Find a Great Career As a Print Broker

Good print brokers are more important than ever in the printing industry. Although it may seem as if companies have focused entirely on their web presence, e-mail, and online marketing, printed materials are still critical to the success of any business. Whether they are ordering business cards, fliers, brochures, or pamphlets, successful marketers know that professional print material can add a unique touch to your information and branding. That’s where a knowledgeable, reliable print broker comes into the picture.

An organization may choose to deal directly with a printer for these jobs; however, a printing broker effectively uses their knowledge base, sales and marketing skills in order to produce the printed material in a cost effective way. The broker makes a profit by marking up the printers costs. Many brokers open their own companies after years in the printing business, as industry knowledge is crucial to the individual’s expertise. If you have decided to work in the wholesale printing field, there are several steps you must take.

Find Your Niche

The wholesale printing industry is huge, so you may want to find an area of specialization for your brokerage. You may decide to print business cards, labels, envelopes, letterhead, and other office supplies that are used by almost any company. You may even want to expand into brokering printed packaging for company’s products in order to round out your business offerings.

Build Your Printer List

A broker soon learns that depending on a single company for printing may be a bad business choice. Find companies in your area with good reputations for service, quality, and price. Ask to see work samples of the products you will need, in addition to paper and print samples. Ask for lists of their equipment and find out how their services are different from their competitors. Lead times are also important for any job. Once you have contacted several printers, compare their prices and estimated lead times to find several printers with which you will work. Working with the best, more reliable companies will help your customer list continue to grow, and that’s something no broker can do without.

Find Your Clients

Do you have some potential clients in mind? It’s always a good idea to start a brokerage if you have a few people you can rely upon to help you get started. Even if they’re a family member, their work can be added to your portfolio. There are several steps you should take for any client. When visiting a potential customer, you must learn about their business needs and what they will expect of your company. Find out the pros and cons of their current print suppliers. The best way to find a new client is to find a company that is unhappy with their current printing suppliers. Let’s say that Perky Printers, Inc. is charging too much for a company’s corporate brochures, but you know that your source can provide an equal or better product for a lower price. This gives you the information and ability to solve the customer’s problem, and that’s what a printing broker’s job is all about. People who work in this profession aren’t just looking to make money; they really want to help people get the best products their money can buy!

Keep Track of Your Production

Another important trait to a print broker is the willingness to track your product. If you want to just drop off an order and forget about it until the day it’s due, this may not be the field for you. Once you receive a company’s order, choose your wholesale printing company to fulfill the order. Be sure to monitor the job’s progress using the printer’s projected deadline. If you check periodically on your job, you can alert the customer if any issues or delays occur. Attention to detail is the hallmark of a great broker.

Deliver Quality, Timely Products

Print brokers go into every job with the knowledge that they were probably given the contract because the company was unhappy with their former printing company. You don’t want to be thought of as “That Company,” so make sure your products is up to their expectations and delivered on time. To be successful in the printing broker business, you must be reliable, above all else.

Scout New Suppliers

You must be willing to go out and find new suppliers on a regular basis. Printing technologies, capabilities, and requirements are constantly changing, which means you should constantly explore new printing suppliers. Keep up with a few industry trade journals and take the time to visit some trade shows. If you are looking for new suppliers or specialty producers, conduct some online research to find the companies that fit all your printing needs. New businesses are always popping up, and a printing broker needs to take advantage of the best of the best.

Scout New Business

A broker in the printing industry must excel at recruiting new clients, so that means you must be ready for sales plans and cold calling. Practice your sales technique on friends and family members, and take their constructive criticism in order to perfect your spiel.

Once your sales have improved, you’ll be able to delegate some of the hard work. You will hopefully be able to hire an assistant who can answer phones, monitor your jobs, prepare quotes, and cover customer service. Your long-term success depends on continuously finding new clients and making contacts to help your company grow and thrive.

When you decide to start your own print a brokerage business, you are dedicating yourself to finding your customers great deals on quality products. If you are reliable, love sales, and have great communication skills, you can be a success story in the wholesale printing industry.

How to Print Remittance Envelopes for Non-Profits, Fundraisers, Foundations or Churches

Remittance envelopes are a specialized envelope designed for returning donations through the mail. All donation envelopes come with a large back flap, and are available in two styles and several sizes to meet your needs. The fronts of remittance envelopes look just like standard envelopes, and are usually printed with your organization’s address in the middle, FIMs, and sometimes with business reply or “stamp here” copy. While these envelopes are very versatile, their unique flap design can make printing on them quite tricky. Read about the types of fundraising envelopes below, and do not hesitate to call your printer for help setting up your remittance copy.

Non-Perforated Remittance Envelopes

The non-perforated or “non-perf” remittance envelope have a large flap that is meant to be closed over the back of the envelope. When closed it will nearly cover the back of the envelope. Since this flap acts as the closing flap, it is gummed at the end. The flap is large so that you can use this space to collect information or take orders from your donators and contributors, and the information will be neatly sealed with the envelope. But care must be taken not to push the print copy too close to the edges of the flap, especially the gummed edge, as anything printed or hand-written there will be ripped off when you open the envelope to take out the donation. The same goes for the back of the envelope, should you choose to put copy there. Where the gum hits, the copy will be ripped off the envelope upon opening. That said you still have plenty of room to collect information such as the donor’s name, take orders for any gifts they are eligible for with the donation, etc. Non-perforated remittance envelopes are more economical than perforated ones, simple to use, and work well for most fundraising purposes. They are available in several sizes, from 6 and 1/4 up to #9.

Perforated Remittance Envelopes

Perforated remittance envelopes look just like their non-perforated counterparts, except the long flap tears off at the perforated line just above the top of the envelope, creating a short flap to close the envelope. The detached flap piece can then be filled out by the donator with dedication, gift, or subscription information, and placed safely inside the envelope. With the perforated flap, you can print more copy and have your copy come nearer the edge of the flap, as there is no gum to work around. Perforated envelopes are best if you need to collect a lot of information or if it is important to have visible printing on the back of your envelope. Perforated envelopes are available in 6 and 3/4 and #9 sizes.

Remittance Envelope Templates

Before finalizing your print copy, you may want to ask your printer for a template for your size and type of envelope. With standard envelopes, measurements provide enough information, but with remittance envelopes, there are many curved edges, tapers, and of course those gum lines that you need to avoid. Ask what tolerance your printer prints to for these envelopes. If you put something close to the edge, it may end up getting cut off.

A Final Note

Remittance envelopes for non profits are complicated to print, but with the help of your printer and the pre-press department, you will be sure to end up with a quality product that serves your fundraising goals far better than a standard envelope. And remember, when ordering envelopes to send out your donation requests, always make sure to order the next size up from your donation envelope size.

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