A business owner knows that planning a budget and sticking to it is necessary to achieve company goals. However, it can be confusing to know the best ways to save money on printing. Is sticking to your legacy machines better? Is there a way to optimize the use of your printers? Production print can be a great way to lower your print spend.
This blog brings you tips on how to make the most of your budget so that you can save money on printing while getting the materials you need and maintaining quality.
Production print—creating a high volume of materials by combining the latest techniques that go beyond what an office printer can do—is one way to achieve this.
If you’d first like to see how a business lowered their printing cost with the help of experts, download Impact’s case study—Minimizing Spend and Maximizing Solutions: Confluence Graphics as a Case Study.
1. Define Your Printing Challenges
Does your business spend a lot of money paying a print shop for materials you regularly need? Or do you overextend your budget when picking the wrong paper or making costly printing errors?
The challenges your business faces will determine the course of action you need to take to enhance your printing strategy and reduce costs. Whether it is upgrading your machines, choosing a different type of paper, or even having a different printing schedule, clearly defining which areas need your attention is the first step.
To optimize your print budget, consider the following questions:
- How big are your print jobs?
- How often does your business print?
- Are you choosing the current materials and print settings for the job?
- Are your printers outdated and costing you more than they should?
- Are you maintaining your printers correctly to avoid repair costs?
Some businesses may be outsourcing their printing when having an in-house machine that can handle different formats, materials, and high-volume jobs could actually be more budget friendly. An outdated machine may be costing your company with unplanned fixing costs, slow printing speed, and less versatility.
Get to the center of your issues before creating a method to save money on printing. This way, you can focus on the necessities and avoid having to revisit changes in the near future.
2. Consider Printing In-House
Do you have an estimate of how much your organization spends yearly on printing? You may find that bringing your printing in-house might be a much better use of your money.
When you outsource printing, you have less control over the whole project, including materials, timeline, and particularly cost. If an outsourced printer makes a mistake on one of your jobs—such as miscalibrated color settings or even typos—you run the risk of having to delay your projects or pay for reprinting. When your projects are handled in-house, this risk is removed.
If graphic designers are part of your team, having in-house printing can be a great solution. There is less wait time between revisions and more flexibility for what your team can achieve as a final product. This also reduced the extra cost of having to re-do outsourced jobs.
In-house printing allows you to print any pieces you may need at a short notice without having to rely on a print shop that may not stick to your tight schedule.
3. Pick the Right Machine
When buying a car, you take certain things into consideration. Perhaps you need a larger van to fit your whole family, or a truck to carry tools or supplies. If the terrain you usually drive on is unpredictable, you most likely will go for a 4×4 vehicle. The same principle applies for choosing a printer.
You may need a simple office printer for daily document copying and printing. If your business manufactures its own marketing materials or those of clients, you may need a heavy-duty digital press that allows you to create oversize jobs, handles different types of paper and other materials, and offers different finishing options such as trimming or binding.
Trying to work with an older, outdated printer may be costing more in the long run than using one with updated technology. If you do choose to upgrade to a new machine, research different vendors and machine capabilities.
A new printer is a big investment for a business, after all, so you want to make sure you are getting the machine that will serve your business for a long time to come.
Related Blog: Why You Should Not be Outsourcing Printing
4. Plan Your Printing Method
Now that you’ve defined your needs, chosen whether to go to a print shop or to bring your printing in-house, and have a machine ready, plan how you will create materials.
Some things to consider include:
- Which paper to use; heavier paper will cost more on shipping when mailing big orders
- The right number and size of each piece; printing on a different size than you expected could cut printing costs depending on your machine’s capabilities
- The time of printing; if you visit a print shop, planning to get your materials produced on a busier season might cost more than printing during a quieter period
- How many different materials you will print; consolidating a print job can often save time and money instead of printing each piece separately
Planning may seem like a cumbersome step, but your time investment will pay off since you will minimize the risk of errors and reduce printing costs.
5. Get an Expert’s Advice
If all of this sounds overwhelming to you, you are not the only one. Many small business owners get help from managed print service experts who have the knowledge and experience to help them solve their challenges and save money on printing.
A print expert can help you define your challenges so that you can make a better decision on whether to outsource or print in-house. They are qualified professionals who have thorough knowledge of each machine available to help you choose the right one for your business. And they can be your touchpoint whenever you need extra support when it comes to printing.
Whether you choose to talk to a printer dealer or a managed print service provider to support your small business, having an experienced voice to help you as you decide how best to optimize your business’ printing environment will always pay off in the long run.
Related Blog: 6 Managed Print Services Benefits for SMBs
Taking some time to discover your printing challenges so that you can formulate a strategy will benefit your business. You can decide if you need to update your machines, how to pick the one that will satisfy your printing needs, and the best method to get your materials produced.
Never hesitate to ask professionals since they have a strong background in printing technology and approaches to finish jobs while staying true to your budget.
Download our newest case study—Minimizing Spend and Maximizing Solutions: Confluence Graphics as a Case Study—to see how our print specialist helped a business lower their print cost and become more efficient, all while receiving ongoing support.