If you run a commercial print shop, you might be wondering how you can grow your existing printing business. One of the best ways to do this is by offering different types of specialty printing services.
Why Expand Your Commercial Print Service Offerings
Here are some of the key advantages of expanding the range of services offered by your commercial print shop:
1) Increased revenue
A major benefit of expanding your service offering is higher earnings. Commercial printers that add to their list of printing services can attract new customers and generate additional revenue streams.
For example, if your printing shop specializes in business cards, you could expand into other types of printed materials. Examples of this include brochures, flyers, and postcards.
Besides increasing your revenue, more service offerings means a diversified revenue stream for your business. This means you’ll reduce your reliance on any single service or customer segment. This can make your print shop more resilient to economic fluctuations and other unfavorable external factors.
3) Better customer satisfaction and greater loyalty
Offering a wider range of services can help your commercial print shop meet the diverse needs of your customers. This can lead to greater customer satisfaction and loyalty, ultimately driving your business’s growth and revenues.
For example, let’s assume again that you specialized in business card printing and have decided to expand and start printing flyers. In the past, perhaps your loyal customer who owns a restaurant goes to a different shop just to print their flyers. Now, they will be able to get several (if not all) of their printing needs fulfilled in just your shop. This is very convenient for them and will help them save precious time.
4) Competitive advantage
There are several print shops serving practically every locality in the United States. In this highly competitive market, offering a broader range of services can help your commercial print business differentiate itself from competitors.
Most shops specialize in just one or several printing services. So if you’re able to prove your business’s value across multiple services, you’ll gain a competitive advantage. This will make you truly stand out above your competition. This can also make it easier for your business to win new customers and retain existing ones.
5) Greater efficiency
Lastly, expanding your service offerings can help your commercial print store in boosting your operational efficiency. When you offer more printing services, you can maximize your precious business resources, such as your staff and equipment. This can lead to greater productivity and more profit.
Specialty Printing Services That You Can Offer
Variable Data Printing
This is a printing technique that allows for the personalization of prints. This is done by changing text, graphics, or images from one print to the next. Thus, each printed material is unique and tailored to a certain person or audience.
Variable data printing is a modern printing technique that allows shops to customize printed materials. This includes promotional products (like flyers and brochures), direct mail, event invitations, and many more.
With this specialty printing service, your commercial print shop can produce customized materials that cater to your customers' needs and interests. For example, a clothing shop can use this technique to send personalized direct mail campaigns to their customers. Each letter can address the recipient by name. It can also contain offers that match the recipient’s clothing preferences, previous purchases, and so on.
Variable data printing is a powerful tool that can help businesses increase their engagement. By providing a more personalized experience for customers, businesses can also increase their conversion rate. It can also help businesses stand out from their competitors and make a lasting impression on their target audience. This makes it a great addition to your commercial print shop’s roster of specialty printing services.
Embossing is a printing method that pushes or raises letters or a design above the surface of a paper sheet. It does this using male and female etched dies made of materials like copper, brass, or magnesium, along with heat. The result of this process is a striking three-dimensional effect. The embossing die is created using a reversed image of the design.
A popular example of paper embossing is the notarized document that many of us see in legal documents. Most of the time, these embosses are "blind". What this means is that they don't use ink and have only a raised paper design. Other effects, like metallic foil, can be added to emphasize the raised area and produce an even more beautiful result.
Embossing is a wonderful printing technique that adds a touch of elegance and individuality to your customers' printed materials. It works well on various printing products, like brochures, invitations, business cards, letterheads, and envelopes. Presentation folders, postcards, rack cards, certificates, greeting cards, and many more also look great when embossed.
Offering embossed printing services can greatly expand your customer base. It can also build a reputation for your business as the go-to print shop in your area.
Metallic Ink Printing and Metallic Foil Stamping
Both foils and metallic inks are excellent for introducing a new element to your letterpress work. They are effective in making designs pop out and stand out from the ordinary.
Although foil stamping and metallic ink printing are quite similar, they have their unique strengths and differences. Metallic ink printing involves ink with metal particles blended into it. Meanwhile, metallic foil stamping involves metallic foil (it does not include ink).
