Marketing Your Shop
The Three Levers of Sign Shop and Print Shop Sales Growth
read time
4 minute read
All the growth tactics you read about boil down to these three ways of increasing sales

There are literally tons of strategies and millions of tactics you can try to grow your sales.

  • Running Facebook Ads to promote your latest promotion
  • Creating content for your shop blog to improve SEO
  • Hiring an outside sales rep
  • Revamping your shop’s website

But at the core there are three levers you can pull to increase your sales.

All those strategies and tactics are aimed at achieving one or more of these:

  1. Increase the number of customers that pay you
    (ie. get new customers)
  2. Increase the amount each customer pays you
    (ie. raise your average order $ value)
  3. Increase the frequency each customer pays you
    (ie. convince existing customers to buy from you more often)

If you’re considering trying a new strategy to grow your business, it’s helpful to think through it in terms of these three levers.

Here’s a quick example.

Thinking of hiring a new sales rep?

  • Is he bringing a book of business with him?
    (will you increase your number of customers by hiring him?)
  • Will he be able to build the relationships with key customers you haven’t had the time for?
    (will he help increase the frequency that customers pay you?)

This mental model will help you decide which strategy or tactic will ultimately be more profitable.

Let's break these "levers" down a little further.

1. Getting new customers is often the most expensive.

Because you have to find them, learn their needs, build enough trust for them to buy, close them, and then produce and deliver on the signs or shirts or printed items you sold them.

Getting new customers might mean buying expensive ads or paying an outside sales rep $65k per year.

But it doesn’t always have to be expensive. Strategies like adding live chat to your website or revamping your website to improve conversion rates are something that you can get started with on your own.

2. Increasing the amount each customer pays you is usually a little easier to solve for.

A lot of shops I’ve worked with are usually underpricing their work. So if you’re winning 80% - 95% of your quotes, you’re likely pricing your signs or shirts way too low.

That’s an easy fix. Just raise your rates. If you’d like some advice on how to do this tactfully, get in touch with me.

Generally speaking though, getting customers to pay you more means increasing the value you provide. 

To do that, you have to actually understand the value you’re creating. Sure, your customers are buying signs and shirts from you, but they’re not buying them because they just wanted signs or shirts.

They are looking for a specific outcome.

  • They want flyers and a banner so that more people will attend their event and donate money to their cause.
  • They want a sign to bring more customers into their restaurant.
  • They want matching polo shirts so they look more professional to their clients.

So in order to increase your average sale value, always try to find out the why behind the sign or the shirts.

And since you’re the expert on signage or printing, once you find the why it becomes easy to see how you can help deliver a better outcome for your customer.

3. You can increase the frequency that customers pay you through education and building relationships.

How many times have you heard a customer say this…

I had no idea you guys did that too.

This is super common among all the shop owners I’ve talked to over the years. The service or product that brought the customer to your door is likely just a fraction of everything you could help them with.

It’s on you to educate your customers on all the different ways you can help them grow their business, promote their event, or whatever outcome they desire.

There are a lot of great ways to do this.

Email marketing is a great way to educate your customers at scale. But don’t just show them all the services you offer, teach them about you create their signs, graphics, or shirts. It positions you as the expert – and people want to work with the best.

Another idea is to set aside time every day (30-60 min) to call your customers and just have a conversation. Ask them about how things are going, what projects they are working on, and whatever comes to your mind. Focus on building a relationship and not trying to pitch them. But when an opportunity presents itself, offer your help.

Bryant Gillespie

In my 10+ years in this industry, I’ve made all the mistakes they tell you not to. For 5 years, I was second in command at shop that doubled in revenue from $500k to over $1mil in sales. Over the last 3 years, I’ve help 100s of shops streamline their workflow, improve their businesses, and grow sales. My goal is to help you grow your business. To help you spend more time with your family. To make sure you finally get to take that long overdue vacation.