Eight Business Principles for Success as a Printer
In addition to all of the Comments posted online in response to my recent “You’re a Printer. Stop Denying It!” blog post, I received the following email message (posted with Jim Petritz’s permission):
My company Carr Communications, AKA Carr Printing, has been in business over 40 years and like many companies is struggling to grow and get to the next level. You read so many articles about print being a dirty word, there are times you are tempted to enter into strategies that don’t fit well with your strengths.
It is Saturday and I am doing research when I came upon your article. THANK YOU. I love this business and it has been my pleasure to be in it for over 30 years myself. (I am 51.) As I spend money on Web-to-print solutions and digital technologies, I keep asking myself the following question. Can we grow and thrive in the future doing business as we always have based primarily on Quality and Customer Service? If you read too much from the experts, it would lead you to believe the only way to succeed is to be an Internet based company.
I have always believed if you follow some basic principals you will be successful:
1. Return estimates in a matter of minutes or hours.
2. Offer alternatives that will improve the project.
3. Review the job once it is committed to make sure it is what everyone thought, so if adjustments are required they can be done then and there before the project runs into trouble.
4. Communicate additional charges or changes in writing up front to allow buyers to make an informed decision.
5. Constant communication thru the production process.
6. ** Be honest and up front about any changes or challenges that may occur during the production process. The buyer can usually adjust or figure out something with the supplier if given a heads up. Calling the day of delivery or worse yet on the mail drop date is a cardinal sin. (Although I am shocked how many sales people over the years think they can slide by.)
Long regarded as a print buyer expert and trade writer, Margie Dana launched a new business as a marketing communications strategist with a specialty in printing and print buying. She is as comfortable working in social media as she is in traditional media, and now she’s on a mission to help clients build customer communities through carefully crafted content. Dana was the producer of the annual Print & Media Conference.
Although she has exited the event business, Dana is still publishing her Print Tips newsletter each week. For more details and to sign up for her newsletter and marketing blog, visit www.margiedana.com