Big Picture - November/December 2012 - (Page 14)

business ++ management business management Adding New Services And Products By Marty McGhie A lthough we’re now o cially out of the recession, the market for signage and graphics remains very challenging and we all continue to face some di cult times as we battle to sustain success in our businesses. To stay viable, you should be constantly examining and evaluating not only the present state of your business but also its future. To that end, you have some options: One, you can continue to do business as usual, hoping and waiting for better times to come around again. Two, you can focus on what you currently do in your business and try to be the best you can. Or, three, you can try to develop new avenues of revenue in your business to help sustain you in this demanding market. My advice is to focus on the third option – developing new revenue options – while simultaneously working very diligently on your current profit centers. But how do you go about determining which new product lines should be added to your business? Begin by looking at some areas that might already be a fit with the services you’re now o ering. If you can provide your clients with products and services they’re currently buying elsewhere, you’re able to avoid the necessity of finding new customers with your product lines. What follows are four product and service options to consider for your operation: fulfi llment, installation services, graphics-display hardware, and electronic digital (aka “dynamic”) signage systems. don’t provide this service at a profit. Too many of us are afraid to charge the proper amount for packaging and fulfi llment services. Consider: When is the last time you bought something online and didn’t pay for packaging and handling? The fact is that the packaging supplies and the labor required to fulfi ll an order does represent a significant business cost. Even when we omit fulfi llment charges but include packaging costs, we often significantly undercharge our customers for the packaging – because we focus on the cost of the packaging materials and forget that considerable labor is involved in this process. So don’t be afraid to make money on this service. Charge your customer a fair price, at a price point that allows you to make some money, and your customer will gladly pay it. The last thing they want to do is hassle with problems in packaging, shipping, etc.; they will pay you to take care of these factors. Installation services Long gone are the days when you could tell your customers that you provide only the graphics and they will have to fi nd someone else to install them. Today, the customer wants it all from a single source. So if you currently don’t provide installation, this might be an area where you can bring in some expertise and set up an install department in your shop. Doing this will provide you with an advantage in a couple of areas: First, you’ll be able to provide your customer with better service. Using subcontractors is always a challenge when it comes to delivering the best service to your customer – they just don’t have the same interests in your client as you do. Second, you should make more money by running your own installation department instead of just marking up the cost from your current install vendor. If you already provide installation services, consider expanding your install department to the marketplace as a standalone service. Yes, there can be some challenges when installing graphics that someone else produced, but they can certainly be managed with properly executed stan- >36 Fulfillment Fulfi llment is a service most of us already provide to our clients. The problem, however, is that many in our industry MARTY MCGHIE is VP finance/operations of Ferrari Color, a digital-imaging center with Salt Lake City, San Francisco, and Sacramento locations. He is the author of Business + Management for Digital Print Providers + Sign Shops (ST Media Books, 14 THE BIG PICTURE NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Big Picture - November/December 2012

Big Picture - November/December 2012
Wide Angle
Business & Management
Ink Report: 2012
Maxing Out Visibility
Dare to Digitize
Job Log

Big Picture - November/December 2012