Small Business Owner’s Guide

Whether it’s brochures, business cards, menus or letterhead, your small business just can’t quit paper. And there are plenty of services online ready to take your business. The print-on-demand industry offers tons of options. And like so many industries, printing has gone digital. This is a stark difference from years ago when offset printing – the traditional printing standard – was generally the go-to method for businesses. Offset printing takes ink from plates, transfers it (or offsets it) to a rubber roller or blanket and then places it on paper. This method of printing tends to offer greater control over everything from materials to ink colors and customizations, which is ideal for high volume print runs and brand-critical pieces. However, digital printing has come a long way, and for many designers and small businesses, it’s the predominant method for print runs of all kinds. And the reasons for this are tough to challenge: Digital is fast, it’s cheap, and it gets the job done. For most businesses, these three reasons alone justify why so many click the Submit button online and place a printing order.

  • Price. Price carries a lot of weight in choosing a digital printer versus a local vendor, especially for small quantity jobs such as invitations, fliers and business cards.
  • Convenience. Online printing gives you instant, anytime access that draws most people to online. Create an account, upload your artwork, customize your print job and get it rolling – from the convenience of your laptop. And, as far as design, online printing can help in that area, too. Premade templates shepherd you through the process of, say, creating a business card.
  • Speed. Online printers are fast. You can typically receive a printed job in a week or two. Remember to build that time into your production schedule. And it’s nice to plan a few extra days for proofs, should you require one.

Online printing makes printers around the globe available to you, but which one do you trust and how do you choose? For Granger, the only limit is Google’s search results – literally. She is game to try vendors from Massachusetts to China, and she’s had luck with both big names and obscure shops.