As most of you guys might have already know, I started this business from scratch. The business was undoubtedly small, and that also means that the budget that me and my co-founders had at that time, was very scarce. Because of this, I have searched for many ways to save cost on the production and marketing and pretty much everything. From finding a cheaper supplier, to learning how to do things myself, in order to cut costs on outsourcing skills. So I figured, I might as well share some of these knowledge that I have gained over the years in bringing up this small business. I'm sure it'll do justice to at least a few of my readers, yes? :D
I got this idea of sharing a few business tips on the blog ever since I started getting DMs and Whatsapp texts from my fellow business mates (and even customers), asking me about my opinions and how I handle certain things in running the business. Now, I know Organic Touch Malaysia is still small and growing (we have big dreams but taking one step at a time in achieving them), so my tips might not be as great as some of you guys might wish, but hey, it's better than nothing, right? And I really hope it'll be enough to give a good kick start to the fellow new business mates who are starting their business from scratch too. :)
So...here are the Smart Tips for the small business owners to save cost on stickers!
1. Design the stickers yourself.
But if you cant, just hire a designer to design for you, and get the softcopy. A good place to start for cheap, beautiful artworks would be at Fiverr. Google this! It's an online community where they unite all creative people and designers from around the world, for them to offer their creative services. And the prices start from $5! (Of course, the website will charge a fee of $1 per design, so upon confirming your purchase, you'll be paying $6 instead of $5. But hey, that's still just RM24.70 in our currency!). This is very cheap as compared to a professional designer's price. Normal designers will charge anywhere between RM100-200 per sticker design.
P/s: We even got our official logo done on Fiverr. Cool huh? :D
2. Arrange the design in PowerPoint (or Photoshop).
Once you have your design, arrange it in PowerPoint (if you're not an expert in Photoshop, like me), and set the paper size to A3. Please do it in A3 and not A4. Although A4 sounds easier to work with, it really isn't much of a budget saver. Try it! You'll see what I mean.
3. Buy a bulk packet of A3 sized sticker paper.
Go to a stationery shop and get a pack of 100 pcs of A3 sticker paper. Buy 100 pcs pack is ALWAYS cheaper than buying individual ones. Trust me, I learnt it the hard way. If you're in Shah Alam or Subang, try to search for Becon Stationery Store. They sell wholesale stationeries there. EVERYTHING IS CHEAP. If you're from other states (in Malaysia), just Google them. They do have an online store, thank God. They can ship the goods to your location easily. The same method applies to other countries as well. Search for a wholesale stationery supply store near your place, and buy the sticker papers in bulk. :D
4. Print with your paper.
Bring your A3 design and your A3 sticker papers to a nearby printing shop. Ask them to print using YOUR paper. They will charge RM1.80 to RM2.50 per page, depending on how full-colored your design is. But if you print there using their sticker papers, they'll charge RM4.50 - RM7 per page. Crazy big difference, right?
Sure, some may say "RM4.50 per page is not a lot. Still cheap." But hey, in the business world, especially when you're building it from scratch, RM4.50 is a big amount. And most of the time, you won't be printing one or two pages. You'll be printing 10-20 pages. So, which one would you rather pay, RM18 or RM45 for 10 pages?
5. Cutting the stickers.
Of course, this method has its cons too. Since you'll be cutting the stickers on your own, you'll be limited to simple shapes only, like square and rectangle (this explains why we rarely use any complicated shapes in our packaging labels :D ). But fret not, the same printing shop usually offers a pre-cut sticker printing option. This means that after they print it for you, they can use their cutting machine to pre-cut the stickers according to the shapes that you like. I usually skip this option to save more on the sticker costs. Besides, there were four of us handling this business, we can cut the stickers ourselves as our pastime. :D
Of course, this method will definitely be a tedious one, especially if you already have a lot in your hands. But the decision is yours on which one are you trying to save; money or time? Now that there's a lotttttt of things going on, I'm starting to opt for a quicker method but of course, a little more pricey, which is to get the stickers pre-cut in the printing shop. I still save a lot though, because I still buy the sticker papers in bulk and ask the printing shops to use my paper to print. :)
And, if you wish to get a more complex sticker design done, there are tons of new online printing companies offering this service. Just Google them, or search at Instagram's hashtags. :D
Here are some of our products, all done with pure hard labor for the stickers. :D
The Mother's Day Limited Edition products. Yep, we cut the circular stickers by hand. Not even joking about it.
Our white paper bag that we use for COD orders. Gotta make it look more official. Hence, the sticker logo. :D
One of our early products. The foot soaks.
- Cheaper option. Save more money for you to invest on more important things for your business, like marketing and buying raw materials in bulk.
- No minimum order quantity (MOQ) for every design. You can even print one sticker, no one's gonna say you can't. But if you order from a sticker printing shop, they'll usually make you follow an MOQ of 100 pcs per design.
- Time consuming. Unless you have a lot of spare time, or you have an employee to do this job for you, you will find yourself tired cutting all the stickers yourself. But heyyy, where there's a will, there's a way! :D
- Limited freedom in choosing a complicated shape. I'm not saying it's impossible, because the human's hand is the best tool for almost everything. Of course you can cut complex shapes like hexagon, star, scallop, etc. but it will definitely consume even more of your time and patience.
So there you have it, an elaborate post for a Small Business Smart Tips. I hope this article will help ease your journey in building your hopes and dreams with anything related to sticker printing costs. I know, they can be pretty pricey these days.
Let me know what you think in the comment box below!
And feel free to also drop a comment, if you have any suggestions on what you'd like me to share about next.
Thanks a bunch!
Your multitasker hero.