The Family-Run Printing Company
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.
Ryan T. Sauers has spent nearly 30 years running, leading or consulting with printing, graphics, promotional and visual communications-related organizations. Sauers is CEO of two companies, Sauers Consulting Strategies LLC and End Resultz Inc. that among other things, owns magazines and is a media firm. Key areas of focus of the firms include sales training, marketing strategy, personal branding, leadership development and organizational change.
Sauers is a frequent national speaker and columnist. He has been recognized as one of the top 80 CMOs globally and achieved the top designation of Certified Marketing Executive through Sales and Marketing Executives International.
Sauers is an adjunct university professor teaching leadership and communication courses to current and aspiring leaders. He is a Certified Myers Briggs, DiSC and Emotional Intelligence Practitioner (one of few in the U.S. to achieve all three rigorous certifications related to human communications, personality and behavior).
Sauers has completed his doctoral-level coursework in Organizational Leadership and is now (ABD - All But Dissertation) working on his dissertation on why some entrepreneurs and small businesses achieve initial and long-term success, whereas countless others do not.
Sauers is the host of the Marketing Matters radio show in Atlanta that later becomes a global podcast. He also is the host of the Community Connections TV show that comes out in video and podcast form. Sauers is the author of the best-selling books, Everyone is in Sales, and Would You Buy from You? More info at RyanSauers.com or call (678) 825-2049 or email Ryan@RyanSauers.com