Niche marketing

Get out of the printing business Don’t sell printing – sell communication solutions Printing is a commodity. Even four-colour printing carefully matched to the client’s proof is a commodity. Prices are low, and clients order it online and monitor in real time. Prices for general, run-of-the-mill printing are so low, it’s almost impossible to make … Read more →

View from the Publisher

Warren Wilkins, founder of Webcom, has retired. We wish him well in his retirement and thank him for all his efforts and contributions to our industry. To those of you have been following the World Cup, I hope you’ve been able to find time to catch a few of the games. With just four teams … Read more →

Out my window – Reach out but stay safe

As a business manager, you’re constantly faced with the question of whether to branch into offering something new, versus concentrating on what you already know and do best. Diversification or consolidation? Venture or tried and true? Risk or safety? Standing still is not an option in the graphic arts industry of the 21st century. Successful … Read more →

A few good tips for digital photography

The digital revolution has made great strides in photography. digitally recorded images have replaced film to record the scenes. today’s user friendly cameras adjust setting for you and capture your composition as an analog image and then convert it to digital information so it can be transferred onto the storage medium. You’ve heard this before: … Read more →

Relative Value

Executive compensation is often a focal point for comments by shareholders, employees and the media. I’m of the opinion that if an executive is improving the financial performance of a company, then they should be entitled to sharing in the rewards. However, when a company’s relative performance is deteriorating, then the leadership should suffer along … Read more →

DIY automation for niche markets

Specialized markets don’t always use page layout programs which have workflows designed for them. Often, workflows involve Adobe Illustrator, dielines, layers, spot colours and odd page sizes. These workflows don’t fit with standard preflighting software, standard pdf workflow software, proofing systems and regular separation workflows. Specialized prepress workflows rely on the ingenuity of the production … Read more →

Are your people problems really the issue?

I’ve discovered an interesting phenomenon when organizations bring me in to help "motivate their people."  They may be suffering from customer complaints, staff turnover, or a lack of teamwork. At first glance, these appear to be front line people problems. What we frequently find however is that most problems involving attitudes and teamwork are actually … Read more →

Graphic Arts IT Guy Q and A

Q. We have a small graphics department with 4 Macs with external hard drives and no server. We use each other’s files often, but we have a problem with permissions. The files are often locked so we can’t open them and save them. It’s very frustrating. How can we get rid of permissions? A. The … Read more →

The three life stage

Retirement planning can be divided into three distinct phases, based on your life stage. During each stage, there are specific investment and financial strategies you should consider to help you achieve your retirement goals. Life Stage 1 – Building your retirement nest egg Start early to maximize the impact of tax-deferred compounding over time Catch … Read more →

Managing employee success – Part II

This article expounds on last month’s discussion of the purposes and techniques for managing employee success, starting with additional guidelines for conducting performance appraisals. Encourage two-way dialogue. An effective performance appraisal requires interactive conversation. Give employees the message that their opinions matter and they will get a fair hearing. To stimulate discussion, ask open-ended questions … Read more →

Identify fraud before you get duped

Fraud is everywhere and you need to be aware of it.  If you have an e–mail address, then you’ve no doubt been assaulted with a particular spin on an old con. It’s an old swindle that’s been modernized thanks to the Internet. The perpetrators now have an entire planet in which they can troll for … Read more →