Is the customer always right?
The saying “The customer is always right” was first used by London department store guru Harry Selfridge in 1909.Since then it has been adopted by many businesses worldwide. But is this saying as relevant today
Vector v Raster
What’s the difference between raster and vector? This question has been asked by many of our Sunshine Coast and Noosa clients over the years, so in the Simply Print May 2016 Newsletter, let’s clarify the difference between raster and vector once and for all.
To colour, or not to colour!
It’s been the agonising question for businesses for as long as I can remember. Do I lash out and print in full colour, or save some bucks and go for black and white? In the Simply Print April 2016 Newsletter, we look at the pros and cons of full colour and how to avoid a marketing disaster.
Dealing With The Lowest Bidder
In the Simply Print February 16 Newsletter, we talk about the pitfalls of dealing with the lowest bidder. I’ve long been a long-term believer of not dealing with the lowest bidder especially when it comes to business. These wise words were written by English author John Ruskin in the late 1800’s.
“It’s unwise to pay too much, bit it is worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money – that’s all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought is incapable of doing what it was bought to do. The common law of business prohibits paying a little and getting a lot – it can’t be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is wise to add something for the risk you run. And if you do that, you will have enough to pay for something better.”
I was tempted to recite John’s quote when a lady told me that I was too expensive on my business card quote and that she was going with a cheaper price. I asked her if the other price was for the same quality card. Her answer amazed me. “I don’t know, a business card’s a business card isn’ it?” I replied, “Yes, but Kingswoods and Porsches are both cars too”. About a week later she came in with the cards in disgust. They were printed on what looked like a bubblejet printer. They were trimmed crooked and the image was blurry. All in all she saved herself the grand total of $40 and got what can only be described as a truly ugly bunch of cards. Apparantly she didn’t even see a proof, which is like business suicide in the printing industry. I asked her why she didn’t see a proof and she replied, “Oh, they told me proofs were $40 extra”. Our price included a proof so she effectively saved nothing, but my head was spinning at this time so I avoided pointing this fact out.
Online printers have become very popular and convenient, but you have to use the same rule. If it’s cheap, there’s a reason, no exceptions. With most online printers such as the one who’s initials are V.P. you don’t deal with a human being. I know this for a fact because I ordered some business cards from this company that starts with Vista a few years ago. I just typed a heap of words criticizing their service and quality, entered my credit card and clicked submit. These business cards are at our office if you want to see them.
The important lesson here is, if something is cheap, there’s usually a reason. I always recommend that you ask the following question when getting a printing quote. “Will my job be printed digitally or lithgraphically? “Digital” is just a fancy word for “copied”. Lithographic printing uses ink on a printing press, digital printing uses toner on a copier. In most cases, the quality of digital printing is inferior. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of good copiers out there, but I’ve yet to find one that can rival ink on paper, unless it’s a HP Indigo which costs over $250,000, and not many printing companies can afford that price tag.
Marketing – One Size Doesn’t Fit All
Most times it can be difficult to work out which marketing is right for you. There’s an old saying, “Only half of your marketing is working. The challenge is working out which half.” Marketing that works for one type of business can be disastrous for another. The key is to work out which type of customer you want to attract. Do you want to sell to a specific age group? Do you want to target specific areas? Is my product more likely to sell at a particular time of year? These are all factors that will make it easier to decide what type of marketing is best suited to you.
Have you ever taken the time to listen to ads from Joyce Mayne, Harvey Norman or Wow Sight and Sound. They fire the info into our faces at a hundred miles an hour. It’s all designed to create a feeling of urgency, and it works. The same goes for your leaflet. You have about ten seconds to get someone’s attention before your leaflet ends up in the bin. I can say from personal experience that with letterbox drops, if you get 5% response, you’re doing well. Realistically, it’s about 3%. So how do you increase the strike rate? Well the first thing to remember is to keep it short and sweet. “Catchy and bold” wins every time over “your life story in fine print”. Considering the low strike rate, it’s important to keep your printing costs down. I recommend for large print runs going for full colour. The brighter, the better. For shorter print runs it’s a good idea to use a yellow paper with one colour print instead of full colour. The colour yellow, according to research, has proven time and time to attract people’s attention before any other colour.
