Making Choices

By Mike Philie
In January 12, 2015

A theme has appeared after speaking with several companies lately. Left unchecked, it can impact the composition of their revenue, their staffing needs and finally, their ability to grow profitably. They have found themselves doing business with customers who needed what they can produce but not necessarily what they could produce and build upon profitably. Yes, there is a difference.

In today’s transformative environment many businesses are taking all the business that they can get their hands on. The end result is that only a small percentage of their clients truly fit the business or workflow model (i.e. can grow and be profitable) they have built while the majority of their clients and jobs occupy space in the background. They demand faster and more complete levels of service yet don’t provide the type, volume or consistency of work that the business needs to grow profitably. This work can also place increased demands on key service areas such as estimating and customer service, perhaps causing the senior team to think there is a need to increase staffing. The sales reps are paid based on transactions so to most of them, a job is a job.

What is clear is that it’s harder and harder to be all things to all people. With the continued emergence of new technology and product offerings it’s also hard to ignore that next new shiny object that everyone says you should have. New investments should be examined as to how they can integrate into your current offerings and enhance your position within your targeted clients and prospects. Build it into your sales and business plan. These decisions should reinforce your value proposition, not dilute it.

Making good choices and knowing when to say no only strengthens your ability to become the market leader in your segment. Follow this with day-to-day actions that reinforce your value proposition and the market differentiation you’ve carved out for yourself. Also make sure that you’ve read the latest State of the Industry Report, 12th Edition from my colleague Andy Paparozzi. His research highlights many of the profit building ideas, decisions and choices that your peers are acting on in the marketplace today.

Mike Philie

Mike works with printing companies that are not satisfied with their sales and business development performance, and are looking to get objective advice and strategic direction on how to improve the results of their business. His engagements can range from providing input on the overall sales strategy to building business development pipelines while training the processes of “selling” in today’s marketplace. Mike quickly establishes himself as a trusted resource and advisor to the owners and senior staff of his client companies through his personal involvement, and very quietly and effectively becomes an extension of their staff.

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