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Every company is always on the lookout for ways to increase efficiency, do more with less, and bolster the bottom line. In that pursuit, however, many small businesses make the mistake of printing their marketing services on their desktop printers rather than invest in professional printing services. This is a costly mistake; the reasons for which are highlighted in the following text.
Image is everything
Your brand image is as important to your long-term sustainability and growth as your product quality and prices. When you print your brochures, business cards, postcards and other marketing materials on your desktop printer, it shows. Your company looks cheap and unprofessional. On the other hand, when you opt for professional printing services your marketing materials are printed on premium paper stocks that feel good in your customers' hands. Your ink colors are crisp and solid when you choose professional printing services, which makes your company appear successful and credible – trustworthy.
Premium paper stocks are often too thick for desktop printers, resulting in improper alignments, slippage and ink streaks. What's more, desktop printers cannot print to the edge of your paper, so you must always have an unprofessional white border around your materials or settle for limited design options.
In addition, desktop printers cannot match pro printing finishing services such as binding, foil stamping, UV coating and die cutting that gives a professional edge to your documents. Finally, desktop printer inks simply cannot match the tone and coverage of professional printing presses. When you print on desktop printers in an effort to save money, you end up losing because customers will not trust in your ability to deliver – and they'll end up choosing a competitor who invests wisely in printing services to present his products and services to customers.
Desktop printing costs more
The irony of it all is that desktop printing is actually more expensive than professional printing services, especially for small businesses. If you were to print 1,000 business cards on your desktop printer, you would first have to purchase perforated business card paper. At the 1,000 business card volume, the paper itself is probably going to cost you in the neighborhood of $50. You will also go through at least one ink cartridge, probably more, at a cost of around $30 per cartridge. Thus, at bare minimum you will spend $80 in materials for your business cards on a desktop printer. That estimate does not include the time you will spend watching the printer, reloading paper and tearing perforations; not to mention the customer dollar spend you'll lose simply by distributing cheap-looking business cards.
On the other hand, you could print 1,000 professional business cards on premium-grade, ultra-thick 16-point C2S paper stock for about $50. This example should be illuminating, and it holds true for all print marketing media – you will get a better quality product for less money when you choose professional printing services over desktop printing. That will, in turn, translate into a polished brand image and increased sales.