A small business’ budget for printing relies on desktop publishing for most of its projects. While a commercial printer offers higher standards, not all small businesses can afford this luxury. In many cases, a desktop printer or office supply shop can produce handouts and other important literature in a legible fashion for a fraction of the price that printing houses charge.
The small business owner needs to know when to spend the money on glossy paper and professional quality copies and when a less expensive process will work just as well. If the business is producing a brochure or catalog, the investment in glossy paper may be worth the improvement in image. However, for handouts or sales promotions, a less expensive option works just as well.
Producing good quality promotional literature is helped greatly by a desktop publishing program. There are many such software packages on the market that will meet the needs of the small business. When purchasing a software package, remember to check the computer system and printer requirements of the software. A high-end progam may require more sophisticated computer resources than are available in-house.
A suitable printing program for small business computers is Microsoft Office Publisher. One of the advantages of Publisher is that it offers templates for producing common types of printed materials. Another advantage is that these templates are custom-fit to Avery printing products such as gummed labels. This combination makes Publisher quite easy to use for everyday operations. Publisher is compatible with most desktop printers.
Most desktop printers are called ink jet. These printers interpret the image to be printed as a series of dots to be printed. Better printers produce more dots per inch (dpi) which gives a better quality copy. However, ink jet printers will be slower than a laser printer because the ink must dry before the printer moves on or the copy will smear. Ink jet printers require the right kind of paper that will absorb the ink properly.
Beyond using ink jet compatible paper for literature on a desktop printer, a professional piece of literature needs to be on glossy paper. Any promotional piece like a brochure needs to be on heavier stock but not necessarily glossy.
Desktop printers are designed to print ordinary paper copies so check the printer with a variety of papers before investing in heavier stock papers.
In today’s small business environment, many secretaries are versed on how to operate the simpler printing software. When a small business needs a large quantity of literature, an office supply store may offer a better deal on bulk printing than if you did the printing in-house. If you closely examine what it’s really costing you – paper, software, printer, cartridges, and labor, you may find a store like Office Depot can take your hard copy or file and do a better job that won’t cost you any more.
Another alternative is to use the desktop publishing package to create the brochure or catalog in-house and bring the literature to a commercial graphics house for printing
These printing houses are now able to convert desktop publishing files to run on commercial printing presses.
This is another way to save money on promotional literature.
Printing costs for a small business can sometimes be avoided. If your business can support in-house desktop publishing, this option can save you lots of commercial expenses and allow your small business to produce even more marketing material.
Copyright 2005 Benjamin Dego. All rights reserved.
Benjamin Dego is the owner and operator of Fire Printing which is a principal resource for information on printing on the internet. Please visit his archive of articles at: http://www.fireprinting.com