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So, I’m sure everyone is aware of the surge in more people consciously buying local and how it affects your economy at home as opposed to ordering things online from megastores. This is topic close to our hearts because we are that small, local company that depends on our community to make it. We realize that means that we have to provide needed products and services with an excellent level of quality and customer service, and that is our goal. And we aren’t trying to conquer the world, or even the country. Our target market is Knox County and the counties surrounding us.
So, something happened this week to one of our staff members that really drove the point home regarding the benefits of working with local companies who know you. We offer business cards and other press printed products that we outsource since we currently do not have the ability to produce them in house. One of our providers is a huge national company with whom we have a commercial account (so we can get better rates for our customers). So, Danielle (she gave me permission to use her name in this post) ordered a large quantity of business cards last week from the previously mentioned company. This is what she received:
You are looking at the front and back of the card…aren’t they beautiful? But wait, there is something missing…oh yeah, all of her contact information…you know, like her name, website, phone number, etc. We told her that she could use these to be the really elusive photographer in Knoxville. Kind of like, “if you can figure out who I am with this information and find a way to contact me, then I might photograph you”. We thought she could be the photography version of The Artist formerly known as Prince. While it was funny, she didn’t think that was such a good marketing idea.
So, whose fault was it? The printer or Danielle? Well, Danielle is very disciplined in naming her files, so we thought it had to be the printer. But, alas, it wasn’t. She had accidentally named one of her files incorrectly, resulting in her ordering cards with two backs. One of them has strokes around the images and one doesn’t, but they are both the back side, just the same.
After we got through laughing, it came up how if we had been able to print those in house, that would not have happened. Not just because she works here, but because when we see something that we think may not be quite right, we will call the customer and try to fix the problem on the front end. We received an order for one page calendars not too long ago with an image on the bottom of each one. When I printed out a test print, I could tell that the image had not been properly inserted because it was stretched and distorted. So, we called the photographer so she could fix it instead of us printing 60 calendar pages that she would ultimately not be pleased with. How many of us have not managed to hold down the shift key when resizing something and not noticed because we are in a hurry or exhausted? I’m pretty sure I have. Anyway, the point being that one of the great benefits of being small is that we also get to be more personal and develop a closer relationship with our customers. I’m not trying to say anything negative about the commercial printer we used, for they are really large and they have measures in place that offer you the ability to try and catch your own mistakes, but they cannot feasibly do it for you and we completely understand that. Even being small and local, we won’t catch every mistake that someone might make, but if we do, we will do our best to notify them and help them fix it.
So, hope you got a laugh out of this and another reason to shop local:) Oh, and I promised Danielle a shameless plug for her business facebook page in return for using her name and story here. So, if you aren’t already a fan of Danielle Evans Photography, head on over to her page here. She does really nice work:)