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Pioneer of the Week: Empine Print Management

Thought Leader

Pioneer of the Week: Empine Print Management

Tell us 3 important things we should know about you.

  • Empine is my second business to feature in Virgin Media Pioneers. You may have seen me previously with JK Sail, a business aiming to get people involved in sailing.

  • I try to connect with businesses across the country and learn about them and their business. So please do get in touch!

  • I see helping other businesses as the core to building my own business. If you need advice on how to boost your brand in print or need help storing and distributing, we can find a solution for you

 Tell us about your business. How did it start? Did you set it up alone or with a team?

We at Empine are at the innovative edge of print and print management. We provide tailored business solutions to help our clients get the most out of their print. Ensuring we can help businesses of all shapes and sizes, with catered solutions to all their print needs.

We manage anything from as little as a new batch of business cards to a full set of business stationary over multiple sites nationwide.

We are very keen to innovate through new technologies to make everyone’s print easier and more cost-effective and we continue to work towards the development of new products. Alongside our print management service we also offer digital publishing, as print is sometimes not the best option for our customers. Everything we offer is bespoke to the customer and we will always keep their needs at the forefront of our service.

What do you love most about running your own business?

The more I run my businesses, the more I realise how much I love the variance. Planning for any business is essential but I think most entrepreneurs would agree that every day things change and to me that is exciting.

Tell us about a challenging experience you've faced in the process of starting up your business and how you overcame it.

The overlooking pressure of all businesses, finance! We were starting out in an already competitive industry where equipment can cost hundreds of thousands of pounds. We entered the market with an idea and an aim to become a business that innovates for our customers. This is our core focus! We kept our eyes on what we wanted to achieve and found alternate production methods to get started. As a result we can build organically without the huge costs our competitors incur and allow us to be more flexible for our customers.

What advice could you give to other start-ups (not necessarily competitors) about starting up in your industry?

Building customer relationships is the best way to get things started. We have found talking to the right people has a much greater return for your time and money than spending a fortune on ads.

 Can you share an experience that really helped you take your business forward? (Could be a conversation, getting funding or training)

In my last feature I shared with you my experience pitching to the likes of Peter Jones and Theo Paphitis, which I maintain as key moments in my businesses life and experiences I benefited greatly from. The advice they shared has been invaluable and something I will remember throughout my journey. However sometimes things people much closer to you highlight values you may not know you have. These quotes are like gold dust if you spot them but more importantly remember them.

A local entrepreneur once said about me, “His business philosophy is great, he puts filling a gap in the market and solving people's problems before profit, knowing that profit follows a great idea that makes people's lives better." A quote that has inspired me and that when I plan or review is one that I try to remember as a core value.

Many people start their businesses at home, where do you work? What do you love about it? (Please include an image, see below)

I work from an office in Darwen, Lancashire but we are very mobile. We believe that customer service is at the forefront of being successful in our business and I like to think our customers would agree we are good at it.

However having an office to come back to is great. It is a focal point for your business and more importantly a place that you can concentrate and keep on top of those admin bits. Offices aren't always boring, they are your creative spaces and spaces to show your customers a bit of your personality.

What are three things you know now, that you wish someone had told you when you first started?

  • Take plunges, running a business hasn't got a direct path and sometimes the solutions are not obvious. Have a go anything is possible.

  • Don’t try to do too much at ones. You will have many great ideas but without implementing them they are useless. Once you have planned how to execute a project carry it through. Try not to get caught up in a new idea and forget the one you have planned unless it is an enhancement. Write your new idea down and return to it when appropriate.

  • ALWAYS REMEMBER YOUR VISION! That doesn't mean it can’t change but it is great to keep your business focused and moving forward. Plus when you take steps noticeably towards it, it feels great!

Is there anything specific you’d like to ask or share with the Virgin Media Pioneers community?

Nothing hugely different to what I said last time but I would love to connect with more pioneers, whether through LinkedIn, on here or on Twitter.

If you would like to know more about how we can help your business with it’s print or for a quote visit our website for contact details or connect with me on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Finish the sentence: To be an entrepreneur…

...take every opportunity you can! You never know where it will lead.

Take a look at the Empine website to learn more, or have a chat on Twitter.