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Mon, Mar

With what seems like the whole of life changing at the speed of light it’s hard to keep abreast of everything that’s impacting your business right now, but here are some key issues that need your attention.

In the first of a new series of ‘First Person’ articles by leaders of large-format PSPs explaining how they’re evolving their business, Richard Clark of Raccoon explains how his company is weathering the Covid-19 storm.

The BPIF is looking into the formation of a special interest group for the large-format digital print community. The thinking is that there are gaps in sector information and services that the federation could help fill. Investigating the situation is Marcus Clifford, regional director for the East and South East. I asked him to expand upon the idea, and how wide-format PSPs could help - and benefit.

Covid-19 has knocked everyone for six, but I’ve got to say, the IPIA has been really quick and forceful in its actions. Back in March, and together with the then separate BAPC, it produced an impact statement on the print industry for the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). 

John Boland is co-founder of custom workwear and safety signage company HiVis.co.uk, which has seen its in-house large-format print operation take-off since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. His take on developing that side of the business may well help you do likewise.

As your focus moves from survive to thrive, clever marketing is going to be a strategic necessity. Ice Blue Sky works with B2B organisations to deliver higher than average marketing qualified leads and/or sales qualified leads, so what its MD has to say on the topic is worth hearing.

Wish you had a crystal ball to tell you how business is going to look post Covid-19?  Well, we have the next best thing. Having raised some interesting points in his talk at the Future Print virtual summit, I linked-up with Colin McMahon, research analyst with Keypoint Intelligence, and asked him to expand on some of his key messages. It doesn’t all make for comfortable reading.

Looking beyond the Covid-19 pandemic, Walter Hale highlights some good habits - and principles - that can help you manage cash more effectively as you enter the new normal. 

Wondering when it will be ‘back to business’? Isn’t everyone. There can’t be a single print operation that has not been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, nor can there be a single way of coming out the other side as fit as before, but is there a case for what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger? I asked ImageCo MD and Fespa UK board member Nathan Swinson-Bullough for his take 

Training is a bugbear to many a large-format print provider - many companies citing issues such as irrelevant apprenticeship schemes as problematic for the sector. So, with the BPIF the largest supplier of apprenticeships to the UK printing industry, I went to talk with Karly Lattimore, the federation’s managing director of training, on how this sector can be better served. 

Or does it? If you use contractors you need to be aware of changes taking place from 6 April regarding IR35. Luke Menzies, director of Menzies Law, explains.

‘Skills shortage’ is something we’re hearing a lot about – the blame frequently blamed on Brexit. But with this shortage applying to mainstream job roles - such as electricians and mechanics - where does that leave an industry that requires a more niche skillset? Paula Thirkell of Ambitions personnel steers you in the right direction.

Every company would like to be more creative, which is why there is no shortage of books offering advice on the topic. Yet too many managing directors aren’t sure how to ignite the creative spark in their businesses. But in a rapidly changing, digitally driven, economy we need to get used to the idea that ‘no normal’ is the ‘new normal’ and behave accordingly. 

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