Carryover’s for 2021: Good and Bad

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. It just doesn’t work in business, family relationships, athletic teams, and much of life. What if you could change the narrative? What do you want to carry over into the new year that is good and what are you willing to change?

As your leadership team reflects on 2020 (and yes it was an exceptionally bad year on many fronts) there are going to be best practices, protocols, organizational culture, clients, products, and systems that are good, profitable, and work well for you. That is indeed something you want to carry over. However, what is the thing (even sacred cows) you need to change or let go in 2021? Where do you need to change the narrative? Sales, customer service, quality control, marketing, bad actors on the team, culture shifts, products, R&D, drab offices?

Don’t worry about being ready to roll them out on 1/2/2021, instead be prepared to initiate meaningful change in January and the months ahead. This way you don’t rush it at the holidays. Every company should take some type of inner review as they make plans for the new year. Our company takes stock of what we have done over the years that have worked and even those things that haven’t as we plan where to focus our resources, time, attention, and funds for the new year.

Your process should include input from multiple sources to get an idea of hidden talents, ideas, and input from mid-level managers who have critical relationships with their people so everyone in the building feels they’ve been heard.

This doesn’t mean you drop something new because of the “but we’ve always done it this way,” crowd. Nor, does it mean that every suggestion is ideal for your company at a particular time or place. Timing is incredibly important because the last thing you want to do is invest your energy and resources into something that may be a great idea, but it’s just not the right time. Small businesses have to run differently because they can’t just draw on the bond market or capital investments during challenging times.

Leaders have to make tough calls and decisions that aren’t always the most popular but are in the best long-term interests of the company. Small incremental changes and improvements are a great way to change the narrative in a negative environment. Every aspect of your business is critical. Production needs sales, sales need a product to sell. Quality control must be present so production is accountable to put out a high quality and high performing product. Marketing pushes brand awareness and product quality for new customers.

Changing the narrative is not easy. It requires discipline, dedication, and a willingness for leadership to stay in the line of fire because they know the ultimate outcome is a good one. And team members need to support each other and leadership in new challenges, endeavors, and meaningful changes intended to boost sales, production, client satisfaction, and services.

Wise are the companies that are grappling with these issues heading into 2021. Their willingness and courage to institute strong change or new ideas will realize dividends regardless of the economy and pandemics statistics.

Change the narrative and carry over best practices in 2021 and you will be well served, so will your clients and customers!

At Century Printing and Packaging we are committed to the best practices and innovation within the printing and packaging industry. Change and technology are drivers for us. Listening to clients and our people enables us to be competitive, creative, and on time for customers. We specialize in label printing with the highest quality and standards. It’s why so many of our clients are return customers. We work with our customers seeking solutions that stick! Contact us today to ensure your product labels are done right and shipped on time!

Ben Waldrop, President
Century Printing and Packaging, Inc.
Greer, SC 29651

Craft Breweries Emerging from COVID-19

Like many industries, the craft brewery business has suffered from Covid19. As many parts of the country begin to reopen and indoor gathering rules are relaxed the industry is finding casualties that just couldn’t survive, but also a surge in creativity and innovation.

Many breweries have taprooms or restaurants that were closed for weeks and even months during the pandemic. Waiters, servers, cooks, bartenders were furloughed or terminated because there was no income/revenue to support them. Others forged ahead and supported their employees the best they could with PPP funds and other resources from the CARES Act.

No industry in the U.S. has been untouched by the economic scourge of Covid19. Record unemployment levels and a full-blown recession are still challenging small businesses like independent, family-owned, regional craft breweries.

Unlike major breweries, independent craft breweries typically don’t have large cash reserves or production quantities that can offset these challenges. Like most small businesses these breweries view their employees as a family which makes decisions even more difficult against economic realities.

The Brewers Association has conducted a series of surveys/polls of their membership during and after “stay at home” orders by state governors. Economist Bert Watson has been analyzing and interpreting the data for the month of May:

“In terms of volume growth, results are similar to what we found in early April, with a weighted estimate of total brewery sales down 30.5%. The median brewery respondent has sales that are down 50%. Note that while we had representative participation, the volume above 100,000 was far less than it is as a percentage of the full data set, so accounting for that would likely improve the total number, and I think it’s likely that if we use this survey to build a broader estimate, the total craft is likely down more like 20-25%…….Although we haven’t yet reached the three-month threshold we asked about in that survey, there has yet to be a massive surge in brewery closures. Yes, some breweries have closed, but to date, the vast majority of breweries have managed to stay in business.” (3rd Covid19 Impact Study-850 craft breweries participated)

Few small businesses can survive reduced sales of 25-50%, but through perseverance, loans, strong business plans, and creative strategies the majority have been able to tread water and are starting to float again. There are more than 8,000 craft breweries in the U.S. employing nearly 60,000 Americans. In 2018 the economic impact of craft breweries on the U.S. economy was $79B. The industry provides jobs, tax revenue for the U.S, states, and local governments.

During the pandemic closing tap and tasting rooms was a big blow, but many brewers got creative and produced hand sanitizer and drinking water for local essential industries and first responders. Others pivoted to curbside pick up and delivery which has been allowed in many states.

Sales continue to lag but there’s cautious optimism as restaurants, bars, and indoor dining resumes. Many brewers have used this time to strategically plan for the future including their marketing efforts. Intentionally examining artwork, design, logos, and brand messaging. Creative packaging and labels that stand out from the pack are critical now more than ever.

At Century Printing and Packaging we have been answering the call for craft breweries and distilleries in terms of high-performance labels and packaging. We are investing in the industry and learning all we can about your printing and packaging needs. We have innovative products designed specifically for craft breweries. As a small, family, and locally owned business we understand just how challenging Covid19 has been for small businesses and the overall economy. Contact us today to discuss your unique printing and packaging needs!

Ben Waldrop
Century Printing & Packaging
Greer, SC 29651

(Images: Unsplash & CP&P)