We have all heard the phrase that if you’re a leopard you can’t change your spots — and that might be a true for many in our industry.  The idea of becoming a marketing services provider or embracing internet solutions is not necessarily nirvana – no matter what all the industry gurus are saying.

First, let’s understand that not everyone can, or should be, a marketing services provider.  If you bleed PMS 200 and are a tech geek, you will NEVER become a marketing guru; regardless of what the sellers of equipment, or association types are declaring.

Second, you can not ignore the fact that there are more competitors than ever in the print landscape.  And I’m not talking about your former sales rep who moved down the street with “his” accounts and a “deal” from the press manufacturer.  Your competition is the Internet; print brokers (and firms like Innerworkings); big box stores (Staples, Office Depot) and your suppliers (UPS, FedEx Office, Xerox, Ikon/Ricoh, Apple, etc.).

Once you understand these two issues; you have two options.  The first option is find a customer base that does not need a high-tech touch, or needs a marketing expert.  They are out there – but are presently being served by other printers.  What is your strategy going to be to take their business?  And cheaper pricing is a losing proposition.  If you don’t have a strategy or are not willing to take the time to create AND execute the strategy, then look at option #2.  Get out of the business.  That does not mean liquidation – your company has customers and sales which should be of value to another company.  You may not get what you think your business is worth, but it will be more than if you were to just close the doors and walk away.  If you need information on valuation, or need to speak to a M&A expert, drop me an email.

For the individual who thinks they can become a tiger rather than a leopard, there are opportunities in this changing landscape.  For those who just like their spots, there are opportunities as well.


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