2011 Is Looking Like a Good Year...or Is It?
I didn’t hear about acquisitions. I did hear about plant closings, though.
I didn’t hear about hiring talent to gear up for the upturn. I heard about layoffs—layoffs of not just employees, but friends.
I heard a lot about losing business to Groupon, from the smaller firms. The “evil social media empire” hasn’t so much been kept at bay as one would think reading the trade publications. All this talk of customers preferring the printed piece seems to have been lost on the customers themselves.
The owners I talked to gave me the impression they’d just gone 10 rounds with Mike Tyson. And they can’t wait to get out of the ring.
This is our real print industry. It’s not the one that has public shareholders to report to. It’s not the one that’s always on the look out for the next company with an owner that’s hitting the late rounds.
The real industry is one where the owner’s son has a best friend whose father is out of work and worried about making his mortgage payment. The owners of the real print industry are worried about paying that college tuition for their kids they’d never thought they’d have to worry about. This the industry that doesn’t make the trade publications. They’re not necessary going out of business, but they can sure see it’s a possibility—voluntarily or not.
If you drive around your community, you’ll probably see a new coffee shop opening up. Or, you might see a new Walmart or Target store opening up. But, what you won’t see is a new printing company, although you might see a vacant building where one was a year or two ago.
Most of the news we read or watch discusses the economy in macro terms. GNP is up or down. Unemployment is at 8.8 or 8.9 percent. We might hear numbers for a given state, but for the most part, it’s all national; it’s all macro.