Where do you see your business going? Why do you do what you do? What do you believe in? What makes you different?
The screen printing industry is extremely competitive. If you can’t articulate who you are, and the unique value you offer customers, you’re unlikely to survive its bloody waters. Whether you’re a clothing brand, an Etsy store, or a local print shop contract printer— finding the answers to these questions will keep you excited about your work, help you be different, provide you clarity, and allow you to compete and even thrive in this competitive space.
Where are you going? If you don’t have a vision for what you want to do, how do you find the path to get there? Knowing where you want to go is the first step in getting there. One tool I’ve found helpful in the past is creating a stump speech. Developed by Susan Scott, author of Fierce Conversations, these five questions help you define your vision, or “stump.” In other words — what grounds you. Get out a piece of paper, or your computer, and get started. Remember to think big, this isn’t goal setting, this is vision building and dream making. If you have a partner have them do this too, then compare.
Below it is the second version of my personal stump speech written in 2013 during a Vistage meeting. It still holds true today, three years later. (Vistage is a CEO/Leadership development organization I have been a part of since 2010 and I feel has been integral in my personal growth and that of our business).
For Ryonet, our stump speech is slightly different, of course. Some of it is the same, the values in particular, but since we have over 100 team members the “where are you going” is a collective statement. At Ryonet, our vision started with growing something big online, then led to growing something big in screen printing, and now is expanding to a vision that crosses the horizontal markets we touch in this business every day. This is something we continue to think about, refine, and discuss as a company. You are never done creating your vision, and your journey doesn’t stop at where you want to go. You always should look ahead and set new horizons, because if you do the possibilities are endless.
Take your stump speech and shorten it down to one page. This can become the vision statement of your future in screen printing. Post it, share it with new hires, talk about it in meetings, and modify it as you reach milestones. Once you know where you want to go, you can focus on how to get there.
Want to learn more about starting your own screen printing business? Check out Ryonet’s new book, “Made to Make It: A Guide To Business Success In Screen Printing.”