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Peter Posk on BCT vs traditional franchises

Published on January 25, 2011

Cary sits down with Peter Posk, President of BCT, to talk a little about their business, how they compare to other franchises, and some of the trends they've seen interacting with small printers.

Cary Sherburne:  Hi, Cary Sherburne and Senior Editor at WhatTheyThink.com and I'm here with Peter Posk, who’s President of BCT out of Florida.  It’s great to see you.

Peter Posk:  Great seeing you, Cary. 

Cary Sherburne:  You know, when you look at the traditional franchisees, like you mentioned, the Sir Speedy’s, the Alpha Graphics or whatever, Allegra, they, one of the things that they’re doing to try to grow their business is they’re taking conventional printers and trying to convert them into the franchise models, small printers.  Is that something you do?  Do you look for new franchisees that way?  Or how do you find them?

Peter Posk:  Yeah, most of the, we’re not really expanding, adding franchises.  What we’ve really done over the last five years is a lot of consolidation.

Cary Sherburne:  Okay. 

Peter Posk:  In some cases, it’s a large franchisee taking over another smaller franchisee in a neighboring market and oftentimes it’s converting a printer to, maybe a retailer printer who converts to a wholesaler, we’re buying their book of business.

Cary Sherburne:  Oh, okay.  So they’re not saying I want to be, I want the benefits of being part of the franchise, they’re saying, I want an exit strategy.

Peter Posk:  That’s exactly it.

Cary Sherburne:  Okay. 

Peter Posk:  And if you look at the capitalization requirements in our business, it’s so much different than it was years ago.

Cary Sherburne:  Yeah.

Peter Posk:  Years ago, you know, back in the ‘70’s, you put in an AB Dick duplicator and that was it.  You know, you might add more of those, but, you know, you didn’t have to keep jumping back on the capital investment treadmill, you could use that equipment.  And in the last, probably 10 years, with the advent of four color and the digital technologies and online technologies, you know, if the footprint used to be this big to run the business, now with the capitalization requirements, franchisee, they need a much larger area to market.

Cary Sherburne:  Yeah, so it’s a bigger investment.  But then, you know, I think there’s a lot more outsourcing going, there’s a lot more need for the trade printer.

Peter Posk:  Sure.

Cary Sherburne:  Because of the variety of things that people are requiring and printers can’t do everything.  So, you know, they can’t afford to invest in all that stuff, so they can turn to you.

Peter Posk:  No, they really can’t.  And again, between the type of equipment and the products that we’re selling, it’s fairly, it’s a fairly niche-oriented product, too.

Cary Sherburne:  Yeah.

Peter Posk:  You know, most of the retail printers aren’t doing what we do.

Cary Sherburne:  Right.  Because you’re set up to do it, manufacture it efficiently.  Like business cards, for example, you have to be able to manufacture those efficiently

Peter Posk:  Yeah.  And most products, for example, business cards, if we get an order at 3:00 in the afternoon, it’ll be out the door the next morning.

Cary Sherburne:  Wow, that’s great.

Peter Posk:  So, you know, the company was originally founded as BCT, Business Cards Tomorrow, and we’ve kind of abandoned the Business Cards Tomorrow, because when we looked at our business, business cards today represent a relatively small percentage of our overall business.  So we rebranded a couple years ago to just BCT.

Cary Sherburne:  BCT, yeah.

Peter Posk:  And that’s worked out well.

Cary Sherburne:  Well, great.  Thank you for sharing.

Peter Posk:  Thank you very much.

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