We are a small design and print company based in Croydon, Vic. We have been at it for over 20 years and all I have seen over the past five years is doom and gloom from other operators within the industry. Times have changed but, in today’s environment, our margins and profits have never been higher, so I don’t understand why others just seem to put a negative spin on everything, and always complain about paper prices.
Print production costs less today than what it did 10 years ago. For example, to produce 1000 black and white business cards 15 years ago it cost us $11 and we sold them for $60 , today the cost is $7 and we sell them for $80, and this applies to all our products, our average margin is 150 per cent (this includes all artwork as well). We keep all our design work in house which gives us a huge advantage.
But diversity is also key and the ability to move fast and be agile – as Prime Minister Turnbull put it – must be embraced. We did this just over two years ago and moved into web development/e-commerce and now app development. The growth rate has been 40 per cent pa, and the margins are solid, with our own inhouse developers.
This has also given us the ability to step into new projects such as flyerdrop. This new startup project is an online system that allows our customers and others to access a flyer drop with the walkers directly, and distribute their flyers and other printed media into any selected areas.
It is just like Uber taxi – the customer that wants to get their flyers out searches on our site and contacts the register walker directly and then the deal is done at the best market price.
The print industry has given us so much and it will continue to be strong and positive, but always changing and it is only the good operators to will go from strength to strength over the next ten years. The larger companies are too busy shuffling money that they have borrowed and not giving back to their customers. They will all go, and time has proven that .
When the dollar drops, the paper companies are all quick to put prices up, which indicates that they are bad operators because they should always buy forward at least 12 months but that is too logical. They should just copy McDonalds. A cheeseburger cost less today compared to 10 years ago. Why? Because they are good operators.
We have always modelled our business structure like McDonalds. I advertise my prices so when a customer walks through the door, 95 per cent of the time, they will place the order and buy. No need for them to ask for a quote or to work out a price. We also take the payment upfront with no issues and we deliver the quality and service 110 per cent every time.
I have three children and, every morning, I tell them two things before school drop off: I love you all and I show them the magic. Being in business is no different , show your customers the love and show them the magic, and the money will come.
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