As some of us folks here in the Northeast wait for Hurricane Irene, we are told to stock up on supplies, bunker down and wait out the storm. We don’t have a lot of experience dealing with hurricanes so more times than not we follow the direction of our local leaders and a common message is “Stay put until the storm blows over!”
This is fine for hurricanes but not for business!
We are in a challenging business climate so it is essential to “not wait” and keep fighting. When I started at The Allied Group 17 years ago, we were strictly a business forms printer; maybe we would look for an envelope order here and there but the main product was business forms. Then we worked in new areas such as print management as clients started looking for someone to manage their forms, not just print them. Then it was mail order fulfillment services . . . Then we got into promotional products since we had a number of clients ask us “Hey you print our logo on paper; can you print it on a coffee mug?” Then we jumped into commercial print and being able to redesign websites, helping us evolve into a strategic marketing consultancy.
By now you get the idea . . . These changes were all precipitated (and became necessary) by changes in the marketplace. Many printing companies who “stayed” just with the printing have suffered and many have not made it.
For us, the changes have been at times a struggle and we have experienced the "growing pains" that come with change. But someone very smart once said: "Would you rather have growing pains or shrinking pains?"
So I ask two questions:
1. Which pains are you getting right now?
2. What are you doing not to "wait out the storm"?