That’s the Way it Was and We Liked It!
Do you remember the Dana Carvey sketch on SNL, “That’s the Way it Was and We Liked It”? Basically, the character’s mantra was “Phooey on progress. I don’t like things now compared to the way they used to be!” In thinking about the skit’s theme and how tough change can be for some people, in fact, for many in our industry, it’s actually understandable why people don’t relish change and why they want to hang on to the same way of doing business that has served them for decades (even if not very well).
So..because our livelihoods need to flourish, it’s a mandate that we continually look at trends, what the competition is doing, changing technology, needs of customers, the economy, new printing techniques, the decline of large-run printing jobs, innovation and more .
Diversify and be Flexible.
This article, Tracking Trends is Key to Business Survival, is a highly recommended first and/or second read. It was written by Greg Kitson, founder of Mind’s Eye Graphics, for Impressions Magazine on Nov. 19, 2013. In “Tracking Trends is Key to Business Survival”, Greg thoughtfully shared how he was forced to change during complicated economic times and the impact of the loss of hi-volume orders, how he accomplished the change by looking at a variety of industry trends, what worked and what didn’t. In order to survive, Greg shared that small- to mid-sized shops may find they need to regroup and discover what customers are willing to pay for, while also finding enough clients who want the same thing. Companies that are content and continue to do what they have been doing for the past 10 years will be in trouble. This statement remains unchanged today.
RhinoTech on Trend.
An example of a company’s ability to thrive is Eagan, MN-based, RhinoTech. With an ever watchful eye on trends and the tempo of the screen printing industry, the 18 year old company orchestrated its entrance into the digital printing arena many years ago to ensure its place in the industry and to help its textile and graphics printing customers easily diversify, as well.
In doing so, RhinoTech (firstname.lastname@example.org) broadened its products/equipment base. It remains attuned to the nuances of heat press printing, equipment and heat transfer papers. It offers a wide range of heat press equipment, printers, toners and papers. The company extends its knowledge-base through in-person training and step-by-step video instruction. The company also sells Smart Designer X6 Creative Assistant software (that wraps into CorelDRAW X6) so that customers can buy an entire digital printing package complete with art production software. To help customers capture business with the Fluorescent printing on BLACK trend, RhinoTech offers RT SunAngel DARK. Screen and graphics printers AND embroiderers can easily diversify their businesses with this system to help capture all customers, especially those with short run project needs.
Greg Kitson says it best, “I identify trends by reading industry trade magazines, attending trade shows and talking with peers. Don’t find out too late. Track trends now and be prepared for whatever the future may bring.” You can contact him at email@example.com. And, please be sure to mention that you read his great article on this blog.
Many thanks for reading and subscribing!