There are bright spots in the print industry despite sales woes of traditional offset printing. The large-format inkjet business is unquestionably one of the bright spots, and a great business opportunity for commercial printers, repro houses, quick printers and graphic arts firms. The profit margin can be excellent if you produce good work, develop your customer account base, and deliver the goods reliably.
Here are five good reasons to consider whether large-format printing is right for your business.
1. Large-format printing is a growth industry. According to Tim Greene of InfoTrends, worldwide revenue for signs and graphics companies is expected to grow at a five percent rate over the next five years, while the overall printing industry is expected to grow one percent during the same period. And because large-format printing requires more skill and experience than desktop colour printing, customers are looking for professional help with these projects. So here’s the bottom line: large-format printing is a tremendous opportunity for you to grow your business because it is a chance to offer your customers value and services that exceed what they can do for themselves at home or in the office.
2. More than just making prints. When it comes to large-format printing, you have a chance to offer customers a full range of services that may begin with creative design, including file preparation for output, and finally offering a finishing solution for their graphics. Your ability to satisfy these needs is the foundation for a successful printing service. By offering your customers the full range of printing and related services you will be able to generate additional sales revenue, increase the profitability of your operation, and ensure that jobs are produced efficiently and correctly.
3. Expand your market reach. The expanded use of large-format inkjet printers has been due to the fact that they can be used in the graphics, technical documents, photography, fine art reproduction, sign and display markets, where the demand for shorter runs and quicker turnarounds continue to dominate. The growing use of large-format inkjet printers has also been seen in the screen and digital print markets, sign shops and many other markets.
4. Keep them coming back for more. The hardest thing for just about any business to do is to find new customers. Large-format printing will allow you to explore new markets, thus developing new clients who may want to buy a variety of printing services from you. And with your established customers, why send them away for their large-format printing needs? Offer them a full range of printing services and keep them coming back for more. The best way to do this is to provide a quality service at a fair price, offer them sound advice, make good recommendations, and be proactive in finding new ways to address their needs. Business customers can be a great source of repeat work simply because most businesses are cyclical in nature. If they need materials produced today, they are most likely going to need something similar again in the future. Consumers might not seem like a great source for large-format printing, but they also have need of family portraits, collages, canvas prints and banners for parties, sports teams, clubs, charities, schools and garage sales.
5. Creating value and selling solutions. Sales can be a lot of fun when you get to help customers solve problems. If you are ready to do more than just quote prices and take orders, large-format printing is a great opportunity for you to put your sales skills and expertise to work. The key to successfully creating value and selling solutions is learning to understand a customer’s needs, then filling those needs as precisely and completely as possible. If you can help your customers design and produce the large-format graphics they want, help them resolve issues with print files, and make useful recommendations for media and finishing options, you will generate more sales revenue while increasing customer satisfaction. And satisfied customers are those who will keep coming back for more.
Conclusion Large-format inkjet printing technology is here to stay. New volume of work will grow for these printers as it takes over from print volume, which may have been produced using a variety of other methods, including offset or screen print, cut vinyl or hand painted. Wide-format digital printing will provide new revenue streams for those that adopt this technology.
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