Running any sort of small business can be difficult, and even day-to-day tasks can require a lot of mental concentration. In a digital age, running a print shop is one of the more challenging professions.
The fact is that digital can’t replace some of the benefits that working with a qualified printer can offer your customers. That doesn’t mean that running a successful print shop business is easy by any means.
Keep reading to learn five tips to help you run a successful print shop in a world dominated by laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
1. Know Your Niche
As a print shop business, you know that you’ve got a niche that’s not going to fit into everybody’s lifestyle at this point. While many people ran to the print shop for copies of documents 20 years ago, that’s not going to happen much in a world where printers cost $100 and line desks in offices in homes throughout the world.
When you work as a printer business, your niche is in high volume projects and specialty projects for businesses. From copies of large documents – blueprints or building projects, for example – to bulk copies of screenplays or books, your niche partly depends on your area and current customer base.
Discover yours and focus a great deal of your efforts in those markets. Anything else you pick up will just be gravy.
2. Work with Small Business Owners
Many small business owners can invest in quality printers and churn out their own documents pretty quickly. That doesn’t mean that they want to sit around and collate documents all day long.
If you have a facility and the staff on hand to do the work at a fair price, it may be helpful for a small business owner to delegate printing processes to you. From large scale documents to copies of handwritten invoices and more, printing is still a viable option for many small business owners on a day-to-day basis.
Small business catalogs and sales brochures are also a big part of most printing businesses today.
3. Stay in Touch with Clients
Digital communications and email might be cutting down on your printing business, but for you, email marketing and the ability to stay in touch with clients can help you bring more business in. From sending special offers to clients to simply letting clients know that you’re still there with an email about updated services, staying in touch digitally is a big part of running a small business.
Of course, as a printing company, you can still send beautiful fliers and well-made paper through the mail along with your digital and email marketing efforts. Sometimes the best way to stay in touch with your clients is to show them why they should be coming to you for all of their printing needs by sending them real life examples.
4. Consider Printing Franchise Opportunities
A printing business can be a tough one to start, and if you’re thinking of starting up now, you may be worried about your ability to attract customers. That’s a pretty reasonable concern in today’s market.
When starting up, though, a franchise may be a wise idea for small business owners who want the freedom of running their own business with the name recognition a franchise can offer. You’ll also have the experience of the franchise behind you, which can cut down on growing pains in a new industry.
5. Don’t Handle Your Own Books
One of the hardest parts of running any business is the financial side of it. Keeping track of accounts, especially when you’re dealing with open and credit accounts for businesses, can be very tough. Even handling the billing and payments received can be a difficult job.
As a small business owner in the printing sector, hiring somebody to handle your books, even if they don’t work for you full time, can allow you to focus on getting clients and making them happy. You’ll also have a skilled professional making sure your finances are in order.
The right help in the finance department may also lead you to business practices like invoice factoring that can mean a lot to an upstart printing company. Trying to do everything yourself isn’t always a wise move, especially when it comes to your money.
Starting any sort of new business can be difficult whether you have experience or not. Printing can be lucrative, though, especially if you have a built-in customer base and find the right niche for your area.
The world may be getting more and more digital, but there will always be a place for a skilled printer.