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One Wish

We asked our Brain Squad members to lend their hindsight.





What’s the one thing you wish you would have known when you started in the business?

If you listened to Season One of the Screen Saver podcast, you know we asked each of our guests the same three questions at the end of every episode. We gave our Brain Squad the chance to answer the first question: What’s the one thing you wish you would have known when you started in the business? Here’s what they had to say:

  • I wish I had known about contract printing much sooner. I enjoy outsourcing larger jobs to my subcontractors. I would have saved countless hours slaving over my printing press. — Deonjala Williams, Dee’s Sweet Tees and Heart and a Heat Press, Lake Worth, Florida
  • The skill you need to do this business. — Stephen Williams, S&S Custom T-Shirts, Valdosta, Georgia
  • I wish I would’ve known more about software used for screen printer like InkSoft or Printavo. — Victoria Jones, Inbound Ink, Lynn, Massachusetts
  • Lonely! There’s no foxhole mentality like you have with a regular job. Whether you’re working away in an office, pounding nails with a hammer, or picking in a warehouse, there’s a sense of community. You’re in it together. When it’s your business, it gets pretty lonely in the beginning. You have a lot of responsibility and it’s yours alone. You combine that with the difficulty of the task and it’s easy to see why so many businesses fail. The solution to this is find at least one other business owner you can relate to and, if nothing else, be able to safely vent to. Surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals will only help you grow. — Ron Augelli,, Dickson City Pennsylvania
  • How much work and how much fun it would be. — Dennis Bruso, East Coast Printers, Essex Junction, Vermont

  • You can (and should) fire clients. You should also say no when you are doing something that is way out of what you want to do. — Eric Carnell, Independence Printage Corp, Bellevue, Washington
  • How to promote our business to create the type of sales we want. We have been strictly word of mouth for 43 years. — John Wilhelmsen, Distinct Impression, Tucson, Arizona
  • The importance of cash management and financial competence. Too much emphasis on the technical delivery of the product. We spent countless hours chasing monies owed to the detriment of production. — Mark Coudray, Coudray Growth Tech, San Luis Obispo, California
  • How time consuming and demanding it is. — Frank Cusano, Vernon Display Graphics, Carlstadt, New Jersey
  • How quickly new technology can take over the traditional way of doing things. — Robert Francis, ScreenPrintPlus, Naperville, Illinois
  • To trust my gut. Most any job that I got a weird vibe when the customer walked in I should have either, 1) priced it high, or 2) said yes, I can print that in three to four weeks. Conversely, those great jobs that I made money on I always jumped on was by trusting my gut or instincts, as well. Most of us know when a weird customer walks in just by the vibe. — Bill Bischoff, Bischoff Design/Atomic Tees, Modesto, California
  • How vital delegation can be. — Keith Abrams, The Decoration Facility, Indian Trail, North Carolina

  • Sales and business hunger are far more important than technical skills, but that’s not what I brought to the party. — Richard Greaves, Screen Police, Wyandotte, Michigan
  • That the business would be still operating after nine years so make sure you enjoy the ride. — Shannon McKinnon, Aisle 6ix, Sydney, Australia
  • Better training on people management. — Edward Cook, ECI Screenprint, Watertown, Connecticut
  • Being boss was so much work. — Arnold Footle, Dahlgrens, Deerfield Illinois
  • The one thing that I wish I would have known is how to calculate costs correctly to ensure pricing structures are earning a good profit. We didn’t technically struggle in the beginning but when looking back on it, I can envision how much faster we could have grown if we would have had a better pricing structure. The one thing that I am glad I didn’t know about is how much paperwork goes into being a business owner! — Joe Ortinau, Ortinau Art, Pemberville, Ohio
  • How widespread and utilized SP technology/processing is in so many different industrial and manufacturing sectors. I guess what goes along with that is the level of automation that was/is available, and training to use it. — Andy MacDougall, MacDougall Screen Printing, Royston, BC

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a screen-printing business, you’re invited to join the Screen Printing Brain Squad. Take one five-minute quiz a month, and you’ll be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting screen-printing pros. Sign up here.


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