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A print broker is someone who sells the printing service on behalf of the actual printer. He or she is the one who identifies and serves customers.
Usually print brokers are independent agents because they are not employed by the printing companies they represent. The print broker's weapon for success is the good understanding of customer service.
To be successful, you need to treat a printer as if you are working for him and his customers.
Since there are many products to print out, you have an option of choosing the ones you would like to specialise in. Some of the products one can choose from are annual reports, company profiles, brochures, catalogues, posters, business cards, flyers, yearbooks or coffee table books.
How does one get started as a print broker?
Starting a business as a print broker is not expensive since one can use the existing space as an office. Many print broker businesses operate from their homes.
The basic equipment one needs to start operating are a phone, fax, computer and a filing cabinet. You will also need an Internet connection to save yourself time because you can't afford to run around every time you have a job to print.
With the Internet, you can work with anyone anywhere in the country and still be able to send jobs from home to the printers.
A good answering machine is also vital for the business because you are not going to be in the office every time a customer calls.
Understanding your business is not enough if you want to break through in this industry. Good communication and negotiation skills can help a lot when it comes to buying printing services.
Remember, printing service is what you will be selling even though you don't own a printing company.
When approaching printers, it is pivotal to find out if you can buy their services at a wholesale price. Once you have found a suitable printer and quotes for the products you will specialise in, it is time to sit down and set your own prices.
As an emerging broker, the most popular and easy to print products are business cards, flyers, letterheads, brochures, posters, presentation and postcards. One can later expand to printing bigger jobs as the business grows.
To always be on good terms with your customers, it is important to make sure that the printer understands your customer's business and needs.
You always need to pay your bills on time to be in the good books with printers. Failure to do so can jeopardise the relationship with them.
If he is satisfied with the way you handle your business, the printer will in turn respect your deadlines and therefore help you satisfy your customers.
How to get clients?
Every business needs customers in order to grow. The same thing applies to the print broking business. To promote your business, it is imperative to print and distribute your business cards and flyers at places that are frequented by people who are likely to use your services.
You can also mail postcards to prospects in order to get new business. Also browse through the yellow pages to look for new clients and new business listings in your area.
For repeat business, you must keep in touch with your customers. Make sure you keep your current customers happy since one effective method of expanding your customer base is word of mouth. A happy customer will tell others about your business and the convenience of working with you, therefore bringing more clients.
Nowadays, an effective way to show appreciation to your customers is inviting them for lunch.
No matter how small your client is, make sure he feels like he is your only customer. Always know them by name and send them cards on their birthdays. Nurture the relationship to get repeat business and references.