Ask yourself this question”. If I saw this leaflet in the mail, would I find it appealing?”. Just remember, a potential customer only wants to know one thing. What you can do for them. Believe me, nobody wants to know how long you’ve been in business or how many staff you have, at least not from their letterbox. The golden rule is to get to the point of what you’re selling fast. Avoid wasting precious space stating the obvious. For example, everyone expects great service and competitive pricing from their plumber or electrician, whether it’s printed on the leaflet or not, so instead of saying this, think of something unique that will encourage people to respond to you.
While you’re here check out our brand new specials. Remember to mention this newsletter to receive the discount. And if you subscribe to our mailing list or connect with us through Facebook, you’ll get a regular reminder each month.
Until next time, if we can help with any of your print needs, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Brett and Brad
Happy New Year!
Welcome to the first newsletter for 2016. I still can’t get over how quickly 2015 went. I blinked at tax time and the next thing I was putting up the Christmas lights again, trying not to fall off the ladder. My wife Carey handed me the phone as I climbed up, just so I could call the ambulance myself.
Most people found business very tough last year, and I think this came down to uncertainty with what seemed like the darkest days with world terrorism events dominating the news. It’s at times like these that we need to remain positive. Turning on each other as we have seen at major rallies is never the answer. I choose to worry only about things that I have control over. I believe we live in the greatest country in the world, and in my humble opinion, nothing will change that unless we get bogged down in negativity.
Speaking of negativity, a client recently told me that he believed that things would get much worse financially in Australia before they got better. The problem with this thinking is that your thoughts usually create your reality. At the risk of sounding like a bit of a universe loving hippy, what you think is mostly what you get in life. Think back at a time in your life when you almost had something good, only for it to be snatched away at the last moment. If you can recall your state of mind at that time, you might have the answer.
To celebrate the new year, we’ve got some new A3 calendar planners to give away with every order placed in January. With a month per page and large blocks for each day, it really is a great planner for your business. You can hang it on your wall put it on your desk. Have you considered the benefits of having your own calendar planners? It’s an ideal way to keep your business name in the faces of clients for the next 16 months. In fact, apart from the usual phone book ads and this newsletter, calendars are our best form of marketing.
To compliment the 2016 planner, we’ve printed some new note pads using the offcut from paper that would have normally gone in the recycle bin. Yours for the asking, and while you’re here, don’t forget to check out the huge range of novelty note pads now available.
Don’t forget to check out our New Year specials on the website. Our specials are always changing with new ones added continually but you must mention the website to recieve them. And if you like us on Facebook or opt into our newsletter email list, you’ll get a reminder each month.
Until next time, if we can help with any of your printing needs, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Brett and Brad
Scam baiting – scamming the scammer!
In the Simply Print December 15 Newsletter, we talk about scammers and the new trend that sees them being beaten at their own game.
We have a game in our house where we try to keep scammers on the phone for as long as possible.
You know, those annoying phone calls from the Windows Technical Department informing you that you have a nasty virus on your computer? We don’t have a Windows computer, but they don’t have to know that, especially when we can have a bit of fun with them.
This is how the conversation usually goes:
Scammer: “Sir, your computer has a virus. I need you to press the Control and R button at the same time”.
Me: “So when do I release the buttons?”
Scammer: “After you press the two buttons sir”.
Me: “So I’m pressing the Control, when to I press the R button?”
Scammer: “No sir, press them both at the same time.”
Me: “OK, I’ve pressed the Option and R button, now what?”
Scammer: “No sir, the CONTROL and R button, not the OPTION button!”
Me: OK, sorry, it’s a bit confusing.”
Scammer: No it’s very easy, just press the CONTROL and the R button TOGETHER”.
Me: OK, done:
Scammer: “So, what is on your screen sir?”
Scammer: “There should be a message on your screen…just read it to me sir.”
Me: “Sorry, I must have released the buttons…what were they again?
Scammer: ” The CONTROL… (insert heavy sigh)… and the R button!!!”
Me: “At the same time?”
Scammer: “YES SIR…(insert huge sigh)….AT THE SAME TIME!!! (more sighs).
Anyway, you get the picture. This goes on for as long as we can keep them on the line, They’re calling from India or Nigeria, or some other place where scammers populate, so the longer it takes to scam someone, the more it costs them. Our current record is 45 minutes, and I think this guy was about to blow a fuse in the end. I even managed to bring him to the point of screaming at me. I believe he called me a demented baboon or something similar, but he certainly wasn’t a happy chap.
I didn’t know it at the time, but I’ve since discovered that I was scam baiting. Yes there is a term for it. Whilst I was having fun, I was also helping to keep the scammers away from potential victims, plus screwing around with the minds of cunning thieves.
