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Prepared for Winter?


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Hi all,

As we're just coming out of one of the longest, coldest winters in memory I thought I'd share some of the strategies that have helped us and other friends in the industry through. Much of it you're probably already doing but hopefully it stirs some ideas and comment!

Enlargements. By changing our mindsets on enlargement pricing we can achieve much greater volume. Create promos with a sliding scale of pricing - the more you get the cheaper the price is. The key thing is to keep promotions cycling with a fresh one each month - then customers know to look out for the next.

Market selectively. One colleague picked his quietest month and emailed all his customers with a very cheap offer on 6x4's. He tripled print volume and made the lab busy when it would otherwise have been quiet. It was a short, sharp offer - not promoted in-store and very successful.

Large Format Inkjet. If you've not yet got one - do so. It is the perfect complement to your digital minilab and will bring back those business clients we all used to have. You'll find inkjet boosts the lab as it's easy to output graphics to the lab making cost effective flyers, business cards etc. No matter what the weather's like outside business does go on and this stuff is always in demand.

Stock Up. You don't have to turn your shop into the corner store but buy more of less. Focus on certain products and buy lots so they appear even better value. We've had great success using the 'pile it high' principle. Customers need more reasons to come in than just to get their prints.

Get your merchandising right. Watch how the big guys do it. Slick in-store displays, good graphics and fresh window promotions. With all our creative resources we've got to be able to equal them - otherwise you could understand why customers may feel the mass merchants are more the professionals than oursleves.

Lastly, kiosks. Get as many as you can in, and brand them for yourself. Customers won't see you as any different if the yellow and blue box you have is the same as the one in Boots or Klick. Get them looking smart, put seats in and make the store a comfortable environment.

Food for thought! I hope everyone in Europe has had a busy summer and that the winter ahead is kind to you!

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