Take a peek into the modern, dynamic printing industry as entrepreneurs build success as franchise owners
By Mary Friese, Minuteman Press International
I am partly amused and partly embarrassed for the journalists whom have predicted that print is dying since the onset of the internet era. You must have scrolled past some version of the print debate online because there are those who make sport of trying to pin a shockingly limited lifespan on man’s most beloved form of communication, print on paper. The argument is intriguing with careers and widespread industries seeming to be on edge, according to the doomsayers. Yet entrepreneurs from varied walks of life continue to realize the value of developing a career in printing and enjoy the remarkable range afforded to them professionally and creatively as print technology and its related products and services continue to keep pace with today’s insatiable demand for speed, results and meaningful connection.
There may still be commentary found online by the misguided, who play judge and jury and condemn ink on paper as outdated; but the emergence of digital options for communications and sales have seen them become additional tools that join print, not replace it. So if you are attracted to the concept of owning your own business – particularly one that lends itself to creativity, you have great reason to be enthusiastic about your possibilities. Also, if you are considering franchising in the modern printing industry, start by being assured that print’s place in this world is secured by anchors that lead to the human heart and psyche in ways that are deeply rooted and effective.
Still, what is tremendously exciting is the fact that the industry encompasses a great deal more than the fortitude of traditional print. Today’s digital print and design franchises are also, primarily, marketing services providers – which means they are trained to become experts at helping people capitalize upon all of the varied classic and digital channels needed for well-rounded and prolific communications.
88% of the Americans who read e-books continue to read printed ones as well. – Pew Research Center
While the internet isn’t going to fade out, neither is print because the technology needed to realize a paperless world has been with us for some time and so has the general access needed to communicate with these technologies (I am pointing at you, PDFs, digital signatures and digital marketing). As intimidating as this fact may appear to the printed medium, clearly, digital isn’t getting it done for people to the point where print is in any way being shredded in society. In fact, we want paper in our hands when we read things we care about OR when we want people to read things, like our brand message, and actually care about it. We do not desire (nor do we trust) a completely paperless society, in reality; and it is not just the older crowd, but millennials who feel this way as well.
All methods of print production and consumption used in modern communications remain a continued presence in daily corporate, government and small business functionality. The print industry itself contains a flexibility with which it is frequently denied its proper credit as digital and inkjet printing capabilities continue to add speed, personalization and on-demand printing to reduce both cost and waste while preserving the irreplaceable printed version of a book, a brand or a message. Oh, and since I mentioned it, the term “print industry” the way it’s commonly used, is constrained when you recognize that print industry professionals at the top of their game encompass modern adaptations that extend themselves, for instance, into B2B services such as digital print, design and integrated marketing applications that now have a rightful seat at the printing industry table along with traditional offset print production.
RELATED: For printing industry news, business tips, marketing advice, Minuteman Press franchise reviews and more, check out our blog, The Minuteman Press Franchise Review, at www.shop.minutemanpress.com/franchise/blogs-news
George Fair, Area Manager in the Pittsburgh Region for Minuteman Press International, knows that a career in printing has been and continues to be an opportune way to capitalize on the never-ending consumption of our most treasured means of connecting with each other in communications, the printed word and image. With such a strong base upon which to build a business there is also the latest design software at hand and the need to marry digital and printed marketing efforts in order to help clients cover all essential touchpoints. There is professional satisfaction to be found in the daily practice of incorporating the creative results of a personal marketing consultation with the latest technological innovations available to bring them to life, all while building a business of your own that you can be proud of and protect as a long-term investment.
As George assures, “Every business uses printing in some form or fashion. So, in our industry every business out there is a potential customer. What we are seeing today is more and more companies using print in conjunction with digital marketing. Print is being used to drive traffic to websites and landing pages because it is more targeted and less cluttered than email marketing. Also, it is certainly less expensive than pay-per-click advertising. It is due to this that the printing industry has a tremendous repeat business factor and that is extremely valuable to our franchise owners.”
