Does this sound familiar? When you came into the business, everyone needed a printer. You sold forms, booklets, newsletters, mailers...just about anything that needed a reliable product on quality paper. All day you heard the sound of humming printers. But now? Let’s just say that the office printer has changed the industry.
No product is this more true for than carbonless paper. Many places that once used carbonless paper, have gone to electronic forms and tablets to collect customer info. What’s a printer to do?
Here's the good news. There are still a ton of industries that use carbonless business forms. We surveyed printers to find out what customers need carbonless business forms from you right now and we're ready to share those results.
Tell your customer that carbonless forms are great for invoicing, auctions, design drafts and many situations. Carbonless forms are a reliable product that will help save time because you won't need to print multiple copies of forms. You can get carbonless at a great price through Randolph Paper, or other wholesale paper companies. Our difference is that we promise no minimum orders and free freight on all carbonless, and we'll get it to you fast.
Our survey of the custom carbonless printer industry
Our survey went out to our custom carbonless paper customers, and we asked them the question, “What industry do you support with carbonless paper?” We have two sets of numbers to help you understand the answers.
In the first set, we counted every industry that our carbonless printing customers mentioned, and we divided them by the total number of industries. So, these data represent the percentage of industries listed by our printers.
So, you can see that the highest percentage of industries mentioned are in heating and cooling, mechanics, and doctor's offices.
Most of our customers told us that they support more than one industry with custom carbonless forms. In this set of numbers, we show how many of our respondents said they support a particular industry. That is, we divided the number of times our survey takers mentioned a particular industry by the number of respondents. For example, 50% of our respondents sell custom carbonless forms to mechanics or to heating and cooling.
As this chart shows, “other” is a large section of the industry, including industries like agriculture, funerals, and trucking.
How 10 huge industries use custom carbonless forms
As the forms industry changes, many of the customers that used to use carbonless have turned to electronic forms. They use tablets or online forms instead, but electronic forms don’t work well in many situations. Let’s take a look at the industries that use these forms to understand the ways that carbonless works better than electronic forms, so you can help them understand the idea, “This is important for MY business.”
1. How The Heating and Cooling Industry Uses Carbonless Forms
At the time of this publishing, many places in the U.S. are warming up. Towns in the midwest have hit nearly 80 degrees, so millions of people are turning on their AC’s for the first time since the fall.
The next homeowner who calls into their local HVAC specialist for help will need to sign some paperwork. Custom carbonless forms are perfect for the busy technician making service calls.
A great point to help pitch your local heating and cooling company:
Custom carbonless won’t run out of battery, crash, or get destroyed if you drop it!
2. Dr.’s Offices and Hospitals Using Carbonless Forms
Many doctor’s offices and hospitals have moved from carbonless forms to electronic forms, especially since many have moved from paper records to electronic ones. But electronic forms don’t work well in many situations.
But, imagine what happens at a doctor’s office. A patient walks into the office for the first time. She has a long history of illness, but she’s looking for a new doctor. You know what happens. The doctor needs all her information: past illnesses, current pains and problems, medical history, and emotional wellbeing.
Some doctors have an online portal, but many patients, especially elderly patients, don’t want to deal with that. You also can’t give a tablet to everyone who comes into the waiting room. That would cost thousands to buy enough for everyone.
Hospitals, doctor’s offices, and dentists can use custom carbonless forms for intake, examination, sign-in, prescriptions, and any other form. These forms help save from printing multiple copies of forms, keep staff from having to make photocopies, and they make it so there’s no trouble for the staff to put a copy of the form in the patient’s file and give it to the doctor.
Points to help you pitch your local hospital, doctor’s office, or dentist:
It’s easier for elderly patients to use than electronic forms
Carbonless paper can save time by immediately making a copy of a form
Custom forms offer copies at a great price
Help them answer the question, “How does this help MY business?”
3. Mechanics Who Use Carbonless Forms
There’s a local mechanic’s garage down the street, one of the old-school family garages that’s been there for 60 years. You know what it looks like. You walk in the door, and the guy crawls out from under the car to meet you. He quickly wipes his hands before he gets ready to write down what you need.
Mechanics need forms for quotes, invoices, and copies of receipts, so he can keep one and give one to the customer. Dirty hands, heavy equipment, and the unavoidable mess of a garage means only paper works. The local chain store might use a computer, but it’s likely that the family garage will need your product.
