Archive for October, 2012

Publishing Your Own Work

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

There is the well known belief that everybody has one novel inside them waiting to be written, whether this is true or not there are certainly plenty of people who have written their novel and want to get it published.  Simply because you have achieved the impressive feat of writing a novel doesn’t mean that you are then guaranteed to have it accepted by a publisher and printed.  It is for this reason that some authors decide it is in their best interests to publish their work themselves if they can afford to do so.

Not everybody who writes a novel or collection of poetry then goes on to have it published to critical acclaim immediately and they may find that it is rejected by a number of publishers.  Publishing companies receive more manuscripts than they are able to publish and so there has to be a process by which they are able to find the works which are most suitable for printing and are most likely to sell in the shops.  If an author has been rejected by publishing companies and can afford to do so, they might decide to fund the publishing themselves with the hope that they will make their money back through sales of the book.  In these situations it makes financial sense to use a printing company who offer a print on demand service.  Using a print on demand service means that a small number of the books can be printed and then once they have been sold more can be printed as and when they are needed.  This method can work out much better than having thousands of copies printing and then discovering that only a limited number of people actually want to buy your book.

It is not only aspiring authors of novels or poets who want to publish their own work as there are lots of people who may want to have some published or printed for a variety of reasons.  If a student is particularly proud of their dissertation and want to send copies to people they know or academic institutions which may be interested they might use a print on demand service to publish a specific number of copies to send out.  Similarly if somebody makes a very moving or memorable speech at a wedding or specific event and people request to have copies of it, it can make sense to pay to have a certain number printed by a professional printing company.

Self-publishing can often be a means of getting your work published and noticed when other options are not available.  If a publisher rejects your work it doesn’t mean you should necessarily give up writing; you may need to refine your style or keep writing until you find a style which works best for you.  If you are convinced that your work is worthy of being published and you want to see it happen then you might find that funding the publishing yourself is the best way to get the results you want.

How To Style Your Menu

Friday, October 26th, 2012

If you work in a cafe or a pub or restaurant you will know just how important it is to make sure that you not only get customers coming through the door but that they then want to stay and order something.  In order to ensure that people come through the door in the first place your cafe or restaurant has to look inviting and appealing both outside and inside.  If you have achieved this much you then don’t want to be let down by having a less than appealing looking menu card to offer your customers.  The style and layout of a menu is just as important as what is written on it and needs to be considered when you are establishing your new business.

It doesn’t matter how fabulous the food you have to offer might be, if customers sit down and are confronted with a tatty, grubby scrap of card with stains on it they are going to be reluctant to stay and find out how good the food is.  A poorly presented menu is more likely to drive people away than make them feel like staying and trying anything from it.  How you present your menu might seem like a trifling detail but it is one that mustn’t be overlooked when establishing your business.  It doesn’t matter too much how you have it printed or bound just so long as it looks good and reflects the kind of image that you want your eatery to promote.  Your menu can look perfectly good without needing to be fancy as after all it is the food that people come for but it is the menu which will lead them that way.

It is often the case that more expensive and slightly fancier restaurants will have menus which come in a binding and will perhaps have a leather effect cover on it.  This creates an impression of it being a grand and refined place to eat and enjoy yourself and this will no doubt also be reflected in the overall furnishings and appearance of the restaurant.  You don’t necessarily have to take that approach and you may find that you can do just as well with a simple laminated menu.  If you are running a small cafe or you regularly change the items that you have listed on your menu you may find that the best option is to use a printing company who offer laminating services.  Making use of laminating services means that your menu will still look professional and perfectly presentable but you won’t have to spend a small fortune every time that you want to make a change to your menu.

A menu doesn’t have to be particularly fancy or flamboyant but if you take a bit of time and effort it can make the difference between people choosing to eat there or not.  The important thing is that you don’t overlook it when you are making your plans and preparations.  The style of your menu can say a lot about your cafe or restaurant and you want to make sure it is saying the right things.

Can Environmental Awareness Improve Business?

Sunday, October 21st, 2012

Environmental awareness and the idea of trying to become as environmentally friendly as possible is something which is beginning to affect most aspects of everyday life; from governments to kettle manufacturers everybody wants to be seen as being green and doing what they can to look after the environment.  It is good that so many people are concerned about the welfare of the environment and the planet but can have environmental awareness actually do anything to improve and increase business?

The scale of the impact that being environmentally aware will have on a particular business will rather depend on what the business is and the type of thing that it does.  For some companies, it might simply not be possible for them to become more conscious about the environment due to the nature of what they do.  For example, it would be rather difficult for oil companies to start promoting themselves as being environmentally friendly as most people would simply dismiss the idea that an oil company could be concerned about the welfare of the planet.  For other companies, though there may be small but successful steps that they can take such as changing their printer paper to paper which has been approved by the FSC®.  Even the simple steps can make a difference and help to lessen the damaging impact that an individual company is having on the environment.

