Todd Quillin, President & Owner, QuillCo Business Printing
email@example.com | 615.828.6113 | quillcoprinting.com
- Tell me a little about your business.
QuillCo Marketing/Printing Started at the end of 2004, previously I did operations for a brokerage firm in Nashville, where I worked my way from the mailroom to vice-president. After they were acquired by another well know financial institution, I got the chance at a fresh start. I tried my hand at sales, and found a niche-market where small businesses were being underserved by the print industry. These small businesses could not afford the high cost of print the large corporations offered.
We are not a print shop, but a distributor. If a customer already has artwork, we inspect it and modify the prints we’re given to make sure they look good on paper, then process the order through the appropriate production facility, most of whom only sell through the trade. They don’t have outside sales – we are their sales force.
- Why did you pick Williamson County?
We stumbled into Williamson through a networking event in 2004. There are a lot of small businesses here, and that was the main market I was focused on. Also the majority of referrals were coming from this area, as small businesses were and are doing really well in Williamson. I joined the chamber on the recommendation of a referral, and now live in Williamson and find it a great place to live as well as do business.
- Do you see the entrepreneur culture growing here?
Yes – there’s a lot. Every day you her of a new business opening. The majority of our referrals are entrepreneurs. It’s really a hotbed for entrepreneurs.
- What was/is the biggest challenge to running your own business?
You’ve got your good and bad to having your own business. Being your own boss is great, but anybody that thinks you get more free time is wrong. You’re constantly thinking of ways to grow your business, and then the economy went south – how do you survive? I’ve seen printing companies go out of business, and lots of people in all businesses have shut their doors. You have to keep fighting, scratching and clawing for referrals. Building a base in Williamson County with small businesses kept us alive.
- How did you overcome that challenge?
Williamson County has thrived through most of the recession. We have a great opportunity right now to grow even more business in middle TN. It’s a hotspot right now, and I did feel slightly insulated being in this area going through the recessions. But still, you can’t get too comfortable or you’ll go out of business.
- What advice would you give to someone who wants to start a business or is just getting started?
Do a lot of research in your field and know that it’s something you love. A lot of people have one or the other, they know the field, or they love the field. Having both is key. If you don’t love it try to find something else to start up. Network and find those groups that will help you grow your business. Word of mouth still trumps advertising. You need print and web but word of mouth is the best.
- What gives you the most satisfaction related to this work?
The most satisfaction is when you deliver a product and the client goes “Ahhh, this is great!” Seeing the look on their face when they’re happy; when you’ve exceeded their expectations. It’s great when it’s a big business but when it’s a small business/entrepreneur that is just starting up it’s especially exciting because you’ve helped them. That’s why you do what you do. Is there stress at times? Yes, but that’s what keeps you going.
- Anything else you’d like to share?
I was lucky to be in a business I already knew a lot about, but to people who are starting all new with an idea it’s more difficult. Use the resources here, the entrepreneur center, the chamber connections, etc. You can’t have too much input. Reach out to the successful entrepreneurs and listen to avoid some of the mistakes they made in the process. I’m happy to help in any way that I can.