Competition in the printing industry has grown exponentially.
As print buyers have looked to the internet more and more to buy their printing, it’s left many small- to mid-size printers wondering how they can compete.
Competition that used to be simple to understand has become a whole lot more difficult to manage. No longer is your competition simply the printer across town, but it’s grown to include the big-box giants from around the world.
How do you compete with that? You bend the curve.
More on that in a second, but to bring you up to speed, this email series has been helping you face the giants of your competition. So far, you’ve discovered the far-reaching benefits of:
- Focusing on your niche audience,
- Getting personal,
- Connecting with your audience, and
- Becoming a knowledge partner
Today, you’ll discover a secret weapon already at your disposal and how to use it to your advantage. Keep reading to learn more.
Bend the Curve
The idea was simple.
What do leaders do when they feel stuck or trapped? They bend the curve. In other words, they don’t waste their time on diminishing returns; but instead, they recognize when time spent on something isn’t actually making anything better.
Consider for a minute how this applies to your battle with your competition. Are you wasting your time trying to be more like the “big guys” that you’ve overlooked what truly makes you unique and the benefits to the print buyer that brings? Are you wasting money trying to match what your competitors are doing in both marketing and technology that you’ve lost touch with your print buyers?
While keeping an eye on your competition might be considered a worthy goal, it’s important to recognize when you’ve reached a point of diminishing returns and, instead, bend the curve for your success. Here’s how.
Embrace Your Ability to Pivot
Did you know that you’re like the speed boat of the print industry? Embrace it!
Think about it: You can speed up, slow down, make abrupt turns (pivot), and more… all with ease. Your big-box competitors, however, aren’t so fortunate. They are more like ocean liners with way too small of rudders that make them unable to pivot easily.
What does this mean for you? It means you can try new things. It means you can change your mind or take a new approach whenever you need to. It means you have the ability to be scrappy.
While “scrappy” might make some cringe or be seen as a constraint, consider what Groeschel says that constraints do for your print business:
- Constraints drive creativity.
- Constraints motivate you and drive you to innovation.
- Constraints eliminate problematic and stupid options.
Don’t let comparison to your competition rob you of the mental capacity to see your own potential.
Break Your Own Rules
Another advantage you have over the big guys is you have the ability to break your own rules.
For example, consider this: If a print buyer is in a real jam (even from their own stupidity) and they need help fast, where can they go with confidence? YOU!
You can (and do) go out of your way to help a print buyer in a jam. You have the ability and will work odd hours or do whatever it takes to meet the needs of your print buyers. But what about those big-box printers? Can they handle any unique, “out of the box” circumstances? Not really. They simply keep on churning those jobs through the system, following their regularly scheduled, impersonal process.
In your sales and marketing messages, it’s imperative to highlight this advantage to your print buyers. This idea that you’ll break your own rules (when necessary) to help others out who are in need will make you stand apart.
Remember Who You Are
Lastly, in this competition focus, it’s important to remember who you are.
When the struggles come, like so many of you are still facing, remember that your legacy goes beyond the quality printing you provide. You also meet needs, offer help to others, create jobs, and offer hope to others.
Step into your calling as a printer and leader to do what you do, and most importantly, step out of your doubt. You got this!