An indelible print

The print industry may have changed beyond recognition over the past two decades, but for Omagh printer Neil Early the fundamental principle remains he same – ink on paper.

Earning his stripes in the industry working for a number of print companies since 1985, Neil recalls it was the ‘itch’ to do something different that prompted him to start his own business in his hometown 15 years ago.

“I was itching for a change where I was. I had gone as far as I could go. I served my time and decided to go out on my own,” he says.

Spurred on by what he viewed as a gap in the local market for producing smaller jobs, the printer grasped the opportunity before him.

“There was a gap at the time, but saying that now, that type of job has disappeared. I took a look at several other places, but Omagh appealed to me.”

Located in the Gortrush Industrial Estate with a team of four, Print Point offer a range of business and personal print and design services, producing everything from flyers and posters to corporate logos and high quality brochures.

Able to laugh back now, he recalls one particular piece of advice warning him ‘Don’t do it, you’ll regret it!’ Neil admits that whatever regrets he has now, starting his own business isn’t one of them.

“I was positive about it and to be quite honest it didn’t matter what anybody said to me I was going to do it anyway.”


The business owner reveals the most important advice he received was the initial guidance on the nuts and bolts running of a business.

“Make sure your costs are as low as you can get them and work from there, because if that isn’t low nothing is viable.”

Summing up his 15 years in business as “tough but worthwhile”, Neil says, “Every year is different. It’s often a struggle and always a challenge, but that’s what is laid out ahead of you.

“Every day is different whereas when you were working for someone else, every day was monotonous, doing exactly the same thing every day, which gets boring.

“You do make mistakes, everybody does, but you have to learn from them. There are still things you can learn every day.”

Neil says his golden rule has always been to treat his customers well. “If you provide the service and the product the customer needs, then you will find your market and they will find you.

“Anybody can sell anything once, but it’s the return sale you’re after. If people keep coming back to you, you are doing something right. My attitude is that the customer is king.”


Looking at the existing climate for new businesses, Neil anticipates that it is finance which remains the biggest obstacle for prospective entrepreneurs.

He reveals that the gloomy financial status quo over the past number of years has also resulted in suppliers heaping pressure on businesses by cutting their credit terms.

Accepting that printing firms must keep up with the times, the Omagh man adds, “The basis of this trade has never really changed over the years i.e. putting ink on a page.

“But it’s still worthwhile dipping your toe in the water every now and again, because you will soon be left behind.”

Neil says he feels the local industry has become more about targeting niche markets, producing a lower number, but higher quality products for specific clients.

“We find people are looking for high-spec brochures, one that really showed them off, very glossy and well produced.

“We find people aren’t printing 20,000 flyers and filling the country with them, but are targeting their markets very specifically. The design element is very important.”

Looking into the future, the printer sees the design aspect of the business playing an increasingly prominent role.

“At the minute the design element is very important. That’s where you would produce most of your top end jobs and that’s what brings in a lot of trade.”

 Print Point is located in Unit 5, 37 Gortrush Industrial Estate Omagh. For more information visit or contact 028 8225 1090.