While the digital printing market continues to evolve, the three primary strategies of specialization, generalization and diversification have emerged, and wide-format print shops – especially small businesses – will need to find ways to thrive in more than just one area to stay afloat, says an article in the June issue of Wide-Format Imaging.

The article by Tim Greene, director of InfoTrends, discussed the different ways in which the wide-format print market is growing, and how businesses can stay on top of all the changes. While specific skills are necessary for the specialization aspect, as far as the other two areas go, as long as the right tools are available and the chosen market has customers, a print shop should be able to find success.

“In one of our recent surveys, 60 percent of the wide-format print shops surveyed reported that they are looking for opportunities to diversity,” Greene wrote. “Some of this diversification is merely the expansion of the wide-format applications they produce, but some of it is to expand beyond conventional wide-format graphics applications into adjacent markets.”

Specifically within the survey, 35.3 percent of respondents said they wanted to expand into packaging and label printing while 36 percent surveyed said that signage and small format novelty products were areas of interest.

A good way for printing shops to find their own niche within the business is to make sure to offer additional features for customers to create a quality print job. For example, wide-format laminators will be able to help protect and ensure the longevity of a finished project.

In addition, investing in paper folding machines will give consumers the ability to create projects such as tri-fold brochures and other unique designs, which will help companies continue to diversify themselves from others in the market.