So what is scam baiting? Well, put simply, you enter into a dialogue with scammers, simply to waste their time and resources. It doesn’t matter if you are new to this sport or a hardened veteran, if you are wasting the time of a scammer, or frustrating them in any way, that’s good enough. There is an ever growing community of like-minded people who take great pleasure in beating the scammers at their own game.
Most scam baiters focus on the Nigerian 419 scam, but they are more than happy to deal with other types of scams if and when the opportunity arises, sometimes by phone, but mainly via email. Most scam baiter groups also have a large team of experts dedicated to the removal and closure of fake scammer banks and sites.
Much fun can be had and at the same time you will be doing a public service. If you are new to this game and need to know what scam baiting is all about, just Google scam baiting and you’ll see just how popular it’s become. Search also for baiting tips for information on getting started on this great cyber-sport.
Scam baiter groups even have forums where you can meet new friends and seek expert help, tips and advice on anti-scamming. The main role is to raise awareness about how scammers ruin lives. Professional scam baiters also manage to entice scammers into doing silly things such as holding up funny signs, or completing meaningless tasks. One of the best scam baiting examples I’ve seen is when a scammer was asked to get a tattoo on the promise of a $100,000 pay day. The scam baiter pretended to be the wealthy head of a church who was keen to build a following in African nations. In order for the scammer to receive the money, he had to be ordained into the ministry, and part of the many requirements was to have their church emblem tattooed on a prominent part of his body. The scam baiter even insisted on having video and photographic evidence of the tattoo being applied. In the end, the scammer had the tattoo done and got absolutely nothing for his troubles. I mean, what’s he going to do? Phone the cops?
Don’t Be A Victim!
Although scam baiting can be fun, the innocent people who fall victim to these criminals is anything but a joke. Don’t be fooled into thinking scammers operate from a specific part of the world. Advance fee fraud scammers are a world-wide menace, and they operate from every continent. These scammers range from small one-man-band criminals scamming a few thousand dollars a year, to highly organised groups raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars a month. Scammers have resources that allow them to copy the websites of banks to perfection, so that when you log on you have no idea that you’re passing on your user name and password to a third party.
Here are a few clues to look for:
• Hovering your mouse over the sender section usually reveals the actual email address of the person sending it. For example, if the email address is firstname.lastname@example.org, it’s pretty safe to assume that the email didn’t come from ANZ.
• No financial institution will EVER ask you to confirm your confidential details.
• The English grammar of scammers is usually very poor.
• Most scammers will give you an overly long story, usually involving some kind of hardship or personal dilemma that they need your help with.
We got an email last week from a man who wanted us to quote on 90,000 brochures to be delivered to an address in Egypt, because of course they have no printers over there. So after I replied using a fake email address, with a figure of $16,458 which I’d plucked out of my head, I got another email saying that they’d accepted my quote. I just needed to provide the weight to a shipping company that the scammer supplied to me. So I guessed the weight to be 8,215 kg and emailed it, to which they sent back a quote of $9,500. The next step is they say that they will give you credit card details for full payment. But before they do that, we need me to pay a deposit of $1,000 to the shipping company. And that’s fair enough isn’t it? I mean, he’s paying me over 25 grand, so what’s a thousand bucks? If I wanted to I could pretend I was going to pay and keep him on the hook for a bit longer, but I just prefer to recommend that he attend the next meeting of Scammers Anonymous.
Personalised Calendars – The Ideal Gift
If you have a relative or friend who is hard to buy for at Christmas, why not give them a personalised calendar. We have a large range of templates to choose from. Just supply the photos and we’ll do the rest. Personalised calendars start at just $12, so contact us today and let us create a special gift that will be treasured forever. Remember, we can start your calendar at any month, so you can order all year round.
Charity Christmas Cards
OK, I’m not going to lie to you. If you haven’t ordered your Charity Christmas Cards by now, it’s getting a bit on the difficult side. But don’t stress. Give us a call and we can update you on what card designs are still available. Check out the full range by clicking the Christmas Cards button. We can also print your own personalised Christmas cards using one of your photos. Contact us for more details.
Simply Print will close at 2 pm on Friday 18th December for a much deserved break. We will be open again on Monday 4th January. The deadline for any printing jobs required before Christmas is Friday 11th December. As this is our last newsletter for the year, we would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our loyal clients a very Merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year.
Brett and Brad