For 30 years I’ve had the honor of managing the business of my family’s legacy.
Managing a small business today is quite different from when I started, but each year I answer one simple question: What’s Next?
I’m often asked how we manage change in an industry that’s flooded with innovation and disruptive technology. My answer is fairly simple; what are our clients looking for, which for us, translates to what’s next.
This year, as we celebrate 160 years of our journey, I have taken time to reflect on the years that Sentinel has transcended. How incredible to think that we began with hand set type, letterpress, and water driven power for printing presses and we now live in a world bombarded with stimulation, immediate satisfaction (or perhaps, dissatisfaction). Today, the answer to most questions is just a click away.
Yet, for all that changes, much remains the same. We remain in a service business that connects with each and every customer. Although the touch points with one another may have changed, we will keep our client’s needs at the forefront of what’s next.
Last week I had the pleasure of attending the Print 18 show in Chicago. My travels were based on all our plans for 2019 and beyond. What’s next for us is truly exciting as we have seen that clients still desire all that print offers them.
Print has evolved from an “information source” to a “senses experience”. Through our first 150 years, print provided information to clients and today, our clients are sharing print with their clients to appeal to their senses. The obvious senses are sight, smell, and touch but we have even seen cases of taste and sound. There are the other less obvious senses that print will appeal to such as a sense of humor. This in return can trigger emotions which people like to share… “When we care, we share”.
Our “what’s next” also includes automated solutions that will appeal to our clients and our need for immediate satisfaction. Our turnaround times continue to shorten as our quality continues to improve. Planning for 2019 is well underway and we’re excited about what we will offer the print community.
If you have a moment, it would be great to hear about “what’s next” for your company. At Sentinel, we enjoy sharing our plans, thoughts, and ideas so that we can all learn together. Google may have many of the answers, but they currently don’t have all the answers. Learning and sharing will be our greatest strength and opportunity in small business for years to come.