This growing Cuyahoga Falls company was hard to spot.
It didn’t put a sign on its building until several months ago — more than three years after it moved in.
Yet AG PrintPromo’s whole business is about printing and promotions. It supplies companies and organizations nationwide with printed products — business forms, brochures, newsletters and the like — and promotional items such as pens, apparel, Frisbees and more boasting corporate logos and slogans.
Owner Anup Gupta explains that AG PrintPromo thrives on word-of-mouth advertising from customers who like the company’s personal approach.
“This business is a marketing business,” Gupta said. “We get information from the company and we work hard to find the best product to help the company accomplish its goals,” such as getting its name out at a trade show or promoting the opening of a new office.
A lot of competitors, Gupta said, “act as product pushers.”
He said this as he showed off the company’s showroom with dozens of promotional items and printed products, all bearing the name of a company or organization. AG PrintPromo does not make the products, rather it works with vendors.
Gupta won’t reveal annual sales of the privately owned company. But he said AG PrintPromo has grown its revenues every year but one since its founding in 1996. Sales didn’t grow one year during the 2000-2001 dot-com industry bust, he explained.
In 2005, AG PrintPromo got “on the map nationally” when the Cleveland Indians made the company a “preferred supplier” for various printed products. The status “added more credibility to our business,” Gupta said, helping it land accounts with other large organizations.
In 2010, the company invested about $1 million in purchasing and renovating the 10,000-square-foot building at 960 Graham Road. Previously, the company was in a much smaller rented space a few blocks west.
A long way
While the business didn’t move far, it’s come a long way from its beginnings. Gupta began the enterprise in 1996 in the Stow apartment he then shared with his wife, Anju Gupta. In 2003, she quit her job as an accountant with a local CPA firm and joined the business.
Anup Gupta had been a manager with a local franchise printing operation. “My experience was in printing, and my education was in marketing,” said Gupta, who graduated with an MBA from Southern New Hampshire University.
He employs three graphic designers and one customer service worker.
He’s planning on soon hiring his first sales representative.
Employees tend to stick around. Graphic designer Chard Herrington has been with the company for more than 10 years.
Herrington said the work is more creative than one might think and frequently involves a lot more than figuring out where to place a logo on a product.
“We do a lot of layouts for printed materials, brochures,” Herrington said. “There’s a lot of room for creativity. We develop the logos at times for customers and establish the guidelines for their branding.’’
Martina Neely, community liaison with the local HomeWatch Caregivers franchise, has ordered promotional and printed products from AG PrintPromo for more than 10 years.
Some in the industry, Neely said, want to do much of their business online. Some are home-based operations, she said, “and it’s like it’s a part-time job for them … They’re just clicking a mouse [finding promotional items], just like you could from your living room. It’s just not the same level of care.”
Katie Byard can be reached at 330-996-3781 or email@example.com.