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Affordable Printing for Small Business

Advertising and promotion are a large part of managing a small business and, of course, budget is always a consideration.  There are three main ways of producing the promotional literature for a business: using a printing or graphics house, using an office copy shop, or doing the project in-house with a desktop printer.  The most cost effective means for a small business to print copies is to use a copy shop or a desktop printer.

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 great printing program that fits on nearly all small business computers is Microsoft Office Publisher.  Many Publisher templates are already set up to print on Avery
paper.  Avery stationary handles nearly everything - labels, business cards, brochures, newsletters, flyers, invitations, and more.  Publisher is compatible with most desktop printers.

Desktop printers are usually ink jet.  The high-end laser printers for an office handle color.  These printers will read a software file and transform the messages into dots
per inch.  The better copies have more dots per inch and are easier to read.  Ink jet printers are at a disadvantage for speed since the ink will smear if the printer goes too fast. Therefore, there is a gigantic difference between which paper is appropriate for different printers.

The type of paper that a piece of promotional literature is printed on impacts its image and effectiveness.  Literature that will be handled frequently needs to be on heavier paper.  But remember that an inexpensive desktop printer will not handle heavier papers very well.  Try various papers in your printer to determine which ones work best for your printer.

It is easy to find a course on desktop publishing at your local business school or community college.  While you may have the skills in-house to create a wonderful piece of promotional literature, you may find that your desktop printer may not be up to the job.  If you factor in all the costs, including labor, it may be cost-effective to have the copies made at a copy shop like Kinko's, especially for bulk quantities.

If you find that you still require the services of a graphics house, these companies are adept at taking your desktop publishing file and converting it to their presses.
You may be able to afford the glossy promotional literature by doing your own layout first.

There are a number of cost-effective ways to produce great promotional literature using modern technology.

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.

For further details please visit his archive of articles at:

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