In talking to folks in the industry, it seems that Summer came early this year. Nope, not talking about temperatures. In conversations with dozens of print providers and industry experts, first quarter of ’17 was very slow across the US and 2nd quarter doesn’t look much better.
Given that GDP growth at present is not strong and there’s a lot of instability in Washington (duh), many firms are cutting back and/or holding off on marketing dollars. It makes sense, but it does affect firms in our industry.
What to do?
First don’t panic. There’s been enough cost-cutting over the past years – and once those cuts occur; there’s no going back. Now’s a good time to do some serious short-term strategic thinking. Review your present accounts. Look at the industry’s they represent. What are the upsides/downsides of those industries? Review your profit margins (ignore what the job jackets say – look at contribution dollars) for those accounts. What accounts have greater potential? What industry’s look good? Then take a good hard look at your sales team. Who’s producing? Who’s not? Are they concerned and wishing to make changes, or just want to keep on riding dead horses?
This kind of analysis should be done on a quarterly basis – and if you don’t have this type of data – it’ll take some work to put together – but you’ll find the result extremely rewarding. And should make for a much better 3rd and 4th quarter.