Maya Angelou once said, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better.”
In this email series, that’s precisely what you’ve been doing by recognizing the traits of smart printers and learning from them. So far, you’ve learned that:
- Smart printers anticipate and accept change.
- Smart printers know and understand their audience.
- Smart printers embrace their different.
- Smart printers value and pursue marketing.
- Smart printers focus on retention and service.
When you read through that list, does it bring excitement? Or, are you looking at that list with thoughts like, “How am I supposed to do all of this on my own?”
Well, good news. You’re not meant to go it alone, and that’s exactly what you’ll discover this week:
Smart printers don’t go it alone.
Where Exactly Are You Going?
Before you go any further, consider this: where are you hoping to go with your print company?
- Are you hoping for short, quick growth?
- The fastest way to more sales?
- Or, are you looking for a way to build your business for the long haul?
Now, compare that answer in your mind with what you’re actually doing to achieve it. Is what you’re envisioning matching up with what you’re doing? If not, what’s standing in your way?
For many business owners (print-related or not), they’ve hit the ceiling on growing their businesses because they haven’t allowed their company to grow beyond their own limitations. Whether through pride (as in, “I can do it myself.”), or merely a strong sense of individualism, they believe in shouldering the weight alone.
Now, before you go and mentally beat up these types of owners for going it alone, remember that “on your own” does have its perks. For example, it’s a whole lot quicker and easier to make decisions by yourself. Plus, when things go well, you feel like Merlin, the magic print wizard!
Before you decide to set out on your own or not, consider what the famous African proverb says,
If you want to go quickly, go alone.
If you want to go far, go with a group.
Why Smart Printers Don’t Go it Alone
Maybe you already know you don’t want to go it alone, but you’re struggling to get the help you need to grow your print business to where you want it.
Here are six things smart printers do to go with the group and go far.
1. Smart Printers Lessen the Isolation
In the hit TV series, Alone, contestants take to remote areas of the world like Mongolia, Patagonia, and Vancouver Island to see how long they can last on their own before calling in to be rescued.
Sent with their own video equipment to self-document their adventures, these men and women are truly alone, with the closet human being roughly 5-10 miles away.
Now, if you’re like most people, you would think the contestants would choose to give up because of the harsh conditions, having to find and create their own shelter, and hunting for their own food. But, the truth is, a large portion of them decide to phone it in simply because of the extended isolation.
When life and business get hard, there’s no relief quite like simple companionship.
Smart printers recognize the importance of having someone else in the trenches with them.
2. Smart Printers Seek Multiple Viewpoints
Sometimes the biggest hurdle that stands between you and your goal is objectivity.
Business owners are prone to be mission-minded, laser-focused, and go-getters. However, all of those traits can lead to plowing ahead with blinders on and missing some much-needed perspective.
Smart printers recognize that, at times, they will be too close to the issue to be objective. That’s also why:
Smart printers seek the independent and trusted perspectives of others.
3. Smart Printers Fill the Gaps
No one excels at everything. (Yikes. Kind of harsh, right?)
But that’s ok, and it’s kind of the point. Think of how exhausting it would be to have to be good at everything. Smart printers have realized that instead of trying to be all things to all people and have an answer for everything, it’s much better to simply recognize the problem areas and rally others that will fill the gaps for them.
Think of it like this. As the great Rocky Balboa said, “She’s got gaps. I got gaps. Together, we fill gaps.”
Smart printers make up for the skills they lack by partnering with others who excel in those areas.
4. Smart Printers Value Accountability
With the rise of the fitness tracker craze, accountability is making a comeback.
People have recognized that when you have a goal, accountability plays a significant role in helping you stay on track to achieving it.
What does this look like for printers?
Well, it might look like this: A printer who finds value in direct mail marketing but struggles to be consistent in doing monthly mailers. So, they seek out accountability by finding a direct mail program or partner that will help them consistently execute their mission.
Smart printers understand the need to have tools, resources, and help to reach their goals.
5. Smart Printers Seek a Council of Advisors
This is where not going it alone really matters.
When smart printers don’t know what to do or how to do it, they don’t shrink back or try and hide behind what they don’t know. Instead, they set out and seek wisdom. They seek the truth.
Smart printers identify a trusted group of people who share the same values, care about the work they’re doing, and are willing to speak the truth in love when the need for tough choices arise.
6. Smart Printers Don’t Wait
Finally, smart printers recognize the time to get moving is now.
Instead of waiting until their best employee quits or their most substantial account moves on,
Smart printers focus on building a support system that is guaranteed to help them weather whatever storms may come their way.
As Copyblogger legend, Sonia Simone says, “Don’t wait until you’re desperate. Build your network now.”