A 'How To' on Enticing More Customers to Your Print Business

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At the heart of any business are the professional connections between the company and their clients and customers and frankly, even if you have the most dedicated and highly skilled employees, without customers, you simply do not have a business. With this in mind, continue reading for a ˜how to' on enticing more customers to your print business.


Review Your Operational Costs

Even though a review of your workflow and overheads sounds like the ˜middle man' between your company and winning new customers, in reality it is extremely relevant.

There would be no point for example, in winning four large, regular clients who order in bulk if you have an entirely preventable leakage in your printing sales profit, as all the hard work you have done will fail to be reflected in your takings.

There are plenty of ways to keep a tighter control of your operational costs, but one of the most efficient ways is to adopt an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) tool, which connects each process to a database which is entirely integrated and therefore simple to analyze.

Other ways to effectively review and reduce the operational costs of your print business include, but are certainly not limited to the following:

- Focusing on the adoption of lean production concepts

- Improving management of your inventory

- Finding ways to reduce your energy consumption levels

- Improving the overall visibility of your workflow and processes

- Ensuring your supply chain is as transparent as possible


Enact an Inbound Marketing Strategy

The tried and tested business technique which, far from being a mere suggestion, but is fast becoming a necessity for printing companies is to form an inbound marketing strategy.

Essentially, inbound marketing strategies are geared toward building solid and trusted relationships between customers and clients that are focused on longevity and repeat custom. Moreover, the creation of an inbound marketing strategy will also help you to reach a much wider target audience, full of customers and clients who are likely to be interested in the wide range of printing services you provide.


Keep Your Eye on Industry Rivals' Behavior

You will certainly not need reminding that the printing business is a very competitive one and as such, learning how your competitors are expanding and winning new and repeat customers will obviously be interesting information for your own business.

Not only will learning the behavior of your industry rivals mean that you will be afforded new ideas, inspiration, and techniques to attract more customers to your print business, but this will also give you the opportunity to stay ahead of the competition.

Some pertinent questions to pose to both yourself and your heads of department when considering how to climb the ranks of print businesses in your area may include:

- Offer a customer loyalty program to your current clients

- Work on establishing a USP for your print business

- Look into increasing your reach to neighboring countries

- Ask your customers what they would like to see change or improve

- Start looking to the future and don't get stuck in the present


Offer a Unique Type of Paper Product

Obviously, as a printing business, you're working with paper all the time and as such, when wanting to attract new customers to the company in an effort to grow and expand, thinking outside the box is always going to help.

Why not start offering a new type of paper, for example, one with a waterproof sheen which is considerably more durable when producing banners and flyers, or offering a choice of personalized corporate and individual packaging for an extra cost!


Work to Better Understand the Journey of the Buyer

Ideally, although entirely unfeasible in reality, your company needs to be the first port of call and indeed, the first printing business that is thought of, before the client or customer knows the details of their order.

There are, in essence, four separate stages of the buyer's journey:

1. Buyer Awareness

Luckily, with printing orders, they are not so much of an impulse buy as a planned and budgeted for expense and therefore, unlike clothing and retail companies where potential customers don't know what they want, your buyers usually do.

As such, the first stage in the buyer's journey of printing products and services is the awareness that they need what they need by a specific date and the impetus to go online and search for what they need.

2. Buyer Consideration

The second stage of the basic buyer's journey is coined the consideration stage. Here, your new potential customer is actively searching for a company, either online, in-person or asking friends, where they can have their needs fulfilled.

3. Buyer Decision

The third stage is where inbound marketing strategies make their appearance. During the decision stage of the buyer's journey, it's your mission to make your printing company the one that they choose to do business with and that they're able to find you as quickly and as easily as possible.

4. Buyer Purchase

The purchase stage is, obviously, the end of the buyer's journey and again, you need to provide enough choices, excellent customer service and competitive pricing so that your printing company is the one they choose to go with.


Print Workflow Automation

If you're serious about committing no small amount of time, work and money into enticing more customers to your printing business, then it's strongly advisable that you take the decision to automate your print tasks using print workflow automation.

In a world where the vast majority of businesses across the entire spectrum of industries have already automated many of their core processes, as the owner of manager of a thriving print business that you're looking to expand, print workflow automation is the logical, affordable, and effective choice.

There is a myriad of impressive advantages to choosing the implementation of print workflow automation, including:

- A much-improved turnaround time

- The provision of more accurate and financial controls

- The reduction of manual intervention

- A much more convenient submission guide for clients and customers

- An analytic overview of your corporate branding

- Problems are identified faster


Make Your Company Story Accessible & Relatable

Even in a world where money seems to be the driving force behind anyone doing anything, in reality, more than ever before, there's a growing importance for companies to provide a personal touch and this is one of the secrets in gaining more customers.

It may well be that you have built your print business from scratch and are now operating out of multiple physical stores and/or have a thriving online network. Conversely, perhaps you're a relatively new, small and more local print company; either way, without a relatable and accessible backstory, it will be much harder to grow any further.

Strive to redefine your company's backstory in human, more personal terms, rather than purely in a professional context, remembering that an individual client isn't interested in your statistics and data, moreover they only care about the quality and affordability of your product.

Your company's values essentially come down to why you started your business or are managing the business in the first place, the nature of company culture you have cultivated, and your company's core values and ethos. You should also ensure that internally, whether you have a few employees working at your print business, or many different departments, everyone is on the same page when it comes to how to describe the company and its products and services.


Move towards B2B Customers

The last and final piece of advice on how to attract more and more customers to your printing business is to move into the B2B (Business to Business) world.

B2B commerce is defined as the exchange of services or products between two different and entirely unaffiliated companies, allowing both companies to benefit in more than a few ways, and it's also effective in future negotiations.

It's worth pointing out at this particular conjecture that, as the aforementioned automation of most operations and core business processes has become the ˜norm' in recent years, when engaged in B2B commerce, you'll be expected to be aware of the latest trends in printing and to utilize the latest technologies for the best possible results.

As the head of a print business who's focused on and driven to expand and attract more clients, it is your responsibility to always be looking to adjust and adapt your business model to suit the wants and needs of the new customers you are targeting.

There are, it has to be said, plenty of impressive benefits to making the move to Business to Business commerce, namely the fact that it will become much easier to reach an even wider segment of your target market moving forward and that your average levels of productivity will increase.

Other advantages of engaging in B2B commerce include a much clearer and more visible awareness of your brand and the provision of a more focused and dedicated customer experience from start to finish.

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