Connect with us

7 Ways to Educate Your Shop Staff

To develop their workers, screen printing managers should look to other industry leaders.




TOO OFTEN, I LEARN about people in the industry who seem confused or frustrated. They bump along like they’re stumbling down a dark alley trying to find the correct door when there are so many amazing people who are all too happy to share and help illuminate the path ahead toward greater success. Here are some ideas for you to learn and grow from the best minds in the industry:

Set Goals

Everything starts and ends with a happy customer. Do they want something you don’t offer (yet)? Rather than simply saying no all the time, what if you solved that challenge? Make a list of what you need. Then, identify the key players with the knowledge, skill, creativity, and background to provide that product or service. Who is doing it right? Then, jot down some strategies you can use to learn from them. What is the best way for you to take in the necessary information?

Take Action

Watching a video, having a conversation, or reading a book about something is one thing. If you want to learn, you must start trying things out for yourself. It’s ok to do something wrong or make a mistake. By the way, FAIL is an acronym for “First Attempt In Learning.” Also, keep pushing. Growth happens when you apply what you have learned and try again.

Attend Industry Events

How many tradeshows do you attend a year? For most small business owners, the answer is zero, or maybe one or two. When I ask why they don’t go to more, the most common answer I hear is, “The stuff they show doesn’t change much. Why go every year?”

The reason is that you must be present to win. A tradeshow can be the tip of the spear for finding answers, especially if it’s your customer’s event. What problems need solving? Who has the answers? Are there tools, techniques, or processes that can be deployed? Shows usually offer classes taught by experts, workshops with demonstrations, and booths you can stop by for info.

Conferences and tradeshows are also excellent places for networking. This can happen at organized social events or completely random by striking up a conversation in line for coffee. I often rely on tried and true conversation starters, such as:

  • What is your biggest challenge?
  • Which product or service do you feel is best (or worst)?
  • What’s one thing that could make the biggest difference to your business right now?
  • Who is doing cool things? Who should I be paying attention to?

7 Ways to Educate Your Shop Staff

Follow Industry Leaders
on Social Media

7 Ways to Educate Your Shop Staff

If you want to keep up with industry leaders, look no further than their social media accounts. They share a constant stream of videos, articles, books, resources, and other content material about what they feel is important. Many also have newsletters, blogs, or podcasts.

Keep in mind, the top folks in the industry aren’t experts at everything. Often, they will enjoy other forms of content and repost or like those pieces. To really dig into things, pay attention to whom they are following. Take note of what they share and the comments they leave on other accounts. This is how you get insight and knowledge regarding new trends, ideas, and important discoveries.

“Working together effectively requires openness and honesty. “

Engagement is also encouraged. Did someone write or create an interesting piece that impacted your business? Let them know! Like or share the piece, add a comment, or shoot them a DM. This is how relationships begin.

Join Industry Associations,
Communities, and Masterminds

You may think you’re unique, but your journey is probably similar to a lot of other people in the industry. Look to associations, organizations, communities, or mastermind groups to find common ground and solutions to common challenges.

These organizations can be local, regional, national, or even international in scope. More than anything, you want to find one that feels at home to you. Alignment and fit matter. Regardless, paying our dues or membership fees won’t inject the knowledge you need most. There is often a direct correlation between what you get out of the membership and what you pay into it. Attend the workshops, seminars, and digital campfires these groups provide.


7 Ways to Educate Your Shop Staff

Take Online Courses
or Workshops

Have you ever thought you were too busy to take a class and learn how to do something correctly? Rather than gaining the knowledge, you tried to DIY the solution, taking twice the time and triple the cost, all because of one thought: “How hard could it be?”

Instead, why not find someone who has been down that road before who can show you the ropes? Many industry thought leaders have developed classes, workshops, webinars, and presentations that can give you the best practices for practically any situation. These can be a huge benefit even if you “already know how to do it.” The instructor can often show you a different method or technique you haven’t considered.

7 Ways to Educate Your Shop Staff


Do you often feel like you’re in the industry alone? What if I told you that others would love to grow alongside you and share the journey with you? This happens with collaboration.

Whatever you’re interested in learning right now – direct-to-film transfers, high-density screen printing, incorporating Midjourney art into sales – there are people just like you who are at the same spot in their learning process. Your job is to meet them. Have some fun and share the load by collaborating with one or more of these shops.

Working together effectively requires openness and honesty. Are you brave enough to admit that you don’t know something? That there’s a struggle Opening up can be difficult. However, on that journey, you’ll find you can grow together faster and probably have fewer dead ends than if you did it alone. Just raise your hand and find your future knowledge wanderers. Are you ready?

Want more from The Marshall Plan? Read all of Marshall Atkinson’s columns at here.




Let’s Talk About It

Creating a More Diverse and Inclusive Screen Printing Industry

LET’S TALK About It: Part 3 discusses how four screen printers have employed people with disabilities, why you should consider doing the same, the resources that are available, and more. Watch the live webinar, held August 16, moderated by Adrienne Palmer, editor-in-chief, Screen Printing magazine, with panelists Ali Banholzer, Amber Massey, Ryan Moor, and Jed Seifert. The multi-part series is hosted exclusively by ROQ.US and U.N.I.T.E Together. Let’s Talk About It: Part 1 focused on Black, female screen printers and can be watched here; Part 2 focused on the LGBTQ+ community and can be watched here.

Promoted Headlines

Most Popular