Let’s take a moment to review some of the things we talked about over the holidays, shall we?
Now I know that all of you went out and laid plans for next year’s holiday season and those envelope stuffer calendars you know you need. You did do that right?
Be serious, this is one of the best ways to promote your business and it coasts next to nothing. You can do the work yourself as described in one of my thoughtful posts on how to make envelope stuffers or you can trot down to Staples and have them do all of the work for $10.99 for 10 or you can use Vistaprint and get the job done for $7.99 for 10 which is so cheap you should already have your design worked out.
Now I admit to being cheap. My old pals insist my name should be MacMirandastein, 99 parts Scotch by absorption and 1 part miser by inclination, but for those prices even I might crack open my musty, dusty ole wallet. Might I said.
On the other hand I might just make them myself like I suggested at Christmas, but since I made that suggestion I have come across a nifty, neat and cool tool which will make your life much easier if you decide to print your own and give your calendars a finished and professional look. What is it? A corner rounder of course, nothing says finished like a rounded corner and I have just the thing you need.
Yes, once again our good friends at Xacto have stepped into the breech and have made a little corner rounding tool so simple that even an old computer tweaker/photographer can use it.
Now you may hesitate to buy sucha thing because you aren’t certain that you will ever print a calendar and in that case would never use a corner rounder, but wait, there’s more…when you do a print, (You painters are doing Giclees and will have prints you want to distribute) what better way to indicate it is a print and not an original than to round the corners? What about those dreamy, romantic, boudoir shots? They could use a rounded corner and that way when the thoughtful partner with the inspiring pictures sends them to a loved one far, far away they will have no sharp corners to rip the envelope when handled a thousand and ten times by the troglodytes who brutalize the mail and what about those serving in the military, do you think that once mail is safely out of the hands of the USPS it can rest easy? Not on your life and think about it, a service person sentenced to forced labor in the mail room won’t have any inclination to take a peek at a package from home whose corner got ripped by a sharp edge and now is an open invitation to be ogled and what more tempting an ogle than a tasty boudoir scene?
But with the corner rounder from Xacto, there will be no rips, tares or mutilated edges to give away the contents.
Next on my list of things I’ve found out, is there are commercial services doing a bang-up job of making a do-it-yourselfer weep bitter tears.
Now in addition to envelope stuffers I have wailed long and loud about postcards. And I want to go on the record and say that I still think you should make your own and once again I did post a complete guide to doing just that, but since I did all of that research I’ve run across Vistaprint.
Okay, a gifted artist of my acquaintance sent me one of their postcards done by Vistaprint and it blew me away. Now I think you can do a bang-up job with just an ink jet printer and some card stock, but if you have a reputation to uphold, maybe Vistaprint or Staples is the right answer for you.
Yes, I am grinding my teeth, but I can’t deny the truth nor will I conceal it from you in an effort to make my earlier suggestions more valuable, no, the two commercial services do a first-rate job and have a template to guide you through so that even if you let your idiot brother from Milwaukee do the set-up it will turn out to be something you can be proud of.
And it seems that if you like a face-to-face sort of relationship with your vendors, Staples will do almost as well.
I had a long look at both sites and it seems to me they are using the same template for the work, so there’s nothing but cost to base a decision on and that of course goes to the Internet guy Vistaprint cause without a brick and mortar storefront to support they can do the same thing much cheaper and if you can live with the guilt of not buying local then they are the way to go, but of you want to talk to a real, live, living person then you’d best pick Staples.
Vistaprint will run off a hundred cards for $29.99 and Staples will do the same job for $39.99 so you can save a dime a hundred if you go with Vistaprint.
But that is up to you and your conscience I have bared my soul, corrected the error of my ways, said ten Hail Marys and five Our Fathers and promise to go forth and sin no more.