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Question added to topic MarketingJune 10, 2007

Where do I find clients for a new printing company?

I'm contemplating starting a small printing business concentrating on run-of-the-mill orders from hospitals and the overflow from large printers. My job hours have been downsized from 40 hours to 24 hours. I had my own print shop 30 years ago for 25 years. I have been a printer for a local hospital that is close to bankruptcy. I need help in finding buyers to contact and figuring out where to start. I can finance equipment, but I also need a location that will not be expensive to rent.
Printing can be a tough business! I'd suggest you try to connect with other established companies in your area, and see if you might be able to get started by handling some of their overflow ( since as you know many smaller shops outsource lots of their work).

Unless you are very well funded (and I mean that you have enough money set aside to keep you afloat for at least 8 months, which includes a normal salary for you, and the costs you will incur for rental, staff, supplies & lease expenses) take it slow. Concentrate on certain kinds of jobs that the equipment you lease can easily handle with maximum performance/ output with min headaches for you. If you are good - service and results-wise, word will get around and people in Chamber(s) you belong to will start calling you.

Volunteer your services to several area non-profits, in exchange for print and online recognition. They have a slew of connections and are in dire need of any assistance with their printing needs. You get to do something nice for a worthy organization, and are helping to build your business ( and good reputation) in the process!

Last but least (actually this should be first!!) get a professional logo designed, a business card and at least one sales sheet ( an oversized piece that can act as a direct mail postcard is fine), along with a basic website ( 4 pages is fine to start). Hire a good designer and copywriter, so that your firm shines from the get-go.

Best of luck with your new venture!

Al Lautenslager is an award-winning marketing and PR consultant and direct-mail promotion specialist. He's also the principle of Market For Profits, a Chicago-based marketing consulting firm. His two latest books, Guerrilla Marketing in 30 Days and The Ultimate Guide to Direct Marketing are available at www.entrepreneurpress.com.

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