5 Tips for Printers to Start the Year Off Right

fresh start, printers, marketing ideas for printers

Two words.

Two words are all it takes to put the past behind you and look forward to the new year with optimism.

Fresh Start

There’s something magical about one year ending and a new one beginning. You get a clean slate, a chance to try new things, and unbridled excitement for what’s to come.

As you plan for this next year for your print business, here are five tips to help you make this next year your best year yet.

1. Review and Reflect

Without a good, hard look at where you’ve been, you’ll never get a clear path forward.

By taking the time to reflect on the past year, you’ll be able to:

  • See what you did well.
  • Reflect on the skills, knowledge, and new tools you’ve acquired.
  • Honestly acknowledge where things didn’t go as planned and use them to make better decisions in the future.
  • Figure out if your unique selling proposition (USP) accurately reflects what you offer and if it’s useful.

If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to reviewing and reflecting, consider setting aside a few minutes to ask yourself the following questions:

  • What would my customers say is the number one thing we do well?
  • If I could change one thing about how we did business this year, it would be…?
  • What brought my team the most joy this year?
  • What are our most popular products and services?
  • How are our customers ordering and is that how we want to accept orders?

2. Evaluate Your Productivity

Along with your overall business, evaluating your productivity is one of the best things you can do for your print business.

Small to mid-sized printers tend to combat the “that’s the way we’ve always done it” mentality. Because of this, be ready for it by working diligently to keep an open mind and a willingness to seek out and listen to the opinions of others.

There indeed might be a better way to enter orders, nurture customer relationships, run that job through production, etc.

Force yourself to take the journey from that initial order entry point to the final invoice just as your customers and team members would experience it and then ask yourself some difficult questions:

  • What is the most prominent crack in our process?
  • What are the biggest time wasters in my print shop?
  • Could we do [blank] better?
  • Do our customers get the service and convenience they’re expecting?

Starting the year off with a clear picture of where you’ve been and where you are will give you everything you need to figure out where you need to be going.

3. Set New Goals

Now that you’re armed with the knowledge you need to make the decisions you have to, you can take that knowledge and begin to lay out new goals for the year.

Here at Marketing Ideas For Printers, we follow the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS). This system is based on helping businesses accomplish their goals by focusing on these three things:

  • Vision: getting everyone on the same page
  • Traction: implementing the policies, procedures, and accountability to execute that vision, and
  • Health: working towards the health of the leadership team to effectively lead others towards the goal.

One of the best things about the EOS strategy is it allows you to break up your vision into smaller, attainable goals. Goals are divided into 90-day, quarter chunks called rocks and enable everyone to be working together towards the overall goals of the company.

Along with that, EOS helps to make sure your business doesn’t waste time with poorly made goals and, instead, walks you through how to implement goals that are S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely).

4. Learn Something New

What did you learn this past year that will make next year better? If you can’t answer that, it’s time you learned something new.

Taking the time out of your day to day busy life of keeping a print shop running to learn something new may “feel” counterproductive, but in reality, it is time well spent.

Make it a priority to research and read about solutions that could make your print business more effective and more profitable like the EOS solution mentioned above.

If you’re struggling to find time for that, take things in small doses by reading blogs this one or attending webinars that are specifically geared towards helping you and your print business thrive, like this one:




5. Bump Up Your Service

If you want to see a difference to your bottom line in the coming year, bump up your customer service.

Customer service doesn’t cost you anything, and it is your number one tool for ensuring you get customers that will stick with you long term.

Here is a simple list of ways you can create a customer service experience that makes your print business rise to the top:

  1. Ditch the auto-responders. Keep the ball in your court by having a real, live human respond to the customer and acknowledge their request even if it’s just to say you will get it in the correct person’s hands as soon as possible.
  2. Review every touchpoint. Make sure to explore every touchpoint potential clients and customers have with your business for consistency. Do they get the same level of service with you online versus email, phone, or in-person?
  3. Listen. Listen. Listen. Nothing will endear customers to you more than knowing that you hear them, whether it’s good, bad, or indifferent.
  4. Admit your mistakes. None of us are perfect, but only a select few seem willing to admit it. Although vulnerability can be hard, your customers will appreciate knowing you’ll do your best to provide your product and service with integrity. In return, you’ll earn something priceless: their trust.
  5. Hire the right people. Excellent customer service comes from service reps who exhibit empathy, patience, and a genuine concern for a customer’s well-being. Make sure the people who are acting as the face of your company are representing you in a manner consistent with your expectations.

With a little planning for the year ahead, you and your print business will be on your way to the growth you’ve been hoping for.

Want more tips like this to help you make this year great? Check out the webinar: