How to Grow Your Business When Demand Slows
To add enabling technologies, some initiatives to consider include:
• Adding full mailing service capability and expertise.
• Upgrading of digital production equipment and software.
• Developing an online ordering system, which includes hiring an online document management and ordering system expert to deliver state-of-the-art Web-to-print and automated marketing programs via the Internet.
• Forging a strategic partnership with an e-mail services company.
• Partnering with cross-channel marketing software services that effectively and efficiently construct personalized URLs and QR codes for Web-based response and fulfillment services.
• Working with equipment vendors to provide cost-effective entry into large format capabilities for delivery of signs, banners, posters and POP materials.
• Providing web development capabilities.
The second step is to become familiar with everything from the basics of marketing to best-practices in copywriting, graphic design, direct marketing, online marketing and strategic plan development. Individuals can gain a better understanding of this through online courses and Webinars. Here’s a list of free online courses and Webinars.
Besides learning from colleges or online universities, you should also consider taking time to meet with other printing professionals. At Allegra Network, we have developed an online education resource stocked with training called the “Allegra Network University” (ANU). Once our franchise members earn marketing certification through ANU on-demand training, they earn access to a Marketing Resource Center (MRC), which is a professional, cost-competitive planning, consulting, coaching and implementation resource to help them develop and execute marketing programs and projects for customers. Independent printers who join the Allegra Advantage Program gain access to both programs and other resources we’ve assembled for our franchise members.
You can’t expect to become a marketing expert overnight, no more than new graduates from top university marketing programs are instant experts. As anyone in the business will tell you, it’s a profession that’s only really learned by experience. Hiring marketing professionals and subject matter experts will provide measureable marketing results for your customers and another outlet for employees to turn to for training or questions.
Carl and his wife, Judy, owned and operated their own successful Allegra franchise for nearly 20 years before selling the $2.3 million operation in 2003. He is a PrintImage International/NAQP Honorary Lifetime Member and was inducted into NAPL’s prestigious Soderstrom Society in 2010 in recognition of his contribution to the industry.