It’s a known fact that most small business owners have never thought about outsourcing their mailing services and invoice printing. I know I haven’t. They do this in-house to the extent that it has become a custom. In reality, they are truly missing out on a lot of opportunities that they can exploit to grow their business.
If your day-to-day activities include the printing of, processing and eventually sending monthly statements to concerned parties, you could save time and money by simply choosing to outsource these tasks. Your employees could be doing something better than putting their efforts on these tasks. Consequently, you will be able to cut down on the costs and take huge strides in improving the overall efficiency of your business.
Smart thinking, professionalism, and perception are required when looking for a lucrative small business. Nearly each business owner will tell you that your image is always at risk when running a business. Your rivals are always on the lookout for the slightest mistake you can make, and they will use that opportunity to steal your clients. You are referred to as a business owner simply because you understand how important your image is; from the moment that customer walks through the door to the invoice that you mail to them at the end of your business venture. You’re always aware that the quality of your invoice, as well as the professionalism and personalization, are very important aspects if you need to leave a good impression in your customer.
We will focus on the reasons why you, as a business owner, should outsource these services.
- Folding Machines Are Expensive to Maintain
Folding machines are normally the fallback plan of business owners who want to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of the direct mail processing service. If you have one of these machines in-house, it means that you have invested in it and that you expect a return on your investment. Unfortunately, this is not always the case in most businesses. The major reason for this is that folding machines require high maintenance costs which means that the return on your investment might not be what you expect it to be. This is, therefore, a factor that business owners should consider. Once you outsource your printing and mailing services, you will not have to be worried about some of these costs.
- Long Contracts
Chances that you’re leasing folding machine are high, and you could even be locked in a three-year contract. Let’s face it, it’s not easy to escape this one. Moreover, these contracts are parasites to your business since you will be paying for using an expensive machine that’s not of much assistance to you as you aim to reach your goals. In the final stage, you will be forced to handle the costs of these machines from your own pocket, and this can prove to be a nightmare. Outsourcing the printing and mailing services will cut down these costs and rid you of the nightmare. You will definitely enjoy the benefits in the long run.
- Better Invoices and Statements
Outsourcing your statements and invoices could mean that they will be created and printed at higher qualities than when you do it yourself. This is mainly because the company doing it for you is bound to be an expert in this industry. This generally means that they know how to create invoices that will grab the attention of your customer. The goal, after all, is to get them first to read and then respond to your letter, right? If this isn’t the case, then it’s a waste of your time and money.
- Faster Mailings
Getting paid is a simple process. Just make sure your invoices and mailing statements get to your clients as fast as possible, that’s all. Instead of handling these services yourself, outsource them to a reputable company and watch the magic happen. There will be an increased cash flow in your business, which is highly important if you want to keep your company on its feet – paying your bills as well as your employees. This is definitely a piece of information that you will want to remember.
- Faster Payments
More often than not, the hardest part of running a business isn’t actually getting a customer to purchase your product but actually getting them to pay for what they have purchased. If you don’t have an established invoicing system, or if you’re constantly making mistakes when generating your invoices, you could be bleeding your business of important time and money which could translate into cash flow problems, and consequently, your business could suffer in the long run.
- Invoice Without Delays
It’s obvious that businesses need to send out invoices for purchased services immediately, but even so, the majority of businesses out there have a problem of postponing this task until they realize that they need the money for other activities such as paying their employees. Simply put, your customers and clients will not pay for something unless they have received an invoice.
- Invoice Frequently
There are three important reasons why you will need to invoice frequently. First off, it will help you keep a clear record of who was invoiced for what and when. It will also help you avoid sending huge invoices to clients who might have a problem with settling large bills. Most important of all is that it prevents you from procrastinating your invoicing up to the point that it becomes an emergency.
- Reduced Costs
The result of handling your printing and mailing services in-house is that there are increased operational costs and a decrease in efficiency. Outsourcing the same services has the exact opposite effects. There’s a substantial increase in efficiency and a reduction in operations costs related to printing and mailing.
- Improved Invoices and Statements
Only a few business owners ever put careful thought into their invoices and statements. If we have learned anything so far, it’s that all business owners need to pay careful attention to their invoices and make sure that they are effective. This is, after all, the gateway to grabbing your clients’ attention. If it’s of high quality, it will compel them to respond faster. There are some factors that can help you raise the quality of your letters. For instance, the font size you use could make your letter more unique. The font size is, therefore, something that you should be careful about.
