Small Business New Years Resolutions: Twin Perspective

New Years normally means a lot of personal resolutions…I’m going to lose weight, eat better, etc., etc., what what about resolutions for your business? Twin-preneurs Zach and Alex Traxler share what’s in store for their thriving businesses for 2015…and some misconceptions they might like to clear up.

Zach Traxler – Traxler Custom Tees

Let 2015 officially be known at Traxler Tees as the year of cost analysis (every year should be, but this is THE year). In our industry (and almost every other industry) it all comes down to where and how every penny is spent. January 1st we roll out a new proprietary CRM and production management platform that will help us count these “pennies.” At the same time we will not only be training our staff in understanding the software, but also why it’s extremely important to utilize absolutely all the features.

We currently waste a lot, A LOT of time noting everything on paper, misplacing the paper, searching for the paper, and sometimes when a client reorders, not transferring crucial information to said paper among dozens of important things to get their orders right. (We of course fix these issues for the client if they occur). This all causes additional work and distraction in almost every department. If we can narrow down areas of friction and adjust or fix them, the rest of 2015 will be a breeze. Not only will it be a breeze, we will be able to start looking at adding even more equipment, services, staff, benefits and so on.

Aside from internal streamlining, we are in the process of acquiring another local print house with national brand exposure and an excellent reputation. It is one of my personal resolutions that the transition for their staff into our company be extremely easy. Once they are settled, we plan to expand once again internally, and have plans to expand to another Ohio town/city very soon!

Lastly, beginning in Q1 of 2015 we will finally offer no minimums on embroidery, apparel and custom vinyl as we will be adding the equipment to offer such services in-house, locally. Finally – we are the one-stop-shop for anyone’s┬ácustom printing needs. Our first resolution is crucial in playing a role in how we roll these services out. If we want to compete nationally with the big online shops, we will need to have every penny accounted for to offer the best and most competitive prices in our industry.

In my opinion, the most important resolution for anyone this coming New Year is shop local! Various studies show between 53 and 68 percent of every dollar spent local stays local. We take that to heart, and a step further by sourcing everything we can to produce our customers’ orders from other Ohio-based businesses, “trickle down local-nomics.” Buy Local, buy Ohio.

Alex Traxler – Griffen Hollow Studios

First I would like to thank all of the folks in Columbus for the generous support of my small business, Griffen Hollow Studio. In the last three years GHS has expanded three times and now employs two full-time and two part-time fabricators (including myself).

In the last year I have maintained a busy schedule and enjoyed the creative projects my clients brought in. Most of the advertising is word of mouth which I hope to maintain throughout the next year, or years.

Over the last year (really three years) the movement of “up-cycling” (making it better than it was before) has taken off. That was a major premise of GHS when I started and would like to make part of the foundation of the company from here on out. Folks don’t realize I can reclaim old materials and make a product with the same integrity as making it with new materials, though I will always offer to make my clients’ products out of their preference. (Up-cycling saves money and our environment) My biggest goal with reclamation and up-cycling is to generate a sustainable conversation to promote more eco-friendly practices. If I offer these services, I hope my competitors will do the same.

Griffen Hollow Studio offers a plethora of services. I like to say, “There is nothing my team and I can’t do, figure out or find someone who can help complete it.” Establishing a more precise or defined presence that folks know about would be nice in 2015. Many of our clients see what they want and don’t see what all GHS has to offer. They may come in for a full set of custom engraved glasses for their bar, but not realize I can customize their entire brand from glasses, signage, menus, bars, furnishings and so much more.

In 2015 I hope to see a greater definition of Griffen Hollow Studio locally and solidify the team’s presence as the “go-to” fabrication company for Columbus. Though we are a small business, 2014 was full of huge projects. A few of these projects were The Commissary in Grandview, the new Daily Growler in Powell and our ornaments with State of Devotion.

I think our great city would benefit from supporting small businesses from here on out. No need to shop at big-box retailers when the mom-and-pop shops need the help and the boost. If they don’t offer what you want, then ask. Many of them would be pleased to help you find what you need.

My final resolution for 2015 is hoping folks realize I am not the t-shirt guy. That would be my twin brother, Zach, owner of Traxler Custom Printing.

Want to share your business’ resolutions – email me susan@themetropreneur.com.

Photo by Sallie Traxler.