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As a small business owner, you know the importance of self-assessing your business. What you may not know is the way to go about it.

That’s why you’re here, right? So far, you’ve learned all about the importance and advantages of self-auditing your print business, five different audit types you may want to consider for your printing firm, how to become the most sought-after print business to work for with the help of a culture audit, and the how-tos of self-auditing your print business.

That’s a lot of ground to cover in a short amount of time. Kudos to you for digging in and learning how to better your print business! Today, you’ll get a comprehensive checklist that will help you take a fine-tooth comb to your printing firm and point out those areas that might need some work. Don’t stop now! It’s these final steps in the process that will make bettering your print business a reality.

Here’s step one of the checklist… keep reading to learn more!

Your Printing Firm’s Self-Assessment Checklist

To simplify this, assessing your business can be broken down into several different areas or “targets” of your business, as follows:

Target: Find Your Why and Build Your Business Around it

A business mission is what will drive you to get up and go to work every day. It’s what will motivate you and your team to do, give, and be your best. Dave Ramsey says it this way:

“Without a mission [statement], you may get to the top of the ladder and then realize it was leaning against the wrong building.”

Your Checklist Items:

  • Write a mission statement. What is the vision of your company? Your true passion? Don’t fake your way through this. Take the time to clearly write an unambiguous mission statement for your company that is authentic and captures your passion and the type of business you’re in.
  • Determine your core values. Your core values will determine the tone and messaging of your overall company. These core values will help your clients and employees identify with your company and beliefs or move on.
  • Outline your strategy for achieving your mission. Set the strategic objectives that are necessary to keep your business on track. You want to have a clear strategy outlined before you start rebranding or sending out marketing campaigns.

Target: Know Your Market Niche

Targets mean nothing if you’re aiming at the wrong ones. For your printing company to be successful, it needs to target the right audience with the right products or services. While it might seem like work to nail down your niche market, it will pay off by saving you money and increasing the effectiveness of your promotions and sales.

Your Checklist Items:

Target: Evaluate Your Products and Services

What you have to offer is as important as who you offer it to. Having quality products and services is what will keep your customers coming back for more, so take the opportunity to make them as excellent as they can be.

Your Checklist Items:

  • Take a hard look at what you offer. How beneficial is your current product and service offering to your targeted users? Are you providing what they are looking for?
  • Create a plan to scale. Do you want your print business to grow? If so, what is your plan for growth to scale your business? Be realistic here and consider the costs associated with scaling up when you’re forecasting your growth so you can be sure to maintain your profits.
  • Explore providing additional services. If you’re looking to grow, explore other services and opportunities that will help you get there. For example, is there a subscription service you could offer, or could you add additional marketing services like social media creation to increase your relevancy?

Target: Boost Your Marketing

Effective marketing will get your products and services the attention it deserves and give your print buyers knowledge of your company. One of the greatest pitfalls to avoid is thinking that marketing can be put off until later or isn’t necessary.

Your Checklist Items:

Target: Analyze Your Operations

If you want to see if your printing firm is truly running like a well-oiled machine, it’s time to add some scrutiny. While it might sound scary or simply unwanted, assessing your operations will help you reach optimal efficiency and effectiveness.

Your Checklist Items:

  • Review your policies and procedures. It’s hard to find anything amiss without any universal standards in place. Do you have written policies or guidelines that will help in decision-making, problem-solving, and overall operations that are followed by all? Can you identify where things might be going off the rails?
  • Evaluate your production process and time. Are there processes in your shop that take longer than anticipated? Are you doubling up on any tasks? By identifying where time and cost reductions can be made, you’ll be able to pinpoint where your improvements will have the greatest impact.
  • Measure performance. Are your deliveries of goods and services on time? Do you have adequate contracts in place for your vendors? Is your employee training sufficient and effective? What steps is your business taking to maintain relationships with your customers and prospects? You don’t have to measure everything; you have to measure what matters most to your company as a whole.

Target: Access Your Team and Culture

Is your team functioning at its highest potential? You learned the importance of a culture audit earlier in this series. A strong culture allows everyone to work together to achieve common goals, resulting in better processes and an overall work environment. Here are checklist items to help you dig in further.

Your Checklist Items:

Make it Count

The effort you put into bettering your business through self-assessment will reap dividends. Get started putting some of these audit areas under the microscope, and let us know how we can help you sell more printing!

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