Supplier-turned-printer records 22% growth in first year

An ex-supplier has made a triumphant switch to printing by recording 22% growth in his first year.

Sandeep Raikar, a former GBC area sales manager, took over a Snap franchise in Sydney in September 2012. He forecast 10-15% growth for his second year with the Surry Hills store.

"This time last year I was having sleepless nights, giving up a nice secure job in a company where I'd established myself for a new business," he told ProPrint.

Raikar said his transition was made easier because he acquired an established franchise and because he partnered with the owner of Snap Burwood, Sanjay Siva.

"That security was there that I wouldn't have to be making the same mistakes that any new franchise owner would make," he said.

[Photos: Larry Emdur hosts Snap awards]

The three-person digital operation has increased its monthly turnover from about $50,000 to $60,000 during the past year, he said.

The growth has partly come from a focus on gaining more business from existing clients – a strategy he learned from GBC.

Growth has also been driven by a new strategy of accepting as many different types of printing as possible – much of which is then outsourced. New services have included canvas printing and one-day offset turnarounds.

Raikar said his former contact list had served him well: Siva was a former client; work has been outsourced to other ex-customers; and GBC has been supplying Surry Hills with consumables.

Raikar told ProPrint that his biggest learning curve had been with estimating and that he had sometimes miscalculated margins in his early days with the franchise.

Surry Hills runs two Xerox digital printers, a Canon wide-format machine and a Colortrac wide-format scanner, he said.

[LinkedIn: Is it better to be a franchise printer or an independent?]

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