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Sun, Dec

What’s in a name? Psycho Peacock’s MD thinks there’s a whole lot, which is why he’s thrown everything at the company’s whacky rebrand. Could your business benefit from a similar approach?

There’s no denying it - selling has become more difficult. Suddenly the marketing term ABM (account based marketing) has replaced ‘content marketing’ as the most effective outreach. No doubt a new term will be coined over the next 18-24 months, but the principles will effectively remain the same. So here’s how to get the most out of it according to Charlotte Graham-Cumming, MD at marketing agency Ice Blue Sky.

In 2011 long-time graphic designer David Hyams founded Talking Print - a company that provides audio and video implanted print services. Image Reports interviewed him a couple of years later, excited about the dynamism his services could bring to print and how they could stimulate new opportunities. Over the years Talking Print has grown significantly, with David now employing another two staff and turning over £900,000.  But he’s still to crack large-format print. Why?

By Lesley Simpson

Want to be able to transform customers’ 2D images into photorealistic 3D display products? Then maybe you should talk to StackaWraps

How much is your company worth? In the 1970s and 1980s, valuing a business was relatively straightforward. You estimated the worth of your key tangible assets, totted these figures up and, if the company was being sold as a going concern, added in a little something for goodwill. That traditional yardstick is still reflected in most PSP’s financial statements. It is still the way most accountants like to work. But there are there other considerations.

The print industry - and the large-format sector specifically - has bemoaned the lack of women running businesses for as long as I can remember. Signs Express is witnessing an increase in female franchisees - up 40% in the last 20 months. So I went to talk with the Sara Jeffery, the network’s head of brand and recruitment, to ask: “Is franchising the route to getting women into print management?”

By Lesley Simpson

Imagine making 50% margins on your inkjet printed products! Well, there’s a design company in Sawtry, Cambridgeshire, that thinks it can do just that.

Employee engagement and morale are frequently dismissed as functions of HR and dealt with via team building days or by putting a ping pong table onsite. But is that the best way of getting the best from you people? Apparently not. Here are some pointers to achieving more beneficial results.

With a turnover of 200m Euro and over 1m customers, Onlineprinters is one of Europe’s biggest Web-to-print providers. CEO Dr Michael Fries has said that “print companies that embrace industry transformation” will do well, and that he expects online print shops in Western Europe to continue a two-digit growth in turnover over the coming years. So should you be looking to W2P? Given the group’s bold expectations for continued growth, I met with Simon Cooper, MD of UK-based subsidiary Solopress, to talk strategy – and find out where wide-format fits in.

By Lesley Simpson

Most business failures are the result of inexperience or poor management, or reasons beyond the directors’ control. But some end up in receivership because of owners taking too much money out of the company or otherwise displaying what Companies House would define as ‘unfit conduct’. So how do you safeguard your business from companies seemingly come back from the dead?

Fespa UK Association has been around (in various guises) since 1934, providing business, technical and legal guidance, educational services and events and networking opportunities to digital wide-format, screen and specialist PSPs - and to suppliers. Carol Swift took over the helm from Peter Kiddell last summer. Now she’s settled into the role - and given it’s show season - I took the opportunity to ask her how the association is representing the large-format sector, and to comment on hot topics like business confidence and investment plans.

By Lesley Simpson

Showcard is on the scent of something good according to MD Mark Smith. Here’s how the company is refocusing to take advantage of structural print opportunities.

Money talks. So what have you been hearing about R&D Tax Credits? That it’s an incentive out of your reach? Don’t be too dismissive. Innovation can and does pay, as the likes of Signbox and Augustus Martin will testify. So can you too get a tax rebate on your development work, or is it too much hassle for the pay-back? I met with Adam Kene, MD of London-based R&D tax incentive advisory Kene Partners for the heads-up.

By Lesley Simpson

So you’ve stopped recruiting ‘print reps’ and are instead seeking ‘business builders’ to promote your diversified services offering. But how do you find the right people - those conversant with printing, consulting, design, installation and everything else that your business does?  Brandon Stapper has ten questions you can use to vet potential candidates.

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