Print Budgets: Why Yours Keeps Increasing and How to Fix It

Many customers initially approach Mimeo because they are at the end of their rope with their print budget. No matter how much they try, they end up increasing their budget for printing marketing brochures, sales collateral, business proposals, investor documents, or even training materials by the end of the project. After a few conversations, we usually find a way to bring that budget under control (we saved Kindred Healthcare $75K in one year). Now, we want to share our tips with you.

Here are the 7 most common ways your business print budget keeps inflating, plus how we recommend fixing it.

1. Your document design isn’t optimized

young man reviewing document spacing and layout to save on printing

If you have ever had to print out a college paper on a public printer, you know this problem. You aren’t making the most of each page. A large part of your print cost is based on how many pages you print. So, if you leave wide gaps between each line, print single-sided, or leave blank pages in your document, your budget is going to get bloated – fast.

The Fix:

We recommend reviewing your line spacing, image placement, and page breaks. Also, choose double-sided instead of single-sided printing to make sure you are getting the best per-page price.

2. You are using expensive print customizations

You may be overpaying for customizations such as paper stock, cover materials, and even ink. This depends on the quality you need for your project. For example, a marketing brochure that recommends your brand to prospects needs to be high-end. Your internal post-class training survey, however, probably doesn’t need to be on glossy-finish eggshell paper.

half size booklet customization

The Fix:

Review every material customization with your printer. This includes paper stocks, paper finishes, binding options, and color vs black-and-white printing. At Mimeo, we offer 1,000+ customizations to meet your specific print project needs. Watch this short video to see how it works, then set up a free consultation with our team to learn more!

3. You aren’t getting comparable quotes

Every print vendor has a different method for providing quotes, and if you are not savvy, you will end up getting very different numbers in different formats for the same project. Then, you may not be receiving updated quotes as you finalize your design and finishing options – meaning your end price may be very different than that initially quoted to you.

The Fix:

First, when you are pricing the project with various vendors, be sure to clarify key variables such as what method they use (off-set vs on-demand print) and whether they include set-up fees in their quote. Then, keep asking for quotes as you update your project, until you are satisfied with the per-unit price. At Mimeo, we make this process easier by providing you with real-time pricing, which reflects your document specifications and changes. So, you’ll always know your exact price prior to placing an order – no hidden surprises.

4. You are trying to hit a volume-based discount

Another common problem we see is a mismatch between your print needs and your print method. It is similar to grocery store coupons: sure, $50 off $500 worth of dental floss sounds like a great deal, but unless you are supplying a small army, you probably end up wasting money on dental floss you don’t need.

stacks of brochures printed in bulk

The same principle applies when you are printing a low-volume project at an offset print shop. Offset printers require intense set-up for each project and cut pages down to size. To be cost-effective, they usually offer you a discounted price after you meet a certain volume of copies. But if you don’t need 500 copies, you’re actually wasting money. 

The Fix:

If you find yourself over-ordering and throwing away extra copies of your project, then you need to make a change. The first thing we recommend is switching to a digital printing service that uses on-demand print technology. Mimeo’s print on-demand platform allows you to order one or 1,000 copies with no minimum order requirements and no set-up. This saves you money and eliminates document waste from overprinting.

5. You are behind on a deadline

Sometimes, a deadline is a deadline and it is all you can do to finish your project by 11:59 pm that day. However, if you have flexibility in your print deliverability timeline, you are wasting money every day that you don’t send your project to the printer. Why? Printing is an order-taking business. The more time you give the printer to complete your project, the more they can fit you into their schedule, and the added convenience gets reflected in lower prices. If you need next-day turnaround, you will have to pay to take priority over other projects that can wait and those rush shipping costs will add up.

The Fix:

First, ask your printer what their ideal timeline is. Then, if possible, structure your internal deadlines around your printer’s earlier window. For example, at Mimeo, we accept projects up to 2 weeks away from your delivery date. (Schedule a print consultation to find out more about our early and last-minute printing options!)

6. You are paying twice for shipping

If you print using a local shop, you likely have to ship your projects to their final destinations yourself. That means you are paying for delivery (or paying with your own time and fuel to pick it up) and then again paying for shipping. That is two charges for one project – a waste of money.

reliable international business document shipping

The Fix:

Find a printer that handles shipping for you. Not only will this simplify the shipping process, but it may also get you lower shipping fees, if your printer has competitive pricing with their shipping partners. Through our 20 year partnership with FedEx, Mimeo has become a go-to solution for fast, reliable business document shipping. Place your order by 10 PM ET, and we will deliver it via FedEx as early as the next morning.

7. You don’t have preferred print pricing

eliminate the cost of print

This last problem is one of the most common ones we see, particularly among small businesses or departments responsible for their own budget. Your goal is to price out each project individually in search of the best quote for that specific instance. What you don’t realize is that by remaining an uncommitted customer, you win in the short-term but get higher pricing in the long-term.

The Fix:

Commit to one printer. If you have several that you work with, now is the time to have honest conversations with them about your annual print needs. Discuss business documents and branded merchandise – plus whether you expect the volume to increase or decrease over the years. Choose the vendor that offers you the best options in terms of pricing, turnaround, and long-term benefits. 

The good news is that your print budget doesn’t need to bloat with each project. With careful consideration of your materials, print method, and vendor relationships, you can set up pricing that will keep your finance team happy for years to come. Schedule a call with Mimeo to learn how we can help you reduce your print costs!

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