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Welcome back! Last week, you learned all about the importance and advantages of self-auditing your print business.

From identifying opportunities to protecting your integrity and accountability, the benefits of thoroughly examining the inner workings of your printing firm were undeniable!

The question then becomes, “where do you start?”

Once you’ve decided to take advantage of a self-audit, the first step is deciding which type of audit would be the most beneficial for your print business.

5 Audit Types to Consider for Your Print Business

As you’re well aware already, there are many different facets of running a print business, and they all deserve a closer look.

Here are some examples of different business audits you can implement when you want to see results:

1. Website Audit

Your print website is the digital doorstep to the online world. It’s responsible for that ever-important first impression, as well as creating an overall experience for your buyers and prospects when looking to order from your business.

While a website audit isn’t designed to nitpick minor problems that might be wrong with your website, a website audit will help you to:

  • Generate awareness of potential pain points your website visitors might be having when on your site.
  • Discover opportunities for growth with your content quality, user path (navigation), and user experience.
  • Create a plan to keep up with ongoing website improvements.

A website audit will have you putting a magnifying glass over such things as your website’s performance (bounce rate, traffic, sessions, etc.), your website’s overall look and design (logo, color, theme, menu, headers, call-to-action, etc.), and your website’s content (keywords, linking, etc.).

2. Operational Audit

As the name implies, an operational audit will examine how your printing company conducts business on a day-to-day basis.

This audit type requires going beyond the financial realm to explore and analyze the many processes, procedures, and other systems used within your company.

While it might sound complicated or overwhelming, your objective is unmistakable: to pinpoint change opportunities to make your print business more efficient, productive, and effective.

Operational audits can be stand-alone events, or they might include subcategories that cover other specific areas of your business, as you’ll see below.

3. Department Audit

What departments make up your printing company?

Typically, you might see departments such as customer service or sales, design, pre-press, copy, press, bindery, shipping, finance and human resources, and more.

A department audit hones in on the different processes and procedures related to a specific department’s goals and responsibilities and finds ways to improve them. It may also take a look at a department’s resources and capacity and identify if there are more efficient ways those resources could be used.

A department audit will also help you identify how well print orders are making it through your print shop. You’ll be able to see where orders are getting hung up in the hand-offs between departments, especially if you have an MIS tool that lets you track where every order is in your shop.

4. Marketing Audit

While a marketing audit could also qualify as a department audit, there are some specifics in this one you won’t want to miss.

When you need to take a broad and precise look into your business’s marketing, a marketing audit is a great place to start. An audit like this will force you to ask yourself questions, such as, “How many direct mail, social media, and email marketing touchpoints do our customers and prospects get from us each month/week?” Or, “Are we doing what we’ll say we’ll do when it comes to our marketing. Or, are we pushing our own marketing to the side because we’re too busy helping print buyers market themselves?”

Through external analysis and a thorough review of internal marketing goals, strategies, and systems, you’ll be able to determine actionable steps to get you closer to your print company’s stated marketing goals.

5. Performance Audit

A performance audit will help you focus on the internal workings of your printing firm.

This type of audit is on the lookout for proficiency by analyzing your policies, procedures, and other internal processes for maximum effectiveness. In other words, a performance audit and its findings are valuable when you want to determine how effectively your print business is meeting its objectives.

It will also help you narrow down what types of solutions would help you increase your overall performance, such as outsourcing things taking up too much time.

Think it Over: What’s Your Mission?

Take this week to consider what areas of your print business you wish you had a better handle on and then line it up to the audit that would most benefit your business.

Next week, we’ll take a deep dive into another type of audit – a Culture Audit. Did you know that 47% of active job seekers cite company culture as their driving reason for looking for work?

If you have a successful company culture at your print company, you will turn your employees into brand ambassadors and become the most sought-after print business to work for. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? Head back next week for all the details!

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