Whether you’re just looking to solidify your position in the print market, or you’re wanting to take your business to the next level – you’re in the right place! We’ve got plenty of ideas here to inspire your next move.
Before you get started, though, there is something we need to point out. No matter what direction you’re planning on taking your business, you need to do some market research first.
If you want to be effective, you need to make sure you fully understand your current business, your competitors and, most importantly, your audience. With every idea listed in this blog, ask yourself these questions – how will this build on what my business already offers? How will this help differentiate me from my competitors? How can this benefit my target audience?
We’ve grouped our ideas together into four themes; gaining new customers, expanding your offering, improving your service, and working on your marketing. Let’s start by learning how you can attract new clients to your shop.
Gain New Customers
1. Set Up a Brand Partnership
Brand partnerships, or co-branding, are a great way to introduce a new your company to an established customer base. Approach a local business who you think could compliment yours (like a graphic design or marketing agency) and propose a partnership that benefits you both. You could send your customers their way for any design work and they could use you for all their printing.
2. Become a Specialist
Providing a general print service means that you receive a few customers from every industry. If you were to focus on just one industry’s needs, every potential customer from that industry could soon come to you, not just a few of them. If you were a magazine publisher, would you go for a general printer or one who specialises in printing media publications?
3. Let New Customers Find You Online
One quick and easy way to gain more customers is just to make sure that all your potential customers can actually find you. 82% of consumers conduct research online before making a purchase. So, you want to make sure that your site is search engine optimised – find out how to do that in our blog all about that subject.
Expand Your Offering
4. Additional Services
Look into what else your customers will need doing as well as getting their artwork printed. Maybe they need their artwork designed first, or someone to deliver their mailers once printed. If you can’t do these jobs or hire someone who can, make a brand partnership with someone who can. Your clients will appreciate you for having all these services in one place.
5. Increase Your Product Range
Perhaps the most obvious form of growing your business is being able to offer more products. If you mainly do large format, you could move onto small format products and offer things that people will need at exhibitions – like cross-fold leaflets. Or, if you mainly do small format, think about branching out into large format with roller banners.
6. Add More Special Features
Instead of offering more products, why not just make more of the products you already offer. Look into offering spot UV embellishing, foiling, or embossing and debossing. Or, you could think about offering a particularly special stock – like a waterproof stock for outdoor signage, or a luxurious card stock for invitations.
Improve Your Service
7. Sell Solutions
Many printers are happy to take a customer’s order at face value and leave it at that. But, if you take the time to ask why they need the print that they’ve asked for, you could find yourself more opportunities to sell! Perhaps they need flyers for an exhibition and didn’t realise you can also provide their exhibition stands. Ask them why and you will find it easier to upsell or cross-sell more print.
8. Encourage Customer Loyalty
It’s estimated that acquiring new customers costs 5 to 10 times more than retaining existing ones. With that in mind, it makes a lot of sense to put the effort in and serve your existing customers well. Why not implement a loyalty scheme to reward those clients who have stuck with you? Learn more about how to build up a connection with your clients with our loyalty cheat sheets.
9. Invest in Customer Lifetime Value
While it is more cost effective to retain existing customers, you do still need to attract a few new ones every now and then. Consider having introductory offers, or simply being a little more flexible with the price for new customers. Their first order may not bring in as much money but if they are impressed by your service and become a repeat customer, it’ll be worth it.
Work on Your Marketing
10. Local Marketing
Make your shop the first choice for print in your area with some local marketing techniques. You could keep it simple and use location-specific hashtags on social media. Or, you could go big and host a community event to really get your name out there. It’s all about building awareness within your community.
11. Targeted Direct Mail
Direct mail, when done right, can be a very effective campaign. Identify which products are the favourites for different types of customers and send out industry specific mailers to businesses near you with offers that are relevant to them. You can use our Print Customers and How to Find Them eBook to give you a starting point on how to target your mailers.
12. SMS Marketing
Did you know that SMS marketing is the fastest growing platform for marketing in Britain? Well, it is and you can make use of this trend for your own print shop. If you thought that SMS marketing was only for bigger companies, don’t worry. We talked through 7 different ways you can incorporate SMS marketing into you print business in our blog.
So, there are 12 different methods you could consider using to take your print business to the next level. We wish you the best of luck wherever your business ventures take you in 2018!