Printers really have a lot to sell to customers. They just need to get out and sell the services and solutions they have. If printers expect to survive the economic hardships in the coming 18 months, they will have to get out of the shop and tell customers how they can help them weather the economic downturn. Just having a convenient location or an easy to find website isn't going to close the sale. Only an active sales effort touting how the printer's technology will help the customer will succeed.
Using technology to cut costs and make buying easier can have a dramatic impact on a printer's profits. I recently visited a shop that has eight employees and was doing almost $2 million in sales because they were able to efficiently pull work through the shop with a PDF workflow. I visited another printer who had increased his sales by providing Web-to-print services to the other divisions of his top account. He had had success with the local division and is now taking care of divisions around the country. Even in troubled times, there are success stories because people use what they have and they get out and sell it.
If a printer is effectively using his technology internally, he can turn those efficiencies into benefits for his customers. Make sure you have a workflow that eliminates internal prepress production problems, and those benefits can result in profits and more sales.
John Giles is the author of "12 Secrets for Digital Success" and "The DTP PriceList." He is also technology director for CPrint. Contact him at 954/224-1942 or firstname.lastname@example.org.