Tips for Hiring a Local Printer in Los Angeles

How to Market a Business in LA – The┬áPrinting Secret

As technology continues to evolve and change the business world we live in, many people are under the misconception that print is a dead-in-the-water medium and that only electronic marketing is acceptable today. However, this simply isn’t true. In fact, modern-day print marketing has continued to evolve and grow right alongside the expansion of today’s innovative technology.

Direct mail is still heavily used today, with a 43 percent share of all total retail marketing. According to one important survey performed by Pitney Bowes, over 75 percent of small businesses claim that their ideal advertising strategy uses a combination of both digital and print communication. Overall, there are a variety of reasons why print is considered an effective tool in order to successfully deliver your brand message to your target audience.

Social Media and Print

Social media has obviously become a vital way for entrepreneurs to reach out to their potential customers. However, the concept of networking has been around a great deal longer than the likes of Twitter and Facebook. After all, isn’t a business card a basic social medium too? When you give a potential business or customer relation your business card, you’re literally making a social connection and interacting with that individual and giving them a way to do the same with you as well.

Online social networking can be 100 percent integrated with virtually any print marketing strategy. In fact, you’ll never get a business card from a professional entrepreneur without their Twitter address, Facebook address, or some other type of social networking address printed on it. In fact, just over half of the participants in a Nielsen survey stated they used a social media marketing campaign along with print media.

Although some designers sadly make critical mistakes when working with both social media and print, the two frequently depend on one another in order to achieve success. Social media profiles are often used to support a print campaign, while print media helps draw attention to the information listed on social media sites. By adding client testimonials and comments from your social media profiles over to your print designs, you are able to make your print campaign even more effective overall.

Variable Printing

Even though variable printing isn’t a new process by any means, consumers are using it more and more as progression in printing technology has lowered the expense. Variable printing enables you to personally customize every piece of media by modifying certain aspects from piece to piece and therefore making the most of the power of multifaceted customization.

For instance, you could implement a mailer campaign and customize each postcard with the recipient’s name or create special coupons with exclusive numbers so that you’re able to track which of your clients used them. Using this approach with a variety of images, for instance, you could produce an assortment of business cards, each one using a different photo for the background.

Customized print media has a much more powerful presence than a personalized email since the recipient can clearly recognize how much effort went into the print version rather than the digital one. As a result, the recipient feels more special due to the personal touch that traditional print marketing often lacks.

Print Marketing Isn’t Just Paper

The naysayers who perpetuate the myths surrounding print marketing claiming that it’s a ‘dead medium’ generally forget that print media reaches far beyond your average paper products, including business cards, presentation folders, and brochures. Print media advertising can also include promotional items such as magnets, keychains, buttons, T-shirts, drinkware, pens, coasters, or stickers.

These items are generally considered gifts, rather than actual marketing collateral. Your target audience is more apt to hang on to them longer overall, which will help you build your brand familiarity as well as create a more powerful impression with your target audience. In fact, research shows that people will usually remember the name of a particular company if they receive some of their promotional gifts that have the company’s logo and brand image on it.

With an inanimate item, there’s a strong possibility it can be portrayed with your business logo and incorporated into your overall marketing strategy. The items themselves don’t have to be something that your target audience physically takes home with them in order to make a lasting impression. For example, display a branded promotional banner on a podium while giving a speech or use branded cups and napkins at a dinner party.

Print Marketing Stands Out More Since It’s Used Less Often

Several companies are in fierce competition online for the attention of their audience, which can make it hard to stand out in a crowd. But, because online marketing is usually the focus of many businesses, it leaves a void in print marketing that’s just begging to be filled.

Therefore, compared with the frequency of how quickly and often you check your email, think about the everyday routine of going to your mailbox and getting your mail. You naturally set aside a couple of minutes in order to take the time to view every piece of mail before you resume whatever it is you were doing. What does this mean? It means that your print mail is likely to get extra attention, particularly if they’re visually unique.

The U.S. Postal Service did some research and concluded that most people who receive direct mail advertisements actually pay attention to them. Most households typically respond to around 1 out of every 10 pieces of direct mail they receive. One survey found that over 70 percent of all recipients actually prefer standard mail over other marketing methods. And, according to another study, around 85 percent of snail mail recipients sort and read their mail every day, and as much as 40 percent will try a new business after getting direct mail from them. Regardless of how critical digital marketing becomes, there remains a widespread audience through which you can reach by direct mail campaigns and print marketing.

