When you run a small business, there are so many different areas that you need to take into consideration in order to make a success of your company. Of course, the majority of your focus is likely to lie in product development, market research, manufacturing, and marketing. But you do need to pay attention to smaller areas of your business too. After all, you need all of the cogs in your machine to be working in sync to generate as much profit and experience as much success as possible. So, let’s take a moment to look at printing. This is an indispensable process that every business undertakes on an almost daily basis. Here’s everything you need to know about both in-house printing and outsourced printing!
The bulk of your printing is likely to take place in-house. The average office worker will print four different documents every single day. These could include invoices, proposals, contracts, timesheets, and a whole host of other material. So, you need to make sure that your small business has an effective in-house printing process. This will ensure that you and any employees that you have working for you will be able to print whatever is needed at any given moment. However, in-house printing can prove expensive if you don’t give it sufficient thought. So, here are a few things that you need to supply your office with and how to choose the right options while getting the most for your money.
Choosing a Printer
Choosing the right printer for your office should involve balancing cost and quality. Remember that the price label attached to any printer isn’t where the costs necessarily end. In order to understand how much any given printer is actually going to cost you, you need to work out the TCO, or “total cost of ownership”. The total cost of ownership should include estimations of ink costs, toner replacement, and maintenance costs (as any machine producing high volumes is likely to experience jams or some other type of breakdown at some point or another). You will be able to find this information by looking up reviews of different types of printers that are available on the market. You can also always ask any sales representative what the total running cost of any given machine is estimated to be.
Stocking Up on Ink
The part of printer ownership that stings most business owners is ink. When purchased directly from the printer manufacturer, ink tanks or cartridges can prove extremely expensive and low value for money. So, consider purchasing your ink from alternative sources such as Cartridge People. You will receive exactly the same quality and quantity ink at a much lower price.
Stocking Up on Paper
Another area that you can save is paper. You’re likely to get through a whole lot of the stuff, so you should buy in bulk whenever necessary. You can also help to save the environment at the same time by opting for recycled paper. When people think of “recycled” paper they tend to think of dull, thick sheets. While this may have been the case in the past, paper manufacturing processes have massively improved and there are now many recycled options available that are relatively indistinguishable from virgin paper.
While your in-house printing should meet your day to day requirements within the office, there are a few other forms of printing that you should seriously consider outsourcing. These are generally to do with printing high-quality material with an impressive finish for the general public. Here are a couple of areas where you should seriously consider outsourcing your printing process.
Nowadays, many individuals will contend that business tools are outdated or a thing of the past. They will contend that online services have taken over, arguing that if you meet someone who you want to connect with, you can simply exchange online contact details, following each other on social media. But no matter what people may say, business cards really are an invaluable business tool. Now, the importance of business cards lies in two factors – the first impression that you make with whoever you are giving your card to and the convenience of being able to exchange in-depth contact details in a matter of moments. Sure, exchanging phone numbers, email addresses, and social media information may well seem like a cheap alternative. But relying on this does just that – it makes you look cheap. With the right printing services, business cards really don’t cost all too much, and when you buy in bulk, you can often receive as reduced price. What’s more? Having someone put your contact details into their smartphone leaves room for error. They could misspell a word or input a wrong number. You also have the chance of becoming lost in the mass of contacts they already have – if they don’t remember your name or company name by memory, they won’t know what to search for when looking for you. A business card gives the other person something tangible that they can keep in their wallet and access quickly at any point. Now, let’s look at our second point – the convenience of business cards. You never know when you might meet your next potential business partner, collaborative individual or company, star employee, or a big client. You could find yourself sparking up a conversation and finding the perfect person for your company’s needs anywhere at any time. Perhaps you get lost in conversation on a train and don’t want the opportunity to keep in touch pass, but you don’t have sufficient time to exchange details before they get off the train. A business card can be passed over in a matter of moments. So, design your business card today and have it sent off to a specialist printer. Business card printers will be able to offer high-quality cardstock, as well as features such as embossing, foiled lettering, and matte or high-shine finishes.
Leaflets and Posters
Any small business owner should be aware that the consumer market is an extremely competitive field to work in. No matter what area you’re specializing in, what products you are offering, or what services you are providing, there’s a good chance that there’s someone else out there with a similar business concept in mind. Whether they already exist and you have to compete with them, or they establish themselves later down the line than you and you have to ensure that people prefer what you’re offering, you’re going to have to work extremely hard to draw customers away from their business and bring them through your own doors. If you don’t work hard to achieve this, you’ll lose a whole lot of your custom and consequently a whole lot of your profit. Now, one of the best ways to secure sales is advertising and there are various ways to go about this nowadays. You could make use of all sorts of online advertising. SEO (short for “search engine optimization”), PPC (short for “pay per click”), and sponsored social media advertising are brilliant ways to grab consumers attention at a low cost. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you should completely throw more traditional forms of advertising out of the window. The humble poster or leaflet is still extremely effective when it comes to getting your brand name out there. So, let’s take a look at each in turn. Making a success of leaflets lies in design and proactive distribution. People rarely take a leaflet of their own accord, so employ a team of promotional staff to hand them out to people who appear to match your target audience. The key to posters is design and location. You need to have a design that draws the consumer’s attention in while conveying whatever information you want to get across simply, so that it can be taken in within moments. Collaborate with a graphic designer and a copywriter to achieve this. The poster needs to be placed in a location that your targeted demographic frequent. So look into the kinds of restaurants, bars, and cafes they tend to hang out in and request permission to hang one of your posters inside. What goes for both leaflets and posters is that you need them to be printed to an extremely high-quality. This will give them a professional look and finish. Nobody is going to pay any attention to something that looks like it was printed from a home printer. So use specialist printing services. These services will also be able to work with the unusual paper formats and sizes such as A5 and A3 that are required for leaflets and posters.
As you can see, there’s a whole lot to take into account when considering printing. It can massively affect all sorts of areas, from productivity to networking and advertising. So take the time to ensure that all printed material that you produce is high-quality! It will make a whole lot of difference when it comes to the success of your small business.