For businesses that rely on printed materials, printing costs can be quite substantial. Whether a business utilizes direct mailers, prints color brochures or uses marketing materials that are professionally printed, every business can cut some of the costs for their printing needs. No matter the type of print job or how often your business requires printed materials, saving money on printing is cash in the bank for many businesses. Eight tips for minimizing print costs for your business include:
1.) Accurately assess your audience.
Printed material varies from high gloss, highly produced marketing materials to simple fliers. Print according to the audience you are targeting. For example, to market a product or service to a group of potential upscale customers, you will likely want to create printed materials that spare no expense. However, to advertise for a local charity car wash, a simple flier will likely suffice. The important factor is that you appropriately assess the target audience. Determine the print quality by the recipients and the product or service that is offered. Don’t overspend and keep it simple when you can.
2.) Get organized and stay organized.
Plan ahead for your printing needs. If you have employees, assign one employee the task of dealing with print orders. One sure way to blow out your printing budget is to allow all of your employees to submit orders to the printing company without coordinating their efforts. Chances are, you will end up with duplicate or similar orders. Keep printing costs down by tasking one person with organizing all jobs to be submitted to the printing company.
3.) Accurately assess the numbers for printed materials.
If you are printing mailers for a mailing list of 2500, make sure you print at least 2500 mailers. This sounds simplistic, but the point is this: If you inaccurately assess your mailing list at 2000, and then later find that you need 2500 mailers, the cost to print the extra 500 will be significantly more than if you initially ordered the 2500. Though your printing company will likely give you a price break on a second run, the cost will still be significantly more than if the 500 additional mailers were included in the original order.
4.) Order standard formats and sizes.
Though non-standard printed materials are attractive, the cost to print non-standard jobs may be quite substantial. If you order standard paper sizes and standard formats, you will be able to keep your printing costs within your budget. Additionally, consult with your printing company about what they consider standard sizes and formats. Let the company know that you will be flexible in order to keep costs in check.
5.) Select the printing company that will provide you with the best reproduction method.
Smaller quantities of printed material are best reproduced using docu-tech or photocopy methods. If your print job requires 500 copies or less, reproduce your materials via a photocopy process. For orders between 500 and 2,000 copies, a quick print shop, which utilizes disposable plates, is the most cost effective option. A company that offers offset printing is great when you need between 500 and 10,000 copies. For more than 10,000 copies, a company that offers web printing will be the most cost effective.
6.) Obtain a good graphic design.
A good graphic design will ensure that your printed material is of the highest quality possible. However, make sure that the graphic design professional you choose is fully aware of your budget and is willing to stay within that budget for creating your design. If you intend to hire a contract graphic designer, make sure they are aware of the terms of the project.
7.) Late changes cost extra.
Try to avoid making last minute changes to the print order. Make sure the copy is proofread, approved and ready to go before submitting the job to the printing company. Last minute changes that must be made, for example, a misspelled company name, are bound to cost you. One way to avoid last minute changes is to have more than one person proofread the material before the order is submitted to the printing company.
8.) Rush orders cost extra.
If at all possible, avoid rush orders. Give yourself and your staff plenty of time to prepare the print job. Rush orders inherently cost more money. If you can, always avoid submitting rush orders to the printing company. Also, if you or your staff is rushing to get an order ready for the printing company, there are bound to be mistakes and oversights. Again, give yourself and your staff plenty of time to proofread and perfect any copy prior to submitting the job to the printing company.
Save money on your printing needs by planning ahead and having more than one set of eyes proofread copy. Be mindful of placing rush orders or trying to prepare materials in a hurry. Check with your printing company about what they consider to be standard paper sizes and formats and let them know that you are interested in saving money. They may have additional suggestions for you.