How an accident started a print on demand business that’s now a fast growing company.
It was 2011 and Jared Fullinfaw had just finished university and was hoping to become an actor. It soon became apparent that his stage options were limited and he needed to do something to support himself.
At the time, the Australian online printing scene was still in its infancy, focusing mainly on business cards and promotional materials.
When a friend of Jared’s band was doing a gig and needed some printed t-shirts, Jared saw an opportunity to make some money printing the shirts for them.
Word spread, other bands ordered t-shirts – and The Print Bar was born.
Jared’s new website was fresh, fun, it appealed to a young and creative audience. It was one of the first businesses in Australia to offer print-on-demand t-shirts.
The business exploded and in the first three years, it doubled every six months. But there was one problem. Although sales were growing, profits were not.
Outgrowing His Garage
Jared found a mentor who advised him on how to increased his profit margins and boost efficiencies.
He moved his operations out of his garage and into an 800 sq.meter warehouse, and replaced outdated equipment with two Kornit Storm Hexa DTG machines that were able to handle a much greater number of orders than The Print Bar’s five older printing machines.
Jared decided to work with Kornit digital printers for four key reasons. Firstly because of the fantastic output from Kornit printers, which easily adapts to the size and volume of orders. Secondly, because using Kornit digital printers reduced the company’s manual labor requirements. Additionally, Kornit machines use eco-friendly, biodegradable inks that meet strict industry standards. Finally, because Kornit digital printers produced a very wide color gamut that Jared had never seen before.
“The Kornit Storm Hexa machines allowed me to expand my operations without having to worry about being able to handle large orders. I also found it easy to train new staff on how to operate them”, Jared said.
Standing Out In a Crowded Market
Although The Print Bar is an online business, Jared and his team stay close to their market and are very involved in the community, particularly in the local arts scene.
Jared sees all challenges as opportunies for growth. Each issue is documented, reviewed and then used for adjusting company strategy or staff training. This includes returns and customer complaints, which thanks to The Print Bar’s dedication to ongoing improvement, are rare.
The Print Bar wants to maintain growth at around 20 percent for each six month period. Jared refers to it as “smart growth,” which is manageable and easier to control than the explosive madness he experienced during his first three years in business.
The Print Bar will be expanding into Drop Shipping. They are currently developing software that will allow other businesses to install a plugin on their website and sell The Print Bar items directly to their own customers through their Shopify stores, Squarespace, or other ecommerce stores.
The Print Bar will do all the heavy lifting by printing and delivering the items straight to the final customers.
Although 95 percent of the company’s business is in Australia, The Print Bar is slowly expanding its customer base to include international orders.
The Print Bar’s success story proves that a small business with a lot of creativity and the right equipment can achieve outstanding results, even in a highly competitive market.