George acknowledges the personal satisfaction that ties those with a career in printing to their communities on a deeper level, sharing: “Becoming an integral part of your community by helping other business owners build their businesses through your products and services cannot be beat. Our franchise owners are afforded the use of digital print technology, modern design software and training to make sure they are the best they can be at putting those tools into practice. What I see them doing is building and growing their own entrepreneurial endeavors by helping other people build their own businesses.”
So with the acknowledgement that digital channels are here to stay and needed as are integrated marketing efforts, can we go back to the tedious chatter about print walking the plank? Because what lies behind that stubborn position is a naiveté that might cause unnecessary confusion and folks who have built careers in printing know they have nothing to fear because print is firmly in place. It is quite possibly the most necessary tool for preserving legacy, in life and in business – and behold the younger, tech-savvy professionals as they make sure to make themselves part of the print legacy. They are getting themselves printed on business cards, promotional items, banners and the go-getter entrepreneurs in the know are getting their cars wrapped with sharp graphics and physical locations prominently featured with expertly designed and produced signage. Even the younger entrepreneurs know they won’t properly connect themselves or their brands to their target base online alone because print runs deeper. It is the tie that binds our connections together – which in business translates to greater chances to make money.
The first time I noticed vows to “go paperless” was about 20 years ago and that vow still rises and falls to some degree in the culture of business, with varied levels of commitment. It rises because it’s sounds progressive and it is politically correct and some work hard to make it happen, but overall it fails because tossing paper out of the office is not really good for business. We gravitate to ink on paper as we build trust in wider communications, including coming to agreements and picking up pens to sign them personally. Too many studies and an honest introspective review make it clear that taking away our paper takes away some of our trust, and that doesn’t bode well for profitability. Two decades later, traditional and digital printing presses are rolling at full-speed, on demand, and we are consuming what they produce as the dizzying influx of digital come-ons have only increased the essential need for print on paper.
Michael Levy, owner of Minuteman Press in Levittown, NY, enjoys the benefits of his career in printing as a digital print, design and marketing franchise with a reputation unmatched and well-respected. He and his fellow Minuteman Press franchise owners reviewed business opportunities and knew that print and its amazing adaptability provided a perfect foundation upon which to build a wide array of related products and services – and Minuteman Press International has pretty much revolutionized the printing industry, infusing franchise owners with the ability to be integrated marketing services providers and B2B industry leaders with training, local support and mass purchasing power behind them.
Mr. Levy shares 3 of his favorite reasons why a career in the printing industry has particular appeal to intelligent entrepreneurs:
1. Repeat orders are the key to most businesses and this business in particular is great for that. As long as you offer high quality products and services at a competitive rate you will most probably get the re-order. If people like you they are more likely to do business with you.
2. New and exciting technologies such as 3D printing allow us to have natural growth.There are many other new products that we can now offer, such as EDDM mailers (Every Door Direct Mail in conjunction with the post office) and variable data printing that allow us to print different information on each piece, such as addresses, account info, etc.
3. Getting to speak to different types of businesses every day. I sell to such a wide range of businesses, such as funeral homes, pizza places, doctors’ offices, trucking companies and on and on and on. The variety of clients make each day new and exciting.
I do not expect the Internet to be completely void of the myth that print is dying, but the printing industry today has innovative thinkers who know how to incorporate technology to maximize the production of all things printed that human beings crave on multiple levels. From there, print becomes a powerful link to other channels of communication, including those online and leading print industry professionals will continue to help their communities reap the benefits and be rewarded with healthier bottom lines.
Most of the elements needed on a practical level to replace print have been in use for quite some time, but there is an impenetrable barrier: WE LOVE PRINT! And even the most progressive among us will acknowledge that we need print both in the greater scope of our lives and especially in the vital growth of our businesses.
Are you looking for professional printing and marketing solutions? Find your local Minuteman Press at www.minutemanpress.com.
Minuteman Press International is a business service franchise that is rated #1 in category by Entrepreneur for 12 years in a row and 24 times overall, including 2016. Learn more about Minuteman Press design, marketing, and printing franchise opportunities at www.minutemanpressfranchise.com.