ColoradoBiz Magazine Selects Ink Monstr as a 2017 Company to Watch
For years, Ink Monstr has been known as an innovator and a company that will strive for quality over profit margins. On Friday night the Ink Monstr team was proud to be recognized by ColoradoBiz Magazine as one of fifty Colorado, second stage businesses that is seen as an economy booster, job producer, community enhancer and large scale print game-changer! Reed (owner), Michael (GM), Kristin (Office Administrator), and Masud (Project Manager) were proud to stand beside Colorado businesses such as Marczyk Fine Foods, Peak Beverage, Phunkshun Wear, and Maria Empanada. If you’ve been able to keep up with Ink Monstr, you know that Reed passed on the honor of Small Business Person of the year to Maria Empanada’s owner and operator, Lorena Cantarovici, just last month!
With over 600-thousand companies in Colorado, it can be a challenge to stand out and be noticed- let alone recognized. All the companies being recognized for CCTW with ColoradoBiz Magazine must be privately held, have only 6 to 99 employees and $750,000 to $50 million in sales (or a similar range of working capital). Between 2008 and 2011, they contributed $964 million in revenue and 902 employees (both in Colorado and out of state). These second stage companies are a crucial part of the Colorado economy and Ink Monstr could not be prouder to be recognized among this group.
It is a great honor to be a “Colorado Companies to Watch” winner. I couldn’t imagine building my business in any other state. Coloradans have supported and helped grow my business for the past thirteen years. I am extremely grateful to contribute, and be apart of the growth of this amazing state! – Reed Silberman, owner and founder of Ink Monstr Graphic Design & Print
Why is it important to be recognized with this caliber of businesses? The companies that have reached second stage have proven themselves and survived the start-up stage and are now beginning to have a direct impact on the Colorado economy. Colorado as a whole has a great economy that has grown exponentially in recent years, but with this influx of new businesses, many were not fortunate enough to survive against the surmounting competition. The fifty businesses recognized last Friday (June 23rd) have created jobs, innovated previous businesses or invented new products that are on the verge of taking the state, and soon the country, by storm.
As the owner and founder, Reed Silberman has taken Ink Monstr from its conception and early stages, which began in the back of his tricked out van in between snowboarding runs in Aspen, to where it is now- boasting over a dozen employees and year-over-year growth. Reed is always quick to recognize his team and will be the first to tell you how his vision and the team’s passion have guided us to success as seen in his interview with ColoradoBiz:
What makes your company an excellent place to work? How do you retain and recruit top talent?
Our culture is positive, fun, creative, artistic, energetic, encouraging and educational. We are a unique group of people that have a passion for applying their creative talents to our projects. This is not an average group of people. They go above and beyond the call of duty and do whatever it takes to complete a project and make the client happy. My staff is extremely important to me. They are Ink Monstr. Without them we are just another print shop. With them, we are a force to be reckon with that has industry eyes on us nationwide. There really are no employee incentives offered by my competitors. Ink Monstr has structured performance, and non-performance based incentives. Every person from intern to GM has the opportunity to take advantage of incentives. Some monetary incentives we offer are; design commission on every artistic project, year-end bonuses and employee of the month. Once a quarter we do an Employee Appreciation Day; such as, a family dinner, massages, or more extreme fun like kart racing, skydiving, wakeboarding/lake day or snowboarding. I believe the environment, incentives, and appreciation really shows, we feel like a family. I care very deeply for the people I surround myself with, and want to make sure I provide sustainable and prosperous opportunities for people to have a work life they love.
Describe how innovation plays a part in your business. How does your company define innovation?
I define innovation as the ability to think creatively, differently, and the willingness to digest the risk that is associated with that. Out of necessity I have always done things differently. I had to get creative and find my niche in a competitive industry. One of the things I have done differently, is create an artistic lifestyle brand and cultural following. Ink Monstr doesn’t just help build other businesses brands, we are our own standalone brand. Through our own event production, sponsorships, and client co-branding, we have been able to create something so unique, you will not find another shop like us anywhere. As an example, Breckenridge Brewery asked to take our art show “Sticky Situation” on a twelve city national tour.
Ink Monstr is also a “one stop shop” for marketing and branding projects. Over the years I have brought more products and services in house to give us an advantage over the competition. Clients were going to 3-5 different vendors for their project needs. In some cases those vendors would source back to Ink Monstr. I saw a void in the market for a high quality, customer focused, specialized, design, print, install facility and filled it. I made it easy for my clients to just come to one place instead of five. This has caused the industry to rethink how they do things.
What is the future of Ink Monstr?
Being a second stage company allows you to have a track record and learn from your history. We have learned how to maximize our processes, be efficient, and are beginning to implement LEEN manufacturing thanks to a grant from Manufacturer’s Edge. Ink Monstr has never had a single sales person or marketing budget. We have grown strictly on word of mouth and referrals for 13 years. Last year we brought on a new project manager/sales person to streamline our process and target/drive sales to the higher profit margin products and services. As well as a full time marketing person. She is in charge of all our social medias, creating content (commercial, ads, photography and videography), and managing our website and blog. She has specific direction, and budget, to run campaigns to directly target the people and markets we want to reach. We also began dye sublimation roll to roll fabric printing capabilities, and launched a new direct to consumer product line. We now have capabilities, resources, and revenue streams we have never had before. I like to say that we are about to pour gas on the fire, and explode with growth in the near future!
From the entire Ink Monstr team, thank you to ColoradoBiz Magazine for this honor and thank you to Colorado for being our home for all operating years of our business! We look forward to growing within our home and wish our fellow winners success!
We’ve won many awards throughout our years in business, to check them out click here. Or, for more companies that have joined the ranks of ColoradoBiz Magazine’s Colorado Companies to Watch in previous years click here.