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BizTrends 2018

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Manufacturing Indaba 2018

Versatile print and marketing solutions for SMEs

An innovative and versatile business-centric complete printing solution - The Sample Site - has been developed in South Africa especially for SMEs by photographic printing company, Printstagram.
Printstagram launched in October 2013 and by April 2014 had achieved an unprecedented 7,000 customers and had launched an array of popular print products for personal and business use.

The new Sample Site is designed for easy use and removes the traditional issues that are problematic for small enterprises, such as design and DTP.

According to Printstagram GM, Steven Krein, The Sample Site's software, which has been dubbed 'InDesign for Dummies', makes marketing more accessible and user-friendly for small businesses.

"The fact is that 150,000 new businesses are launched in South Africa each year, of which 72% fail in the first three years. While there is quite a lot of government assistance for small businesses, most of them fail on the marketing side."

The Sample Site is based loosely on the idea of VistaPrint, the world's biggest online print company, which is listed on the NASDAQ with a market capital of almost US$1.3billion, and which was built on the notion that SMEs are not effectively catered for. It is a Netherlands-based online supplier of printed and promotional material and marketing services to micro businesses and consumers, specialising in on-demand print products.

Solutions to marketing problems

The Sample Site is following suit and is providing solutions to many of the marketing problems encountered by small and home office businesses in South Africa.

"What we provide is a system that enables people to put together all their marketing collateral online - business cards, flyers, brochures, pull up banners (from standard print), presentation folders and personalised packaging. They simply use our software, which has built-in design and proofing tools, and includes templates, page layouts, fonts, clip art and stock images. When they have created their designs on The Sample Site, they also receive the print file, not just the printed collateral, which means they can also use their designs in emails or on their websites in pdf format.

"Websites are also increasingly important for small businesses to establish and maintain, and The Sample Site allows them to design, create and maintain a good webpage with our software at comparatively low costs," explains Krein.

Gifting is a valuable part of small business marketing, and this too, is available in many formats on The Sample Site - but with a difference. "Companies are able to do short runs of products such as pens, lanyards, stylus pens, and t-shirts, all done digitally, in full colour, and available personalised with the company name and, if desired, even the client name." Krein says another corporate gifting product that is trending at the moment is paper wallets, which can be customised on The Sample Site.

"Companies are used to paying as much as R250 for a setup charge, which generally makes personalising gifting or stationery unaffordable, but with The Sample Site, this forms part of our process and we are able to produce a single pen at less than R30, excluding delivery."

The Sample Site, which launched on 15 July 2014, has a wide range of marketing offerings for small businesses - all at highly competitive prices with many customised options and corporate discounts available.

"We have developed a process of customisation and online proofing that offers huge benefits to users of The Sample Site," says Krein. "Sign-off is a simple and straightforward process - and quickly takes the customer through to the ordering stage. We understand this business. We've cut our teeth at Printstagram in dealing with the end user, where every single product is different - this gives us a definite competitive advantage. We offer efficiency and personalisation in small quantities to the thousands of businesses out there that are in need of just this service."

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