Meet Richard Saetre, owner of Impro Graphics and Featured Business Owner at SCORE Chicago this week. Learn how he started and what tips he has for your success.
What is your company’s elevator pitch?
Impro Graphics is a 15 year old custom screen printer in the northwest suburbs. We print items such as decals, signs, posters, placards, precut vinyl lettering, printed magnets, graphic overlays, scratch off for game cards and printed plastic cards. Our motto is “we like the challenge of the unusual.”
Who are your clients, and give an example of how you served that person or business?
Our clients are offset printers, display houses, and others all over the world. We like unusual and challenging projects such as high opacity white on dark substraits, scratch off for game cards, graphic overlays for medical instruments and electronics.
For example, we did a scratch off game card for Hooters.
We also did a 24″ x 48″ plastic sign for the Illinois Lottery, printed four color on both sides.
What is your most successful sales strategy?
I’m surprised at Linkedin’s power to generate leads from networking with prospects. I request someone to connect who looks like our target prospect, and if they do, I thank them. Sometimes I add a question after looking at their profile.
Linkedin has also helped me to revive old contacts and given me and my printing business online visibility. I recently got a client in Florida from it, and I’m in Chicago.
What is your biggest business challenge?
Finding the time to do regular marketing is our biggest challenge. Sometimes we get busy and let it slide.
Also, it’s sometimes hard to be flexible and go with the flow. Customers needs are constantly changing. Last year most of our work was on flexible materials for labels and decals, while this year we are printing on rigid materials like signs and displays.
What is your Mentor’s name, and how they have helped you in your business?
Peg Corwin has helped me for years with online marketing, especially the use of Linkedin and Adwords. Mitchell Morris and Peg advised us when we were thinking about exit strategies. Michael Sulllivan also gave me marketing ideas and advice on direct sales, his area of strength.
What advice would you give other entrepreneurs?
If your own business is not fun, don’t do it. Working for someone else is a lot easier. The biggest advantage is you will know in advance if your job is ending.
What is your website for further info?
Our business mentors can help you, too!
Disclaimer: SCORE Chicago helps small business owners manage and grow their businesses. We help startups write business plans and launch. Nevertheless, our involvement should not be considered as an endorsement.