The Yes Shop: Why an Attitude can be your Most Valuable Asset

How do you build a thriving print business entirely off referrals? Reel in clients from New York to California without a sales force? And become a full-service shop with just eight employees?
1. Group
Just say yes. Then figure out a way to get it done.
That’s the Mark Zimmerman way. Mark opened Spectrum Print Plus, a Boston-based digital print shop, in 2007 under the name Spectrum Litho. That never-say-no attitude has helped the company capture loyal client after loyal client in the city of Boston and beyond.
A Passion for the Craft
Having been in the business since he was “knee-high,” printing runs in Mark’s blood. That shows in his work, which he often describes as boutique printing. Over the years, Spectrum has become adept in most every type of printing, specialty finishing and binding there is.
From printing in-room collateral for five-star hotels to menus for some of Boston’s finest restaurants, Spectrum’s biggest clients reside in the hospitality sector where this complex, high-end printing also comes with expectations for rapid turnarounds. Of course, the answer is always the same: Yes.
8.Hotel samples
With the addition of two Xerox® Color 1000 Presses in 2014, one of which has clear dry ink capabilities, the company has been delivering on both fronts like never before. “The color consistency is incredible, from one to 1,000. And now anytime I get a file, I’ll kick out a few proofs with the clear dry ink and customers absolutely fall in love with it. For our business, it’s an easy way to consistently add value.”
It has been a welcome change for Spectrum. The color machine they previously owned from another manufacturer could never truly deliver the level of aesthetic and functional value Mark sought—so much so that they got out of the contract three years early.
“I take pride in my work. This press really shows it off well.”
Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way
9. Xerox.solo
“One thing I never say is ‘no.’ Just get it in the shop and we’ll figure out how to get it done. Sure, it can lead to a lot of stressful nights, but that’s how we grow our clientele.” Whatever strings Mark has to pull – partners he has to lean on or extra help he needs to call in – no job is ever turned away.
Since the addition of the two Xerox® Color 1000 Presses, Spectrum has seen a major increase in uptime, sometimes handling more than 200,000 clicks in a single week. One operator works the presses, which can often be found running simultaneously, churning out last-minute requests, making changes on the fly and banging out short run after short run. It’s been such a success that 100 percent of their digital color work is now printed on the 1000.
‘Yes’ Is More
The strategy has proved to be a good one. Over the past year, Spectrum has added a major client, boosted revenue by 40 percent and accelerated its transition to a full-service provider.
The shop recently partnered with a designer, copywriter and online promotional product supplier to further expand their services. To reflect the shift, Mark has shed the Spectrum Litho name in favor of Spectrum Print Plus and is preparing a self-promo piece touting the new full service identity.
‘Yes’ can be a powerful thing.

Related Posts


  1. Heidi Tolliver-Walker December 9, 2015 -

    The older I get, the more I “get” the whole yes thing. As a consumer, I don’t have time to figure out the who, where, when, and why. I just want to hand off a project to someone and know it will get done, and done right, and I’m willing to pay a little more for that piece of mind. At the same time, we have seen printers try to be everything to everybody and not succeed. Printers who have a niche and dominate it are doing better than those who try to be “one stop shops.” I guess finding the intersection of the two is where Spectrum succeeds.

Comments are closed.