First Impressions Count
Whether we like it or not, first impressions count and clients form an impression of your business based on the brand they can see, hear and touch. So it’s not only about how you speak to them, how reliable you are and the quality of the job or service you provide, but also the tangible things that they can see and feel. Your business stationery is one such tangible, and it’s important to get it right – choosing a quality stationery supplier is the first step.
How do You Choose a Quality Stationery Supplier?
There are a number of things you should consider when making a decision. Firstly, it’s worth considering what you think you might need from them. Are you quite creative and able to design your own logo, letterhead and direct mail pieces or will you need some design input and help with ideas? Do you know your pantones from your fonts or is that all a mystery to you? What about grammes per square metre and the various printing methods? If you have little or no experience in this area it’s worth considering a ‘full service’ stationery supplier, one who can help with your full printed requirements from concept and design, through to production and delivery, who also has branding experience.
Secondly, what sort of relationship do you want with your stationery supplier? Are you happy with a faceless interaction with a web page to keep costs as low as possible or do you want a more personal touch with a dedicated company representative who will see your order through from start to finish? If something goes wrong with your order do you want to be able to speak directly to someone with the knowledge and expertise to put it right or try to rectify things with a series of emails? How important is it to you that your stationery supplier had taken the time to understand your business and what you’re trying to achieve with your brand and budget?
Finally, what about the company itself? Are you simply looking for the cheapest price or does the heritage and reputation of your stationery supplier matter? Most quality stationery suppliers should be able to provide you with a varied range of samples of their work, from business cards and letterheads to direct mail and promotional items, and also be able to share testimonials from other satisfied customers. Do they understand that things don’t always go smoothly in business and sometimes you need them to have a can do attitude and be able to turn things round quickly for you?
Forming a new relationship with any supplier can be a difficult decision to make and it requires you to take a balanced view of what’s important to you versus what the supplier can provide you with. Choosing from the many quality stationery suppliers is a big decision, and if you get it right you will only have to make it once.