A monk accidentally started the business while in need of a printer cartridge for one of the monastery’s printers and realized how expensive laser print cartridges were. This realization triggered the monk to find a way on how to cut down costs on laser print cartridges and distribute the saved money to various outreach programs.
The monastery of the laser monks is part of the Cistercian Order which has been in existence for 900 years. Given the fact that monasteries are supporting themselves, they needed to generate income from various sources such as growing plants and mushrooms, conference centers for company events and even growing Christmas trees.
The monks thought of the laser print cartridge as a viable business since it is regarded as a necessity especially by business owners. Manufacturing a low-cost printer cartridge helps consumers spend less and the monks generate more income to fund their charitable works.
During the first year, the gross sales were measly. It was through friends from PR industries who helped them increase the sales by 700% in 2003, a year after launching the product. Several businesses immediately appreciated the 30-60% savings they are actually getting just by using laser print cartridges from the monks. With the demand increasing day by day, the laser monks found it challenging to keep up with the growth and trying to find ways how to create a connection with the customers via phone lines. On one occasion, they thought that juggling order taking, processing them, and praying were close to impossible. Right about then, the monks received an email from a seller of printer ink cartridges who were looking for other ways to earn. After a few email exchanges, these sellers from Colorado decided to go to Wisconsin—where the monks are and offered assistance for free.
These angels are now in charge to handle management of what is now known as lasermonks.com, their tasks range from branding, website management, PR and marketing and customer service. These angels are now called MonkHelper Marketing, Inc. and they are situated in one of the houses in the Abbey property. Most of the tasks taken by the MonkHelpers leave the monks to do what they do best—to be monks and taking care of advertising, speaking at conventions and finding more ways to help others via the income from laserMonks.
Through conscious efforts to help more people, the LaserMonks want to nurture relationships with all the customers by sticking to the 900-year tradition. This includes the following:
• To make e-commerce more personal and value customer service.
• The website welcomes prayer requests. Inspirational quotations are also provided to allow customers to have spiritual growth.
• The blog on the website encourages readers and customers to be more reflective based on the topics discussed.
• Laser Monks also provide a monthly newsletter informing people about proper management of laser printers.
In conclusion, Laser Monks produce laser printer cartridges to fund for their charity programs and at the same time help customers save money and give them a part in helping the poor.
This Article is written by John C Arkin.
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