Even though print marketing often leads to success, it won’t guarantee it. It’s still important to develop a good print strategy that will highlight your brand and inspire your audience. Don’t be afraid to get creative and put some time and effort into developing a strong print marketing campaign using the vast array of technologies and tools that are available to you.

A business depends heavily on quality printing services for a positive public image and targeted customer relations. Finding a reliable printer to work with is an important task that should not be taken lightly. Rather than hiring just any printer who has set up shop locally, consider the following tips when selecting a printing service for professional needs.

Reputation.

If the printer has been in business for a while, chances are other companies have worked with the service and have an opinion about the type of work they received. Networking through a chamber of commerce or civic groups for referrals to specific printers they have successfully worked with is a helpful way to find the best local printing services currently available. Online reviews may likewise be useful by doing an Internet search for printers you are thinking about hiring. Online reviews are very important! The Better Business Bureau has records on companies that have been registered with them, and additional information may be on hand through that venue.

Samples.

Look at samples that local printers can offer as representative of their work. These may be found in the printing shops or online at their websites. Check out our partner: Print It Reno, based out of Reno, Nevada. They have some great business card samples. In addition, the printer might be able to provide references to companies they have served who can not only provide feedback about their experience but also show samples of the printing jobs that were done.

While viewing a document or brochure in its entirety, pay attention to details like the evenness of margins, print quality in terms of consistency without smudges or fading, and graphics used. If fliers or letters were collated or folded, check for neatness and matched edges. If possible, ask referenced companies if they received customer feedback on the print materials, as well, as an idea of the materials’ effectiveness.

Interview.

While it may seem odd to interview a printer you may want to hire, the initial meeting serves the useful goal of getting to know the person that will handle your company’s public print image. Ask questions to determine whether the manager follows ethical practices or is prone to taking shortcuts to save money. Find out how long a typical print job might take, and what the options are when a print job does not turn out as expected. For example, will the company redo the job at no cost or provide a full refund? A refund may not help if the job is on a deadline. Take a look at our story here.

It may be a good idea to take along a list of projects that will need to be printed to find out if the printer has experience with that type of work. Some printers specialize in certain kinds of projects, but not others. However, the printer may be able to recommend another printing service in the area that does the kind of project you have in mind.

For example, business cards are fairly common. Many printers use a standard format that can be completed online or in person, with the customer choosing arrangement of information as well as colors, decorative format, and font style. Flyers are another fairly easy project, but it is still essential that they look professional to get good results. Printing every door direct mail pieces requires advance planning to ensure the mailer grabs recipients’ attention above other competing mail. Banners for special informal occasions or for professional events like trade shows can make a big impression on guests and visitors. Promotional items like pens, mugs, picture frames, and other commemorative or gift items with printed names or insignia are another valuable way to represent a business to the public eye. Printed information should not rub off or fade quickly to avoid giving the business a “cheap” reputation.

Glancing around the office or print area may give you an idea of the printer’s organization and cleanliness. While a busy office may seem untidy, there should not be a sense of chaos.

Accessory services.

A print job may require several technical services combined to render a final product, like a brochure or product spec sheet. A photograph or drawing may be needed, along with technical specifications or statistics. Written content often comprises the bulk of the project.

It is a good idea to find out what type of format is needed for the various components of a print job to ensure everything is print-ready when handed over. If the printer handles setup, you should still find out what type of documents or digital applications he or she can work with so everything is ready to go when the time comes.

Unless your company already has employees to handle related services, find out if the printer can recommend a technical writer, graphic designer, or another artist to design the type of printed materials you have in mind. Some printers work with marketing experts for help in planning and formatting specific public relations materials for many kinds of business.

Stapling, collating, cutting or trimming, three-hole punch, string or glue binding, and along with pickup and delivery, may be more services that your company would appreciate. Ask about these along with pricing for an up-front idea of whether you are interested in having the printer take care of these for you.

Hiring a professional printer to get the absolute best results may take a little time, but it is well worth the effort. Keep in mind that every printed piece of information shared with the public that represents your company needs to be top quality because often, there are no second chances. Find a printer you can trust whose work meets or exceeds expectations, and you can rest assured that your company’s printed image is in good hands.

