Considering Commercial Print?
One manufacturer discusses how distributors can succeed in this growing market niche.
Topping the conversations of many independent distributors these days is commercial print. Noted as a market niche with ever increasing opportunities, more distributors are seeking ways to find out how to better sell this product to their advantage. Offering some advice on this matter is Robert McAleavey, president and owner of Specialized Printed Forms, a manufacturer based in Caledonia, N.Y.
Reporting an estimated $1 million in commercial print sales, McAleavey said business for this product continues to grow, since opportunities are available just about anywhere.
"For instance, any market that utilizes newsletters, catalogs or brochures is a good target for distributors," said McAleavey. "In many cases that includes membership organizations or associations."
With that in mind, McAleavey recommended distributors begin selling commercial print within their existing accounts.
"Call on these accounts first and contact their marketing departments," advised McAleavey. "Then find out what materials they require."
Unlike the business form, which has been driven down to a commodity-based product, McAleavey said distributors will find that returns are very good.
"More advertising and marketing is involved in commercial print, therefore folks are not thinking so much about costs," he said. "Commercial print, however, is more about the benefits that distributors can offer."
Know Your Stuff
To get a leg up on understanding such benefits, McAleavey suggested distributors participate in educational opportunities that may be available through the manufacturer they work with.
At Specialized, for example, McAleavey offers a chance for distributors and their clients to visit his plant, stay the night and watch a job run. "We have an entire wing with two suites offered to visitors who want to come and learn about our product," said McAleavey. "Visitors can observe our commercial print operations and sit through a seminar about them."