Print Isn’t Dead.
On the contrary, it’s a 640 billion (that’s right billion) dollar industry that generates 3.8 trillion in related services annually. None of this is news to David Truong, managing partner at Rayacom printing. David got into the printing business right out of high school and never looked back. For him, entering into a franchise was an easy choice as it offered a way for him to run his own business with an immediate network of support to guide him. Read on to learn about how he’s successfully run a printing business in downtown Toronto for the last 6 years.
How did you become the Managing Partner at Rayacom:
I was born & raised in Edmonton, Alberta where the first Rayacom HQ originated. It was my first job out of high school and I started off with a small role there. I enjoyed the industry and saved up my money to start my own franchise. At just 23 years old, thanks to my savings and help from family, I opened up a franchise in Toronto. I wanted to come to the biggest city in Canada and see what I could do. We’ve been in business since 2012 and have hit some major milestones, such as having moved to a newer, bigger office this year.
What was the greatest challenge you faced in opening your franchise?
Honestly it was quite easy. I had the support and guidance of the franchise to guide me. I was young and their support was instrumental to my success. But I can say the hardest part of running a printing business in general is the competition. There is a print shop on every block.
What’s your secret to attracting new customers?
Printing is a competitive market so you really have to pay attention to their problems customers are facing. When I meet a new potential client, I try my best to understand the challenges they face with their current supplier. Usually the biggest issues are deadlines, budgets or quality and that’s where I jump in to help. Just like any consumer business, creating a relationship is key. Anyone that has ever printed anything, ever, will know that this is a very tedious industry! If you can work with your client to solve frustrating pain points, they’ll come back.
Which company were you the most excited to work with in 2017? (Trick question)
Not a particular company, but events are the most fun to put together in our space. There’s something magical about working on a upcoming event. From planning the concept with the client and what they need for printing materials all the way to seeing it come to life. The Notable Awards were pretty cool to work on because there were quite a few large pieces that had to be turned around quickly. Lots of trust rides on those projects.
What about advice for starting a business through a franchise?
Do your research and get to know other franchisee owners. My relationship with other franchisee owners is just as strong as the franchisor. Franchisees can teach each other because we’re actually out here, operating the businesses. Having a good bond with each other is paramount if you go down this path.
How does that advice differ for a young entrepreneur that wants to open a print shop independently?
It’s a big industry with a lot of different types of machines and products. I would suggest getting into a niche and focusing on that. Building good relationships with suppliers and vendors is a must. When I moved down here I had no suppliers, I had to build those relationships and they taught me a lot. For instance, remember those tedious problems I mentioned earlier, we have them too! Sometimes on a bigger scale. Your supplier can tell you which specific technician you’ll need if a certain piece of your equipment breaks down. It’s always about good relationship building.
Is 3D printing in your future?
Rayacom is always looking to grow out capabilities and products, so yes! 3D printing is a possibility in the future.