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Preparing Your Shop for Success in 2018

(October/November 2017) posted on Tue Oct 24, 2017

Don’t run your business day-to-day. Consider what can be done to improve your shop as a whole.

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By Marshall Atkinson

For most shops, the daily effort always looks the same: heads down, cranking out work.

Not much emphasis is placed on what’s around the corner. Next year? Hmph. That’s too far away.

But it isn’t. It’s right here. You can almost touch it.

How much thought have you given to improving your shop in 2018? There might have been a discussion or two over some fried chicken at lunch, or a beer after work. But nothing concrete, I’m guessing.

Let’s take a brief moment to look at three ideas that could have a tremendously positive impact on your shop in 2018. Then, let’s figure out how to put them into motion. 

Decreasing Your Costs
There are a few ways you can inject money into your business. The most obvious is to increase your sales. More on that later. The first, and probably most overlooked, way is to decrease your costs. 

Take a look at these ideas and see if any of them could make a difference for your business.

Technology How behind the curve are you? Not just with machinery, but with consumables, too. There have been great improvements with ink, emulsion, mesh, and even squeegees. Digital printing has impacted small runs. LED exposure units have decreased burn times and increased efficiency. What software or apps have come out that could make a huge difference?

Communication Many companies have opted to switch to a VoIP phone service over a traditional landline. How much extra are you shelling out every month? Dig in and do some research to see if this could be a sensible option for you.

Go paperless If you’re still printing work orders, consider severing ties with this antiquated method and adopting a digital workflow platform. Track how much effort it takes to shuffle a set of papers around your shop. Are you still printing and mailing invoices to customers? Consider how much that’s costing you each year.

Credit-card debt Just like at home, the interest adds up and can come back to haunt you. How big is your balance? Do you pay off the charges every month?


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