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Meet Jit Teo of PromotionChoice.com

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jit Teo.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Jit. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
The company started as an online company in 1999 by May Guitteau and her late husband Greg Guitteau. They started selling custom printed balloons and custom napkins in close collaboration with their close friends who had a printing plant out in the Los Angeles area. As the business grew, they slowly expanded their product lines to where we have over 2000 products on our website now.

Has it been a smooth road?
It has been an extremely tough road. We did most of our advertising online at the start and advertising costs were not as high then. As competition grew exponentially, sales started declining, while advertising costs grew increasingly unaffordable. We were getting squeezed on both ends, where we had to lower pricing to stay alive and pay ever-increasing advertising costs. We had to find ways to stay alive by revamping and transforming our websites to attract new customers and keep existing ones. We also had to find ways other than pricing to out-do competition and find new ways around the shocking rate of increase in advertising.

We found some success along the way and even weathered the challenging financial crisis of 2008-2012. I joined the company in 2010 and added some creative ways to improve the business, and we actually experienced some good growth. We also decided that we needed to expand to stay competitive, and started hiring employees who could work remotely for us to perform customer service and artwork duties. However, finding good help and then managing employees especially being that they work remotely, would prove to be one of the toughest things we had to do.

While we are in a pretty good spot today, we are still trying to find a good balance of how to make our business work effectively as a cohesive unit and manage our employees.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the PromotionChoice.com story. Tell us more about the business.
We are a print promotional products company. We custom print on a whole host of different and interesting products and cater mostly to people hosting parties and events. Companies with marketing departments also find our products useful when they have tradeshows and marketing promotional events, where they would buy products from us printed with their logos or message so they could give them out as memorabilia to potential customers or just to create brand awareness.

We are able to offer our products at very competitive prices and have been able to help thousands of customers nationwide (not just in the San Diego or CA area) who have last minute requests on custom print orders. Our reliability and our ability to rush orders out and still provide a quality product and service sets us apart from our competition.

We take our jobs very seriously, and we treat their events like it’s our own and make every effort to ensure their products print and deliver on time even with some seemingly impossible deadlines. Customers have been so appreciative of us when we have made these deadlines happen. They often tell us: “You saved our event!”

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I see the industry getting more and more competitive. Customers are becoming more and more demanding with the increased competition when it comes to pricing and production times, and we need to continue to find ways to cut costs and still deliver quality products with short lead times.

As mentioned, advertising is continuing to increase, so I see people in our industry trying to find ways around this – perhaps a partial shift back to having sales reps visit customers door-to-door, direct mailing, or even making cold calls.

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