How to diversify in print shops - 7 tips for more success and growth

Many printers do good craftsmanship. But they shy away from conquering new fields of business. 7 tips for more success and more turnover.

5 minutes 5 minutes
Table of Contents
Many printers do good craftsmanship. But they shy away from advising their customers and being more creative in developing new business areas. But positioning oneself solely on the basis of print quality is no longer enough. Printers must become the contact for good ideas - in old and new business fields. This is how they can expand their business.

Finding new business opportunities is not that easy? Then we have a few ideas for you. In Bucharest, for example, a printing company added boxes for contaminated organic waste in hospitals to its portfolio during the pandemic, thus expanding its previous business field of "medical labels". The boxes are printed individually with the respective hospital logo. The supplier has thus found a new niche. Another printer from the book printing sector is successfully venturing into a new business field with personalised packaging for one, two or three books. In the food industry, Coca-Cola, Nutella and other suppliers throughout the EU are using personalised labels. Wine, whiskey and gin suppliers in Germany and the UK are gaining more margin with high-quality label printing for their products.  

Analyse what customers really need 

Account Executives at Konica Minolta advise: Analyse your market and identify your customers' needs and requirements. What kind of printing services do customers need? Do your customers perhaps need related products? Or other formats? Evolve from a single-segment to a multi-segment provider. Don't just think about what you have always offered and conquer new business areas. 

By answering the questions above, you can tailor your services to your customers' needs and add innovative services to your offering: this may include the range of paper options, the introduction of new printing processes or the integration of design and layout services.  

For service providers brave enough to venture into the unknown, there are opportunities here. Here are seven tips on how to expand your business. 

  1. Position yourself as a provider for sustainable packaging printing 

The demand for packaging is growing. According to Smithers 'study "The Future of Packaging: Long-Term Strategic Forecast to 2028", the global packaging market will grow by almost 3% per year between 2018 and 2028, reaching over US$1.2 trillion in 2028. Online retail, which has picked up pace with the pandemic, is the main driver of growth. It will no longer fall back to pre-Corona levels but will take relevant market shares. At the same time, sustainability and recyclability is a topic with high social relevance, especially for packaging. Customers, business partners and the companies themselves demand sustainability, also in printing. And legal regulations, such as the EU's sustainable plastics strategy, are also creating an increasing demand for sustainable and environmentally friendly packaging materials.  

  1.  Offer design assistance 

The Chinese printing industry, for example, is already investing in new data-based business models, digital platform solutions and end-to-end digitalised value chains. Digital printing has enabled Chinese designers to access over 12,000 folding carton designs online. Score points with customers with innovative suggestions - both in terms of colour and box models. In addition, the booming global e-commerce market offers lucrative opportunities for commercial print providers, as e-commerce players are always on the lookout for appealing designs and are quick to adopt innovative print solutions for their everyday packaging. 

  1. Diversify your formats 

Image download failed. 

Analyse markets that require large formats or wide formats. Potential new business partners can be: 

  • Retail: Large display stands and large format banners.  
  • Sports organisers: Sporting events such as marathons or cycling races often require large-format prints for start and finish lines or signposts. 
  • Vehicle lettering: Large-format prints are ordered for trucks, buses or cars, for example. 
  • Posters: These are used in particular for outdoor advertising or for use in shops or restaurants. 
  • Construction drawings: Architects and engineers often need large-format prints of building plans and construction drawings. 


  1. Specialise in printing with new materials from industrial printing 

Industrial printing includes printing on materials such as metal, plastic and glass. These materials are used in many industries, including automotive, aerospace and electronics. The demand for high quality and customised industrial components is increasing, making industrial printing to a growth market.

  1. Add textile printing to your product range 

The textile printing market is growing due to the increasing demand for personalised garments and promotional materials. Digital printing technology makes it possible to print textiles in high quality and in short runs. Ideally, you combine textile printing expansion with your advertising know-how and offer T-shirts, bags, pouches and backpacks for promotional purposes. Crucially, you can also advise on advertising impact and design options and offer promotional materials and merchandise from a single source. This increases your sales. 

  1.  Offer small batches 

Digital printing is growing due to improved print quality, personalisation options and lower costs compared to traditional printing. The technology makes it possible to produce high-quality print in short and medium runs. In direct mail, it used to be common to send the same message to many customers. In the meantime, however, marketing managers also want to advertise individualised with print products - the influence of digital marketing sends its regards. Personalised, small series are particularly suitable for this. They are more attention-grabbing - a currency for which marketing is willing to pay more, resulting in higher margins. 
Short runs lend themselves to personalised or numbered books, direct mail, brochures, catalogues with naming etc.. 

  1.  Become a one-stop shop 

There are many examples of companies that started with a single offering and expanded over time to a very large product portfolio. Amazon, for example, started as a bookseller. Today we buy everything from baby food to bedroom furniture there - simply because it is so convenient. The same applies to the printing industry: anyone who can offer the entire value chain from prepress to fulfilment and logistics is more likely to meet customer expectations than a provider who only delivers part of the required services.  

For printers who have not yet looked at expanding their segment, now is the time to do so. Otherwise, they run the risk of being left behind by competitors who can meet the full range of their customers' printing needs. Including broader promotional offerings in the portfolio - from design conception to actual printing to fulfilment and logistics - and one-stop shops are the trend: The customer simply says which campaign he wants to run; the printer implements it right through to delivery.

Konica Minolta helps you diversify and conquer new markets

There are many ways to expand your business and grow your portfolio. At Konica Minolta, we are happy to help print service providers expand into additional markets. With our expertise, we can identify new technologies that may be needed to move into new segments. For example, if you want to enter the folding carton sector, they need to know how to die-cut and fold/glue and what technology is needed for the transition. Ask us. We are here to help and advise you.

This may also be interesting for you:

How to benefit from Programmatic Printing

The print sector is currently undergoing a strong digitalisation in many...