Impressions - October/November 2013 - (Page 42)

is Key to Business Survival You may not like the way the industry is changing, but ignoring it may spell the end of your business By Greg Kitson, Contributing Writer t he most successful businesses — those that celebrate their 20-year anniversaries and longer — adapt to change. Like it or not, change is inevitable; you can whine and moan about it or you can be proactive and learn how to deal with it. Change, however, doesn’t happen overnight. It’s usually a slow evolution, but if you are not aware, it can sneak up on you. In an ideal world, we would identify and recognize trends early so we can be prepared to turn them into advantages. Many of us recognize oncoming changes, but procrastinate when making the necessary decisions to best address them. If you are one of those people, hopefully this article will motivate you to do something now instead of later so that your shop’s products, services and policies are in step with consumer demand. This, in turn, will ensure your company is still around 20 years from now. THE SHRINKING ORDER I have been in business for 35 years. For the first 10, my company was a typical 42 Impressions | October/November 2013 small-town screen printer. After those 10 years, I realized I had no financial future at that size, so I started targeting larger customers. In the mid-1990s, we moved to an industrial park and started acquiring mass marketing business, where trucks would back up to our door and unload hundreds of dozens of T-shirts. From around 1977 to 2002, customers constantly asked us to do more. During this period, it was not unusual to have orders as high as 40,000 pieces. With our single automatic screen printing press, this kept us very busy. In a great example of terrible timing, I added a second automatic press and dryer, and expanded the building to double our capacity and production space. Then, Sept. 11 happened. With the economic uncertainty that resulted during the next three years, we never fully developed that investment. Making the situation worse, China became a major player in the mass-market business during the same time period. Tariffs against China — set in place to keep U.S. companies competitive —

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Impressions - October/November 2013

Impressions - October/November 2013
First Impressions
From the Show Director
Product Gallery
ISS Conferences
Allover Printing: It's All Over America
The Digital Direction
Peak Performance
Tracking Trends is Key to Business Survival
Shop Spotlight
Shop Spotlight
Embroidery Design & Digitizing
Embroidery Technique
Screen Printing Production
Screen Printing Technique
Online Directory
Digital Decorating
Ad Index

Impressions - October/November 2013