Last week, you took the first step in breathing new life into your print business by recognizing if you (or your print business) might be in the middle of a rut.
Whether or not you found yourself stuck, it’s nearly impossible to leap to higher ground without first shoring up the footing of where you’re at right now.
Here are five things you can focus on to fortify what you currently have in preparation for future growth.
Keep Your Focus on Bringing in Revenue
If you feel like your days are spent putting out the immediate fires, and you never get a chance to look beyond today and into the future, you’re not alone.
Every good firefighter will tell you that to put out those all-consuming fires, the key is to get ahead of it. So, how do you get ahead of the day-to-day fires in your print business?
You focus on driving revenue to your print business, and here’s a tip:
Increased revenue comes from increased relationships.
Begin to work on how you can “court” your customers and create valuable relationships with them. To get started, remember that to build relationships, you first need to connect with them by:
Posting regularly on social media with the intent of starting conversations.
This means using social media as a customer relationship-building tool instead of as your soapbox to talk about yourself. It means using social media as a way to engage your audience.
Think about this: How do you start a conversation with a real, live human being in your print shop? More than likely you start by asking a question, such as “How are you today?” or “What do you think about…?” Either one of those opens up a conversation to be two-sided (as it should be). Think about questions you can add to your social media posts to invite others into a conversation with your brand.
Consistently providing value through direct mail and email marketing.
In marriage, it tends to go well when each person in the relationship is making regular deposits into the other person’s “love bank.” On the flipside, it doesn’t go as well if one person is continually making withdrawals from the bank because it leads to the other person feeling used. The same is true in business.
You have to provide value in return to build the relationship. Send a newsletter with valuable content. Do an educational email marketing campaign on tips and tricks for a particular product. The idea is to make enough deposits in your audience’s value bank that they reach the point of returning the favor through their purchase with you.
Keep Your Focus on Moving the Needle
Have you ever watched a young child learn to ride a bike?
They pedal a couple of times, do a little weeble-wobble maneuver, and stop. Then, determined to try it again, they pedal a few more times only to fall over frustrated. But finally, they pedal a few times, and then a few more times, until all of a sudden you’re frantically running after them and they look back at you with those big, excited eyes screaming, “I’m doing it! I’m doing it!”
Like learning to ride a bike, moving the needle in growing your business comes down to these three words:
Don’t let up!
That momentum is the key, and you get it by working on the frequency and consistency of things like your order process and buyer’s journey, production efficiency, direct mail and social media campaigns, website content and more.
The critical thing to remember is: don’t put your feet down too soon. Don’t let up, and you’ll quickly have enough momentum to get your print business soaring into the future.
Keep Your Focus on Learning By Doing
When you’re inspired to take your business to the next level, don’t get discouraged by feeling like you don’t know what you’re doing.
Most likely, you have some good, solid ideas on how to grow your print business. All you need to do now is to put them into practice.
Every day you spend learning and practicing your skill is one more day getting better at it.
Keep Your Focus on the Right People in the Right Seats
To move forward, you can’t go it alone. You need a killer team to help get you there.
The Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) describes this as having the right people in the right seats on your team. How do you know if they’re the right people and in the right seat?
- They get it. They understand their position on the team and the duties they need to fulfill as their piece of the puzzle. They know what they’re doing. Jeff Whittle says, “Don’t over-think this. When somebody doesn’t get it, you know.”
- They want it. If someone doesn’t want to be a part of a team or doesn’t want the current position they’re in, it can potentially drag your whole print company down. The right people in the right seats want to be there and are invested in the overall success of the project and company.
- They have the capacity to do it. If they “get it” and “want it” but don’t have the bandwidth to get the job done, it might not be the right seat for them. If you want them in that seat, see if there’s something you can do about this like working together to delegate things off their plate to gain some more capacity.
When you have all of the right people in the right seats, you get everyone in your print company rowing in the same direction. Think of the impact a team like that could have!
Keep Your Focus on People/Companies Smarter Than You
Lastly, if you want to grow your print business, surround yourself with the people and companies that know more than you in the areas you’re struggling with and have walked through it already.
Beware of the dangers that the comfort of stagnancy brings and find the people and ideas that will pull you out of your comfort zone and into the future your print company will ultimately need to grow.
In other words, you want to find the people and companies that have a desire to lead you to success rather than follow you to failure.
Next week, we’ll take a look at how to stop waiting for customers to come to you by proactively making your presence known.