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Education: It’s Not Just for Students

(July 2009) posted on Tue Aug 25, 2009

Shop owners who come up with excuses to avoid spending the time or money to properly educate their employees are typically the first to blame their workers for mistakes and lapses in productivity. This article discusses the reasons why you should educate your staff and offers several resources for training.

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By Mike Ukena

3. On the routing slip, also state which articles you think are worth their while.

4. Follow up in an informal meeting or even a general staff meeting with questions about the articles to make sure everyone understands what they’ve read.

5. If you really push for results, ask your key staff people to get back to you with a brief synopsis on what you have asked them to read.

Next, you should look into localized educational offerings in the form of classes put on by industry distributors. I personally think these are one of the best values out there. They are cost-efficient (local and inexpensive), they are generally small groups so there is more one-on- one interaction, and they are very topical as far as current trends and products are concerned. They may have a little bit of a sales pitch to them too, but the main goal is education. Many on the supply side are of the opinion that if customers were better educated, they would also have stronger businesses.

I have mentioned this opinion about stronger business to a couple of printers, who came back at me with this: “If all of my competition were here learning like I am, then we would still be fighting for the same customers—no benefit.” I think this attitude is dead wrong. I am a proponent of trying to teach screen printers that they have blinders on when it comes to product offerings. Printers who think that all they print are T-shirts, with an occasional sweatshirt thrown in, will have a hard time growing in a tight market. Printers who are enlightened and want to print as many different items as they can know that that benefit is increased business opportunities and even less competition.


Trade-show classes

Trade shows, both regional and national, usually have 30-40 technical and business/marketing class options from which to choose. I would guess that at least four, if not ten, could be of benefit to you—especially if you have never been to a class on the subject.


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