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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

Ask for the sale Too often, shops will sit like a spider in a web, waiting for the fly to land. Want more sales? Go out and ask for them. This has a multiplier effect if you’ve addressed all of the points above.

Explore e-commerce Make your website a sales platform. If your website isn’t driving revenue to your shop, you are missing out on opportunity every day.

The great and wondrous thing about this industry is that it’s always changing. Even if you think you’ve mastered every technique in the book, there are always new things to learn. If you never quite got around to mastering the basics, you’re probably pouring money down the drain. Don’t let another year go by without improving your skillset.

Ask the hard questions in your shop about where you need to improve. It’s tough – nobody likes to talk about where they’re weak – but necessary if you want your business to move forward.

Process improvements Let’s say it takes six steps to accomplish a task. Can you do it in five? Maybe four? For every step you eliminate in the workflow, you save on time, labor, and materials.

Work on techniques Just like a shortstop or a magician, it takes a lot of work in the printing business to make things look effortless. The “how” in the way things are done often matters tremendously. There are many variables in printing that need to be dialed in for perfection. Are your platens level? Have you checked your off-contact? Are you printing with optimized squeegee pressure? How does the squeegee durometer or angle play into the print? And hey, let’s not forget about the screen. Emulsion thickness, tension, and mesh play a tremendous part in printing successfully.

People Often the hidden element. Shop owners are quick to think about the latest gadget or tech device, but much slower to consider the impact of spending time and money on training their staff. How good is your cross-training program? Be sure to follow what I like to call “the rule of three,” where you have at least three fully trained people for every core task in your shop.


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