December '20

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How to be Competitive with More Experienced Competitors 1 2 G R A P H I C S P R O D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 0 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M H ow will I know I am ready to grow my business? We are all different. But know yourself and make sure you can handle the business. In the graphics industry, if you get the order and can't deliver, it may mean lost customers. If you ever fail to make a delivery, it will stunt your busi- ness growth. It is for this reason that you should be ready, because you don't want your customers remembering anything but positive things about you. POSITIVE PLANNING When I was in my early 20s, I thought I was ready for all the business in world. I wasn't and the prospect knew it. When I called on this one special ac- count, I knew it was bigger than any- thing I had ever done, but I just knew I could handle it. The prospect was about 40 years older than me and he looked at me and said, come back and see me in a couple of years or when you know you are ready, and I will give you a chance. He continued to say he couldn't take the chance, but felt that I would be great someday when I was ready. He was throwing me a rope, and that gave me hope that I might get the order. More im- portantly, someone believed in me. This is an important compo- nent of your system that should become a part of your business. Instill in your em- ployees trust in themselves—you can instill confidence with just a few positive words that may propel your employees to dig a lit- tle deeper and give that extra effort to help your company and help others succeed. If you help others get what they want, they will help you get what you want. Have your system in place and make sure it has been tested before you strike out to obtain the big account. First, the big ac- count takes a big line of credit, and your facility must be large enough to house the raw products and completed product line. Think before you leap. On the other hand, if you don't try, it is certain that you will never grow and obtain those accounts. Write your plan on paper and take your time to think about it from the beginning to the completion and delivery of the order. And of course, the collection of the funds to have the account paid in full is imperative. Remember, you don't have an order or an account unless you collect the money. Make collec- tions a major part of your system. How you are going to get there? Mark off each part of your plan until you think you are ready. Chances are you will miss a few things, but everyone does. Just try to be ready and walk before you run. Preparation is spending a lot of perspiration before you need it. It takes time, studying of your craft, and practice. HOW TO FINANCE THE NEW ACCOUNT No matter how large or small you are to- day, you need to have enough of a line of credit to satisfy your suppliers on time and prove to your clients that you are stable and financially sound. The large contracts with big accounts often ask you for a sure- ty bond that guarantees that you will de- liver on time or pay a fine. If your credit is good, the insurance surety companies will approve you much easier. This can be true of state and federal accounts if you don't have a proven record. In addition, when you have worked with the same suppliers over a long period of portantly, someone believed in me. This is an important compo- tions a major part of your system. How you are going to get there? B Y S T E P H E N L . C A P P E R , C R M

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