Printavo is a management software for print shops. Its founder Bruce Ackerman, Campus Ink’s co-owner Steven Farag, and Printavo’s Onboarding & Education Executive Adam Cook, recently released a book.
The book succeeds in what it sets out to do: It lays out a blueprint for creating a philosophy that you can build your shop around. Rather than reviewing the book’s ideas, which isn’t too constructive, I want to put down a few words about what the book rightly emphasized through its advice on hiring, workflow, and culture:
I don’t own a shop. Maybe never will. But I have been in this industry long enough to know that many shop owners take their hires for granted. I’ve heard some horror stories about hiring anyone off the street rather than paying for top talent. Referencing getting high school kids to fill critical roles. Or expecting an employee to be some sort of perfect machine: Having sales, art, and production acumen & have a godly drive to grow a shop they don’t own.
It’s tough being an owner. But that’s what you signed up for.
I was really hard on the Sales Manager at my shop when I first got my job. When I became Production Manager, I was tougher on myself. Not to be miserable, but to ensure that the people we hired on could feel safe in knowing they had managers who were on their side.
I haven’t always succeeded in that pursuit. Sometimes my ego got in the way. Hell, it still does. But my main goal is to make the lives of the people under me as good as possible. Sometimes that means fighting for more pay. Other times it means getting out of their way and letting them fail in a system that doesn’t judge on their mistakes but what they learn from them. Most of the time it just means backing up what comes out of my mouth, good or bad.
Printavo’s book doesn’t get preachy about any of these points. In fact, I would say it looks at things, save for the beginning and end chapters, in a clinical way. What is at its core, however, is a system based around the human side of things. Owners and Employees. They know true, sustainable profits will only come from this perspective.
That’s a perspective I would like to see more often.