I am a big believer in building businesses with virtual teams. With virtual teams, you don’t have the luxury of a well-equipped office. With team members spread out all over the country, especially when working from home offices, it can be difficult to get print jobs done fast.
Staples offers print and marketing services that include business cards, flyers, postcards, signs, banners, booklets, brochures, promotional giveaways, and just about anything your business needs for marketing.
The other day I had the opportunity to test the on-site print and marketing services at Staples.
Staples offers print customers two options:
- Self-serve – It is great for smaller jobs such as a few copies or print a presentation. The self-serve area includes what you expect to see in a well-equipped corporate copy room. There was a fax machine, a high-end printer, and a couple of huge copy machines. For added convenience you can pay right at the machine, so you don’t have to stand in line to pay for it all.
- Full-serve – When you need more complex print jobs, use the full-service option. This is great for large quantity print jobs. They even offer binding and lamination services.
I had a chance to use both the full-service and self-service options. I had a document to scan in the self-service section. I really like the self-service option because I can move at my own speed. I know what I want and the equipment is there.
You can print from a USB drive or even from cloud file storage such as Dropbox. All equipment is easy to use, with step-by-step instructions right on each machine. You are in-and-out in no time with your printed documents.
In addition, I had two different print jobs for the full-service area.
The first one was fairly simple. I needed to print copies of a business brochure. The Staples employee took my USB drive and loaded it onto the PC. I showed the employee which file I wanted to print. I could choose between several paper options and a couple of finishing options such as matte or gloss. You can see the final result in the image below.
The second print job was much larger, literally. This print job was a three-foot by six-foot banner. I was surprised that Staples had the equipment in-house to print something that large.
I had printed large banners like this before, using online services. Even if the service is done fast, you have to expect a couple of days for fulfillment, then another couple of days for shipping.
Staples surprised me with the speed of their service. About two hours after I submitted my print order, I received a phone call that I could go and pick it up. Once I saw the final product, I was very pleased with the quality. Despite the size of the banner, the quality was great. There was no pixelated texture you expect to see with large print jobs. I was pleasantly surprised. You can see the large banner Staples printed for me below.
I actually drove to Staples to place my order. The Staples employee showed me how to place my order on the Staples website and I found that once I place the order online, I can select at which location I want to pick up my order. You could use this service to send a print job to one of your team members at another location by doing the following: place your order; select the out-of-town location; ask your team member to pick it up at their local Staples location. The Staples Print & Marketing Services employee was very knowledgeable, courteous and helpful.
Based on my experience, if you need something printed fast, give Staples a try. It’s that easy!