Market: Holding your own against the “big players” in a saturated market

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The number of corporate insolvencies in Germany is once again on the rise: in the first three months of the current year, 5,209 companies have filed for insolvency, according to the Federal Statistical Office (Statistisches Bundesamt) – 26.5% more than in the same quarter of the previous year. This could be the result of a catch-up effect, as the number of insolvencies was comparatively low due to special regulations during and after the coronavirus crisis. So do we need to bury our heads in the sand now? Certainly not!

Even if it sometimes seems as if everything was better before the pandemic, there was fierce competition even before 2020. If you like, it was a fight for survival in an already saturated market. That’s why the experience of “veterans” who have prevailed over the last 15 years is particularly valuable.     

After all, to survive and grow in a competitive market such as the printing industry, you need innovative strategies in all business areas, reliable and efficient production systems and scalable and flexible software systems, which are ultimately the decisive basis for success. And, of course, in addition to a team that is “fired up for tomorrow” , entrepreneurial courage is also required.

René Ruhland, CEO of myposter GmbH, calls it “All In”. “For me, all-in means taking the full risk and not doing things by halves – fully committing to something without holding back. Giving everything, be it time, energy or passion, to achieve a goal or overcome a challenge.”

A full-blooded entrepreneur

René Ruhland is an entrepreneur through and through and loves what he does. He studied business administration and set up his own business straight after graduating: together with his brother Marc, he imported oil paintings from Asia and then sold them to retailers, furniture stores and DIY stores in Germany. “We bought them for one euro and sold them for 30. Not bad. But printing is also okay,” he says.

The result was myposter GmbH, which was launched on the market in 2011. As an e-commerce company, myposter focused on individualized photo products right from the start. Just two years after its foundation, myposter achieved a turnover of 1 million euros. Today, the company is where many start-ups want to be: myposter has around 350 employees, produces at three locations and holds its own on the market, even against corporations such as Cewe. Production takes place at the headquarters in Bergkirchen not far from Munich, at a production site in Bitterfeld in Saxony-Anhalt and, since 2023, in a production hall in Olching near Munich.

In addition, myposter successfully launched a spin-off, Kartenliebe, in 2019, which expanded its product portfolio to include customizable cards, and at the end of 2021 acquired the picture startup Junique, which reported sales of 26 million euros with framed pictures and posters by artists in 2020. In the same year, myposter took over the French company ArtPhotoLimited, which specializes in the sale of limited-edition images.

All companies are now united in a holding company and the annual turnover is in the range of 100 million euros.

“However, we hardly ever thought about investors on this journey. We just concentrated on the business,” said René Ruhland at the Online Print Symposium 2024 in Munich in March.

Great, there’s more to come!

Today, Myposter supplies its products to ten European countries: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, France, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain. Around 20,000 products are manufactured for these sales markets every day at the three production sites.

“The key to success is the optimization of the configurators, the increase in production and production and, above all, the fact that the software is written in-house,” explained Ruhland. With around 65 developers employed by myposter, the company has control over all processes before, during and after production.

And when asked whether, as a seasoned entrepreneur, he could still take away something from the Online Print Symposium, Ruhland replied: “Of course, because when I listen to the presentations, I think to myself: awesome, there’s still something to be gained!”

This was also the comment of an OPS visitor who said: “If anyone thinks print is old-school, then they should come to the OPS in Munich.” Because at trade fairs, everyone is just running around and no one has time for anyone else. It’s different at the OPS: people approach each other, are open to discussion and look at things in a different way.

PS: By the way, the next Online Print Symposium will take place on April 3 and 4, 2025.

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Market: Holding your own against the "big players" in a saturated market
Article Name
Market: Holding your own against the "big players" in a saturated market
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The number of corporate insolvencies in Germany is once again on the rise: in the first three months of the current year, 5,209 companies have filed for insolvency, according to the Federal Statistical Office (Statistisches Bundesamt) - 26.5% more than in the same quarter of the previous year. This could be the result of a catch-up effect, as the number of insolvencies was comparatively low due to special regulations during and after the coronavirus crisis. So do we need to bury our heads in the sand now? Certainly not!
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Beyond-print.net

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