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Getting Off The Press & Transition To Management

How can you answer emails, pay bills, order supplies and get screens ready for the rest of the week AND keep up with production on the press? You can’t! Well, at least not effectively if your aim is to scale up your business.

Getting off the press and trusting others to do the printing is a big step – A big scary step. Especially if you’re really good at printing, not to mention if you LOVE printing. You have options, but many of them may not feel good at the moment. If you’re starting as a one man shop and taking smaller orders on the weekends, this isn’t a problem. But if you’re looking to scale up your operation and grow your revenue potential you’re going to have to get off the press and focus on business development or partner with someone who does.

Ultimately it all depends on what you want. I recently visited a large operation with multiple ROQ automatics presses, and the owner spent most of his time on the presses loading and unloading shirts. You would think at that level he’d be sitting in an air conditioned office watching Netflix or spend his day Golfing. Nope. He loves printing! He loves the craft; he loves being out in the shop with his team. He wisely partnered with someone that handles all the office business so that he can focus on what he loves to do – Print.

What this shop owner did was very smart. He took on a partner that handles all the business bits. As a result, he’s built a reputation for high-quality printing that attracts good loyal customers.

Make Friends With The Worst Case Scenario

Taking a chance with an existing team member or hiring a Production Manager doesn’t come with as much risk as you might think. The worst case scenario being that you lose a few dollars on some misprints. Ease them into it with easy jobs and know that there will be mistakes. To scale your business, you will have to make yourself a little uncomfortable. You will have to build a team of people who are better than you at something. Identify your weaknesses and focus on your strengths.

Management Options:

1. Take on a business partner to manage all the office needs and focus on the prints.
2. Hire a production manager and focus on how to scale up the operation.

Thanks for reading. Please share your story in the comments.

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