Managing the print budget for your department can be a tricky business. On the one hand, few business leaders think about on-demand posters for marketing or custom training manuals when prioritizing budget line items. On the other hand, collateral like sales brochures, proposal documents, and training materials are essential to the operations of your business.
That’s why finding the right document printing services is important to maximize your budget. Whether you need a flyer, booklet, or next-day printing services, here are the tips for planning your print so that your budget lasts longer.
1. Find On-Demand Print Services
First, select a vendor who offers on-demand print services. On-demand printing is pretty simple: when you place your order, they fulfill it without any wait time. When printers use traditional offset printing, they have to change the machine before each order, which requires set-up time. On-demand print services use digital printing technology (kind of like your desktop laser printer) to print without any setup.
On-demand, printing is a faster way to print. It turns out that it saves you money, too. Since traditional printing requires so much setup, you usually have to order a minimum number of copies for any document. You may get discounts for purchasing more copies at once. While that makes sense for larger print runs (like books or magazines), the average organization doesn’t need ten thousand copies of any business document.
That’s why on-demand printing services save you money: you order the right quantity of documents at the right time. This is especially beneficial for projects like custom printed booklets, custom printed brochures, or custom printed manuals, since you may want to change up the personalization for each customer, or you might want to match the booklet to a specific marketing campaign.
2. Find Online Document Printing Services
Next up, find a vendor that offers online document printing services. We don’t mean a shop that offers “online copy and print services” by way of email and FTP upload. Instead, find a vendor whose online document printing includes a real-time file upload, menus to select your customizations, and a real-time preview to approve the order.
Here’s why that matters: online ordering saves you time and increases transparency so that you place your order faster and know what you will be paying. If you have to upload files to a shared folder and then spend hours emailing back and forth about potential customization options and changing document quotes, you are wasting time that could be spent doing all the other things on your to-do list.
On top of that, you may not realize how tiny changes to your document – like changing the paper stock – are impacting the price of your order.
The best online document printing services offer virtual proofing and real-time quotes. Instead of googling “how much does it cost to print a brochure,” you can build your brochure to set an accurate budget, including down to the minutiae of whether you want it folded before it ships.
3. Be Creative With Your Designs
Once you have selected a print partner who will save you time and money, it is time to think about designing your documents to maximize your print budget. Whether you are ordering custom printed manuals that are thick 3-ring binders or custom printed brochures with Z-folds, you’ll want to make sure you are making the best use of the space available to you.
For example, review your documents’ margins, font sizes, and image layouts. While you don’t want to stuff so much information onto any given page that you overwhelm your reader, you do want to avoid spending money printing an extra page that contains only one sentence. Find here more about affordable online printing services.
4. Be Creative With Your Customizations
Next, work with your printer to ensure your document customizations don’t blow your budget. Again, this is where online proofing and real-time quotes come in handy so that you can play around with the document independently. However, even if you have to review all your options on the phone with a print operator at a copy shop, it is worth doing to maximize your budget.
For example, if you are ordering a custom brochure, instead of googling “discount brochure printing” and going with the vendor with a huge promo code, try a couple of customizations with your preferred printer. You can test how paper stocks, gloss vs. matte finish, and different fold options impact the price of the document.
For complex documents like RFP responses or training workbooks, try upgrading only the cover stock or inserting specific pages as color sections to ensure your documents look professional without breaking the bank.
In the end, cheap online document printing doesn’t need to equal shoddy online document printing, so make sure you work with a print partner who will help save you money without providing poor-quality documents.
5. Keep Your Deadline In Mind
When planning your print budget, keep in mind how much lead time you will have for ordering and delivering any given document. Sometimes you need overnight documents, such as for investor meetings, business proposals, or last-minute event needs. In general, however, you will be able to save money by planning to place your orders about two weeks before you need your documents.
Next-day booklet printing, manual printing, or proposal printing is sometimes necessary, but the more you plan, the more you can maximize your print budget.
6. Deliver Directly To Your Audience
Speaking of shipping, many organizations end up paying twice for it: once for delivery to their office or administrative location and another time for delivery to their end-users. This is particularly true if you organize print documents for events, training workshops, or sales meetings.
Instead, place your order for delivery to your audience. Sometimes, this is as easy as sending documents to a tradeshow receiving dock. Other times, especially as the workforce becomes more dispersed, you have to take a page from direct mail printing and mailing directly to residences. Either way, online document printing services are great partners in this instance because they are accustomed to delivering orders all over the nation (and even internationally).
Print documents remain essential to many twenty-first-century businesses, but it is important to be smart to maximize your print budget. The professionals can help with faster, higher quality, and more affordable printing. Set up a call to get a quote for your next project!