Story of two photocopier stores

Vinod Kumaar R
2 min readJun 25, 2021

Photo copies (still known as Xerox in many places) and print outs were once a very good business, as more and more paperless processes came in, these were confined to places near government offices where paperwork is still the king. Businesses are still adopting digital paperless processes so once in a while we need access to these ones. Buying an all-in-one printer for an occasional printout does not make sense.

Photo by Mahrous Houses on Unsplash

I found one of such shops for print outs and photo copies in my neighbourhood. The prices were high compared to the ones I find near the government office but still was useful for once in a while printout. The shopkeeper kept on increasing the prices to the point that another person set shop nearby for half the price. Within a month of the second person setting up the shop, the first person vacated the place shutting down his business. I thought the new shopkeeper will run into losses but his business model was very different from the first.

Photo by deepigoyal on Unsplash

The first shopkeeper was running an exclusive printing and photo copy store while the second one ran an all under one roof stationery shop in half the square footage. He was having all kinds of stationery for school, office, crafts etc. He did book binding, lamination and even offered services to print directly from whatsapp. He also ran a franchise for a courier service. This meant his business was not dependent on just one part of his offering but also provided a nice opportunity for an end user of taking a printout, buying an envelope, sending a courier in just one stop. On top of it, this guy was able to converse in 4–5 languages and had a pleasant approach to people compared to the grumpy nature of the first shopkeeper.

It was a fine lesson for me which speaks about diversifying. It is a good example that I saw in action.