Wide format printing is often an area much over looked by the typical print shop as it is often considered a niche market. A familiar response from companies is that they don’t have customers who ask for it, but is this more due to the fact that the print shop aren’t supplying this service, their customers know this and they go elsewhere? This could be commercial suicide; by overlooking wide format (also know as large format) customers could be swayed be the lure of print shops Melbourne that caters for all print services rather than the printers who only concentrate on small form.
Large format is an expensive piece of kit and shouldn’t be entered into lightly, however the gains far outweigh this cost.
A typical A1 (841mm x 594mm) print on gloss will cost the average print shop around 1.25GBP to produce and has a retail price of about 15GBP earning a fantastic 13.75GBP profit off one print. How many A5 prints would need to be run before this level of profit is achieved? Take the Epson 9890 Stylus Pro for example, costing a little under 5,000GBP, the original investment would require 350 A1 prints a year or one A1 print a day! Broken down like this, even the quietest of print shops will find this achievable and an intriguing business proposal.
What really makes large format stand out is the fact that printing can be coupled with items such a roller banners and pop up stands both of which carry a premium and can ensure a greater profit margin than just one solitary print. Most commercial print buyers don’t know how cheap roller banners are to produce, the cheapest coming in around 22GBP with resale values averaging around 80GBP. Amazing profit for 15mins work. Or produce 85 of them in a year and the Epson 9890 is paid for. That’s it – 85 single jobs would hit the break even point a feat small format couldn’t begin to think about.
Although large format is often considered a risky business investment I hope I have dispelled this myth by breaking down the figures into more manageable and comprehensible numbers. I guess that’s the difference between small format and large format; small format is a numbers game; get as many jobs as you can to make those small profits into a larger figure whereas wide format is not about numbers but ensuring quality profit throughout every job. In conclusion just because your customers aren’t asking about wide format doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be offering it – I bet they’re going to someone else who is.