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The Soap Box

Celebrating creativity and success

Genevieve Lewis listens to print’s most influential trade associations and bodies as they consider key industry challenges and steps print companies can take to secure a successful future

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Nine secrets for success

Tony Kenton,

It might be an obvious statement, but being successful is an important part of being in business. After all, isn’t that why we’re in business? Success though, isn’t just about income, it’s as much (if not more) about doing a job well, feeling valued, enjoyment and fulfilment.

Success though, isn’t just about income, it’s as much (if not more) about doing a job well, feeling valued, enjoyment and fulfilment

Anyone who has these (in addition to the required income of course) can count themselves fortunate indeed because chances are, they are the minority.

When speaking to really successful people, you soon come to realise that success is usually more about attitude than process.  You find that rather than chase income, they all tend to follow these nine simple guidelines:

1. Identify where your passion and skills meet

The concept of ‘Vocation’ is at the crossroads of what you are uniquely good at and what you love to do. Even though the ultimate balance may not always be possible, it’s at least where you should be aiming your life.
2. Make those around you look good

No matter your position – managing director or sweeper upper, one thing never changes, everyday it’s your responsibility to make sure you make those around you look good. Whether that be your colleagues, your boss or your customers. 

3. Know when to stay or when to leave

Being in a company that offers the perfect mix of great opportunities with great people around you are rare. The truth is, there are degrees of this ideal and even if it comes close, you should count yourself lucky, stick with it, and make the most of what you have.

4. Do your very best

Success is a two-way street and by always doing your best, you are delivering on your promise of why you are successful in the first place.  The saying ‘what goes around, comes around’ is very true.

5. Give yourself a deadline

You shouldn’t let business feel like a grind. If you're unhappy – you feel it’s beyond you or you feel you are going nowhere – you have to put a time-frame of how long you are going to carry on doing the same old things, before making a change.

6. Don’t fear failure

The thing about failing, and let’s face it, we all make mistakes, is to identify what have your learned from the experience. 

7. Do what you say you will do

The biggest reason for lack of success isn’t because of mistakes, it’s because you have probably disappointed those you do business with at some time or another, be they internal or customers. 

8. Never stop reinventing yourself

Who wants to just tread water?  Banish thoughts of ‘Status Quo’ (and I don’t mean the band) from your mind. To succeed, you’ve got to constantly reinvent yourself and take all the chances you can to develop and improve your positioning.  

9. Network like crazy

That other adage ‘it’s about who you know, not what you know’ is also very true. To be successful you need to learn, and the best way to do that is to network.

Reputation is critical

Brendan Perring,
general manager,

The most important part of our work at the Independent Print Industries Association (IPIA) is ensuring we provide the value each one of our members needs to assist with their business growth, while also increasing standards in our sector more generally and ensuring its long-term stability.

A key part of this work is our Certification Scheme. Administered by UKAS accredited Associate Member PMC, it makes membership of the IPIA distinctive and particularly relevant in an age where reputation and standards are critical in an industry that is more competitive than ever.

For the Manufacturing Members, the IPIA promotes the Certification so that companies looking to outsource know that they will be dealing with exceptional trade service providers. Certification encourages professional buyers/resellers, both members and non-members within the industry to work with our production membership.

For our Print Management Members, the Certification Scheme is a useful addition to their sales process, giving them a unique advantage as they grow their businesses and need a distinctive asset. IPIA Print Managers will be able to assure clients that they belong to a professional body, have achieved their certification, and importantly, are supported by suppliers who are also part of the scheme; demonstrating excellence throughout the entire supply chain.

Tall Print’s values as a company

For Associate Members, the Certification Scheme ensures they keep all their i’s dotted and t’s crossed. The Schemes certification mark also acknowledges that their service and products are best in class and strengthens their CSR credentials.

The IPIA also works to promote this certification throughout the print industry and to the wider market of brands and marketers, which buy our members' products and services, giving IPIA Members a unique status.

With assessments lead by the highly-experienced team of John Dick and Mark Whitby, the scheme covers an assessment of insurance cover, ethics, personnel, customers and supplier relations, quality assurance, adherence to the IPIA Code of Practice, legal compliance, and member’s quality and environment management systems (ISO 9001, 14001).

All IPIA Members are automatically enrolled in the Scheme and PMC work consistently to provide evaluations and value to IPIA Members with advice and support to help them strengthen their operational resilience. If you want to know more about the Certification Scheme then please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Celebrating creativity

Charles Jarrold,
chief executive officer,

Following our recent announcement of the shortlist for the 2019 British Book Design and Production Awards, the BPIF London office is yet again buzzing with talk of beautifully printed and crafted books. The quality on display makes it easy to forget the Publishers’ Association’s report of a 5% drop in physical book sales for the first time since 2014 (from their 2018 Yearbook, published June 2019). Contrast this with a 43% growth in audiobook sales, and many might be tempted to think this is the beginning of the end for the printed book market.

The British Book Design and Production Awards shortlist was recently announced

But like the Publishers’ Association’s chief executive Stephen Lotinga, who has suggested this decline is more of a ‘trend halt’ than a ‘watershed moment’ for printed books, as ‘there was always going to be a point where print sales couldn’t continue rising every year’ (Sweney 2019), I’m remaining cautiously optimistic about the state of the UK printed book market.

As Lotinga reminds us, sales of printed books are ‘still up 8% over the last five years’ and, to put it simply, ‘people still love physical books’. For me, there’s no place where this is clearer to see than when I’m among those browsing the exquisite display at the awards ceremony for the British Book Design and Production Awards. From limited editions to children’s trade and literature, the sense of delight felt in the room as people flick through the pages, inspect the illustrations, and admire the sheer craftsmanship of each book is second to none. And it’s this that reminds me of the unique qualities only a printed book can provide. While audio and digital clearly have their place, this uniqueness is something that can never be taken away from the physical book – and why I think it’s here to stay.

So yes, we’ve seen a small decline in the sale of physical books. But there’s still so much to celebrate about the printed book – and championing this is what we’ll continue to do.

To see this year’s BBDPA shortlist or to find out more about the awards, please visit the British Book Awards website.

Public Notice:

  • Always do you best and do not fear failure
  • IPIA works to promote certification
  • Drop in book sales, nothing to worry about

To find our more about the issues discussed in this articles please contact the relevant organisation via their website: www.bapc.co.uk, www.britishprint.com, www.ipia.org.uk

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