Printing and publishing is one area of the industry which can make a real difference in how it operates in order to become more conscious of the environmental impact.  Not all companies use paper products which have come from responsible sources but if they sign up to the Forest Stewardship Council and only use FSC approved products they will immediately know that they are doing what they can to be responsible and this can then lead on to customers being more willing to use their services.  If a customer is looking for a digital printing business to do some work for them they will find that there are many to pick from and so will want to whittle down their options to find the best one.  One of the factors which can play a part in the decision is whether the company takes environmental factors into consideration or not.

Not all companies have to take their impact on the environment into consideration when running their business and many who should don’t want to have to bother thinking about it; the ones who do consider it, often find that this can have a positive effect on the business and be a financially sound idea.  The process might involve more work and some difficult and costly decisions to become more environmentally friendly but it can help improve business as people will see the dedication and realise that it is a company which genuinely cares.

To make certain our prints are up to standard we ensure they are printed on FSC paper, as well as being 100% ECF Virgin Fibre. Although we are no longer FSC accredited, we have instead chosen to assign the fees paid through the administration of the FSC, to a scheme with the Woodland Trust called the Carbon Capture Scheme. You can read all about the Carbon Capture Scheme on our Purely Green page.

Charity Campaigning

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

Charity campaigning is a common occurrence and you are almost guaranteed to come across it in some form or another every day.  There can be no denying that charities do very important work and without them many people and causes would be much more worse off than they are now but unfortunately for many charities their campaigning tactics can often lead to people becoming very frustrated by them and so putting people off donating to the cause.

The campaigning which tends to annoy people the most is having campaigners on the high street or town centre.  Everybody will have had the experience of walking along minding their own business and then before they know what has happened they have accidentally made eye contact with a charity worker and have a matter of seconds to think of a reason why they can’t stop to talk.  There is nothing wrong with campaigning for charity but most people don’t want to be stopped on the street when they are trying to get on with things and they certainly don’t want to be asked to sign up to a direct debit scheme.  The other common tactic which although less intimidating is still thrust upon you is the television advert.  Television advertising allows the charity to show viewers pictures and footage which is relevant to their particular cause or appeal and is designed to tug on the heartstrings of the viewer so that they reach for their wallet.  Whilst charities work for good causes most people are unwilling to listen to adverts dictating who they should be giving their money to and which causes they should be supporting.

One form of campaigning which offers people more of a chance to think things through and come to their own conclusions is direct mailing where the charities send letters or leaflets through the post to people.  This is not only cheaper for the charities, as they can use print on demand companies for when they need leaflets, but it can also be a more effective tool.  If you are approached in the street or see an advert on the television you are likely to dismiss it or ignore it but if you receive a letter through the post you will probably spend a bit more time on the matter.  Naturally there will be people who throw the letters and leaflets away without even reading them first but if you give people the time to read all of the facts about a charity without being talked at by a worker they might decide that it is actually a cause they feel strongly about and want to do something to help with it.

Campaigning of any sort can prove to be a difficult affair and doesn’t always come up with the best results but for charities it is even more important that they approach the campaigning in the right way as very often they do not have the financial resources to be able to afford to make mistakes and try again.

Want To Go It Alone?

Friday, October 12th, 2012

Self-employment might be something which absolutely terrifies you and brings you out in a cold sweat thinking about finding clients and filling in tax forms or the prospect of working for yourself and being your own boss might seem like the best thing ever.  For the many people who are self-employed or freelance workers across a broad spectrum of areas one of the most important factors in how they work is advertising themselves in order to attract the attention of clients and customers as this is where their work comes from.  As advertising and marketing is so vital for your livelihood, if you are self-employed, you have to ensure that you are going about it the right way and doing it well.

One of the main ways in which you can advertise yourself and show what you can do is through a website which is dedicated to your self-employed work.  Whether you are an architect, tax consultant or child minder if you have a professional looking website which clearly shows people the type of thing that you do then it can help to boost the number of people using your services.  There are countless different free web hosting services you can use and it doesn’t take too much time or effort on your part to have a semi-decent looking page put together.  Depending on what it is you do and want to put on your site you might prefer to choose to pay more for your page as this usually gives you greater freedom over what you are able to do with it.  It doesn’t really matter how much you pay to have your website, the key thing is that it looks the part and will impress rather than put people off when they see it.  You need to have your name and contact information in a prominent place on the page so that it can’t be missed.

A more traditional and still relevant method of advertising yourself is through the trusty business card.  Although it is often simply a small piece of card with a name and phone number on it the humble business card is a way of getting your details to other people and that then stays in their possession and they are likely to turn to it when they are in need of whatever service it is you offer.  In order to make you business cards look a bit more attractive you may want to have some foil stamped business cards made.  Foil stamped business cards add a bit more colour and interest to a business card without looking over the top.  Naturally there are lots of ways in which you can make your business card look different but you also want to keep it quite simple so that your contact details are not lost in all of the fancy artwork on the card.

Deciding to go it alone and become self-employed is not an option that everybody would feel happy to choose and many of those who do still find it a very challenging thing to get to grips with but with the help of proper advertising and marketing you stand a better chance of gaining regular clients and customers.