Many family-run businesses I work with in this industry cannot agree on where they want to go. Why? There are different generations involved in the process and in some cases various family members in each generation. All have different vantage points. If you are on the outside looking in, a family business looks like the perfect life. However, when you are on the inside looking out it can be quite complicated. 

Recently, I spoke to several family-run printing companies who are quite successful yet frustrated. They both told me the same thing. “Ryan, you get it. You have been in our shoes and bring real world understanding to help solve our front end issues.” The reason I share this is simple...they are right. How can a consultant in the printing industry truly help grow the front end of a family-run printing business if they have not lived it? Answer: they cannot. They have good ideas but have not lived it, which will only take them so far.

You see, if you have not been in a family business it is hard to understand one or consult with one. So if you are a family-run printing business looking to review your organizational structure, strategy, marketing focus, brand and sales performance...let us set a time to talk. My treat.

As I challenged you a couple weeks ago, there are three types of companies. Those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who wonder what happened. If you want to begin 2014 with a make things happen approach and are in growth mode and you are a family-run printing business...contact me. You will be glad we did and so will I.

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