Headquartered in Elgin, Ill., Continental Datalabel president Tim Flynn's fascination with the printing industry started, interestingly enough, while students were taking a spin on the dance floor.
While working in sales with a large office machine company, Flynn stored demo office machines in his garage. During that time, his sister, who owned a dancing school, asked him to print her school's recital programs.
"I knew I was hooked on printing after watching parents, grandparents and friends at the recital read the program and gleam as they read a child's name in print for the first time. The parents would take the program home and put it in the child's scrapbook. My transfusion was underway; my blood was being replaced by ink!," he enthused.
Here, Flynn provides a little more insight into himself and the printing industry.
Print Professional: Tell us about your background—Where did you grow up, what school did you attend, etc.?
Tim Flynn: I was raised in the Chicago area, at that time the printing capital of the United States. A lot of my friends' parents worked in the graphic arts industry as did my parents. After returning from an all-expense paid trip (anything but vacation) to Vietnam in 1968, I used the GI bill to go to school and attended Triton College's graphic arts program.
PP: How did you end up in the printing industry?
TF: My dad went into the printing industry after serving in World War II. He sold business forms and struck out on his own in 1952.
PP: What is the best business advice you ever received?
TF: From whom and which time? The stage your company is in will define the best advice you have ever received. In the early stages, you may be looking for advice on growth. Then, as the growth starts kicking in and you are running out of capital, you say to yourself, "I need advice on how to finance the growth." Now the next problem comes along: You don't have the right equipment to do the job, so you seek advice on equipment and so on. I can't think of any one piece of advice that was the best, except for one thing I continue to think of all the time: "Common sense is not all that common." I think if you take a common sense attitude toward business, things will start to happen. It will bring in customers and then you can apply all of the other best business advice ideas one at a time as the company evolves.