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Employee Ownership Paves the Way to a Bright Future for ColorPrinz

With over 30 years combined experience in the graphics and print business, Ali and Keith made the bold step to buy out Penicuik-based ColorPrinz as the original owners moved into retirement.

ColorPrinz is a local graphic design and print specialist offering everything from promotional design to expert print finishing, ensuring customers receive a personal touch with each order. We caught up with the new owners Keith and Ali to find out more about this fantastic Midlothian business and about their move to employee ownership.

Can you tell us a bit more about how you both came to work at ColorPrinz?

Employee Ownership Colorprinz

Keith & Ali, Owners of Colorprinz

Ali: “I joined ColorPrinz about 7 years ago. My experience is in Graphic Design and I was able to bring into the business a robust design service for clients. This, coupled with my experience in smaller scale printing techniques, allowed the business to diversify to provide new additional benefits and take on new clients.”

Keith: “I popped my head in one day after being made redundant from a previous job 5 years ago. I’m local and knew of the business so thought I’d see if they had anything available. 5 days later I received a call and that was that! A new job in a great local business. With 20 years’ experience in the printing trade, specialising in print finishing techniques, I can provide clients with reassuring, expert knowledge of how their order will look and give advice on the best printing routes for them to take.”

Why did you decided to buy the business?

“The owners were approaching retirement and keen to have the right people take over the business. A major factor was keeping the business local. We were very keen to do the same so when the owners approached us we were delighted to have the opportunity to take the business on and be our own bosses! We already knew the great clients that we worked with and the opportunity to continue working with them, keep a fantastic business in the area and put our own stamp on the company all made us know that it was the right thing for us to do.”

What do you think sets your business apart?

“There are so few printers available locally and independent printing as a trade is dying out due to larger businesses and franchises offering cheaper services. However, with our experience, knowledge and skills we can add the personal touch to a job. When clients have questions, want to see a proof or need some help deciding on the best graphics or print finishing, we’re here to help.

We also have a personal interest in the jobs we’re doing. As owners, we want to provide first class services that keep our clients returning. We can help at every stage of design and print and ensure that our clients receive the best possible service and products. We can adapt easily to our customers’ needs and are versatile and agile enough to add new services and create different products to fit with our customers’ requirements.”

What are your hopes and plans for the future for ColorPrinz?

“We want to be a household name in Penicuik and Midlothian and be the go to printer for local and national businesses. We’re focusing on getting our name out there as many people don’t know we’re even based in Penicuik, just round the corner from their home or business. With so many fantastic businesses in the area, we want to support them and be their go to printer and designer.”

How have Business Gateway Midlothian helped with your transition from employee to owner?

“Our adviser at Business Gateway Midlothian has been incredibly helpful. From discovering how we can get our name out there with marketing, support with taking on the financial side of the business and knowing that there’s someone there that we can ask for advice has been invaluable and reassuring! We’d highly recommend new and growing businesses get in touch to see how they can be supported.”

How have you found being your own boss?

“We officially took the reins of the business on 1st September. It was very strange as the day before we were employees and then we walked in the next day as owners! It was overwhelming to look around and know that it was our responsibility to look after the business and customers but also exhilarating. We have an opportunity to grow what we think is a brilliant business and we’ve got lots of ideas up our sleeves so watch this space!”

This employee-owned business supports both local SMEs and large, national organisations with their bespoke design and print requirements. With extensive experience, Ali and Keith offer expert ideas, advice and recommendations as standard when you work with ColorPrinz. There’s an exciting future ahead for these new business owners and we can’t wait to see them flourish.

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