Everyone dreads the thought of an idle press
However, there are certain periods of the year when this seems unavoidable. Typically, these times focus around Christmas and August. A bad period of trading at these times can make all the difference between a good year and a bad year.
After all, the presses may be quiet, but you still have the same overheads. Staff will still need to be paid. Bills will be frighteningly similar. It’s vital to plan for quiet periods so that they have as little impact on your business as possible.
The following strategies will help you minimize the effect of quiet periods. To start, think about your current customers.
Remind customers about regular jobs
Many of your clients will have reasonably regular print requirements. However, they often do not have regular scheduled time to print these items. It is worth reminding these customers of their requirements as holiday periods approach. You may well have a good opportunity to persuade them to print during your quieter periods.
There’s another regular customer requirement you may be able to use to your advantage at this time.
Chase for stock printing
Many of you will have customers where you print a regular requirement. This then either is overprinted at a later date or dispatched in small quantities. Check with your customers to see if you are able to print another stock batch. You could even consider managing stock levels and schedules to work around holiday periods.
However, regular work may not fill these periods. That’s where a third strategy comes in.
Consider offering new products
There are a number of products that actually have an uplift around holiday periods. Some printing companies actually have their busiest periods during the holidays. This is because they focus on photo products, which tend to be most popular during the holiday period.
Getting started in the photo-product marketplace is not difficult. Creating greetings cards and calendars does not require a big shift in production processes. These sorts of products are in demand from businesses as well as consumers. They can also open up new markets for you.
When it comes to trying to fill presses, there is one very popular strategy…however, I would urge you not to adopt it.
Avoid offering discounted prices
Cheaper prices can seem like a great solution to attract work and fill your presses. However, buyers have short-term memories. They forget that you gave them a special deal to fill your press at a quiet time. If you aren’t careful, your discounted price will become the ‘new’ market price. That’s not a place where you want to end up when you get busy again.
Remember, holiday periods can lead to quiet presses. However, there are ways to mitigate your downtime and get ahead for when the holidays end and your presses become busy again.
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