Even the smallest businesses tend to use some printed materials in their marketing strategies, and unless your business is entirely online, chances are you have coupons, brochures, fliers, newsletters or handouts for events that you need to have as hard copies. While designing things like this is easier than ever thanks to accessible computer design software, which means you no longer have to hire a designer or resort to sketchy clip art of the sort you might see on a poster for a school bake sale, actually getting your marketing collateral onto your chosen paper stock is still something of a problem for a lot of offices.
While you probably have printers in the office that could do the job if you feed them the right paper and wait long enough, especially if you are only looking for simple printed leaflets or coupons, is this going to be a better approach than using a professional printing firm?
The Pros and Cons of Using a Professional Print Company
There are many advantages to using a professional company to print your marketing materials:
- You don’t have to source the kind of paper you want, as they’ll offer you a number of choices.
- You won’t have to buy lots of toner for your printers.
- They can offer other services like collating and binding things if you want stapled booklets or bound documents.
- They may be able to offer a higher quality of result.
- The price may end up being lower than doing it yourself, when you take into account man hours and the cost of toner and paper. Professional companies benefit from economies of scale on these things so they pay less, and they also have more efficient, specially designed bulk printing equipment. The standard office inkjet printer is not designed to produce hundreds of training manuals or newsletters in one hit!
- You can usually arrange the whole thing with just a few emails and have the print outs couriered to you, or collect them.
- The printing company may have some advice to give about the best paper choices or the best printing method to use (offset or digital, for example).
However, there are some negatives which may mean that in your situation, it could be better to make do with your own printing facilities:
- While printers that you are likely to have will take longer to actually print the documents, they are right there in your office and when the job is done you’ll have your print outs. If you use a printing service it will take a day or two for you to get the work back, so if you need things urgently it may not be a viable option.
- You will need to check the print outs when they come back, and if there is a mistake on one, the whole batch is ruined. If you find the first one out of your own printer has come out with a misalignment or a typo, you can simply stop the job, fix it and start again. A printing company may offer you a test document for approval but again, this will take time.
When time is of the essence, making do with your own resources can be the best way to go, however if you are planning a paper based marketing campaign or need copy for a conference or training event, you should have enough time to find a competitive professional firm to take the work off of your hands.
Nancy Baker runs a business in Toronto. She often outsources her printing work to a fast printing Toronto company and finds it to be a much better alternative to wasting valuable time in the office.