Executive Spotlight: HP MagCloud’s Andrew Bolwell Is Helping To Ensure Your Small Business Voice Is Heard

When asked what his least favorite part of his job is, Andrew Bolwell jokes, “Licking the stamps for our USPS deliveries.”

Bolwell is the General Manager of HP’s MagCloud, an online publishing business for magazine-quality printing. Magcloud allows anyone to upload, print, share and sell their content on the MagCloud website. It’s a simple and effective solution that we recently talked about  in our look at the best in online printing services.

Originally from Australia, Bolwell lives in Santa Cruz, California. Having worked for HP for a number of years, he’s worked in many different areas, from support to sales, and in many different countries, from Australia to Japan.

Bolwell says one of the biggest challenge for small businesses today is being heard above the noise. “You take the sheer number of businesses competing for customer attention and couple that with the volume of noise customers are deluged with across mediums … being heard is not just a small challenge, it’s like going for Olympic gold.”

MagCloud gives small businesses a voice, Bolwell says. “We let them tell their stories in unique and compelling ways, across mediums — print, on the web, via mobile devices, and at a fraction of the cost. We help make them look professional in front of their clients, customers and audiences by providing extremely high-quality print products at very affordable prices.”

Being able to help do this is very rewarding. “I love engaging with our customers, understanding their businesses and challenges,” says Bolwell. “When I can take that knowledge and make their lives a little easier and better by creating new features or services… I’m in job nirvana.”

Working closely with small businesses and big businesses for many years has given Bolwell a unique perspective. He says people just starting a new business shouldn’t expect things to happen overnight. It takes time and hard work to get a business going.

“A key one is the importance of staying flexible,” he says. “You must be flexible enough to tack and weave your way forward, evolving your idea as you go. There is also a critical balance you need to maintain between having a vision and not over planning. In a large company with volatile markets you need to analyze and plan extensively. In a small business over planning could cost you your competitive edge. It’s really important to have a vision for where you see your business evolving to, but staying nimble enough to be able to constantly innovate and react to customer needs and changing market conditions. Sort of like wearing a pair of business bifocals, being able to see into the distance, but also being able to read the writing up close.”

How have you made your business’s voice heard? Let us know in the comments!


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Vincenzo Ravina is a writer, journalist and giraffe enthusiast from Halifax, Nova Scotia. You can learn more at his website, http://VincenzoRavina.com, or follow him on Twitter at @RavinaSBT.

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