An experienced funding & financing specialist at the time, I was hired by a medium Design & Print company from Toronto to prepare a couple of smaller Government tender bids. Because, in a dog-eat-dog business, every little bit helps.

As any marketer, I was already familiar with the industry. Working on those bids gave me a deeper understanding of it. After the applications were submitted, I pitched a new line of business to the firm.

Design, Prepress & Print are notoriously fickle industries. ROI is low, a margin for error very slim (and quite costly if you cross it). Yet the technology requires constant investments, as it changes over night.

Management can get immersed in solving their day-to-day challenges; they might not notice a major threat or opportunity right around the corner. So I took the initiative to alert the owner of this business of hot new possibilities.

My idea for them to pivot into on-demand printing (which at the time was just emerging) did not immediately catch on. The owner was amused and intrigued, but soon returned to more pressing issues.

BOTTOM LINE: Months later, they did pull off a pivot – one of several in their “portfolio”.

By then, I was on another continent, so no longer involved. But I never forgot that lesson.

If one focuses intensely on the long term of a business, even if it’s just over a short time frame, and analyzes the key indicators in a methodical way, one can see the prospects for that industry or sector better than the people who are involved in it day to day. 

CLIENT: Artshouse Communications Inc.

OUTPUT: New Business Strategy pitch (on spec)