Print Estimating and Order Management … Simplified

A Guide to help Print Companies and Sign Shops

The Do’s and Don’ts of Pricing Banners
Written by ordant on August 30, 2017

Pricing banners isn’t as simple as it seems. Variables in materials, design, and workflow efficiency affect whether a banner will be profitable and meet the customer’s quality expectations.

Pricing a banner too low doesn’t give you much room for making adjustments if the client doesn’t like the way the finished banner looks. You also won’t generate the profits needed to keep growing your business. Here are some do’s and don’ts to consider when pricing banners.

DON’T compete for jobs solely on cost per square foot. Clients buy banners simply on the basis of lowest cost per square foot can be duped into buying the wrong type of banner for their needs. They might not understand whether they are buying a banner made with a low-cost polypropylene or lightweight indoor-banner vinyl instead of a heavier weight outdoor scrim banner vinyl material.   

DON’T fool yourself into believing that a simple pricing formula (such as 3x the cost of your materials) will be enough to keep your business profitable. Without an in-depth understanding of all of your fixed monthly costs, your shop can lose money if your monthly sales volume fluctuates throughout the year.You will also lose money if most customers switch to lower-cost materials.

DO use a formula that takes into account: 1) the cost of all materials used; 2) the time it takes to complete all facets of the job; 3) your hourly shop rate for each billable hour; 4) the cost of optional services such as design or installation; and 5) a markup.

DO determine an accurate hourly shop rate that will be used for all billable hours. This rate should cover all fixed costs your business incurs each month whether doing a paying job or not. This includes costs such as:

  • Facilities (such as rent. mortgage, maintenance, property taxes)
  • Gross wages (with payroll taxes)
  • Equipment (computers, printers, laminators, cutters, routers, etc)
  • Software (subscriptions or upgrades)
  • Support services (accounting, legal, cleaning, website hosting)
  • Utilities (trash pick-up, internet access, cell phone, natural gas, electricity)
  • Vehicles (gas, service, and vehicle payments)
  • Supplies (office supplies, packing materials, small tools)
  • Marketing (printing, agency services, advertising, trade-show booths)
  • Training (workshops, conference travel)
  • Insurance (health, liability, vehicle, worker’s comp)

The hourly shop-rate at your facility will differ from that of other sign shops or print shops. A lot depend on where your shop is located and how many employees you have.

DON’T underestimate how long it will actually take to produce a banner job. In addition to the time it takes to print the banner, consider how much time is spent estimating the job, setting up and approving the final design files, hemming the banner, adding grommets, and packing the banner for delivery.  

DO consider adding a markup your cost of materials. Although you can purchase banner vinyl at $0.50 per square foot, that doesn’t mean you should use that cost in preparing your quotes. Some material is likely to be wasted, particularly if you are printing a long, narrow banner on a wide roll of material. You can reduce waste by ganging up multiple jobs to run on the same roll of material. But this might not be possible if your customer needs the banner printed immediately. Consider charging material costs by linear foot, instead of square foot.   

DON’T overlook variables that can change the production costs. For example, add a design fee if the customer expects you to design the banner. Or, consider charging a higher rate for full-color banners that include photographs or banners that will be printed on both sides. Photographic or two-sided banners will consume more ink than a banner that only involves a few lines of text. A photographic banner that will be viewed up close in a trade-show booth may need to be printed at a slower “best quality” mode than an outdoor banner that will be viewed quickly from a distance.

DO include a markup on every job. Your markup should be big enough to cover any unforeseen problems that crop up during production and ensure you earn a profit. To stay in business over the long run, your business needs money to pay the bills during slow periods and buy additional equipment and marketing services that can keep your business growing.  

DO offer discounts for high-volume or repeat customers. Some customers will be more profitable than others. You want to incentivize them to keep doing business with you.

DON’T try to keep all of the numbers and formula to produce quotes in your head. A print business-management program such as Ordant software enables you and other members of your  staff employees to produce profit-generating quotes quickly and consistently. Ordant can be customized for whatever pricing formula you choose to use.

To see how easy it is to set up and use Ordant estimating and order management software, schedule a demonstration at www.ordant.com

 

 

About Ordant

Ordant is cloud-based, integrated Print MIS and Web to Print software for print companies and sign shops. It is fast, easy to use, and secure. With Ordant, you can calculate the exact cost of custom price estimates, simplify order management, and set up online B2B or B2C storefronts. Ordant can improve print-shop profitability by streamlining online proofing, email order approval, customer relationship management (CRM), time tracking, Automated Emails, and file uploading. Ordant reduces the need to re-enter relevant customer and job-shipment data in apps such as FedEx, UPS, Quickbooks, Slack, Stripe, and Google Drive. Ordant software can be used with many types of printing, including offset, lithography, digital printing, screen printing, wide format printing and label printing

print estimating cloud
Features:
Print Estimating
Web-to-Print StoreFront
CRM
Online Proofing
Upload Files
Purchase Orders
Connects to: Slack Google Drive Stripe Fedex UPS QBO

Offset – Digital Printing – Screen Printing – Large Format Printing

Call today at 1-888-861-5228 to automate your Print Estimating and Order Management Process.

Ordant adapts to our needs and the intuitive design makes it easy for us to use for growing our business.
George M.
The simplest software to use, the most tools for the money, and the best way to grow profits.
Aaron C.
We got up and running with Ordant, FAST! The simple software cut back on training and integration issues. The Ordant team made the process smooth.
Kim R.
The best print estimating solution we've worked with for large-format printing
Bruce C.
Over the past months and with minimal consultation during weekly conversations we have accomplished
Rick M.
The best job management and estimation software we've used.
Diane C.
Our company was looking for something simple and cloud based--we found the answer with Ordant. Ordant's estimating and other tools have really helped us expand our business.
Rory O.
Ordant is a great choice for your business. They've helped ours so much!
D.S.
Ordant's attention-to-detail is superior to every other service we've used. They quickly answer all of our questions and help us with our concerns.
Brad G.
We searched for a great print solution for months! I'm happy to say that when we discovered Ordant, our search was over!
Carlos A. D.
Supportive customer service with an amazing level of patience.
Krystal S.
Great System, Great Support, Great Service!
Paul C.
The Most powerful print estimating software we've used!
Michael C.
BEST order management system our company has encountered.
Keeana B.
Ordant has saved our company so much time and money.
Kelly N.
Easy to use software for offset, digital and wide format print estimates
Jose I.
A comprehensive large-format solution that was great for my business
Art M.
Ordant is truly efficient and definitely the easiest to use.
Jonny W.
We highly recommend using Ordant because it has really helped our business.
Catrina E.
Great way to weigh all the different options and costs for print.
Jess S.