The family business imprint

(L:R) Leah, Leon, Sheila and Nathan Torzyn at Print Junction in Adelaide.

(L:R) Leah, Leon, Sheila and Nathan Torzyn at Print Junction in Adelaide.

Leon and Sheila Torzyn met when they were in their teens and, with a young family, endured some hard years financially in their early life together.Today however the Torzyns are owner-operators of Print Junction, a thriving digital and offset printing business in Adelaide.

‘Leon and I went into this business to underpin a future for our kids. We went into it hoping we’d get financial independence and security, but more importantly so that the kids would have something of their own in the future if they wanted it’, said Sheila.

Achieving financial security for their family through their business has involved years of hard work, long hours and personal sacrifice. However it has also produced many personally rewarding and fulfilling experiences for Leon, Sheila and their extended family.

After more than a decade of steady growth, the family needed to find larger premises and upgrade their machinery, which they achieved in 2005 with the assistance of a loan under IBA’s Business Development and Assistance Program.

Family business is often perceived as small or ‘simple’ business, but it can become very complex when close family relationships overlap with financial and commercial objectives. When a family business is functioning well, however, the shared vision and passion of the family can produce great outcomes.

In 1993, Sheila – or ‘the boss’ as she’s known around Print Junction – started the business with her husband Leon, who had trained as a lithographic printer in his youth. Daughter Leah joined as a receptionist and has since gone on to train in graphic design. Son Nathan completed a four-year apprenticeship as a lithographic printer after finishing school and joined the family business four years later.

Award-winning printing is completely reliant on a good template. For the Torzyns, getting their family business template right has been essential to the success of their business. ‘Keep it simple, and do what you do as well as you can’, said Leon. ‘It’s the same values in business as in life.’

The Torzyn family strongly believe in giving back to the community that has helped their business succeed. ‘We are an Indigenous business, so we have close ties to that community’, said Leon. ‘We find quite a number of our Indigenous clients feel more comfortable talking to us about what their small business needs might be. We’ve been there, so we can advise them on choosing the right materials to get started.’

‘And we give a lot away’, said Leon. ‘Sometimes when there’s a funeral or the like in our community, we will do the funeral cards. I’ve seen undertaker bills for $400 for 200 sympathy cards – I mean, what else do you do at a time like that? So we just just fix it for the client, and that’s what a lot of the plaques and certificates around our office are for.’

Getting the mix just right - Nathan Torzyn blending inks.

Getting the mix just right – Nathan Torzyn blending inks.

Spending too much time working in the business and not stepping away to ‘work’ the business itself on a strategic level can derail any business. The Torzyns therefore continue to spend time with their business consultant[1], Phil Camens of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. Phil meets regularly with Sheila and Leon to undertake financial planning sessions. ‘IBA know us, and they give you top-shelf support through their business consultants’, said Leon. ‘Phil comes here at night, when everything quietens down, and we’ll work on cash flow, and talk through our business plan. And even if our ideas get knocked back, at the very least we get a sanity check which stops us flying too high. So we take on what we can handle and make a profit, without the family falling to pieces under the strain.’

All of the family agree that the shared journey through establishing and growing the business has been a rewarding one. As Leon said: ‘It’s the freedom of knowing that the decisions we make are ours. And the more you put into it, the more solid it becomes. And people know the Torzyns, they know what we’re doing…we’re those award winners from Adelaide!!’

With good business mentors, strong support networks, and through working together as a family unit, the Torzyn family and their business are an inspiration and look set to enjoy even more success.

Awards not just for the ‘big guys’

For the second time in a year, the Torzyn family have donned their bow ties and evening gowns to attend an award ceremony acknowledging the craftsmanship and quality of the work they produce through their family owned business, Print Junction.

In 2009 the family collected a Print Industries Craftsmanship Award for the 2008 Christmas card they printed for IBA.

And on 26 March 2010 Leon, Sheila, Nathan and Leah flew to Sydney to attend the National Print Awards at the Parkside Ballroom of the Darling Harbour Exhibition and Convention Centre. They collected a bronze medal in the ‘Small Printing Business Awards Less Than 10 Staff’ category, beating out some of Australia’s largest and most prestigious printing companies in the process.

‘People have been after us for years to submit work for these awards’, said Leon, ‘but we always thought it was for the ‘big guys’. Then in the last twelve months we have entered our work, and won – twice!’

[1] A network of business consultants has been established by IBA to enable eligible clients to access business support.