What Makes a Good Printer?
Printers are used to print documents and images from your computer to a physical paper. These can be used at home, at the office, at school and even at selected stores. There are different places where you can print your documents. It might cost a lot, but it provides the hardcopy materials that you need for school, work or at home.
If you print a lot of documents every day, it is recommended that you purchase your own printer. It might cost less if you have your own. You can even start a small business with it. You can offer to print your acquaintances’ documents in a smaller fee than the regular print shop. It is not bad to earn a few bucks while keeping your printer on and working, right?
With that said, before purchasing a printer, here are a few things that you need to check. Here’s what makes a good printer.
1. Laser versus Inkjet printers.
There are many different printer types that you will come across when checking for available printers. The most common ones are laser and inkjet printers. Laser printer uses an ink cartridge or container and a heated fuser used to print on the paper while the inkjet printer uses liquid ink, which is sprayed through tiny tubes for printing. The printer type that you can use will depend on the type of documents that you print every day.
2. Pick printer models that are “not just printer”.
Nowadays, printers are equipped with all types of other devices. There are models that come with a printer, a document or image scanner and a copying machine, all in one device. Instead of having three devices – a printer, a scanner and copying machine – why not have all of them in one device?
These multifunctional models of printers have become a hit in the market recently. You may think that all you need is a printer, but sometime soon, you will need to copy your physical documents or scan a document to be able to email it, or simply save a digital copy on your own computer.

3. Printers with USB, media card or Wi-Fi connections are preferable.
Most computers are connected using a wire from the desktop to the printer. However, there are some printers that allow you to attach a USB flash drive to and simply print the document from there. This is easier as you do not need to open your computer to be able to print the documents that you need. Printers with media card ports are also handy when printing images.
If you already have a built-in media port in your computer, then there is no need to obtain a printer with a built-in media port. These ports are usually present in laptops, but sometimes missing in desktop computers. There are also printers that can accept documents sent through Wi-Fi.
Using your mobile device, you can also send images and documents to a third-party application and to your printer. That way, there is no need to use a computer to be able to print documents, or a USB flash disk when you do not even have it with you.
4. Printers with large paper capacity make it less tiring.
Ideally, the paper capacity of the printer should be larger than your maximum printing capacity per day. This will reduce the number of times you will need to load papers into the printer tray. Usually, a printer can hold about 100 to 150 sheets of paper, both long and short bond paper. Different types of printers also have different paper tray capacity. Make sure that you keep this into account when purchasing your very own printer.
5. Pick printers with high definition display for easier and clearer navigation.
Most printers have displays to generate communication between the user and the printer. This is also useful in updating the user regarding the status of the printing documents. You can also use some of the buttons near it to be able to navigate around the interface. Most printers have text-based screens, but there are a few others with full color display and touchscreens.
It is better to navigate in touchscreen since this is easier than clicking buttons away from the screen itself. Although, be mindful of using a touchscreen as losing the “touch” of the screen might render the entire display unavailable.
6. Choose printers with a user-friendly interface to avoid confusion.
Usually, printers have an easy-to-use interface and menus so it is not hard to find one that is actually user-friendly. This is to not confuse the users into clicking the wrong button to achieve a specific goal. It is always better that the display screen have clear and precise buttons and menus for easier navigation.
7. Determine the printing speed and quality.
Nowadays, people are usually in rush. This makes it important to choose a printer that can print efficiently. Don’t rush too much, though. Rushing the printer more than it can handle could cause paper jamming. It could cause more damage than you expect. Also, consider the quality of the printer. Make sure that it can place the ink in paper, enough that the paper will not sag from being soaked with too much ink. Too much ink doesn’t make the output bright; it only makes it wet and prone to breakage.
8. Check on the resolution of the printer.
The resolution of a printer is based on the number of dots per inch that it is capable of printing. The usage of dots per inch (DPI) differs depending on the type of document and the size. For an average business document, the resolution is about 300DPI. For images, the average resolution is about 1200DPI. It is possible to alter it using specific software dedicated for photo editing. The resolution is based mainly on the type of file. Higher resolution for an average text-based document will only make it darker, but with no purpose. It is as simple as wasting ink.
9. Consider the price.
While inspecting every specification of the printers, it is equally important to consider the price tag. There’s no use to canvass for prospective printers without having the right budget for it. Usually, the costly ones will be the most effective. More functionality also means a higher price tag. Include the operational costs in your budget. A printer without an ink is utterly useless. A printer without paper makes the device simply worthless.
Getting your own printer could be beneficial to your working environment. It is important that you know its purpose to be able to choose the right type along with the necessary specifications.
Also, remember to use your printer often. Leaving it unused for days could cause troubles in the near future.

-Print It LA
(Your Los Angeles Print Shop)

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