How to Build a Print Business Without Owning A Print Shop
You can own a legitimate business and make top dollars by becoming a print broker or print specialist. This is a person who sells on behalf of an actual printer or a middle man who locates and serves customers. Print brokers are independent, as they’re not directly employed by the printing companies they represent. Your number one arsenal to being successful as a print broker is customer service. See, you will need repeat customers to grow and build up your business even greater than any single printer who prints for you.
Look at it as printers working for you at their various locations. You hire a printer to print what your customers request, e.g. booklets, catalogs, brochures, business cards, flyers, etc. You may want to focus on specific items as there are so many different products out there to print. With the power of the internet, now you can hire a printer anywhere and sell to customers everywhere.
Ok, here are the basics for becoming a Print Broker:
1. Set up Shop
You will need to set up an office area to operate from. It should include a phone, fax, computer, and a file cabinet. Keep your work area as detailed as possible, this will keep you mind clear and allow you to be on top of your business. Make sure you have a good answering machine to take messages when you are not in office. You can use your same phone line for fax if you can’t afford a fax line right now.
2. Find Printers who are willing to sell to you at Wholesale Prices
The easiest way to find these printers may be to search your local phone directory or just search the internet. Call them up and ask if they have a print broker program or if they would be willing to sell their print services to you at a wholesale price – it must be at a 15% discount or more. Most printers who already have a print broker program will have a contract ready for you to sign.
3. Choose the products that you are going to offer for printing and set your own prices.
The most popular products that businesses use are things like business cards, letterheads, envelopes, brochures, flyers, presentation folders, labels, inserts, postcards, etc. You could even get into printing promotional items like bags and pens, but that’s a whole new area that you could explore. Remember I told you that customer service will be your number one arsenal in this business. So you don’t have to marginalize your profits, just stress value and offer customer service second to none.
4. Promote your Print Broker Business
(a) Print and distribute business cards, flyers and postcards to places that people visit frequently (like restaurants, barber shop and salons, clubs etc.).
(b) Mail postcards to new businesses – you can get the new business listings at your local county court house or search online
(c) Word of mouth – tell everyone you know about your new business venture, friends and families. Give them one of your business cards.
(d) Website – put your website address on everything you use like business cards etc.
5. Maintain and keep in touch with your customer base
One of the most effective methods that will build your business is word of mouth – when your satisfied customers tell others about you. So you will want to send your customers holiday cards, specials by mail or e-mail, call them by phone or whatever it takes to remind them about your great service. You could also invite your top customers out for lunch.
It’s not unheard of to make 5000 to 20,000 dollars a month just being the middle man or woman. Just remember that you must be dedicated and have a willingness to act. Read, keep up to date with trends and increase your marketing skills.