We all started our businesses with goals, ideas, dreams and passion to do what we want to do with our time and talents. When you grow a business powered within our passion there is hardly anything that can stop you. Passion is what has you smiling at 2 a.m. in the morning pulling an all-niter to help a client reach a goal or a deadline.
Passion is the drug that numbs you to the mind bending hours you spend to drive your business forward.
In our business our passion is deep inside variable, database driven printing and all database driven personalization on paper, the web and smartphones. It’s what excites us and drives us to invent new tools, ideas and innovations.
However, the public doesn’t always want what we are passionate about.
They don’t always want your core offerings. Don’t change who you are!
Because we are a large digital printing company people always assume we just print ‘whatever’. They ask us for posters, business cards (yuck) and a variety of print related items we are not passionate about. Sure, we can do them but we won’t be passionate about it and they won’t get to know who we really are.
We are risking getting a reputation as a ‘bad business card printer’ instead of the passionate resourceful direct mailer and variable data printer we are; by catering to a client request for something we are not passionate about.
Often times you may have enough clients asking you for these rogue items or special not-profitable services that you may decide to expand into those areas to perhaps find a way to profit from these requests. The public is convincing you to change who you are and who you want to be and I am here to tell you to fight that urge. You cannot be everything to everyone and neither can we.
If you do expand into those other areas you will find even stranger requests coming off of those products and services too. One day you might look back and not even remember h0w you strayed so far from your core passion. You will also likely find that competition in your core passion is winning and you are left holding a bag full of not-profitable add-on services only. You strayed and let the public decide your fate.
In our business (like yours) 80% of our business comes from 20% of our customers and in reverse 80% of our clients only give us 20% of our business. (80/20 rule) Mathematically, you could get rid of 80% of your clients and your business would only decline 20%. Think about that! Which clients are buying what you are passionate about?
The real risk is not losing 20% of your business from 80% of your clients. The real risk is that your business model changes to accommodate only 20% of your income and you lose the 80% of your income as your focus changes.
Customers that are not buying what you are passionate about are competing with your top clients for your time and attention each day. Whenever someone tries to distract me from our core clients I call someone I really want to do business with instead. I call a top client and thank them for the business and see what else I can do to enhance their experience. I have to focus on clients that buy our core services because they give me the chance to do what we are passionate about and expand what we love as well. Plus, they ‘get it’!
If you have ongoing direct mail programs and are looking for a direct mail and variable-data printing partner you should really let me show you our passion. We can help you!!
We are totally into direct mail and have invented so many tools and techniques because we live in our passion. I guarantee we have at least 10 services your ‘printer’ doesn’t have because they are not passionate about direct mail. To them direct mail is a distraction, but to us… It’s what we were born to do!
Live your passion; develop your products and services for your clients that ‘get it’. You will be happier, healthier, and more profitable and your life will have more meaning. They only call it ‘work’ if you hate what you do. Don’t let the public decide what your business is and what it will become.