Deal With It

Despite some recent signs of slight economic improvements, the overall economic outlook remains gloomy. So it isn’t surprising that quick and small commercial printers expect 2011 sales to wind up flat, according to NAPL/NAQP’s most recent survey of this segment. Back in May, those surveyed anticipated a gain in the five percent range. Maybe springtime puts people in perkier moods than does late fall.

However, in looking more closely at the findings, we see that around 40 percent of respondents expect 2011 sales growth, compared to 31 percent who expect sales to decline. So, while the average of the group points to flat sales, a healthy chunk of respondents see sales gains.

The point is that averages are just that. Could the economy be better? Of course. Would that translate directly to sales growth? Maybe or maybe not. My read is that those printers who expect growth are not worrying too much about economic conditions. They are doing what they need to do to grow sales and profits—adapting their job mix to meet changing demand, running more efficiently, marketing themselves, and, above all, going out and selling something.

Some predictions are that it will take years for the economy to recover to pre-recession levels. That may be so, but it isn’t going to do anybody any good to sit around and wish that things were better. Things are what they are and it appears that some 40 percent of printers have figured that out and are dealing with it.