3 Steps to Improving your Print Business in 2014

Written by Matthew Parker
Print Industry Consultant
Improving your Print Business
I can hardly speak a word of Italian
That may not seem like an unusual statement. After all, there are plenty of people who can’t speak Italian. But my story has a twist.
I actually studied Italian for three years. By the end, I could speak the language pretty well. But now it’s all gone. Maybe you can relate with a second language you once learned that since has faded.
There is a reason for this. My studies were over 15 years ago. Since then I have not had the chance to use my Italian. It’s gradually disappeared from my memory.
Learning is pointless without action
Over the coming year, I am delighted to be writing a number of exclusive articles for the Xerox blog. I have over 20 years of experience as a print buyer. I’ll be using this experience to share with you what works when you’re dealing with customers, what you should expect, and what you should avoid.
I hope you will find these articles useful. Most importantly, I hope that you will take action on them and explore ways to work them into your business. If you want to take successful action, here are three things that you need to commit to doing over the coming months.
1. Set aside some learning time
It is always worth setting aside at least 30 minutes during the week when you promise that you will not get involved in day-to-day work. Instead, you need to commit focusing on reading new ideas and acting on them. You will find plenty of inspiration from the Xerox blog, but don’t restrict yourself to just this!
However, this commitment on its own will not produce results. To make sure you achieve this learning time, you need to do something else.
2. Mark your learning time in your diary or calendar
It’s important to make sure that you block out your learning time in your diary. You should make every effort to avoid accepting meetings or other commitments during this time. If something unavoidable does come up, make sure that you reschedule the time in your diary for that week.
Once you have made sure that your learning time is definitely going to happen, you need to make sure you put it to best use.
3. Create a learning list
Every time that you read something useful, it’s important to work out how you are going to make note of it and put it into practice. I would encourage you to create a list of action points and deadlines to make sure that your learning turns into action.
Part of your learning time should be spent revisiting this list.
You also need to make sure that you keep an eye out for useful resources. One of the first places you should check out is this blog.
This is what I have planned for the Xerox blog this year
Firstly, we are going to take a look at websites. Your website is an important statement about your company, and it will be visited by prospects at some point in the supplier evaluation process. However, most websites don’t encourage prospects to buy. We’ll explore why and what to do about it.
Next, we are going to talk about social media. Social media can be an incredibly effective way to win work, build awareness and create lasting relationships. However it can also be a huge waste of time and resources, depending on how it is used. We will give you some practical tips to make sure that your social media time is well spent.
Later on in the year we are also going to look at ways in which companies can successfully sell variable data printing. We will also be discussing the best ways to use LinkedIn, how to sell print services at higher prices, how to best connect with customers and ways in which you can sell cross media.
2014 is going to be an exciting year
I’m really looking forward to sharing experiences with you on the Xerox blog. Just make sure that you take your learning and put it into action. You don’t want to feel like I did when I realised that I’d forgotten all my Italian!

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