Points to help pitch your local garage:
Save time by not copying forms so you can get back to fixing cars
Written forms to give your customer without writing twice
Great price compared to fragile electronic systems
No trouble to provide receipts and estimates to the customer immediately
4. City Inspection Reports and Carbonless Forms
Cities have no end to inspections. We know of a guy who bought a home in a town just outside of Chicago. It was an old house, likely built some time in the 1950’s or 1960’s. So, he wanted to update the kitchen and bathroom. Plus, he wanted to add a finished basement with a sauna.
You can imagine how many permits and inspections he had to do. There were inspectors for electrical, plumbing, permits, structural details, and all the rest. Each one had to fill out an inspection report with a copy for the homeowner and for the city.
No homeowner wants to wait for the inspector to get back to the office, do data entry, and then email a report, and no city is going to put a printer in every inspector’s car. Your local city government is a perfect target to pitch custom carbonless forms.
If you don’t already have a contract with them, it’s likely that they are already working with a printer or using generic forms. That means your pitch has to be about a great price, the value of custom forms, and your customer service– a reliable product on quality paper that will arrive in good condition.
Points to help pitch to inspectors:
Determine your value proposition: Why is your printing company better than generic forms or your competition?
No trouble to get inspectors to create copies for homeowners and for the city
How you can offer a great price, that’s better than your competition, while offering a better level of service
How elected officials can gain credibility by supporting a local printer
5. Transportation and Moving Industry Need Carbonless Forms
The author grew up near a basalt quarry in northern Wisconsin, close enough that his family felt the ground rumble from the blasting to get this very hard rock out of the ground. Local companies used basalt for just about every application where one might use gravel. They lined ponds and lakes with it to prevent erosion. They laid it down to make a flat bed for asphalt roads.
Companies weren’t the only ones to use basalt. Individuals showed up at the quarry to grab small loads of basalt for landscaping projects, to set up home ponds, or to make an in-ground fire pit.
What a huge variety of clientele for a local quarry! They didn’t just serve huge construction companies that could predict how much they’d need. Nope. When individuals showed up, they’d weigh out a load and give them an invoice right there.
Small bulk transportation businesses have needs just like that. They transport or sell large and small amounts of bulk products. Sometimes the big companies can know exactly what they need, so a prepared invoice would work. But, most of the time, it’s much easier to fill out a form by hand.
Points to help pitch your local bulk transportation or delivery company:
Custom carbonless forms can change as the business changes
Forms are great for invoicing large and small clients
Carbonless gives drivers no trouble offering receipts on delivery
6. Retail and Restaurants Are Using Carbonless Forms
So many action movies have a scene in the local dinner. The world-weary lady in the stained apron takes the main characters’ orders while making a plan to do whatever they’re going to do. They just need a good, quick meal before they rush off to save the world or get away from the police or whatever they’re going to do.
While most local retail shops have moved from forms to electronic scanners, most restaurants still use a ticket system to take orders. The wait staff writes down the customer’s order on a carbonless pad. One copy stays with the waiter while the other copy goes into the kitchen.
Sure, some of the big chains have moved to a digital entry system, but most places don’t see the return on investment for installing a whole new, expensive system when the carbonless form works just fine.
And that’s your opportunity. A carbonless form can be customized to fit the restaurant’s business. Even just adding the restaurant’s name to the top of the pad adds a touch of class and branding to the business.
Points to help pitch your local bulk transportation or delivery company:
Custom carbonless forms are a way to add branding to their forms at a great price
Small printers, like you, can help support the local business community
Do some research: Ask the wait staff how order forms might be better and pitch the idea to the owners
7. Our Schools Use Carbonless
Imagine this. You’re the administrative assistant in the front office of a school. Classes just started, and one kid zips in the building. He’s supposed to stop in the office to pick up a tardy slip. One could take him into the office and sit him down at a keyboard, but that would take forever and be just one more piece of paper. Instead, you have him fill out a tardy slip. One copy goes to his teacher and one into his file. Easy enough.
That is when a school needs a carbonless copy form, when a school employee needs to have a quick copy of a form, whether for discipline, an excuse note, or an injury report, but they don’t have the time to run to a computer. Then, it saves the staff from having to enter the report, and it saves from printing multiple copies of forms.
