How to Grow Your Printing Business
In our last installment related to print business growth we focused on those just starting a print business, but in this article we’re focusing on how you can grow your printing business. Whether you’ve been in business for a few years or you’ve been operating in print for 30+ years, the steps we share here on how to grow a print company are guaranteed to work and provide you exactly what you’ve been looking for.
Steps to Growing a Print Company
The fact is that to grow a print business you are still growing a business in general, so many of the steps required to grow your printing company are the same as what it takes to grow any type of company. And we get it, after you read that statement you’re probably thinking, “Yeah, or course, tell me something I don’t know.”. And we totally understand, but the truth remains that those principles still apply. But the good news is that we are sharing tips specific to actually growing a printing business so they are all focused on print and the printing industry.
What are the steps every business should take to grow?
- Research to find out what is in demand
- Build a repeatable and scalable process for delivery
- Create a sales funnel
- Increase customer retention
- Market your company
- Form strategic partnerships
- Diversify your product & service offering
- Expand into new markets
- Track, measure, and optimize
You can imagine all of the different areas in a business that these steps to growing a company can be applied to in your print company. And just to be upfront, we aren’t going into all of these things for your print business growth. You know print operations better than we do!
So our focus is going to be on Marketing Your Printing Business, Building a Sales Funnel for Your Print Company and Tracking & Measuring Your Results for better decision making to facilitate growth.
It is also our experience that when a print company is looking to grow, what they are actually looking for is how to increase print sales. More print sales = more revenue, which equates to growth. But of course revenue is only one aspect of growth (Although it is a big aspect!).
Now let’s get into how you can grow your print business.
Grow Your Print Businesses Sales With Marketing
Of course you need to market your print company. The problem is like so many other businesses, marketing seems to get minimized or dismissed as not working every time it’s done. The biggest issue for print companies not getting results from their own marketing efforts is that they don’t stick with it and aren’t consistent.
Maybe that’s hard to hear, but sometimes the truth hurts.
Not to worry though, once you can submit to the fact that you need to be consistently putting out marketing content and not stop doing it then that is the first biggest step to your success in achieving growth for your print company.
Marketing Tactics to Grow Your Print Shop
We’re sharing the 3 major areas of focus that will maximize the time you spend on marketing.
- Direct Mail Marketing
- Digital Marketing
- In-Person Events / Tradeshows / Networking
Direct Mail Marketing for Print Companies
This is your business. You tell your customers they should be doing it. So do it for yourself.
Direct mail is your place to shine. Make unique, relevant, personalized mailers that will stand out and generate a direct response from your prospects.
Digital Marketing for Print Businesses
You may have tried this in the past, but again in our experience most print companies didn’t stick with it or were working with the wrong partner who struggled to get results. But the fact is that you need to be doing SEO, running ads on LinkedIn & Facebook, sending out email, writing blog posts, and publishing to social media.
Write 1 to 2 blog posts per month, post to social media at least 3 times per week, send out at least 1 email per month, run ads to target industries on LinkedIn if you can afford it. Do all of this for 12 months and come back to us to let us know what happened (Spoiler Alert: You will have grown a ton from doing it).
In-Person Events for Printers
You’re likely very familiar with these as well.
Going to business events, industry trade shows, network events and the like will get you visibility that can easily get you standing out from the competition. This will grow your print sales easily.
Build a Sales Funnel to Close More Print Business
This is different from marketing in that you need to be working or nurture the leads that come into your print business from the marketing efforts. In most print companies the sales reps aren’t really held accountable to anything and there is no formal or standardized process for closing new business.
To create a sales funnel you need to
- Develop a print sales process
- Create a system to support the sales process
- Set goals for sales reps at your print company
- Track and measure sale rep performance
In our experience a typical print sales funnel can simply consist of 7 steps.
We’ve summarized these steps below.
Deal / Opportunity
|At this stage a rep or manager must create the deal or opportunity in the CRM and set it to this deal stage. You will have contacted a prospect who is interested in something, but you don’t have all the details yet and still need to have a more comprehensive conversation.|
|A Deal / Opportunity will move to this stage once a discovery meeting has been set. During this meeting the rep will get all of the information needed from the prospect to build a quote that can be sent back to the prospect in the near future as a follow up.|
|The Deal / Opportunity will move into this stage when the quote is being created. All of the quote details are used to put together what is needed to send back to the prospect in a follow up.|
|At this stage the rep will follow up with the prospect by sharing the quote / proposal and continue to reach back out until they get an answer from the prospect. If the prospect says Yes, move to Stage 7 (closed won), if they say No, move to Stage 7 (closed lost), if they ask for a revision move to Stage 5.|
|If the prospect asks for a revision to the quote / proposal then in this stage you will do just that. Make updates to the quote and prepare to share that again with the prospect.|
Follow Up Round 2
|At this stage the rep will follow up again with the prospect by sharing the revised quote / proposal and continue to reach back out until they get an answer from the prospect. If the prospect says Yes, move to Stage 7 (closed won), if they say No, move to Stage 7 (closed lost), if they ask for a revision move back to Stage 5.|
/ Closed Lost
|Once the prospect has given you a firm answer on your quote then the Deal / Opportunity will be moved to either a Closed Won or Closed Lost state.
If they say Yes, move them to Closed Won.
If they say No, move them to Closed Lost.
Track, Measure & Optimize Your Print Sales & Marketing
Lastly you will need to track the performance of your marketing and sales, measure both against specific goals and based on what that measurement is telling you, make decisions on how best to optimize your marketing efforts and print sales efforts.
An effective way of doing this is to utilize a CRM that can handle incoming leads, create a sales pipeline and have a dashboard to track & report on everything.
By doing this you will gain new insight into how you can best market and sell your print products and services. This is what you want, right? Of course it is!
While we could go on for pages and pages more about how to grow your printing business, what we’ve shared here are the most critical steps and if put into practice you are guaranteed to see a huge growth in your print company. More sales, more capital to hire on, more revenue to invest in new print equipment and more to expand in all areas of your printing empire.