Want to Be a Better Printer? Start by Dusting Off Your Tools

Every so often, I like to go through the drawers of my tool chest in the barn and take an inventory of things. I’m not talking about an extensive certified public accounting inventory, but just a look around to see what I already have that I might have forgotten existed.

I’ll usually find multiples of things that I forgot I had or that I have never used but bought anyway because of my “I might need that someday” syndrome.

A tool review accomplishes a couple of things:

  • First, it keeps me on track when I wander into retail la-la land at the home improvement store.
  • Secondly, it reminds me of things I know needed fixing or mending that have been waiting around until I found the perfect tool for finally getting a “round tuit.”

A Tool Review of Your Print Business

I apply this tool review concept in my print business as well.

From digital tools to hardware to equipment, I like to run everything through a series of questions:

  • What do I have that I am not using?
  • What can I use it for?
  • Am I ever going to use it?
  • What was I going to use it for in the first place?

If we ask ourselves questions like these before going to events or tradeshows like Print United, then what gets put on display in Las Vegas will stay in Las Vegas unless I have a very compelling reason to take it home with me.

Putting Your Print Website Tools to Use

Recently, I was speaking with Dave Hultin at Marketing Ideas For Printers.

While brainstorming on the phone, I realized how many website tools I have at my disposal that I am not using.

  • Am I updating the great recording of Advertising on Hold that I get every month? Not really.
  • Am I posting the social media subscription posts that I get? Not hardly, even though it is one of the easiest things in the world to do.
  • Am I using the website’s back-end tools to track orders, proofs, estimate requests, etc.? There again, not as extensively as I should.

So it begs the question, why or why not?

Want my advice? Tools are meant to get used.

Look at the tools available to you and put them to use. Form a habit of using them. Before long, you’ll be able to see a well-worn grip in the wooden handle on that hammer. Just like the one I kept from my dad.

Written by

Ralph Irwin

Owner, Irwin Printing Co., Inc.

Ralph Irwin owns and operates Irwin Printing in Republic, Missouri. Founded in 1974 by Ralph's father, Irwin Printing has continued to build a strong legacy through Ralph's dedication and passion for helping his customers and their businesses thrive. Ralph's legacy-building continues at home as well, as he and his wife, Gail, spend their time raising three teenagers.