For the past three years I have been in a U-Haul store front. No one can come there unless I let them in. I posted some leader ads on the internet only get questions, only 4 orders in 3 years.

If I move to a store front that people can see from the street, do you think it will help bring in business?

The rent is twice what I am paying, for 900 sq ft. in a store front business center with a large parking lot where people can see a sign stating printing.

Log in to reply   4 replies so far

good luck

Ramblings from Afar, with Apologies in advance if it does not transfer 5,000 miles + ??
My spiel is only based on dealings with what we called *A Print Farmer* from a long time ago, hopefully self explanatory.!!

Mid to late 80,s when L/press was in the death throes and Monotype was dying also, used the redundancy payout to set up Shop, Casting type and printing on a Thompson Platen, (mostly for Repro,s for litho) but inadvertantly caught a fair amount of passing trade, for printing.

One such *Print Farmer* came by and eventually/jointly evolved a system of producing 3D desk top eye catching publicity items,

Basically 3 cornered 6” high “containers/pen holders” with real time imperial measure printed along one edge.??

And by a gradual process of trial and error perfected the messages aimed at specific sections of customer base,

He the P.F. then toured particular Factory estates, and in several cases, for example Engineering based units, even though, generally, the front door said *No Reps, No Salesmen, etc* an interesting looking Flyer in flat form was left and occasionally put into use.
Although it was then reasonably well documented that as little as 7% return was the absolute best that could be expected in response/replies because it was aimed at specialised market it seemed to work.

My involvement was only that with *The Thompson Platen* more for the P.F.s campaign, (it is Old Hat by todays standards) the 3 cornered publicity shot incorporated, within reason, examples of Creasing x 3 inc the 1/2” return.

Diecutting usually a 2” Gearwheel Facsimilie (engineering based)

One small example of Thermography, (reps Business Cards etc)

One small example of Embossing/Die stamping.

One small example of Micro Perf, usually on the 1/2” return, and at least one example of Numbering, and more over the course of time.

In essence, Taking the Print Shop to the potential customer, rather than Vice Versa.

Of course with a catchment area within 45 miles and even then with maybe 25/30 Factory estates to choose from, the possibilities were virtually endless.?

It is appreciated that this scenario may not migrate because of distance(s) involved or other factors, but perhaps the principle may hold good on a local basis.
i.e. One Ream of Flyers 2 up,?? under Auto windscreen Wipers, Business premises, etc etc.



And even 5% discount, on your first order with THIS Flyer.

If the Big Boys can do it, we would say here,
“If you cant beat em, Join em” even 7% may open the door.

Good Luck

A storefront will require being open on a set schedule and people will not consider you reliable if you cannot hold to it. If you have had any difficulty generating sufficient income to pay current rent, then moving to a more expensive space will only make that problem more daunting.

Some things that might work I only suggest because they’ve brought work in to my shop.

List yourself in the Yellow Page of this site. Join and participate in a positive fashion on the various printing related groups on Facebook or Letpress and elsewhere. Post pictures of your current work on a hosting site and link to them when you post.

Set aside the thought that there is any “right” way to do what we do. Also be open to doing things that have zilch to do with printing. I picked up a Ludlow and wound up with a customer who purchases a lot of setting strictly for customized foil stamping of their product. The same can be done with Intertype slugs.

Develop relationships with various printers by dropping off samples of things you can print that otherwise are very difficult: paper bags, coasters, wooden business cards, and etc. However, you may need a bigger press to properly handle some classes of this market.

If you can’t be cheerful and upbeat, stay away from the computer and avoid social media posting. Customers want happy vendors. Your friends will be able to handle your down days, but customers are a cranky lot that way.

Most importantly: Keep at it! You’ll get there!

Micheal Seitz
Quality Letterpress Printing
Missoula MT

It seems her that your background is in printing and your business skills need improvement. I say get a partner who can do the business end and you do the printing. In time the partner can learn how to help in the shop and you can learn business and sales.
On a side note many people who are great at their vocation fail at business ownership because all their skill is in doing what they love not in doing business.
Good luck.