8 Things I Learned Working In A Print Shop Before Starting My Own Business

Working at a print shop for six months taught me valuable business lessons. The advice to “do what they do” doesn’t imply copying but means studying successful strategies and applying them. This advice, received from a successful entrepreneur, was applied after graduating and working at a print shop. These lessons, combined with personal experience, contributed to the author’s entrepreneurial success. The article provides insights into the tips and tricks learned in this journey to attract ideal clients.

Do Whatever It Takes

In a fast-paced business environment, the customer takes precedence. In a performance review, my previous supervisor stressed that while I work for him, he works for the customers. If a task isn’t executed correctly, the customer might seek alternatives.

In this scenario, many conventional rules from school may need to be set aside. When a customer is highly valued, you go to great lengths to ensure the job is done right. By doing so, you increase the chances of them returning. For businesses built on repeat orders, this is vital.

Prioritize Quality over Quantity

Having ideal, repeat customers who place substantial orders is more advantageous than numerous one-time customers with smaller orders.

While this may seem apparent to some, businesses often focus on acquiring more customers instead of serving and delivering value to existing ones. Develop strategic plans that naturally achieve this. It will stretch your cash flow further and help sustain your business.

Establish Clear Expectations

When a customer requests a quote, it’s an encouraging sign. Ensure you gather all necessary information and outline every step from start to finish in the process.

If the job is urgent, mention that additional charges may apply, but it will ensure customer satisfaction. Even if the customer doesn’t specify a deadline, make sure they understand that issues can arise, and you will do your best to get it right the first time. You can suggest a deadline, even if they don’t have a preference.

Don’t Hesitate to Follow Up

While you might fear coming across as pushy, not following up could mean losing a sale and stalling the project. If the customer has reservations about committing to the project, ask for more details about their requirements, budget, timing, and challenges. You may find options to tailor the project to their specific needs.

Time Is of the Essence

The print shop allowed a maximum of two weeks for project completion, but most customers wanted their business cards urgently. This goes back to the first point; customers prioritize completion over details. If internal shortcuts are needed to get the job done, that’s acceptable. For instance, if an employee makes an error, the shop must find time to rectify it.

Prioritize and Plan Workflow

Running your own business means handling multiple projects simultaneously. Some thrive in this environment, while others struggle. Integrate a daily plan that can adapt to interruptions from clients, employees, and other life events. When interruptions occur, take note of your last point of focus to quickly resume where you left off. Prioritize tasks based on deadlines, new projects, and importance. List them and check them off as they’re completed.

Mistakes Are Costly

While at the print shop, I quickly realized that errors and typos could harm the bottom line. Neglecting details in any business can lead to resource wastage. When a mistake happens, address it promptly.

Maintain Politeness

If a mistake occurs, apologize and explain the steps being taken to rectify it as soon as possible. Use courteous language, including please and thank you. Request information instead of demanding it, and be genuine. Handling customer demands with grace can enhance their trust in your product or service.

In my previous role at the print shop, I was selected to handle a Groupon issue because of my patience and tact in dealing with challenging situations. Staying composed while addressing difficult customers is essential. I would meticulously note what went wrong and seek assistance when necessary.

If you have prior work experience, especially before starting your own business, take note of successful operations and strategies that worked well. Adapt these principles and ideas to your own business.

Unbeknownst to him, my former boss at the print shop imparted valuable lessons on marketing my work, acquiring customers, and interacting with them. Today, I can gratefully apply these lessons while growing my business, analyzing my field, and attracting desirable customers.

About Author

Kathleen Smith is a seasoned author at Influencer Gazette, a magazine celebrated for its comprehensive coverage of lifestyle, news, and celebrity updates. Her writing seamlessly blends informative reporting with a flair for celebrity news, providing readers with engaging insights into the world of pop culture and entertainment. With a finger on the pulse of current trends, Kathleen's work is a go-to source for those seeking a captivating mix of lifestyle features and the latest in celebrity news.