Quick bit on Microsourcing (yes, still a tease)
It’s been a short while since my last post, but let me tell you why: I’m still trying to figure out how to make Microsourcing work. The key idea with microsourcing is that you should break up any outsourcing task into small chunks that can quickly be outsourced, easily measured for results, and then paid in smaller increments. This should alleviate any of the problems traditionally associated with outsourcing: poor communicaton, poor control, and lack of visibility. But, that said, it’s hard to know just how small a task should be. So, I’m still working on that.
Get efficient. Do Online Printing.
But more to the point, I want to discuss what has recently been a bit of a god-send to us four-hour-a-weekers: online printing. What is online printing? To us 4HWWers, it’s a way of outsourcing your printing needs to a third party at a cost and complexity much lower than you can do on your own or with a local print shop. Online print shops, like PsPrint give small shops and small businesses (or the muse that you are creating) a way of delivering high-quality print products (such as business cards, brochures, flyers, posters, booklets, catalogs, CDs, and even things like calendars) with short-turn around times, online convenience, and very competitive prices.
I’ve worked with many local print shops, and while I always love the small guy, the truth of the matter is that they really can’t compete. I’ve been very frustrated by the large “print shop” chains that are even worse than Wal-mart equivalents since they are higher price, poor quality, worse service, and fewer offerings than the online print shops can offer. In truth, no traditional printer or local copy shop can really match the breadth, capability, price, and quality than online print shops can offer.
Here’s how I use them: need to quickly put together a booklet or flyer for an online product or print offering? Want to quickly put together some sales sheets for that muse you are working on? Need some business cards to create your in-person identity? Quickly put together a sketch, or even better, use the online design tools provided by these online printers to create custom print products in minutes. Many of these online printers offer customizable templates. Some even go an extra step and will handle mailing and deliver logistics for you as well, including providing mailing lists and custom mailing services.
Why am I saying this now? I’m still surprised at how little is mentioned about the power of the Internet not only for delivering online goods, but also for printing and distrbution of real-world items. Online print shops really provide a way of getting your ideas and concepts to market quickly…. and more importantly, keeping you to your four day a week goal.