As printers and MSPs are fighting for share of an ever-decreasing pie, it might feel as if there are just a few too many competitors out there. I hate to tell you, but there are more on the way.
The old business forms industry is turning commercial. It has been for some time, but the heat is turning up now. Print distributors (this industry might call them print brokers) are facing the same pressures as commercial printers. As they are looking to reinvent their businesses into more profitable enterprises, they are having the same discussions and looking at the same services and business models as commercial printers.
Some of the big print manufacturers like FormStore and AccuLink are already providing the same tool sets as today’s commercial printing industry MSPs. They are offering QR codes, 1:1 printing, integrated, multi-channel marketing, and integration with social media. They are now in the process of educating their print distributors to get out there and sell it.
If you’ve been on the sidelines, waiting to make decisions about how to retool your business to stay competitive, you need to step it up. It takes time to retool a business, bring on new talent, refocus your business model, and get up to speed to where you are truly comfortable and competitive in this new marketplace.
You know those reality shows where the competitors whittle themselves down to a select few, and they have just gotten comfortable in place in this new, smaller competitive landscape when suddenly a brand-new set of competitors walks in the door? It’s about to happen to you.
Print distributors (brokers) are looking at the MSP model. They are moving beyond business cards and forms and ad specialties. They are learning about QR codes, 1:1 printing, social media, and all the rest. They know they need to reinvent, and an increasing number of them are getting serious about it. Many print manufacturers already have the tool sets. Once print distributors get their heads around the selling part, it’s just a matter of time.
Your competition is about to get a lot bigger.