Michael Coulson is the CEO of Managed Print Compare, a company based out of Grimsby whose aim is to “Simplify the entire managed print industry”. The company was started by a team of professionals with years of experience in the managed print industry. After sitting by and watching their businesses get ripped off by managed print contracts the decided enough was enough and together set up Managed Print compare. By entering a few details which match your printing needs they are able to offer tailored quotes from over 20 suppliers to meet your requirements which can save you thousands more than what you could end up paying.
3 Colours Rule: Hello Michael. Before we get into your business can you please tell me a little bit about yourself?
Michael: I grew up in Grimsby and never really applied myself at school. Post-school I worked as a general
labourer doing painting, plastering… Then after meeting my wife, I decided I needed a steady job. I knew my skills were speaking to people and selling so worked as a trainee in sales and have been in sales until last year when I set up Managed Print Compare.
3 Colours Rule: Can you please tell me about your business and when you realised that marketing and branding
were important for its growth?
Michael: I realised it was super important straight away. Even when doing my GCSE’s it was obvious to me that marketing was so key to growing businesses. We run a unique business at managed print compare so it was very relevant to get its name out. I’m happy with the brand but our marketing could definitely be improved.
3 Colours Rule: What do you think your business will look like in the future?
Michael: We would like to capture a large percentage of the UK market as soon as possible before other companies enter the market, and then eventually we want to expand to the US and Australia. We focussed on making the company very autonomous and in turn super scalable. The company is set up to be very easily transferable to other languages and currencies.
3 Colours Rule: How do you think your company differentiates itself from the competition?
Michael: We have a completely new product so there is no competition yet.
3 Colours Rule: Do you take part in business events and if so which style of event, exhibition, networking? And would you or someone from your company speak at these events if possible?
Michael: We don’t at the moment but we have been asked to speak at events and would do in the future.
3 Colours Rule: What does your typical day look like? In the morning do you have any newspapers or magazines which are your favourite?
Michael: I mainly focus on audiobooks and podcasts actually. Recently I’ve listened to one about quantum physics which has been great but I also listen to some interviews with business owners.
3 Colours Rule: And Social Media-wise, which platforms do you focus on?
Michael: I’m heavily based on LinkedIn but I’m not active on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
3 Colours Rule: From what you’ve said you sound really busy, but if you ever find yourself with time to kill in the
evenings then do you have a favourite TV series or…
Michael: Well at the moment I am very work oriented due to the business being relatively young but whenever I’ve got free time I try to sit down and watch Avengers with my 3-year-old son. I’ve also got another on the way in the next few months. (*Michael has since had a baby girl)
3 Colours Rule: Oh congratulations, you must be looking forward to some more sleepless nights. When something hasn’t gone as planned how do you manage to motivate yourself?
Michael: I have a strong word with myself. Through my early working career, I learned resilience and I’m a strong advocate
of ‘what you put in you get out’.
3 Colours Rule: Are there any brands you would say you could not live without?
Michael: I am very invested in my Microsoft surface book and also LinkedIn of course.
3 Colours Rule: And are there brands could your business could not?
Michael: Maybe LinkedIn but not particularly. There are only three of us at the company so we do a lot of outsourcing but we are pretty tech focussed here.
3 Colours Rule: I know this question can be seen as overplayed but if you could go back in time what would you tell your 20-year-old self?
Michael: Absolutely nothing, I have a fatalistic attitude and believe everything happens for a reason. I wouldn’t be where I am now without all my previous experiences.
Michael is a perfect example of how having a positive, adaptive mindset can bring you success. From growing up in Grimsby which isn’t known for its plethora of opportunities, Michael decided that he wasn’t happy with where he was headed and instead took a step back to realise what he was good at and has since pursued a successful career within his field of sales. For a unique business like Michaels, a well-constructed marketing campaign is pivotal in capitalising on a great idea and monopolising an industry before other competitors join the market.
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