Steve Evans is the Chief Financial Officer of AspenPress & Packaging LLC, a company based in Sandy, Utah, that provides full color printing, signage and packaging for individuals and businesses worldwide. He brings an entrepreneurial spirit, a background in accounting and marketing, and experience in various industries to this venture. He also brings a passion for customer service and a commitment to making excellent products.
An Indirect Route to Printing
Although Steve always knew he’d be an entrepreneur, he never imagined it would be in the printing industry. In fact, his route to the printing industry has been anything but straight. After earning undergraduate and graduate degrees in accounting from the University of Utah, Steve got his start working in accounting firms, doing audits on various businesses. But it didn’t take long for him to realize that type of regiment wasn’t for him. He was recruited to the skiing and snowboarding industry as a marketer and comptroller, and after spending time in that industry went to work for a printer, who wanted Steve to help get the business ready to sell. When it came time to sell, however, the printer changed his mind and asked Steve to help him run the business, which he did for several years. In 2002, Steve went out on his own to form AspenPress.
Turning Mistakes into Success
Some of Steve’s best learning moments have been mistakes he’s made along his road to success. He’s learned to turn those lessons from mistakes into secrets for success. One such lesson is to not underestimate the need for cash flow when you start a business. He cautions to be careful not to spend more than you’re bringing in or to borrow from the next payroll to fund the current one.
Another nugget of wisdom Steve gained was to not assume. “It’s good to trust in business,” he says, “But you also need to be thorough and protect your business.” He cautions to get things in writing as well as asking for specifics and thorough explanations. “Ask yourself, ‘If this doesn’t work out, how will it affect my business?’” he advises.
Having a mentor is something Steve recommends for all business owners, whether they are just starting out of have been in business for decades. To avoid reinventing the wheel, it’s important to look down the road 6 months or a year and have a guide to offer counsel and keep you focused. “After 13 years in business, I still have a mentor I look to,” Steve says.
For Steve, defining and measuring success is about several factors. “Profits are important,” he says, “But it’s not all about the money. You’ve got to have a passion for what you’re doing.”
Aside from a passion for your work, other measures of success are having happy employees and good products. AspenPress prides itself on having happy, productive, hard working employees who feel valued. And Steve feels that being proud of your products and recognizing the impact of your work is a strong measure of success as well.