Web to Print Business Plan - The Goals

If this is your first foray into Web to Print then you might be struggling with some of the details needed to make a realistic plan, especially on how much time things take to achieve. We are going to share some of our experience on this in the next section. First we need to establish what your goals are, now and in the future.

Your Web to Print Goals

There are many reasons why you want to have Web to Print as part of your offering such as:

Client Requirement:
Lucky you! You are being asked to meet your customers' needs and if they are willing to contribute to the cost of the system or their order values pay for the software then you are in the fortunate position that your first Web to Print customer could pay for the software on their own.

If they are talking about moving work that you already do for them online then how are you going to attach a benefit to it? In reality it is the risk of them taking that current business elsewhere to someone who offers what they need. In a business plan you might attribute the lost profit of that client as a benefit of having a system to meet their needs.

If that is too negative a way of looking at the situation then look for potential positive benefits. Can you get more of your customers print work? Are they going to be paying for a system you can use with other customers, essentially adding a new tool to your toolbox for free?

Client Retention:
We are not going to say that there are printers and print management companies running round with their shiny new Web to Print software trying to take away your customers. It does happen of course, we have had the phone calls from printers saying they have to get a system up and running for a customer that is leaving and it needs to be ready yesterday.

What we are advocating though is that like many things, prevention is better than cure. Why even risk them going elsewhere? One of the key benefits of having them on your Web to Print software is that it is much harder for them to move to another printer, even if they have Web to Print software.

How do you value this for your business plan? In all honesty it is very difficult to put a number on it and it is probably best counted as a hidden benefit.

Cost Reduction:
We are not naïve enough to think that your company is carrying a lot of overhead costs that a bit of software is going to eliminate. It would be great if it could! The fact is most companies have been forced to become extremely efficient. What we are talking about is the ability to increase margin on certain types or print jobs by removing as much human intervention as possible. Let the software do the repetitive work and let your employees do the high value work.

Valuing cost reduction for a business plan is a case of stripping out the costs that online orders have reduced and using the current costs to work out the increased margin on that product. With an annual estimate of volume for this product through your Web to Print software you can then work out a annual benefit to your business.

Increased Business:
Most companies are in the business of increasing their annual profit and so this might be the most important goal of taking on Web to Print software. Increases can be by taking on more work from current customers or by taking on additional customers.

Although budgeting these increases can seem like a lot of guesswork, you actually have a lot of information already. One way would be to base a new customer on an existing customer who you think they will closely resemble, i.e. you know a lot about your customers, what they will order online, in what volume and at what margin, and use that as a template for new customers in the future.

Summary

In the above we have looked at some of the potential goals you might have that you are going to meet with your web to print software and in a completely non-technical way how you might budget for them. In fact they might all be appropriate or one might be the immediate plan with others to follow.

In reality what you are trying to determine is whether your chosen solution will ever be able to justify itself. There are lots of beneficial non-financial ways that this can happen but in our mind it is really healthy when thinking of a tool like Web to Print software for it to be viable financially.

To finish off your plan you are going to have to work out your targets and estimate how long it will take to meet those targets. So no surprises really, that is what we will talk about next.


Prv: Introduction Next: Targets