At FGS, we care about our clients and their success. In fact, the reason FGS exists is because I believe businesses and individuals need a hand to progress, and I wanted to be a part of that progression. So, our philosophy is not to take your money and give you what you want (though, if you insist, we will), but to find the best solution for your business to achieve what you need. As such, we may answer some questions a little differently than you’d expect.
This is one of the most asked questions I hear when talking to my clients. They usually think that gaining more customers is the solution to increasing revenue and profits. However, I believe the real question here is how do I increase my profits? In all the years I’ve been in the industry (and trust me, that’s a lot), I’ve seen a number of different answers to this question. The real secret to this, I’ve found, is something that my client already has that makes them unique. Our approach to helping clients succeed is identifying that special something through collaboration with our clients. Once we’ve identified what makes our client stand out from their competitors (and usually, this isn’t a product or service, but something completely different), we help to tailor strategies to showcase their individuality and link this to their products or services. This ultimately produces the best results.
Example: I have a guitar teaching business that asked me this question. After some discussion, we determined that with their current strategy, they didn’t necessarily need more students. Their true need was to increase revenue without increasing the number of classes. Once we’d established what the client really needed, we were then able to develop a strategy to market with the intent of fulfilling this need. We took the remaining budget for the year and put together a sensible strategy utilizing a simple “Take One” brochure to display in areas where most the client’s existing revenue came from.
This is a hard question to answer because the needs and budget of each client are different. In many cases, this can even differ depending on what industry you’re in. Everyone thinks that they need business cards, brochures, letterheads, envelopes, etc.; but very few have questioned why they would need these things. I believe that it shouldn’t be a question of what dollar amount to spend on your graphic products but a question of how to get the most out of the graphic products you do need. One of our primary purposes is to help our clients, and that includes helping them to understand what graphic products most benefit them and solve problems they may have. Our concern isn’t getting clients to spend more or convincing them to buy a cheap product that won’t really help them. We help our clients to match the correct products and services with their strategies and goals.
Example: A local cake making company paid a considerable amount of money on graphic products for their company launch. While the items have a strong design, after discussion with the client we’ve determined that the material and construction of the graphic products needs to be altered to better suit their needs. Their menus, for example, were produced so that the customers could take them with them for referencing when placing future orders. The menus were so popular, however, that the client ran out quickly. In this case, the company needed to produce a larger quantity to meet demand but also change the material, size, and finish so that they could reduce the per piece cost and keep the overall cost around the same amount.
Whenever I meet with new clients and tell them what my company does, they almost always ask what the cost is for [insert product here]. I believe that this kind of thinking is a major failure of the printing industry. At FGS, we don’t think in dollar signs; rather, we care about how our products are helping our clients to achieve their goals. If I sit down and have a discussion with a client about why they need 500 business cards, we often reach better and more powerful ways to market their company. We pride ourselves on asking the hard questions and ultimately coming up with the best solutions to clients’ problems, which is why many of our clients work with us.
Example: A potential client once asked me “How much for 500 business cards because I can get them for $10 online?” After I spoke with the client, I learned that most of his cards went into fish bowls at different restaurants to win a free lunch. Understanding what he used these cards for, it makes sense that cost was the major concern. I explained that the goal of a business card is to leave a memorable impression behind to a potential contact with clear information so that you can be contacted, which the potential client was only using a few of these cards for. So, in my opinion, he was actually paying $10 for 50 cards, not 500 cards. The other 450 cards did nothing for his business and after asking how many free lunches he had won, his answer was none. The solution we came to was not to purchase the $10 worth of business cards, but to move that $10 towards something that actually drove business for him.
We work hard to understand our clients’ needs and their business as a whole to provide the best solutions for them on an individual basis. This may mean doing something really simple and inexpensive or putting a little more money towards something that will have a high return on investment, but we work with our clients to ensure that they are making the right choices that will benefit them.
We like to give credit where credit is due. Featured photo from Bethany Legg.