These days it is easy to make your own business cards on your own home computer or you can find places online that will help you design a brochure and get them printed for what seems like a reasonable price. What a great deal, right?

Well, maybe not as great as it seems at first. Here are a few reasons why it won’t hurt you to make a phone call or two or even stop in to your local print shop and do a little research before you start investing what is about to become the face of your company for the foreseeable future.

  1. Designing on your home computer is time consuming and as any startup business person knows: their time is one of their most valuable commodities. Nothing is more of a waste of time than having to do a job twice.
  2. Home-printed jobs are usually amateurish looking with low quality papers, unreliable inks, uneven folds, and ugly margins. I should know, I’ve wasted a lot of paper trying to get a decent looking brochure out of my home ink jet printer! Think about the cost of the paper and ink you’ve just wasted, not to mention your time and frustration. Now look at the product. Is this really what you want to hand out to customers to showcase your business?
  3. Online sources with their click-and-drop templates are faster, but they provide cookie-cutter images and fonts. The printed work looks similar to everyone else’s. I’ve been shocked to see competitor businesses bring in identical business cards and ask me to redesign them something unique they can call their own.
  4. Print professionalYour local print shop knows the nearby competition and can be an invaluable guide to help your business come up with its own brand. Remember, these people are experts – they know what will work best for your projects: what kind of paper, what colors, they can recommend the right sizes, and so forth. You don’t have to be an expert in this field if you can rely on a partner to take care of it for you.

Remember, you are going to be using these printed pieces to introduce your business to the public. Depending on how many you order, these may be around for years. You want to put your best foot forward with a professional, polished look.