30 Years and Still Changing…

As I re-read my last Blog post, I felt the need to expand on the concept some more. I had basically suggested that as companies begin to get back in the marketing game that they realize that marketing strategies have changed over the last couple of years. Social media, mobile marketing, video, etc. have become common place now and it is critical to change with the times.

What I would like to expand on, is the concept of change for business over time. I was just sharing with a couple of employees this past week about our upcoming 30th anniversary in business. Pretty cool when you think of it. Quite an achievement and one that is due to the hard work of many individuals beyond just myself. When we first started, it was myself and a partner. Carolyn would do typesetting and layout, then prepare the film negatives. I would take over and do the stripping/platemaking, go to press and do the bindery as necessary, then put on a sport coat and deliver the job as well as call on new accounts. It was all short-run 1 and 2 color print, and primarily for local businesses – say within a 10 mile radius. We weren’t too “picky” about the type of customers either – as long as they had a need we could fill, that is what counted.

Over time this has changed. I often suggest that we are not the same company as when we first started, and that is pretty typical I am sure. New technology, equipment and methods, along with the experience from a wide variety of individuals. And although we still do some of the same types of printing that we did way back when, we have definitely expanded into some areas that we would not have even thought of 30 years ago! We have also targeted several vertical markets that have provided some significant revenue streams.

An example of this change was during a recent seminar that we presented  – an intro to Social Media. One of the attendees asked why was it that a printing company was expanding into such a seemingly diverse and unrelated market. My response was pretty simple – Social Media is really just another form of communication – just like the printed word. And yet, when I think more on this, the very idea of us holding seminars to present ideas and solutions for clients is somewhat novel for a printing company as well.

Which brings me around to what business are we really in after 30+ years? Is it ink on paper – printing? Is it communication? Or, is it finding clients that have a need for service and then it is our purpose to find all the ways to help them succeed? Of course we need to do those things that we have knowledge and experience in, and not try to be everything for everyone, but over time our methods will definitely evolve. And that is what will truly  keep us motivated and open to new opportunities.

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