Both metallic inks and foils are effective at making a print stand out. But foil is particularly good at catching and reflecting light.
If your customers want their print to be bold without being too different, metallic ink is the way to go. With metallic inks, you can experiment with over-inking, under-inking, or other methods of modifying coverage. In short, the printed outcome is unpredictable.
On the other hand, experimenting is not possible with foil stamping. In foil, it’s all or nothing. Also, the design's edges in metallic foil stamping are usually clean and consistent.
Printing with ink is less expensive than using foil because foil requires a unique process. Metallic ink can be applied to any machine's rollers like any other ink, without the need for special plates or processes. This can result in lower costs for your commercial print shop. However, keep in mind that metallic inks do have a slight sheen, but not nearly as much as foil.
Because of this, if your customers have a limited budget, metallic ink may be the best choice for them. But if cost is less of an issue and they want an eye-catching effect, foil is the way to go.
Both metallic ink printing and foil stamping are excellent specialty printing services that are more appealing than regular inks. They both provide contrast and allow prints to stand out. Moreover, both types of specialty printing services can bring a lot of benefits to your print shop business.
Steps in Expanding Your Commercial Print Shop’s Specialty Printing Services
Step 1: Assess market demand and opportunities
Expanding your commercial print shop's specialty printing services can be a great way to grow your business and increase your revenue. However, before you make any decisions about expanding your services, it's important to assess market demand and opportunities. Doing this crucial step will help ensure that you’re making a sound business decision.
Assessing market demand involves understanding your customers’ needs. You also need to be aware of the broader market trends in the printing industry, specifically those involving your target customers. It’s best to conduct market research into these.
You may also analyze existing sales data to gain insights into what types of specialty printing services are in high demand. Then, you can examine which ones are worth adding to your commercial print shop.
In addition, it's important to identify opportunities in the market that may be worth pursuing. For example, you may notice a growing demand for eco-friendly printing services among your customers (or target customers). Or, you may notice a shortage of printers that specialize in a particular type of printing service, which you can offer.
By carefully assessing market demand and opportunities, you can make an informed decision about which specialty printing services you can offer. In addition, it will help you position your commercial print business in the market. This can prevent you from investing in printing services that are not profitable or that don't align with your customers' needs.
Step 2: Invest in the right equipment and technology
To be successful in offering new commercial printing services, your print shop should invest in the right equipment and technology.
There is no ‘best’ or ‘ideal’ printing equipment and technology. Rather, what you should get will depend on the specific specialty printing services that you plan to offer. For example, if you plan to offer large format printing services, you’ll need equipment that can handle large print sizes and high-quality images. On the other hand, if you plan to offer digital printing, you may need a digital press or other digital printing technology.
It's important to do your research and carefully evaluate the equipment and technology options available to you. Some important factors to take into account are the quality of print output, speed of equipment, and cost of operation. We also recommend considering the level of training and after-sales support provided by the manufacturer or supplier before deciding.
Step 3: Train your staff and build expertise
Besides investing in the right equipment and technology, it's important to ensure that your staff is properly trained. They need to be fully equipped and ready to operate the new printing equipment. This may involve providing training and professional development opportunities for your team members.
Some things you need to focus on are workflows and run times. You also need to consider how to integrate your new equipment and technology into your existing operations. For example, getting an embossing machine will require some training to ensure proper operation of the equipment and high-quality results.
Final Tips in Adding Specialty Printing Services For Your Commercial Print Shop
Offering specialty printing services can enable your commercial print shop to grow and thrive in the competitive market. Sumner One can help you get started in offering embossed printing, metallic ink printing, metallic foil stamping, and variable data printing needs.
We can also help you with other specialty printing services like spot color printing, UV printing, and white ink printing. All of those can help you attract new customers, improve customer satisfaction, and drive profitability and growth!
Get in touch with our friendly team today to discuss how different types of specialty printing can expand your printing company!
You can also take our quick assessment to get an idea of which digital printing device would be most impactful for your business.