Written by Derrick Doi
Vice President, Quick and Franchise Print Segment, Xerox Corporation
In today’s challenging print market, where digital color is the only technology showing consistent growth, it’s one thing for a print provider to continually grow the business. It’s quite another to grow by 36 percent annually over five years.
That’s the recent track record at PIP Printing and Marketing Services in Downey, Calif., southeast Los Angeles County, the birthplace to the Apollo space program, home to the oldest surviving McDonald’s restaurant, and hometown of musicians Karen and Richard Carpenter. Bruce Pansky, who owns the franchise with his wife Linda, recently discussed what’s behind his success with Insider, a publication for the PIP Network of Franchise Services Inc. (FSI)
Good fortune certainly plays a role. The Pansky’s bought the franchise from Bruce’s parents, Phil and Joni Pansky, who opened it in 1969. Bruce had recently graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, advertising and marketing, and married Linda, a bank vice president. Their backgrounds, seemingly unrelated to print, have actually played critical roles in the franchise’s success.
Bruce immediately applied his education to aggressively market the company, driving initial growth. Linda brought information technology skills and soon led the franchise’s ahead-of-the-curve march into computer-based services. More recently, Bruce applied his marketing background again, to lead the firm’s embrace of marketing services as a growth platform.
Here are the key tenets of the Pansky’s management philosophy and their comments on them:
Approach investing with conservative aggression—“We don’t purchase equipment for potential business or make large capital investments for any single account. We get the business first.”
Choose your customers—“We strive to work with companies that are doing well, that are aggressive and are working to grow. Our opportunity, then, is to partner with them in their growth.”
Maintain your reputation—“From the day my parents opened until today, the challenge is the same: to establish and maintain our reputation. We count on our reputation, and we use it as a selling point. Referrals are a natural way for us to approach lead generation and new business.”
Provide great customer service—“Customer service is even more important today than in the past because of the impersonal nature of online ordering. We make a point of staying personally in touch with our customers so that they regard us as part of their team, not just another vendor.”
Nurture partnerships with clients—“To win partner status with a client, you have to make recommendations that will increase your value for their company and its bottom line. You have to know how to deliver what they need.”
Nurture partnerships with vendors—“Xerox has been a strong partner—they support us with the technology we need to be competitive— especially when we entered into book and publication printing. Other vendors have worked with us to better meet our customers’ expanding business requirements and to be price competitive in our offerings.”
Train your staff—“When new services are introduced, we train our staff using the FSI training modules. We recently had two employees “USPS Platinum Certified,” which helps to strengthen our position as a professional mailing company and gives us at an advantage over our competitors.”
Keep selling—“You have to have the mindset of always selling, always marketing. Even with all of our gains, we can’t stop selling and trying to grow our company. If you are not growing, you are sliding. Keep selling!”
For more on the Pansky’s business success, you can read the Insider article in its entirety by clicking here.
What are you doing to grow your business? Is there anything in the Pansky’s management philosophy that you can apply?