Five Words that Can Make a Small Printing Business Big
You’ve got a small printing business, and you have one goal in mind for it: To make it big. There are many different organic growth strategies you consider as you drive toward your ultimate goal, but you should always keep in mind these five important terms as you undertake the journey.
1. Reason: Think about the reason behind your strategic moves. Why are you niching in your particular industry? Do you know the reason why you’ve made some decisions in the past, or some projections for the future? Too often, printing owners don’t think critically about their strategic decisions. They don’t apply reason to their rationale.
2. Valuation: This is not a term only to be employed when you’re selling your business. Understanding the valuation of your company is critical for your strategic moves. I recommend a business valuation every three years from an independent appraiser, whether you’re selling your business or not. This will help you assess which segments of the business are working well for you, so you can focus your growth efforts.
3. Build: My friend, financial analyst Lee Rust, often says that businesses cannot stand still. You’re either growing or you’re shrinking. If those are your options, which one will you choose? And what are the long-term plans you’re putting together to help you continuously build?
4. Advisors: You don’t do your own dental work, right? Nor your own haircut (I hope)? No, you hire someone else, someone who is a specialist. So why don’t you do the same thing when it comes to managing and growing your business? Do not underestimate the value of a good team of advisors, and do not overestimate your skill and capacity to try and master their trade. No business gets big solely on the talents of one person and one person alone.
5. Post-transition: We always think about what happens up to a big event – landing a new customer, selling a business, converting to a new technology. But not enough focus is put on the post-transition period. What happens after the big effort is over? Think beyond the big event.
In my experience, many of these terms bubble up to the surface, and unfortunately it’s in the context of “we coulda” or “we shoulda.” Consider being proactive with these terms: It’s a great start to making your small business get big.
(Photo by infusionsoft)
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Rock LaManna is the President and CEO of the LaManna Alliance. The LaManna Alliance helps printing owners and CEOs use their company financials to prioritize and choose the proper strategic transition – including mergers, acquisitions, organic growth, and exit / succession plans.