How to Choose a Business Printing Service: Local or Online?

The printing industry has been on the decline for the last few years. However, there are still plenty of businesses in need of printing services.

Are you having a hard time choosing a business printing service to partner with your company? Are you unsure of how to pick between a local vs online printing service?

If so, keep reading. Listed below are some tips that will help you make the right decision for your business.

Local vs Online Printing Business

Local printing businesses and online printing businesses both come with their own pros and cons. Here’s a breakdown of some of the most important ones to consider:

Local Business Printing Pros and Cons

A common complaint about small, local printing businesses is the fact that they often have higher prices than online businesses.

At first, this may seem like a drawback. Remember, though, that you often get better results in exchange for those higher prices.

Think about it. Local businesses typically work with fewer customers. This means they have more time and bandwidth to review your work and produce high-quality printing projects. 

Local businesses often provide a higher level of customer service, too. The owners and employees of these businesses have extensive printing knowledge.

They know how to get great results, and they’re committed to getting to know their customers and making sure their projects look great and are error-free. You don’t often get the same kind of personal touch when you’re working with an online business.

Online Business Printing Pros and Cons

A lack of personalization is the biggest downside to working with an online printing business. Often, these businesses are run more anonymously than small, local businesses.

In many cases, there’s also no review process when you’re using an online business. This means that it’s up to you to proofread your projects before they’re printed and make sure everything looks good.

If you make a mistake, it’s also up to you to place another, updated order. As a result, you’re spending more money to get a good result. 

Sometimes, online printing businesses can be more expensive than local businesses. In general, though, an online business is going to offer lower prices than a local business.

If you’re working with a limited budget and are confident in your proofreading skills, you won’t have to worry about spending extra money for a good end-result.

Online businesses are also more convenient than local businesses. You can place your orders right from your computer and have them delivered within a few weeks (or even a few days in some cases). 

How to Choose a Printing Service

Whether you’re leaning toward a local business or an online one to help with your business printing, there are some crucial decision-making factors to keep in mind. The following are some of the most important questions to ask when making a decision:

What Are Your Needs?

Start by thinking about your printing needs and goals. What kind of projects are you working on?

Do you need business cards? Newsletters? A big sign or banner? 

Once you know what kind of projects you need help with, it’ll be easier for you to find a printing business that offers those services.

What Services Do They Offer?

Take note of the specific services each printing business offers, too. Do they have offset printing services, for example, or direct mail printing?

Most printing businesses, whether they operate online or out a brick-and-mortar store, display their services prominently on their website or in their store. If you don’t see a service that you need, ask to speak to an employee or manager to see if their services line up with your needs. 

Can You See Their Work?

After you’ve identified a few contenders, ask to see some samples of their work. Any business worth hiring, whether they offer printing or plumbing, will be happy to show you their portfolio. If they are hesitant about doing so, or if they don’t have anything to show at all, that’s a red flag. 

When you’re looking at their past work, pay attention to the quality of the work. Does the style align with your personal tastes? Have they done a variety of different projects, or does their portfolio seem fairly limited?

How Much Do They Charge?

Of course, you need to think about your budget. Take a look at your list of contenders and check their prices.

Remember, the dollar amount isn’t the only thing to keep in mind. You also need to consider what you get for that dollar amount. 

Sometimes, it’s worth it to spend a little bit more money to get more from your purchase. For example, if you spend a little more money working with a local business but get more design and editing assistance, the extra costs might be worthwhile.  

How Much Customer Support Do They Offer?

Be sure to consider the customer support options each printing business offers.

How easy is it to get in touch with an employee if you have questions or need help with a project? Do they have multiple communication channels available (email, phone, chat, etc.)? How quickly do they get back to you when you reach out to them? 

Do They Have Positive Reviews?

Finally, don’t forget to read the business’s reviews. Do they have testimonials on their site? Do they have positive reviews on a third-party site like Yelp? 

If a business has a lot of negative reviews, that’s obviously a bad sign. If a business doesn’t have any reviews, that can also be a bad sign (although, if it’s a new business, it makes sense that there won’t be a lot of reviews). 

Which Business Printing Service Is Right for You?

What do you think? Do you want to work with a local company or an online business printing service?

Whichever type of company you decide, keep the tips listed above in mind so you can find a great option. If you need additional help finding a printing service, you can also check out the browsing tool on our site today.