We’ve all heard the stories and anecdotal information about the dismal prospects of our industry. Throw on top the economic and political climate and one is left to wonder – what future is there?
Yet, if we look at every economic cycle our country has gone through – including the Great Depression – there is hope. Many companies have survived and even thrived through those times. What did they know that many didn’t?
Understand your market. Even in good times not everyone survives, but with today’s technological shifts, it is more important than ever to understand certain key facts. For example, the forms business is not a growth market – it has not been for over a decade. Yet, many companies have still figured a way to survive and prosper.
Understand your competition. If your competition looks like Quad or RR Donnelley, you better figure out another way to compete than going head-to-head. That’s a losing proposition. Which takes us to . . .
Know what you do well – and what you don’t. As large and successful as Quad or RRD have been, they still can not do everything well. It’s important to understand your competition and know what you do better. And doing it cheaper is not a solution.
Cash is king. This has always been true — but more so today with rapidly changing technology and markets. Profits generate cash and everyone in the company must understand the role they play in generating profitability in the short and long term.