In the not too distant past, small businesses had a similarly small number of options when it came to accessing printed materials. There was contacting a small design and print company, attempting to DIY it using the office printer, or investing time and money in a more high-end creative design service.
Unfortunately, none of this really guaranteed success. A smaller design and print company didn’t always have the time to create high quality, professionally branded materials, while DIY options were hit and miss at best. But now it’s possible to guarantee vibrant visuals, stylish design, and high-quality promotional materials – without forking out for an equally high-end design service.
Finding the balance in printing costs :
With businesses naturally becoming more environmentally-conscious in recent years, a strong focus has been made on how much printing actually takes place – and not just in promotional materials. Many businesses have struggled with the balance of digital records and printed materials, as a study by Oki Systems UK found just a few years back.
A survey of company directors and managers found that 52% of SMEs had no idea how much they were spending on printing internally – with that figure actually rising to 66% when looking at larger SMEs. Almost half of these businesses were spending more than £10,000 a year on printing already. When combined with environmental awareness, and naturally trying to reduce this expenditure, printed promotional materials subsequently became something of a luxury.
The rise of digital :
Similarly, print has taken another hit as small businesses have endeavoured to make the most of digital opportunities, including social media marketing and PPC campaigns. As digital marketing has a wider potential reach, the marketing budget, which smallbiztrends.com estimates are around 1% of income for small businesses, looked better placed to reach more customers online, than in print. Once again, print suddenly looked like more of an extravagance than a necessity in the eyes of a money-conscious business owner.
However, there are in fact two rises of digital afoot here. Alongside the vast expansion of digital marketing, the advance in digital printing technology now offers more opportunities for small business owners to embrace the full potential of print. In the past, it’s been a lithographic print that’s traditionally produced the best, boldest, and most visually engaging promotional materials – but digital has finally caught up.
Small runs, big impact :
To get value for money from lithographic print, and this is still the case today, businesses would have to pay for larger runs to pay reasonable costs per individual print. But now, digital printing specialists such as Duplo International have transformed the printing industry, giving even small businesses cost-effective in-house solutions for producing high quality printed materials.
Producing the same, high-impact quality as traditional lithographic runs, companies like Duplo cater for a wide range of small business printing needs. Allowing companies to design and print, in house, without ever having to rely on another designer or printer to deliver the right quality, the style once limited to high-end design agencies is now available – and affordable – to businesses of any size.
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