Selling Your Printing Business: Do You Have the Numbers You Need?

If you are considering selling your printing business within the next few years, you should be taking steps now to make your shop more valuable to potential buyers. For example, consider modernizing your Print MIS and web-to-print systems.

All serious buyers will ask tough questions about the financial strength of your business. So you need quick access to data that can help you answer whatever questions a qualified buyer might ask. The buyer might also want evidence that your company has systems in place to grow sales without additional sales people.

How a Print MIS Helps

A well executed Print MIS program that includes customer relationship management (CRM) tools can help you gather three types of data that print-shop buyers will seek: financial data, customer data, and production data.

Financial Data: Is your company making money on every print job that goes through the shop? Or are you losing money on certain types of jobs? Can you readily identify which types of jobs and customers are most profitable? How much has your business grown in terms of gross sales and profitability?

Customer Data: Who are your key customers? What will it take to keep them loyal after you leave the company? Do you have established contracts that will carry over to the new owner? Have you set up web-to-print systems that make it easy for key customers to continue ordering from your print shop?

Do you maintain a database of prospective customers? Are you keeping track of the quality of these leads? What types of printing solutions have they expressed interest in? Who are the key decision-makers the company? How close are they to making a decision about buying printing from your company? You can keep these kinds of notes in your customer relationship management system.

Production Data: Can you prove that your shop has become more productive and efficient in recent years? Or have you just been muddling along, doing things the way you have always done them? Does your increased productivity allow you to be cost-competitive with other print-service providers?

How many new types of products or services has your shop added in recent years? What types of production equipment and software have you added that make it easier to continue to diversify?

Over time, your Print MIS program can help you identify where bottlenecks are occuring in your prepress, production, and finishing departments. You can also track which types of equipment are operating a full capacity and which pieces are equipment are under-utilized. All of the information will be valuable to a prospective new owner.

How a Web 2 Print System Helps

A web-to-print module enables your print shop to sell selected types of products without having to repeatedly provide custom quotes or estimates. You can enable current customers to reorder popular types of prints whenever they need them or you can set up a webstore to sell specific types of products directly to individual buyers. The orders should feed directly into your order management system with all of the data you need to produce and deliver the jobs.

As more people grow accustomed to online ordering, a prospective print shop buyer will expect you and your staff to be familiar with setting up and maintaining web-to-print storefronts.

A web-to-print storefront is a key component of your shop’s potential for growth and diversification. A web-to-print system can exponentially increase the number of products you are set up offer and the number of customers you can potentially reach.

Design, Marketing, and Service

Of course selling your printing business will involve more than numbers. Potential buyers will evaluate other factors too, such as the newness of your printing equipment, strength of your marketing programs, reputation in the industry, and ability to create innovative, market-leading products or services. The talent and expertise of your staff might also be considered.

It’s difficult for your team to devote much time to innovation, learning, networking, or marketing if most of their time is spent maintaining old equipment, dealing with repetitive administrative tasks, or resolving scheduling or delivery crises.

Short-Term and Long-Term Benefits

By streamlining day-to-day operations, a good Print MIS program such as Ordant can give your staff more time for marketing, creative work, or networking. This is important if you want your print shop to get noticed by prospective new customers and potential future buyers of your company. .

When you are ready to sell your business, your Print MIS and web-to-print solutions will demonstrate that your print shop that is well-positioned for growth, profitability, diversity, and future success. Your business will have more value to prospective buyers if they don’t have to modernize your workflow to meet the faster pace of business today.

To see how Ordant’s easy-to-customize print-shop management software and web-to-print modules can help your print shop business prepare for greater profitability, efficiency, and growth, visit

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