(If you don’t already do it)
Website design can not only be a profitable part of any print business, it also dovetails perfectly into the existing services that most printers provide. If you offer design services, there is really no reason not to offer web design too. I did this, in a small way, as long ago as the late nineties.
Back then, coding was a complete mystery to me, so we designed the web sites and partnered with another local business that did the coding, hosting and posting. We would supply them with visuals of the pages and jpeg files of the graphic elements, and they did the rest. We then put a markup on the (pre-agreed) fee they charged us. We even made (a little) money from annual site maintenance! This arrangement was working well right up until we sold the business in 2004.
When I set up Business Momentum, web design was not part of my business plan but I did need a website for myself. I bought an inexpensive software package called Rapidweaver (Mac only, £59.99 (December 2014)) and set about creating a website for Business Momentum. Using this simple template based system for website design. There are other, similar, systems available, but at the time, Rapidweaver seemed the most suitable. The original Business Momentum site has since been replaced by my current site.
Until recently, I have never offered website design as a service but I had been asked to design websites for several other businesses. Despite using this simple system, sites designed have included features such as videos, blogs, online forms, ftp uploads and even a shopping cart system linked to Paypal!
Any print business with basic graphic design skills could fill the website needs of most small businesses without much investment in time or software. Web design dovetails perfectly with graphic design and it’s easy to use design elements that you may have already created for your customers - very profitably.
As for me, I’ve just upgraded to Rapidweaver 6 (Dec 2014) and find, as with most things in life, the more I do, the more I learn.
05/07/12 10:39 Filed in: Ask Paul… | Guruing around
I was recently chatting with one of my customers. This is someone who has taken a failed print business and really turned it round, but he was having trouble arranging meetings with customers or prospects.
This fellow was finding it difficult to get appointments with his customers and prospects in order to develop relationships and increase sales. I had two questions for him:
How do you feel when a friend in business, or someone you feel will help your enterprise calls for an appointment? - or - How do you feel when you receive the same call from a sales rep?
Clearly, it depends on whether you think the appointment will really help your business. So what can you do to make your customers actually want to meet you?
Add value! One way of adding value to your customer relationships is to offer practical advice that will benefit their business. I used to offer free marketing advice to small businesses. As my business came to be perceived locally as successful, I was able to offer sales and marketing advice by giving examples of things that had worked for me. I found that I no longer had to sell to these customers. As we built their marketing campaigns together, I designed and printed whatever they needed!
So before you pick up the ’phone to call a customer, ask yourself about the value of the call for them.