2009 has been quite a year. I’m thinking back to January when I was holding company meetings just to tell all of our employees things are scary and to prepare ourselves for the worst. If you remember, the whole business and financial world seemed to crash and burn late last year and starting 2009 was just a big question mark.

Well, we tightened the belt a notch or 2 and kept marching forward, and it never got as bad for us as we planned for.  I think part of the reason is the kind of printing we do…a large volume of small jobs and we specialize in full color. Both of these areas are the bright spots in printing. I’ve covered some of these issues in past blogs, but the days of long runs and big inventories seem to be behind us, replaced by shorter targeted campaigns and print-on-demand.

The anxiety generated earlier this year seemed to have passed somewhat also. Don’t get me wrong, there are still a lot of hurting businesses out there that are trying to find their bearings. But for us, I feel like the fog has lifted and we can at least see where were need to go (even if it is an uphill grade). We took our whole team and did a SWAT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats) this year and developed a strategic plan from the results. And as much as I hear “Print is dead” and printers better learn to become Marketing Service Providers if they want to survive, I’m not too worried about the future of printing. This comic about printers and marketing services hits that nerve.

You see, we learned is that we are very good at what we do and the world is still full of small, full color targeted print jobs. So our focus is just getting better and better at processing those jobs (and making the investments that go along with getting better). We all just feel that if we can make it easy to order your printed material at a very competitive price, do it on time and make it look great we will come out of this recession just fine. That does not mean the world of printing is not drastically changing, because it is. We just know we have developed a niche and the better we get at it, the better we will do.  So bring on 2010!