Rachel Nies / January 29th, 2019
The print industry has some of the hardest working and committed individuals on the planet. So much so, that I am continually inspired to be a part of it as the Marketing Director at Marketing Ideas For Printers.
But as with any industry, I’ve also witnessed the flipside of that coin with printers who are stuck in their ways, who seem content to let the world pass them by, and would rather wait things out until retirement or they’re bought out.
As time wages on and I continue to work with printers more directly, I’ve come to recognize that printers who are most successful share some common traits. Here are five of those traits that are pretty consistent:
Across the board, the number one thing that stands out to me among these successful printers is passion.
Apathy and complacency? These words aren’t even in their vocabulary. These are the guys and gals that wake up and hit the floor running. They don’t stand for good enough, but they’re in constant pursuit of refining, of growth, and of being better today than they were yesterday.
This passion seems to keep all discouragement at bay, and it ignites a vision for what print can and will be for their customers today and in the future. They are continually seeking out the wisdom and advice of others, and they aren’t afraid to see their print competitors as they should be: worthy rivals that spur them into greater success rather than Goliaths they’ll never be able to compete with.
Along with an undaunted passion, the successful printers I’ve observed combine that passion with unwavering integrity.
Integrity is a core value here at Marketing Ideas For Printers, and we often like to take it even a step further to say “radical integrity.” But, the idea is the same: to honor God with our actions by always choosing to do the right thing.
You’d like to think that always doing the right thing would be easy. But, in truth, at times it can be a pretty tough choice. Sometimes those choices mean showing real humility and taking the blows to your pride and ego. Sometimes they mean taking a short-term loss for a long-term gain. Either way, for those printers that practice integrity, their success seems to be built on a genuine trust from their customers and their appreciation for working with a company that is more about the customer’s benefit than making a sale.
Printing has been around for centuries, but the way print is produced and ordered is continuously changing.
The successful printers I’ve observed understand this and embrace it. They realize that today they need to be more than just printers, and they’re eager to learn, listen, and follow the needs of their customers. They realize that these changing needs will require a new innovative mindset to keep pace with what their audience is looking for when it comes to ordering more than just printing.
Honestly, I think the biggest differentiator here is these are the types of printers that never utter words like, “But this is the way we’ve always done it.” Instead, they approach each day, each new idea, with an open mind and a willingness to adapt to the needs of those around them.
Becoming a printer isn’t for the faint of heart.
Today, that statement rings even more true with the continual marketing fight against misinformed media channels. These so-called “experts” are touting headlines like “Print is Dead!” and using overly dramatic words like “extinct” to scare people into a digital-only marketing strategy.
But the successful print owners seem to take it all in stride. They have a grit about them, a swagger, an attitude that says “take your best shot, but we’re here to stay.” This unwavering determination coupled with the passion, integrity and innovative mindset I mentioned earlier seems to propel them to rise up, to push 10% harder, and to channel an inner strength that I’ve deeply admired.
This ability to expect things to be hard and take the inconveniences as they come is what these true-grit printers are made of, and it seems to be a key ingredient to their success.
With the printers I observed, the successful ones were running their print businesses without allowing it to run them.
This one took me a little longer to put my finger on, but I realized that because these printers had passion, operated with integrity, had an innovative mindset and grit, they could give their all when needed but then leave it all on the field.
They understood that owning and running a business, just like riding a bike, shouldn’t be all pedal and no brakes. It shouldn’t be all risk-taking with no wisdom. It shouldn’t be all work and no family, health, or even enjoying some of that “nothing box.”
Instead, these successful printers recognized that margin was just as significant as innovation and growth and were able to find a respectable place for both.
What traits do you think make a successful printer? Let us know in the comments below.