Wide-format printing can be a very lucrative business. Once you get all the basics down and all the equipment and staff needed to run a wide-format printing operation, your next step is to start bringing in customers. This can be harder than it sounds. Customers don’t just magically learn of your existence and show up at your shop door with printing requests. They have to be advertised to and lured in. For traditional printers which are in the commercial printing business, it can still be confusing for them to know how to bring in new customers. Here are some of the ways that wide-format printing businesses have successfully attracted new clients and help their companies thrive.
Targeting the Current Customer Base
This tip applies only to the companies which started out as traditional printers and added wide-format printing as a means to serve the demands of the customers. Many customers who are in the market for regular printing will eventually need to use wide-format printing services as well. For example, restaurants may want you to print their menus for them, and not realize that they have large signage that also needs to be printed as well. Reaching out to any customers you have who currently need printing is a great way to expand your wide-format printing base. You just have to think creatively. Don’t just ask these customers if they need wide-format printing, suggest to them some possible uses for your wide-format printing services. You never know how they might respond.
The Art of the Cold Call
One of the great things about wide-format printing which makes it so lucrative is that almost EVERYBODY needs signage. Look around you next time you’re driving through town. Almost every business you see has some kind of signage and some businesses need it a lot more than others. Cold calling in this sense isn’t necessarily going through a phonebook. In this case, write down every business you see that might need wide-format printing services.
When you get home, sit down and call. Again, don’t just ask them if they need your services, but give them some ideas for how you can specifically help them advertise their business. Show them some statistics as well relating to the success of advertising with signage. Cold calling, when done properly, can gain you clients you might have never gotten otherwise.
If you’ve ever been walking through the grocery store and been offered a free sample by one of the workers advertising you know how effective this tactic can be. One minute you’re on your way to get bread, the next minute your cart is loaded with 5 cases of jalapeno cheddar poppers.
The best part about offering free samples in the wide-format printing industry is that your target audience doesn’t need to eat your product to try it out, all they have to do is see it! The way this works is, once you get a client who puts in an order, you can take that client’s logo or graphic, and print it on something else they might want. Now, they might not want to place an order right away, but the seed has then been planted in the back of their minds, and if they ever do decide to do some advertising they’ll think of you. Especially if you show them how good you can make their logo or graphic look, the temptation might be too much to resist.
You can also use examples or your past work for other clients to let potential future customers know what kind of work you do. In today’s world of instant gratification and endless options, you don’t want to be the company charging for its samples. There are too many other companies out there offering the same thing for free and you will be passed up and forgotten.
When it comes to advertising your wide-format printing business, many of the tried and true methods that companies of all different types use can also be adapted to serve your business. Stuff like cold calling, targeting your existing customer base, and giving free samples might seem basic, but take a deeper look at the possibility for specific adaption and implementation in your industry you’ll see the potential for success. If you are having trouble picking up customers for your wide-format printing company you must start trying these methods of attracting new customers.