Mike Steinberg's life has been about paper for years.
He worked at Portsmouth Paper, a company that offered some custom print work, and then took a job as a general manager at an industrial paper company when he got the idea to start his own business Relyco, located in Dover, N.H. And, the company still thrives nearly 21 years later.
Here, Steinberg talks about what's happening with his company and with the industry.
Print Professional (PP): Tell us about your background—where did you grow up, what school did you attend, your degree?
Mike Steinberg (MS): I grew up in Portsmouth, N.H. For college, I went to Hofstra [University] for a year and then transferred to the University of New Hampshire. I majored in business and math.
PP: Describe your business style.
MS: I do business the old-fashioned way. I do what I say I will do and serve our customers the way I expect to be served. While we work hard as a company, I want our employees to be happy and have fun in their jobs.
PP: What is the best business advice you ever received?
MS: You can't do it alone. In the early days of the company, I quickly realized that I needed to hire experienced people and trust them to get the job done. Business is people. It's very important to have a loyal and productive team that respects each other and our customers.
PP: What is your greatest business accomplishment and disappointment?
MS: I think my greatest business accomplishment is building this company. We've been in business for almost 21 years now and continue to grow year over year. Relyco's success is not dependent upon me, but is driven by our 40 employees. It's been fun to watch our people grow and expand their roles. Business is about respect and giving back to the community. I'm very proud of Relyco's reputation as a good corporate citizen and a place where people want to work. I can honestly say that I really don't have any great business disappointments. I'm a risk taker and that has enabled this business to grow and be competitive. I don't regret past mistakes because you can't be afraid of failure. And when you do fail, you learn from it and get stronger.