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Although the internet has been around for over two decades, it can still be hard to fully grasp how much it extends your reach as a printer.

If you think your message, your brand, and your customers stop with your zip code, you’re sadly mistaken, friends, and worse, you’re letting the big guys rule.

The truth is, the walls of who you can reach and where have been torn down. That means you can (and need to) recognize that your customers and prospects aren’t limited to you’re own zip code; they’re all across the nation.

So, how do you change your mindset and your approach to think globally instead of locally? Here are five ways to get into the global mindset and think big:

1. Know Your Potential

Any business, including yours, can reach customers anywhere.

The first, and most important, thing to grasp here is that you have unlimited potential with your print business. Unfortunately, the small business print industry sometimes seems to face the world like a bunch of Eeyore’s. “We can’t all, and some of us don’t. That’s all there is to it,” or “Thanks for noticin’ me.”

That needs to change. Your print customers and prospects aren’t doing you a favor by noticing you online. Remember that. You are just as deserving of that print job from that website visitor across the country as the printer in their hometown is or a big-box competitor.

Hear this, you’re not as small as you think you are, and your reach isn’t as short as you think it is. So, stop thinking you can’t compete and get after it.

2. There’s Nothing Quite Like Curiosity and a Little Research

How does one go about pursuing a broader audience?

You identify the questions, and you answer them.

People who need print marketing in your local buying area really aren’t much different than the people who need print across the country. So, identify and speak to the similarities. Allow yourself to get curious and then follow up your curiosity with a little research.

  • “Hmm… I wonder what the most common print item is that people are ordering online.”
  • “I bet a lot of the people ordering that product have questions about… “
  • “I should put an infographic on my site or do a blog piece around that.”

Lay out those questions and then begin building your content around answering them. Donald Miller says it best when he says:

“People don’t buy the best products; they buy the products they can understand the fastest.” 

How can you make ordering printing online through your website as quick and painless for your customer as possible? If you’re not considering that question regularly, it’s time you start.

3. Adopt a “Need Not Be Present” Marketing Strategy

If you want to implement a bigger way of thinking, you need to begin marketing away from the need for a physical presence.

For example, in days gone by, the idea was to use your marketing message to pull them into your physical store so they could make a purchase with you. Your marketing focused on longer store hours, the in-store shopping experience, etc.

Today, however, people want that click, self-powered convenience. Having to actually get in a car, come to your print business, and then have a physical conversation with you to order printing… UGH. That’s so much work!

It’s important that you flip your line of thinking here and update your marketing message to speak to the convenience you offer with online ordering from anywhere, anytime.

4. Focus on Forging Relationships

One of the most significant advantages of being a smaller print business is you can focus on building relationships better than any big-box printer can.

So, if you thought you didn’t have to worry about your customer service because people will order everything on their own, think again.

Your mission is to give the same, consistent, above-par experience to those that want to order from you without assistance to those overachievers who brave the real world and visit you in-store. To do that, you need a strategic, powerful way to foster relationships with your print buyers before, during, and after they make a print purchase.

Imagine combining the reach of a large, national print company with the service you get from a small, personal print company in your hometown. It would be winning combination not only for your print buyers but for your business as a whole.

5. Boost Your Competency

If you want to adopt a global mindset, there are four interdependent competencies you should focus on to ensure success.

David Livermore, president of the Cultural Intelligence Center and expert on the topic of global mindset, speaks of the following competencies to adopt when looking to work on your own global mindset. They are:

A person with a global mindset learns which actions will, and will not, improve effectiveness through being self-aware, and is able to adjust behavior quickly when the cultural contexts change.

So, what are you waiting for? How will you think big with your print business?

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