Making Your (Lack of?) Business My Business

Diversification is more than just a big opportunity, the NAPL report reveals. “As the essential step in our transition from providers of commodities to providers of communications solutions, it defines our industry’s future. But diversification is no more a sure thing for printers than consolidation and e-commerce were,” the study stresses. “And we are sure to lose if our enthusiasm and urgency to pursue high-growth, value-added markets leads to neglect of the core preparatory, press and finishing services that are still a big part of the communications mix. We have to diversify by complementing print, and we have to base our diversification on rigorous cost-benefit analysis.”

In other words, investigate and then implement those value-added services that make sense for your individual operation. Change the mindset within your own organization, especially among your sales staff, so they’re committed to convincing clients to seek—and pay for—those expanded services. There’s a big difference between diversifying and diversifying profitably. And, at the same time, don’t rob Peter to pay Paul by neglecting the traditional services that put you in business in the first place. It’s a high-wire balancing act best not suited for the fainthearted.

Mark T. Michelson

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