Competion in most types of business has become fierce. The ability to start and maintain a profitable business anywhere is admirable, but in large city centres such as Toronto and the GTA, it is miraculous. Small printing businesses that supported the owner and a handful of employees are being gobbled up by larger corporation-sized companies. There are several reasons for this:
- There is less print business to go around. Social media, satellite, and the internet have taken over much of the advertising market, without need for print.
- Large businesses have momentum; they are a well-known entity with a large customer base, growing by word-of-mouth, or simply by visibility.
- Large businesses have been able to accumulate and continually upgrade printing equipment, capable of doing the job better, faster.
- Consumers are becoming increasingly demanding of better service, and are constantly price-comparing for the best deal.
- Advertising unquestionably brings results, and the larger companies have the money to invest in this.
- Getting on board the technology train and adopting newest tech offerings for advertising, marketing, etc. is affordable, and returns much more ‘bang for the buck’ for larger businesses.
- Being able to hire more highly trained and proven personnel gives the large printing business an edge over the little guy, one that will continue to see the gap between them widen.
- Finally, as the big guys gain ground and the little guys lose it, discouragement can deal the final blow to the small business.
Larger printing companies are doing what we have seen in the retail business many times; mergers or “hostile takeovers” of reasonably sized competitors or the buying out of the small business’s customer base. In the end, the big guys get bigger and the small guys either get smaller or disappear altogether.
What will this mean for the future of the small print shop? How will they need to adapt to changes in the culture and the print business? It takes tenacity, a key characteristic of successful business people. Here are some important facets of the business they should address:
- Take only calculated risks; i.e. purchase better equipment to compete, but don’t put yourself into unreasonable debt to do so.
- Upgrade your employee base. They should have the skill-set to be able to implement new technology to your advantage.
- Know who your target customer is, what they want now, which may be very different from when you first launched your business. The old adage, “If you keep doing the same thing you’ve always done, you’ll get what you always got,” is not necessarily true. To get the good business you got 5 years ago, you cannot do things the way you did then. You will need to adapt to current market needs and trends.
- Change the way you interact with your customers. Where an over-the-counter smile and firm handshake nurtured good customer relations before, these don’t translate well in faceless transactions. Train your team to develop great telephone and on-line customer service.
- If you don’t already have a mission statement, create one that can be used as a measuring tool for your decision making. Make sure your team knows and takes ownership of your values and goals.
Printing Peach, a homegrown leader in the printing business, is committed to going the distance, adapting to your needs. We offer great personalized service at the lowest possible prices, and ship all across the country. Check out our wide variety of high quality, printing options.Posted in Uncategorized