Should you lease or buy your screen printing shop? This is a huge question that lots of shop owners face as their business grows. We talk to Dru Dalton from Real Thread in Orlando, FL about the challenges print shops have to overcome. "What do you invest in? Real estate or the business?" (17:50).
Dru breaks down how he uses key performance indicators to determine whether Real Thread is being EFFECTIVE and EFFICIENT. What does that mean in the context of screen printing? Effectiveness is simply how fast orders get to customers. Efficiency is how profitable the shop is. By measuring simple things (and simply starting the process of actually measuring), Dru and Real Thread track their costs and jobs carefully.
Did we mention that Real Thread has one of the most beautiful brands and websites of any shop around? They have a very inspiring way of presenting information: https://www.realthread.com
Real Thread's lease ended at the end of March 2020 – a wild time, Dru says. "It was chaos. Nuts." They cut back the number of presses they had, sold one, and downsized some elements of their operation. But not all was lost in the move: "We still invested in painting the floor," Dru notes. It's too expensive and cumbersome to pass up the opportunity to move into a shop with a freshly painted floor.
Dru and Bruce dive deep into determining how you should balancing investing in a building for your business and investing in your business. "It's just so hard to find the right building for screen printing equipment," Bruce notes. Just finding the right electrical setup can be a huge challenge. Sometimes the choice is obvious and leasing is a much better move, but others abide by a different philosophy.
What do you think: should you lease or own your screen printing shop?