Planning for 2019


Please find some links and notes from the 2 Regular Guys Podcast. Aaron and Terry will be talking 2019 and how to plan for it. This is an annual show where two well-known planners share their tips and tricks to make 2019 your best ever! Learn about business planning, micromanagement, learning to say No and more.

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  • The December issue of Printwear magazine has a feature called Tech Forecast: What Technologies Do You See Emerging in 2019. This was a question posed to several industry experts with some interesting responses. We’ll post the link or Google Printwear Magazine.
  • SGIA Creates First-ever Convergence Council – New council taps supplier executives from all printing industry segments to advise association — In an unprecedented move, the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) has created a Suppliers and Manufacturers Council (SMC), an elite group of industry leaders who will advise the association on issues and concerns related to the future success of their companies, their customers and, more importantly, the printing industry.


Terry: New mindset for a changing marketplace, the time is at hand

  • If you’re turning away “below minimum” orders right now, and you likely are, it’s only going to get worse.
  • ‘We’re not set up for that kind of business.”
  • “The garment-decorating marketplace has seen a significant shift toward three things: individualization, customization for quantities as small as one, and the prevailing customer mindset of: “I want it right now.”
  • Get started with minimal investment… now

Aaron: Do you Have a Business Plan?

  • Everyone talks about it, and everyone says it is a good idea if not essential, but in my research (ie asking people if they have one) it is less than 20% and my guess is half of that 20% is lying.
  • It is really hard to do, you have to honestly assess yourself and your business. But is your business not important enough for you to spend time ON it?
  • If you do have one, was it just to get a loan or place on a coffee table? Has anyone in your company read it or better yet, been a part of it?
  • Can you tell me your “why” in less than 3 sentences?
  • I offered up a free bit of help in getting your business plan off the ground this last summer. It was only 5 steps and you had to send me 5 emails to participate in it. Videos were watched by over 1,000 people. Guess how many people did the first one (5). Guess how many people got through all 5 steps? (1)
  • This is not to make you feel bad or for me to whine that no one participated. It just showed me I need to do a better job of preaching the business plan sermon and show you that you are not alone. Let’s do it together!!! IT WILL HELP YOUR BUSINESS.

Terry: Micromanagement self-evaluation

  • At the start of a new year, it’s a good time to look at your own manager/owner style on the job
  • Micromanagers never seem to know they’re micromanagers, in fact sometimes tell you they are not.
  • But remember as an employee, it’s called the eccentricities of ownership, so you’re not likely to affect change from the bottom up, it has to be a willful decision on the part of the owner or manager.
  • 5 Things from a few months ago is a good test for you. Will you honestly answer yes to one or more of these questions?
    • If you feel you cannot take time off work for fear the wheels will fall off in your absence
    • Your employees will not make an independent decision and defer to you in every situation
    • You feel your employees do not care about their work or the success of the company.
    • You feel there is only one right way to accomplish every task at work.
    • Your employees never offer suggestions to improve their jobs or the business
  • We all get it… you started the business to be in charge. It’s your company so why can’t you make every call? You’re the person who laid it all on the line. But your employees have committed too. This can be a mutually beneficial relationship.
    • All true, but if you want to grow the business you have to let go of the strings
    • In the end, it’s all about confidence and trust. If you don’t have trust out there in the real world, you’re not a great candidate for change in your business world.
    • The story about being gone for a week and the owner said, “We didn’t need you here all week.”
  • For your peace of mind, you can take baby steps
    • This takes time, so don’t succumb to the temptation to say, “This isn’t working.” and go back to your micromanagement ways.

Aaron: Be MORE Customer Centric

  • I think this is one of the “things I would like to see in the coming year” for our industry, but for this, I’m saying this should be part of your planning.
  • I’m doing a seminar on this topic at DAX, and if you can improve how customer-centric your business is you will be more profitable in the sharing economy we are in right now whether we like it or not.
  • You will be more profitable as a more customer-centric business in at least 3 ways. Customer Centric is a value-added service so you can charge more than your competitors, you will reduce your marketing expenses because doing more business with your current customers costs much less and you will reduce your sales costs because your customers will become your sales team without having to pay them.
  • So for the planning segment, the key is to review your customer experience. What friction points can you take out for them? Where do you have the most back and forth? What ends up causing you the most misunderstandings with your customers?
  • Then how can you make it easier for your customers to share their experience with others? What is your “word of Mouth” marketing plan?

Terry: Bonuses and rewards for your staff

  • Bonuses in all forms can be a positive motivator for your staff
  • Bonuses become a part of compensation, not a one-time deal in the eyes of your employees
  • Some owners and managers think (and say) “I’m paying you to do the job, so do the job!”
  • Bonuses and rewards are for service above and beyond, usually for reaching a challenging goal, etc.
  • A group reward for everyone pitching in can be a real motivator
  • And little gestures of appreciation go a long, long way
  • But once a bonus program is put in place, your employees will start counting on it and see it as part of their compensation

Aaron: Learn to Say No

  • OK, mainly putting this out there for me. I need to learn this probably more than anything. Would rather fail at something than not give it a go, but honestly, that is not fair to the projects/customers/experiences that I do want.
  • Wraps back to your business plan for your company. What customer do you need to fire? What customers do you need to say no to before you start?
  • This allows you to be the best at what you do, not just decent at lots of things. With all the noise and the ability for anyone to sell to anyone anywhere in the world, what makes you different? If you are taking on everything, then probably nothing. As you are looking towards what you are going to DO in 2019, make sure to spend some time listing what you are NOT going to do as well. Then learn the sandwich method.

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