- Make sure your prices are up-to-date—Make sure that your prices for products and services are reviewed frequently and updated when and where necessary. Be sure that your prices are competitive with what others are charging. Your prices may be higher or lower than others, but be prepared to justify these differences based upon either a thorough understanding of your local market and/or your own cost structure.
- Do not rationalize and blame the economy—Both in good times and bad times, print and copy shop owners are often too quick to look outwards and blame others for their problems. As this study demonstrates, especially in our “Industry Snapshot” section, there will always be firms at both ends of the profit spectrum, even in the toughest of times. By examining any one of a dozen snapshots, you will quickly come to the realization that prices charged for products and services are quite similar in our industry, regardless of the sorting criteria used. If you are looking to improve your company’s financial health, the answers can most often be found in areas other than pricing—this conclusion of course assumes that you have already conducted the examination of prices suggested earlier.
- Consider purchasing a color copier to expand your capabilities. If you already have a color copier, make sure it is the fastest most efficient you can afford. The section dealing with “Color Copying” is packed with useful pricing data and ratings of the most popular color copiers used in our industry.
- Learn to monitor and control key expenses and ratios—As a general rule, firms that achieve the highest profits and sales in our industry achieve their status not by charging significantly more or less for products and services but rather by controlling and improving key productivity and financial ratios. Lowering ratios such as “payroll” and boosting ratios related to SPE, sales per DTP employee and sales per press operator will have a far greater impact on your profitability than steps you might take regarding adjusting your pricing—this of course assumes your prices are competitive within your own marketplace.
According to Steve Johnson, president and CEO of NAQP, “All of our industry studies are focused on the quick and small commercial printing segment and have become valuable tools for those printing companies. The Printing Industry Pricing Study is always a much anticipated publication that the participants and readers use to remain competitive while identifying those areas where they can increase their profit margins.”
NAQP also publishes a special report, the 4C Practices & Pricing Study, specifically designed to assist owners of small commerical printing and copying firms better understand current pricing practices in the four-color copying and offset printing segments of the industry.
To order the 13th annual Printing Industry Pricing Study, visit www.naqp.com or call (800) 234-0040.