At this point it is such a cliche to make New Year’s Resolution, and so many people have the experience of making them and not keeping them that it can seem futile. However, setting goals, making timelines for those goals, and periodically reviewing those goals is always a good idea and a New Year is a good a time as any to do that.
If one of these ten goals don’t resonate with you I would be very surprised. Consider adding a couple to your list of resolutions for the New Year.
- Review Salaries: Take a look at your company’s pay rates and make sure you are keeping up with the industry and what people are paying in your region. Particularly look at the 20% of your staff that gets most of the work done. Don’t lose your best press set up person over $2 an hour, don’t be paying your invaluable artist $20 an hour when the going rate is $25, don’t pay your bookkeeper that knows your business inside and out $18 an hour only to find out that you are going to have to hire a rookie to replace them at $25.
- Learn Something: Make plans to go the Long Beach ISS show or Printing United or to ThreadX, read Impressions, get in an online Facebook group with folks that know something. Invest in your brain.
- Squeegees: Sharpen your squeegees or throw them out. Now.
- Washing Machine: If you don’t put one in your shop, make sure you regularly test your prints for cure by washing them at home or a laundromat. Nothing else will really tell you if you are getting a good cure.
- Safety Walk: Take a walk around your shop inside and out and look around. Those dust bunnies on top of the ceiling are a fire hazard, the extension cord laying across the floor is a no-no, that loose railing on the front steps, that dead tree limb over the parking lot, the fire extinguisher that has expired, etc.
- Computer Backups: Make sure all your data is getting backed up regularly and that the back up really works. That’s art department, bookkeeping, emails, and order info. Make sure it also regularly goes physically off site or in the cloud as well.
- Spare parts: Make sure you have all the spare parts you need to keep going, particularly the inexpensive ones. At the least don’t be shut down by a belt that tears, a bulb that burns out, or bushings on your press.
- Review Pricing: Make sure you aren’t overpaying for the things you buy the most of like reclaiming chemicals or ink. Don’t go across the street for a penny, but if you are paying $35 more per five gallon of white ink you might at least want to discuss it with your current supplier. Also talk to your suppliers, maybe they can save you a bundle buying a drum instead of a five, 50 yards of mesh instead of 10, or what have you.
- Try Something New: Resolve this year to try something to give you more game, because if you don’t move forward you go backwards. It is time to try discharge ink, s-mesh, subcontracting some DTG work out, roll-on platen adhesive, puff embroidery, or something new. Between info on line, reputable suppliers, and your own efforts you can figure out a couple things to improve your decorating.
- Maintenance Schedule: Finally get around to making a calendar to change filters and belts, grease fittings, level your platens and all those little things that need to be done to keep you going. Everything to do under the category “an ounce of prevention…”
Happy New Year!