In some instances, saying less communicates more. You need to bring out your points very clearly and concisely. This serves to add to the effectiveness of your invoices and other statements. Further, always ensure that your logo appears on the invoice. This will help you by establishing a connection between yourself and your customers. If the logo is missing, however, it means that your invoice will be less effective. The logo is clearly something that you should pay close attention to.
- Easing the Burden on Your Employees
If your company handles its own printing and mailing services, it means that your employees are always in the printing room handling all the printing and mailing. This is, however, not the most effective way to go about this business. Your employees could be deployed to attend to other tasks that will put their other skills to better use. Outsourcing these services will mean that you increase the productivity of your employees.
Here’s a list of some of the tasks that you could be laying aside from your employees.
- Printing of statements and invoices.
- Purchasing of supplies such as envelopes, paper, and ink.
- Running machines that prepare letters or preparing letters.
- Sorting of and delivering mail to the post office.
- Handling communications and corresponding with the post office.
- Being informed on current trends on mail security.
- Being informed on a regular basis about mail processing technology.
- Being informed of the latest mailing guidelines and regulations.
Once you outsource your printing and mailing needs, you can rest assured that your work will be handled by a professional who has the technical know-how and the required experience in this field. This will consequently translate into your employees’ skills and abilities being diverted to other tasks, proportionate to their skills.
Your Competitors Are Already Outsourcing Their Printing and Mailing Services
If you’re still operating your printing and mailing services in-house, the impact on your operation costs might be giving your competitors a huge advantage over you. As you aim to drive down the print volumes, the unit costs in your company are set to go up due to the set costs. This, together with the expenses to be used for new features and replacement of traditional equipment, means that it’s hard to keep the in-house expenses in check.
Trends, both in the industry and globally, have changed the different modes through which clients used to engage that were previously dominated by printed communications. Increasing your brand presence as well as digitizing your customer experience is set to have some serious effects on your company’s short and long-term operating cost models. Over the past half-decade alone, digital communications have completely changed the game by helping companies save millions of dollars annually by decreasing the volumes of printing and postage. Some of the biggest business have adopted this trend, and they have left the traditional in-house operating model. There are some, however, that are still holding on to the traditional model, which could still be detrimental to them.
It’s not an easy choice, having to outsource a major part of your company’s operation, which could be spending an average of $10-$20 million on an annual basis. The welfare of your employees has to be put into careful consideration. Other concerns that must be dealt with include quality of output, internal business service delivery, regulatory conformity and timeliness of product delivery. These issues must be dealt with by a well-planned strategy.
Once you start your investigations on outsourcing, remember that there are several choices out there. However, none of them can meet all your needs alone. As such, careful evaluation of each of them is needed. Keep a record of all activities that go on in your office and use them to find out which firm will best handle your needs.
The real issue is in picking the best firm that will handle your business needs to your satisfaction.
Keep in mind that this process is not easy at all. It could take long, and it could very well be tiring. However, it can translate into savings of 10-15% on all production costs if it’s successfully implemented. The research could take well over six months, extending to one year and shifting could consume approximately nine to eighteen months. These timelines could be different for different companies.
Getting to Customers Through Mail
With outsourcing, you can leverage distribution features. With the available features, you can reach lots of customers effectively and without any issue. Customer satisfaction is also an added advantage of outsourcing. You could even leverage your firm to try out new marketing strategies.
Who Benefits from Print Management Outsourcing?
We have established that mid-to-large-sized companies that spend about $1 million annually in print spending gain the lion’s share for outsourcing print management. They save up to 30% of their total print spend.
Major Point on Outsourced Printing
Among the major issues that we have discovered is the time factor. Have you found that your staff is constantly overwhelmed with activities in the mailing room? Are they always printing, binding and handling your print projects? They are definitely wasting time. Just let this go and leave it to the professionals. Among the benefits of having a professional handle, your printing services are that you will have quality products.
Of paramount importance is that you cut down the costs you spend on ink, paper, binding material and time that your staff spends on these tasks. Save as much money as possible and earn a little time for yourself. You will rest assured that your printing will be handled by a professional.