“From taking initiative under pressure, to responding to market needs, Trinity brings its dynamic business model to the frontlines of a disaster zone”
Alexey Bartashoff, founder and CEO of Trinity Printing Inc. in Brooklyn, New York, shows that start-up founders are not just business leaders, but that they are capable of tremendous citizen action in emergencies. Bartashoff has leveraged his unique approach to graphic design and printing, which has made Trinity successful, to bring early aid to Hurricane Sandy victims in New York.
Trinity Printing Inc. holds a market niche that grew out of its founder’s background in sales. When Bartashoff began to freelance as a graphic designer, physical office space was too expensive to buy so he networked and met with clients in their offices.
“I automatically approached it through a sales mentality,” he says of his rather original method. “I’ve never heard of a printing company that goes out to the people. Usually, it’s a storefront operation.”
Trinity’s aggressive strategy of streamlining clients’ needs evolved out of this initial way of adapting and now the company controls the entire pipeline of the product.
“Most clients have to deal separately with graphic designers, printers and delivery companies for a single project,” Bartashoff explains. However, not with his company, which offers a Trinity of services: design, print and delivery, all in one.
The difference meshes well with the fast-paced culture of New York City. Businesses that contract with Trinity, including several well-known restaurants, readily see the value of establishing a contract in a single meeting that delivers the product to their door. Now the company’s motto, “Don’t go to the printing company, let the printing company come to you,” has become its main strength.
It is Trinity’s signature strategy that prepared Bartashoff to act on 30 October 2012 when Superstorm Sandy devastated the New York metropolitan area. He became one of the early sources of reliable information available to grassroots aid groups by travelling to destroyed areas and taking pictures, a natural extension of his hands-on business leadership style.
“I need to be there, in order to see my business grow”
After uploading images on-site to his client’s Help Brooklyn - Sandy Victims Facebook page, the role of volunteer coordinator naturally fell to him. It was a familiar fit.
“As an entrepreneur in a young company, I still wear a lot of hats. My job normally consists of running around like a maniac, and getting paid for it,” he jokes.
Trinity’s trademark of responding to customer needs by thinking outside the box helped Bartashoff bring the right kind of emergency care to Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.
“Through Facebook we organised groups of manpower and delivered supplies to seven hard-hit zones in the beginning of November,” he reports.
“I’ve found that in both business and this emergency situation, people are afraid to try”
The company’s business network was also an unexpected asset. “We discovered on the scene that some elderly people had no way to get their medications. Trinity has a number of pharmacy clients. I alerted them to the need and location.”
Bartashoff’s mobilisation is an example of how entrepreneurial skills are transferrable to help in a crisis as he notes himself, “I’ve found that in both business and this emergency situation, people are afraid to try.”
When asked if he thought the transition he’d made could be repeated with other business leaders if help was needed in future disaster scenarios, the CEO replied, “Absolutely! Entrepreneurs are the ones willing to risk everything to see their product and outcome through. Their positions routinely have them rolling up sleeves.”