Schools need custom forms. Every school has different policies for late students, injury reports, or disciplinary issues, so they need a form that actually helps their process. You, the local printer, can offer them a reliable product on quality paper that will help them save time.
Points to help pitch your school:
Custom forms meet their custom student programs
Small printers with local ties have better customer service
Carrying a small pad of carbonless paper saves time (which saves money) compared to using a computer
8. The Funeral Industry Uses Carbonless Paper
Most people don’t know about the vast amount of paperwork that goes into the funeral industry. Take a look at what the Secretary of State’s office in Kansas requires from cemeteries and funeral homes. There are twelve forms in that list, ranging from Cemetery Registration to Permanent Maintenance Fund Trustee Deposit and Withdrawal Form Cover Sheet.
You’ll notice one thing on that website. There’s a column that says whether one can file this form online, and they all read “NA.” That’s good news for carbonless printers, because in-person, paper forms are a pain. And the funeral industry is full of those kinds of forms from the funeral home to graveside.
If you want to gain clients from the funeral industry, the first step is to do your research. Find out what forms your state requires, and use those to pitch how you can make the funeral director's life easier with your forms. If you can show them how to save time and effort with your carbonless form, you’ll have them.
Points to help pitch your local funeral home or cemetary:
Custom carbonless forms have more branding opportunities than generic forms
Small, family owned businesses may want to support a local printer who offers a great price
Research the industry. If you know what your client needs, he’ll say to himself, “This person cares about MY business.”
Custom carbonless forms are created for each client’s needs to make the form fit their workflow rather than the other way around
9. Agriculture Need Custom Carbonless Forms
Agriculture is a big business. It’s not just farmers and ranchers. Truck drivers pick up or deliver food, raw materials, or fuel. Feed stores and grain elevators hold the product to make it available for use. It’s a unique industry, and most people don’t know much about it.
In a 1981 document, the Bureau of Labor Statistics wrote that 50% of the population worked in agriculture in 1870. The BLS reports that only 1.4% of the population worked in agriculture in 2018. Most printers won’t know anything about what farmers, milk haulers, and other agricultural workers need. That’s an opportunity for you.
In some ways, truck drivers will need the same kinds of forms whether they drive industrial materials or manure. They’ll need pick up and drop off forms, receipts, and the like. There are also forms for inspections, for invoices, or for inventories.
Points to help pitch your agricultural company:
Research: Not many people know the industry well, so it’s a huge advantage if you do
Show how carbonless forms save time and saves from printing multiple copies of forms
Try to pitch small companies that will want to support local small businesses like yours
10. Police and Fire Departments Need Carbonless Forms
Everyone has parked in the wrong place. You’ve done it, and so have we. You come back to the car, and you see that brightly colored ticket stuck to the windshield or tucked under the wipers. It’s likely that it was from a carbonless paper form.
Police and firefighters use carbonless forms to save time by making copies quickly on the road. Police and fire departments are an excellent market, too. They use custom forms, because each city has their own rules and regulations. And they always need a constant supply.
Your local police and fire department almost certainly has an existing contract with a printer, so you’ll have to show them how you offer greater value. Be ready with your value proposition, whether it’s quality paper, customer service, or a great price. Know what makes your service better.
Points to help pitch your local police or fire departments:
Know your competition and what makes you a better printer
Be ready to show how carbonless paper can be better than electronic forms that are becoming more popular for ticketing
Understand the particular needs for each fire department and police department so you can target your pitch for them
Order carbonless forms now!
While carbonless forms may not be as popular as they used to be, there are still plenty of industries that use them. Paper forms are the best method for work conditions that are dirty or rough on electronics, so it’s unlikely that they will be replaced by a tablet any time soon. In addition to the TEN industries listed on this blog, other big industries that use custom carbonless forms to consider are:
Termite and Pest Control, Auto Glass, Roofers, Painters, Driveway Sealers, Food Processing Plants, Moving Companies, Computer Repair, Watch and TV Repair Companies, Cattle Buying and Selling, anything FDA required - because the government needs forms.
So, go out there and pitch your services to these industries. They need carbonless forms on quality paper, that arrives in good condition, and saves from printing multiple copies of forms.