In order to boost revenues and protect themselves against the inevitable ups and downs of the industry, today’s printing franchises are evolving in two ways.
They’re capitalizing on new technologies and trends related directly to printing. Also, printing franchises are diversifying into related fields, offering products and services that might be considered natural extensions of putting ink on paper. Let’s take a closer look at both developments.
Capitalizing on advancements in printing
Here, three trends are emerging among printing franchises:
- Wide-format printing: This equipment is enabling printers to meet a greater range of consumer needs. Wide-format equipment supports a print-roll width between 18 inches and 100 inches. Thus equipped, franchises can print architectural drawings, backlit films, banners, posters, murals, trade show graphics, and other large-format artwork and signage.
- Web-based orders: Recognizing the desire among customers for increased convenience, many printers are setting up to receive orders online. Consumers access the franchise’s website, upload their print-ready files and place an order. At the franchise, software speeds production of the project while e-commerce capabilities allow for online payments. Completed print jobs can be delivered or held for pickup.
- Web-to-print solutions: An extension of web-based ordering, printers are creating exclusive online portals for larger companies. There, clients can keep on file templates for their printed items and order new stocks “24/7” from the franchise. Also known as W2P, these solutions are especially attractive to those with multiple branches or others with frequent needs for business cards, forms, envelopes, flyers and the like. The printing franchise gains a “sticky” client who’s unlikely to change vendors and also wins a steady source of new orders.
Diversifying into related products and services
Under the banner of “one-stop convenience,” franchises are offering:
- Creative services: While many clients perform these functions themselves or have advertising agencies or freelance resources partners to do so, a good many do not. Printing franchises often have the benefit of being there at the preliminary discussion stage of any project. As a result, they’re in a prime position to offer graphic design and copywriting for not only printed pieces but even websites and other digital marketing efforts.
- Mailing services: Printing a postcard or letter is but one of many steps required for a successful direct mail campaign. In recognition of this, franchises are gaining additional revenue by sourcing mailing lists and providing graphic design and creative writing. List management, sorting, and stuffing are other ways they’re profiting from mailing services.
- Promotional products: There’s a substantial need among businesses and organizations for branded advertising specialties and logoed apparel. These items gain goodwill and increase brand recognition for clients who distribute them at tradeshows, award them to loyal clients and employees or insert them into envelopes to increase mailer open rates. Often part of a marketing campaign that includes printed materials, franchises are extending their offerings to include promotional products.
A parting comment on how printing franchises are evolving.
A long-time leader in the industry, Allegra was among the first to bring these technologies, services, and products to our Franchise Members.