More Than a Printer: Basin Printing, Durango, Colorado

While some people might dream of one day trying their hand at owning a business, others seem to simply fall into it because of their natural giftings.

Jeramiah Townsend of Basin Printing is one of those born-to-be entrepreneurs.

With a heart for innovation, a passion for helping others succeed, and business organization skills that could rival the famous Marie Kondo, Jeramiah uses his more-than-a-printer mindset to capture the heart of not only his print buyers but other entrepreneurs as well.

Curious to hear how he does it?

Introducing Basin Printing: A Unique Beginning; A Promising Future

Basin Printing’s story starts before Jeramiah with a rich and unique history.

In 1957, Basin Printing was founded in the beautiful town of Durango, located in the southwestern corner of Colorado. With a focus on serving the oil and gas industry, this forward-thinking print shop was the first to offer offset printing within their region.

Several decades later, in 1990, a unique transition of ownership occurred when a press operator named Mike Hammond won a Heidelberg award for the best press operator in the western part of the United States. Mike later purchased Basin Printing from its owners using the prize money he won from this award.

Hammond continued to build Basin “on the foundation of quality and innovation,” growing the business into a regional commercial printer for nearly three decades. In 2018, Hammond decided to move on to new adventures, and Jeramiah Townsend purchased the company known and loved today.

“At the time, I owned an art studio, an art supply store, and a picture framing store. We also did art restoration and reproduction,” explains Jeramiah. “Artists make their money through prints and reproductions of their fine art, and Basin Printing was one of my vendors for reproducing. I happened to mention to the Hammonds in passing if they ever wanted to sell to let me know, and that’s exactly what happened.”

“I didn’t start off an entrepreneur,” Jeramiah explains. I became an entrepreneur because of the support and influence of a couple of key people in my life. One was my father-in-law, Steve Schlagel. Steve is a lawyer, a CPA, an entrepreneur, and much more. He’s the type of guy that sets records no matter what he does. Having the opportunity to work with him and learn the world of business from one of the best was a massive benefit,” says Jeramiah. “My wife, Chandra, was the other key person in my life. She taught me how to work hard and gave up so much so we could have a family while I learned about business and how to provide for us.”

Combine vision, natural ability, and the positive influence of others, and you’ll see why Jeramiah has owned several different companies. His solid background in business consulting, sales, and marketing, has provided the expertise and confidence for Jeramiah to not only jump into the printing industry but to see substantial growth as a print owner.

“Basin was already a great company, so it was an easy decision to jump on board. It’s not always easy, but it’s fulfilling. And I’m looking forward to growing substantially.” says Jeramiah.

For those print owners reading this and thinking owning one business is hard enough, you’re not alone. It’s easy to question why some companies and entrepreneurs seem to struggle while others flourish. But the truth is, there are several ways to answer that question. Below, you’ll learn some of the key pillars that made up Jeramiah’s and Basin Printing’s journey to success.

The Makings of a Successful Entrepreneurial Journey


“The number one thing I encourage other business owners to do is to focus on not trying to be everything to everyone,” says Jeramiah. “We need to simplify and focus on bringing the most value we can to other people, both to our staff and our clients.”

Jeramiah continues, “Think about when Michael Jordan left basketball and decided to try baseball. He went away from where he was strong. We do the same thing when we veer away from our strengths to appease others. Don’t worry about losing a sale. Instead, if we’re not a good solution for someone, we need to just be honest about it.”

“Innovation comes when you focus on your strengths, when you’re not trying to be everything to everyone,” says Jeramiah. “Stay focused on what you do really well.”

Put Your Staff First

“Our staff is the most important part of our business,” explains Jeramiah. “If we take care of them, they will take care of our customers. And everybody wins.”

While taking care of your staff seems like an obvious goal, the definition of what that care looks like can vary tremendously. Here’s what it looks like at Basin.

“Competitive pay. At least three weeks off. Healthcare that’s affordable. And ongoing education,” says Jeramiah. “I want to make sure we’re taking care of our staff as much as possible while providing for their success. Kara, my GM, and I do a ‘Weekly Kudos’ where we privately give small presents to recognize excellent character and when staff have done something well. We also give public recognition through an employee of the month program that again emphasizes outstanding character. It’s all heavily focused on encouraging successful character. We want them to enjoy work but also unwind from work and take time off. We want them to know we’re there to take care of them. It makes us a better company for it.”

Sell Solutions, Not Products

“Printing used to be an art, and it has turned into a commodity. Printers need to transition from a product-based mindset to a solutions mindset. People don’t want parts and pieces; they want solutions that deliver. Instead of a printing company, consumers really want a marketing company that happens to provide printing or graphic design.”

Jeramiah continues, “We have to change how we communicate our value with clients. Stop advertising yourself as a printer. Advertise as a marketing or development company. For example, ‘We help your company look good. We help you sell your products.’ Think of it this way,” says Jeramiah. “I don’t sell business cards; I sell communication. How do you help your buyers communicate effectively? Through your products.”

What’s Next for Jeramiah? The 5By5 Business System

Jeramiah’s passion for helping other businesses succeed hasn’t stopped at Basin Printing. He’s gone on to craft his own, recently-launched business operating system called the 5By5 Business System.

According to, this unique management system is “grounded in the 5 key areas of your business: Vision, Sales, Products, Team, and Numbers. Each key unlocks a new door to business mastery…”

How do you go from print owner to launching a business system?

“Remember, I started as an accountant and a consultant, helping other people understand their companies to become more efficient. I got good at going into a company I knew nothing about, documenting and organizing procedures, making bullet point lists, and making checklists. It wasn’t until later that I got into print.” explains Jeramiah. “You can make a lot of people happy just by making a written orderly checklist and following it through. A checklist helps guarantee success. When people would ask me how I might arrange a certain procedure, I would respond with, ‘I would do these seven things. In this specific order.’ They would say, ‘that’s amazing; can you write that down for me?’ That’s how we developed the 5by5 Business System. Checklists remove all the clutter and make things simple.”

Writing down systems and concepts for the betterment of Basin Printing turned into a business operating solution to help other entrepreneurs succeed.

Parting Words of Wisdom

When asked what words of wisdom Jeramiah would like to leave for other printers, he says, “The greatest good we can do is help other people succeed, so live generously. If we can live generously and provide more value to people, that’s the first step. You’ll find that what brings you the most amount of joy is what benefits other people.”


This article originally appeared in the March 2022 issue of NPSOA magazine. For more information on how you can become an NPSOA member and enjoy the many benefits offered there, contact Member Services at or head to their website at