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Success Story

Two men holding a Florida Sun Printing banner

Florida Sun Printing

We have had a terrific partnership with the SBDC for several years.  The team at the SBDC has provided us with valuable assistance and guidance which has contributed to our bottom line profitability.  This year they have been particularly helpful as we expand our services to ensure the company continues to thrive.

The Florida SBDC at UNF is highlighting the creative ways our clients are adjusting their small businesses during COVID-19

To say that 2020 has been difficult is an understatement.  Although the economy shut down in March, the impacts continue to hit our local small businesses.  In Callahan, nestled off the Highway 1 thoroughfare, Florida Sun Printing (FL Sun) continues to feel reverberations of its customers tightening their belts.  The company has been in business since 1963, and Mark Thompson has been at the helm since 2002.  Mark and his team have kept the company on a growth trajectory through the years, but the pandemic presented a new challenge.  This new era of business issues called for a “pivot”.

The word of the year for 2020 just might be pivot, which implies a turn in a different direction, and Florida Sun has done so in a big way to ensure continued success.  Rather than down-sizing, FL Sun invested in a new line of business.  Since its beginning, FL Sun has excelled as a traditional printing press business in which they produce print materials such as local/community newspapers, direct mail, flyers, and other marketing materials.   They have now expanded the business to include wide format printing in which they can manufacture just about any type of signage ranging as small as business cards to as large as billboards.  And the choice of materials from which they print and cut are equally as broad.  Shown here is a photo of owner/CEO Mark Thompson and COO Brent Armstrong with their new building sign made on the new wide format printer.

In visiting the new production area in Callahan, you can see samples of various materials that can be used, including metal, glass, wood, cardboard, plastic, and even pavers!  The new equipment has opened new doors for new revenue streams for the company, while staying true to the industry in which they bring expertise.

The FSBDC at UNF has worked with the leadership team over the years to assist with various aspects of the business including sales, leadership, finance and accounting.  Most recently FL Sun called upon the SBDC to assist with updating its marketing plan in conjunction with the new product line.  Further, the SBDC brought in a lean manufacturing expert to help the company assess and find ways to fine tune its production processes.   According to Brent Armstrong, COO, “We have had a terrific partnership with the SBDC for several years.  The team at the SBDC has provided us with valuable assistance and guidance which has contributed to our bottom line profitability.  This year they have been particularly helpful as we expand our services to ensure the company continues to thrive.  We have worked together on updating our marketing plan, creating a sales plan and reviewing all our manufacturing processes to keep us operating lean!”

FL Sun is a terrific example of how businesses must be proactive in their willingness to pivot in the new economy.  Not only has the company invested in new ways to generate sales, it has leveraged the use of the SBDC to ensure the business is running as a well-oiled (new) machine.

Florida Sun PrintingMark Thompson

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