COMMERCIAL PRINTING -- Running Lean and Mean
"But, 74.9 percent said we are going to grow by gaining market share from competitors, 22.8 percent said by getting work from competitors who have gone out of business, and 9.2 percent said they are going to grow from mergers and acquisitions," the economist reveals. "While those three approaches are perfectly legitimate, sound ways to grow a business, they represent a redistribution of market share, not growth in the market."
For that reason and others, not everyone is going to participate equally—or at all—in the upturn, Paparozzi says. Printers have to position their businesses for growth, he argues. "The upturn is not going to look much different from the recession for companies that are not prepared for growth."
According to the NAPL economist, every printer—regardless of size or market—needs to address four questions:
1) How do I gain share in markets that are not growing fast enough for everyone to benefit?
2) How do I protect share in markets that are becoming a lot more competitive in a variety of ways, and from new sources of competition?
3) How do I evaluate the cost, challenges and realities of diversification beyond print?
4) How do I insulate my company from the commodity market that will always be subject to the vagaries of the economy?
How effective printers are at addressing those four questions will determine who participates fully in and who misses out on what's likely to be a very strong upturn, Paparozzi concludes.
Other Unknown Factors
Davis agrees with Paparozzi's assessment that terrorism is the major unknown for the economy. Businesses of all types do face some known challenges, as well, he adds. Health insurance costs are still rising at double-digit rates, and so are property and casualty insurance premiums. In addition, energy prices have been on the rise.