5 Ways Printers Can Keep that Fire in the Belly

There are few cash cows left in the printing industry so some owners need to revamp their thinking.

  • Get more psyched about their business.
  • Get self-motivated again.
  • Embrace new opportunities such as QR codes, social media, or marketing services passionately.

Maturing owners may need to give themselves a pep talk to prepare mentally for one last business push that will take them through the next 10 or 20 years. I know it stinks that many maturing owners are having to push their retirements out a few years this late in their careers. Grandchildren are entering the picture. Buddies with pensions going golfing without them. It’s a tough pill to swallow.

These industry veterans have already pushed hard in their 20s or 30s to get to this point, and now they are staring at the necessity to burn the midnight oil again. Maybe they don’t have the energy they once had. I can relate, as I turn 50 this year. AARP wants me and the offers are filling up my mailbox!

Last week, I spoke with a print owner who inspired this article. He said he felt like going home and “pulling the covers over my head.” He has children and a wife working in the business and is watching their hard-earned savings wither away. Their sales have slipped 40 percent over the past four years. He made a mistake buying a new four-color offset press instead of a digital one and the payments killed him; he lost the new press earlier in the year. Now he’s stuck with a small, ill-equipped digital press and feels behind the eight ball.

Maybe you know someone in a pickle who is hoping things turnaround, or just doesn’t know where to turn or what to do. There is hope.

The following are a few things to consider when trying to figure out a way to keep the fire in the belly, or regain it if you lost it. Every printer has assets that were created and developed over the years. There is plenty to be cheerful about.

Michael Casey is the founder of Survey Advantage and strategic partner with several printer associations and franchises. By leveraging information from a printer’s estimation and production software, Mike’s business has helped hundreds of printers automate their customer feedback and lead generation process. He may be reached via e-mail or (401) 560-0311 ext. 103. Read printer case studies on the Survey Advantage Website.
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