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APRIL 2015

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APRIL 2015

 

The Value of Being Prepared

 

One of our long-standing associates in the print industry had a favourite expression, “How long is a piece of string?”. This was often given in response to questions like, “How much do you charge for a brochure?”.

 

We all know the devil is in the details, when it comes to your own business, but sometimes we don’t fully realize how important it is to be thorough, specific and fully prepared when it comes to working with communications and design consultants. Important, first of all because it saves money, but also, especially in the case of working with graphic designers, writers and other marketing professionals, it helps to get a more effective communications solution, in less time.

 

IT PAYS TO DO YOUR HOMEWORK

 

When your communications supplier sits down to begin your project, the more they know about who you are, what you need and who your customers are, the better the result, which means the better your results will be.

 

The importance of being prepared with thought-out content, and accurate project details can’t be overstated. In larger organizations, including government, lengthy requests for proposals (RFPs) or creative briefs are commonly used to nail down the requirements of a project. But small businesses, although they rarely have to go to these lengths, should have the same attitude about their assignments. So what should you provide? If you aren’t sure, ask us (or one of the experienced suppliers on your bid list) for some guidance. The bottom line here is that time and effort invested in the front end of a project pays off through the latter stages. It pays to do your homework!

 

INACCURATE INFORMATION COSTS

 

When it comes to handing over the content for a project to your communications professional, it’s important to take the time needed to ensure that it’s complete, accurate, and fully proofread. In the case of designing a book, catalogue or magazine-style publication, changes made to the text takes far more time, (therefore money) when executed in the design/layout stage than it does in the original word processing document.

 

‘Billable Author’s Alterations’ are revisions that a designer makes to a layout after the client has submitted the final approved content, but changes their mind. This can include: omissions or incomplete information, style or spelling errors, incorrect or inaccurate content not provided in the beginning. All of this results in additional time and additional costs. No one  enjoys getting an invoice for a project that is above the quoted price.  This situation is considerably minimized when communication is clear up front and accurate information is provided.

 

Be specific, accurate and prepared, and save money!