The Key to Startup Success is Print Outsourcing
The fear and excitement of starting your own business are unique to any other life experience. You're taking a chance on your talent, wit, and judgment. You're careful of your money and focused on attracting new customers and persuading them to buy your products and services.
Online information has become so abundant that it's easy to adopt a do-it-yourself attitude toward...nearly everything. You can learn to fix your laptop and restore your small appliances. You can even learn to diagnose your own car's computer codes.
There are so many DIY resources available to us that it's easy to forget that specialized professional services like printing add value and quality to businesses like yours. Inexpensive colour printers tempt entrepreneurs to produce marketing materials and other printed products.
Read on to discover some myths that business owners believe when they decide against print outsourcing.
The Savings Myth
Modern colour printers perform so many functions that it's hard to imagine how we printed, faxed, copied and scanned using four different machines. Offices rely on this equipment to perform all of these functions and produce attractive prints whenever anyone needs it.
They're not designed to print a thousand brochures on heavy paper and align front and back perfectly. Variables in heat and electrical current can harm the machine's colour consistency. If the paper grain isn't correct, the paper can jam and cause damage to the drum and other internal components.
In short, your materials won't look as good as you wish them to, and your machine can sustain expensive damage. You're also paying for someone to tend to that machine and the project that you're printing. The risk can quickly outweigh the reward.
The Quality Myth
To continue the savings idea: an untrained eye won't see flaws in the print and colour quality that are inevitable with an office printer. An occasional letterhead or press release may be fine; these pieces won't be compared to each other out in the world.
But say you do manage to print off 500 brochures with no paper jams. You line them up on a table and notice that the colour of your logo really fluctuated before that toner cartridge was replaced. Or that the text has a little line through it on half of them.
Printed material is a reflection of your company's attention to detail. It gives the first impression, whether it's a brochure, a business card, or something else that you distribute to potential clients. It needs to look good.
The Knowledge Myth
Readily-available graphics software and internet options provide an inflated sense of production knowledge to office staff. Knowing enough to be dangerous has never been a more apt description of anyone throwing a logo on a layout and calling it done.
The logo needs to be in the right colour space and format. Hopefully, it's vector and not a jpeg lifted off your website.
If your staff creates a piece in a non-postscript application, you can't be sure where it's going to land on a letter-sized sheet of paper. And speaking of paper, that same logo is going to look quite different depending on what paper it's printed on.
Most people need the expertise of a competent printing partner to make sure that all of these details are correct and will yield the result you want. It is the best reason to use print outsourcing.
The Time Myth
New business owners often look at their colour printer and imagine all the time they'd save by printing their marketing materials on it. But by the time anyone babysits the machine, troubleshoots that bad logo and fixes it, and clears paper jams, much of that time is lost.
While they are overseeing that print project, their normal work is lagging, so there is time lost on other work. And after the project is finished, it needs to be packaged so that it isn't damaged on its way to your potential clients.
A few years ago a joke came through email that described the way a computer and all its peripherals communicate. The printer didn't want to. The printer was the device that misbehaved and refused to work.
There's a reason for that. Printer issues are responsible for most help desk calls and are in the top five office expenses. Printers can waste a lot of your time.
If you find that your printed marketing pieces are effective, you will need to implement an inventory management system so you know when you need to print more. You may also find that the paper you used isn't readily available.
You'll often need to order larger quantities of that paper to get a better price, and you'll need to have the space to store it. You also may want to print a few versions to help target your market more effectively. You'll have to keep track of those as well.
Or someone will.
Print Outsourcing is Smart
Printing companies are now offering managed print services. They'll assess your printing needs and help you figure out what to do in-house and what to outsource. They can help you calculate your costs that include time spent wrangling the equipment. They also offer design and production consulting if you decide to print your own materials.
Take a close look at your printing needs and then give us a call. We offer expert guidance learned from years of experience. We keep up with technology and maintain our own equipment.
We won't waste your time or your money. We will show you how print outsourcing can be the smartest choice for your business.