How The Printing Industry Can Grow With Optimum Resources The first step towards evolving your print business is reassuring your presence among present and potential customers

By Abhishek Agarwal

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Printing industry is changing, while print still remains in the centre.There are so many peripherals attached to it, giving new ways of evolving the traditional print business. The reason these peripheral businesses are getting attached to the central print business are high-margin possibilities and cost benefits than the normal print business.

Advanced print technologies are already accepted in the market and giving profits to those who are utilizing them right. Color management software, Print MIS, Web to print software and many other technologies have emerged evolving business models of print providers with limited resources. Moreover these technologies are one time investment for implementation as well as training and helps the business in realizing return on investment. The best part of the new technology is that investment is less and gives higher productivity, lower maintenance costs and reduces wastage.

Imagine a print service provider named "XYZ Printing'. Including himself he has six team member who take care of sales, customer service, administration, print production and accounts respectively. XYZprinting is able to sustain while making good profits but it has not grown over a period of time, no new customers have been added, digital printing is just on charts to be introduced.

On the other hand, a neighboring business having similar human and infrastructure assets is growing at a rapid rate. He has just introduced a new website having web to print features with online ordering and shipping facilities available for the customers. Also he has invested in a good print MIS features that allows job to automate and run on priority. Moreover with streamlined print operations, he is now able to deliver even urgent work on time. He has added more staff to take the new clients with part time strategic and marketing consultant.

How can You Evolve Your Printing Business as the Second Scenario?

Technologies are making printing industry undergo an evolution and changed the owner's role. Successful printing companies are keeping pace with the technological breakthroughs and trying to see a panoramic view of their business models and abstruse ways technology is changing customers. Printing businesses have turned into communication center or professional marketing service. Getting knowledge and experience in emerging trends like personalization, mobile marketing, QR code technology and social media marketing, is more of necessity and less of choice.

The first step towards evolving your print business is reassuring your presence among present and potential customers. Since we are moving towards digitization and to establish an online presence with website is very important . Print businesses lacks in-house web development capabilities and there's no mandatory rule to do everything in-house. Outsource it to some web development company that can help you in developing the basic website that can be scalable and changed as per the changing business model. Website is one such resource that can be utilized optimally in one or various ways to connect with your customers and providing them services 24*7 .

Website is one resource that can be put at the center to develop lot of peripherals around it. Website can be anchor to all your social media pages. Social media pages can be best utilized to share your work, client testimonials, printing work , offers and discounts.

Don't go for paid marketing if you still think that you want to develop more peripherals around your main printing business ,then we have the following points.

One such peripheral that can be developed with your website is to have the feature of print, design and ship facility. While customers place order on your website or over phone, either ask them to fill out shipping address or send them a link to fill out shipping address. Ask your admin guy to check details and deliver it. There's no new addition of any resource or manpower.

The second way of evolving your print business is introducing personalization tool within your existing website. Personalization and printing are match made in heaven and any printing business can weave them together. Customers are looking for products where they can customize according to their requirements, tastes and preferences. Personalization for corporate customers also works well, as it is not required every time to send new files of logo, brochures or letterheads and talk to printers over phone. They can directly upload them into their personal accounts with notifications been sent to printer, every time the print file changes.

Today technology drives growth in the printing business. Big or small has to make that shift to sustain their margins in already this low margins industry. Apart from the online peripheral services, print businesses can offer, there are so many other services like Managed Print Services, Trade Marketplaces, Graphic Designs that hold true potential in the printing industry.

The Way Ahead

Evolving business may require some investment but businesses can always plan out investment amount and how they want to do it. Growing a business is all about an idea, tweaking it with market feedback and pursuing it passionately. Printing industry is still witnessing tough competition from digital channels but still people remember hoardings and cut coupons to avail offers, there's potential for every idea. Working as backdrop of every industry, print holds a tremendous potential in years to come if we are able to find out ways to adopt digitization and keeping pace with technology.

Abhishek Agarwal

CEO & Co-Founder of Design’N’Buy, Mobicommerce & OhoShop

Abhishek Agarwal, CEO & Co-Founder of Design’N’Buy, Mobicommerce & OhoShop, comes with more than 14 years of experience in Web-to-Print & IT. He hold his expertise in delivering innovate and unique ideas in w2p. He has a clan of experts that deliver challenging and exciting results. Delivering customized solutions with utmost perfection has been his life’s motto.

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