Finding a Niche
It's hard to deny that it's been a tough couple years for continuous and multipart forms. Once a massive cornerstone of thousands of businesses the world over, forms have since declined in popularity due to the rise of online alternatives. Whether it's for reasons of speed, cost or even marketing, more and more businesses are replacing their forms with online options.
But, this is old news to pretty much everyone in the industry at this point. Online cutting into print profits has been the lead story for the better part of the last 10 years. It began as a legitimate concern—the print world is ending, the print sky is falling, etc.—but as the years have passed, we've seen a different truth reveal itself. Online surely has cut into print profits, but said cut has been just that—a cut, a piece, a portion—and not the entirety of the print market. Just as radio did not fully replace books, and video did not fully replace radio, the Internet has not fully replaced the print market.
Some may say that continuous and multipart forms have been hit by the Internet a little harder than other print sectors, but the market is still there, to be sure. Savvy printers, such as Calibrated (an Ennis company), Columbus, Kan., have found ways to succeed with this product, largely by focusing on niche markets, differentiating their product and cultivating a culture of customer service and technical skill.
Why does this matter to you? Simple. The harder printers have to work to succeed in a shrinking market, the stronger they become as your acting business partner. Here are three things to do when looking for a printer of continuous and multipart forms.
1. Find a Niche
Since buyers of continuous and multipart forms have shifted from "pretty much every business" to "not that," finding success with these products has become a matter of understanding what niches—be they products or markets—are still profitable. Richard Miller, general manager for Calibrated, explained further.