A little start-up in the UK has, for the last few years now, been diligently covering digital signage and its intersection with the more traditional printed sign industry. Output Magazine is a very polished effort that belies the size and relative youth of its owner and staff.
But Output is in immediate risk of going under, owing largely – says its founder – to British bank lending policies and practices.
James Matthews-Paul has produced a heartfelt, terrifically insightful and sad post about how the little publication that could chugged along nicely, until it went to a major bank looking for a loan to help grow the business.
“We have trodden water ever since,” he writes, “trying everything we can to keep moving forward: new sales initiatives, alternative lenders, drastic decisions. Having lost various windows of opportunity we were forced to take calculated risks; resultantly, the small financial hole I had predicted has only widened due to our inability to secure vital funding when we needed it. Now, staring down the barrel of a gun I have tried to shoot in every other direction, I must acknowledge that, barring a miracle, we must fold on Friday.”
I can’t offer much more than moral support, given I run a business that’s even smaller. But you’d think between industry associations and some well-financed companies out there (looking at you Amscreen), there would be a way to keep the lights on. Most large printing firms, for example, would benefit hugely driving traffic to their websites via content that’s far more timely and valuable than the blogs they might do. As you’ve no doubt experienced, most corporate blogs are updated on no real schedule (other than rarely) and offer little insight or value.
Give these guys a hand not because you feel badly, but because you see a sound business opportunity – which is there.