Awards & Engraving

January '17

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34 a-e-mag.com • A&E JANUARY 2017 By Eric Priceman THE WORLD MARKETPLACE OF TROPHIES & AWARDS By Eric Priceman THE WORLD MARKETPLACE OF TROPHIES & AWARDS Various reasons exist for why this is happening, many of which we have addressed in previous columns. People today place less importance on awards than they did in the past; this is not an attractive industry for many younger people who see it devoid of a lot of the appealing technology that drives other industries; many businesses without suc- cession plans simply fold up their tents when their owners retire. No matter what the actual reasons are, it is blatantly apparent that the shaking out that we are witnessing is necessary, as the compa- nies that are disappearing are not being replaced and those that remain are suffi- cient to drive the industry. In the end this means that, with less of a pie to distribute, growth must come from other channels. So with this in mind, how do we take this concept from philosophy to practice? LEVERAGE YOUR STRENGTHS, NOT JUST YOUR PRODUCT LINES It goes without saying that the number one way to keep a business moving is by aggressively marketing and selling your products. But what happens when the market weakens and selling those prod- ucts is no longer easy? Maybe it is time to examine the equip- ment that we have and leverage that in an effort to service product channels that previously did not exist. In other words, look around at business opportunities that involve products that you can make using machinery that already exists in your shop. This involves a little bit of outside- the-box thinking, but you will probably be surprised at the amount of items you can make with your existing capabilities and materials. This will also serve you well in the future when the market gets stronger and you are positioned nicely with an extra revenue stream. I have many interesting conversations with people in our industry about the significant amount of contraction that has taken place. It has and is happening on all levels. On the wholesale and distribution side of the business, buyouts and mergers have consolidated the land- scape. On the retail end, shops are closing for many reasons. Ultimately when we look at the big picture, these closings and mergers mean that the business that was once there to sustain these entities has disappeared, and it takes fewer players to cover the same ground that was once covered by many more. Growing Your Business Outside of Your Comfort Zone

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