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Discussion Starter #1
So I have been running my shop for years and I am starting to turn the corner in my way of thinking and also production abilities.

When I first started I just did standard print locations and used standard inks. I am now with the times/ahead of the times with the ability to print anything that comes through the door. This includes rhinestones, ALL OVER, jumbo (26 x 36), standard (12.5 x 18), discharge, water base, and much more. The quality I am outputting I must say I am proud to put my companies name on it.

With that said, is it time to switch to strictly contract work? I currently offer both contract/wholesale printing and printing to the public but I feel switching to contract work will not only center my marketing strategy but also allow me to build a stronger, more knowledgable, and more appreciative client base.

I know it is hard to find good all over, and oversized printers so I feel if I extend my services to contractors and shops looking for this I can really grow the business and find our niche.

Yes of course our whole pricing structure would change but I have the shop going in such good efficiency that I see it being a good venture.
What do you think?

Much thanks!
 

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If you have successfully been running your shop for years, why would you want to close your shop to much of your market? Can you focus on Contracts and accept the rest? Or Is that not worth your time anyway and the loss of customers would not be that great? Best of Luck either way.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I would still accept those retail customers but not advertise or market towards them, for example removing pricing from the site and focusing our efforts towards contract printers.

Mainly I want to increase the shops workflow significantly and to also bring in customers that take far less customer service time. Most contract print jobs will have better artwork, more knowledgable owners, and I can build a more fruitful and meaningful relationship for both parties.

Many of the retail end customers tend to be start up clothing lines and other wishy washy clients that are here one day and price hunting the next to leave you with a lot of customer relationship time spent wasted. Or at least that is what I tend to find.
 

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I feel switching to contract work will not only center my marketing strategy but also allow me to build a stronger, more knowledgable, and more appreciative client base.
It depends on what you want from your business. As you say, doing contract only will give you more knowledgeable customers which will allow you to spend more time printing and less time having to educate customers.

However, you may also miss out on those interesting new projects that come from taking retail orders :)

What are the downsides you see from stopping the marketing to retail customers?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If I stop completely I would miss a lot of the larger retail sales that come through the door. I am looking at still accepting them but trying to pack my client list full of contract printers to help balance out the work load. I think my oversized and all over printing ability is a great asset to contract printers and I should expand on that capability.
 

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Building strong relationships with everyone in the supply chain is critical so I empathize with you wanting to work with customers that care about the business relationship.
 
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