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Keeping Your Business Healthy in a Down Economy

(May 2009) posted on Wed May 20, 2009

If the economic downturn has left you with extra time on your hands, why not use it to look for ways to strengthen your company? Follow the ten guidelines presented here to find new business opportunities and keep your company profitable.

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By Mike Ukena

Times are tough. Business is slow, and the recession is taking longer to reverse than any of us ever expected. In some segments of our industry, there have been signs of optimism, but the improvements seem to have had no momentum and, in some markets, have sputtered out entirely.

It’s times like this, when business is slow, that are perfect for making sure you are protecting your company for the future. When your market is down is the ideal time to plan how you can do things better and make sure that your business is still around to take advantage of the next boom.

Whenever the economy suffers a downturn, the screen-printing industry always gets shaken up. One effect is that many companies go out of business because of lost sales. At the same time, we see many new startups come into the in-dustry because of the low cost of entry. Due to poor planning and market research, many of them fail.

Economic downturns release a lot of talent into the labor pool and more importantly, the entrepreneurial market. People skilled in other disciplines who have been ousted from jobs due to downsizing or otherwise left unemployed decide that screen printing looks like a great way to start a business. Some of these people have a lot of solid business-management experience. Others have precious little business knowledge. A few can’t even claim to have common sense.

Screen printing attracts these people for several reasons. From the outside it looks fun. It’s relatively inexpensive to start a screen shop compared to most other business ventures—for a rather modest sum of money, you can be up and running. Few businesses (with the possible exception of lawn-care or pool-maintenance companies) have a lower cost of entry.

The segment of our industry that sees the biggest influx of these new businesses is, and always has been, the garment-printing segment. Infected with entrepreneurial spirit, the founders of these businesses decide, “Anybody can print T-shirts...I’ll bet I can make a bunch of money doing that!” Little do they know that garment screen-printing companies fail almost as often as new restaurants.


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