Dude! Seriously! Use Vistaprint!

As I have mentioned before, my husband and I are working hard to get in better shape. One step he has taken is to hire a personal trainer.

In many ways, I feel like business coaches are a lot like personal trainers. Anyone who can help you set goals and get you where you want to be—simply and quickly—deserves the title “coach.” You pay him, you have to show up, and results happen.

Well, one day I was cleaning our home office and I came across the trainer’s business card. And I use that term loosely.

It was a business card in that it contained his name, title, phone number and e-mail address. But from my perspective, it was a disaster. He may as well have scribbled his e-mail address on a cocktail napkin or etched it into one of those Bud Light bottles with write-on lables they were testing in bars (which I thought were really funny, by the way.)

He clearly printed it himself on lightweight cardstock. Black ink on white paper. Flimsy. Boring. And I thought to myself, “Dude! Have you never heard of Vistaprint?”

Because that is what Vistaprint is there for. For individual people and small-one person start ups to get started up. My Mom of Twins club prints cards with Vistaprint, usually for free. We use them to pick up other moms of twins at parks, the grocery store; you get the picture, right? You can get 250 cards printed free when you respond to an Evite, for god’s sake.

Here are a few further thoughts on this matter.

1. We should be glad Vistaprint is there, because it keeps these $20 orders out of our shops.

2. A Vistaprint user like the one above is NOT your customer. Now, when he opens up his own gym, hires a staff and expands, THEN he is your customer, so we can thank Vistaprint for helping to get him there. Because with a little thought and care, ANYONE can print up nice business cards, which in my world, everyone should STILL do, because it makes you look professional and polished. And that you care.

Now working as a consultant, Kelly sold digital printing for 15 years so she understands the challenges, frustrations and pitfalls of building a successful sales practice. Her mission is to help printers of all sizes sell more stuff. Kelly's areas of focus include client recovery, retention and acquisition, and marketing communications projects.
Kelly graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Political Science and, among other notable accomplishments, co-founded the Windy City Rollers, a professional women's roller derby league.

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  • tpisolutionsink

    Fantastic! You are so right with this article . . . "They do what they do, so now you go and do what YOU do, and find yourself another big fish! " ~Carrie

  • Printing Arts Company

    Well said and true.

  • Rod

    Great little article! I’ve had the same thoughts about VistaPrint. Thanks for putting it in words for all of us!
    Mail-Graphics Print & Ad
    Los Angeles

  • Printing19yrs

    5000 complaints on BBB – no phone number for customer service? Sending out of the country for printing…hmmm. Fail

  • Brian Rothschild

    “Dude! Have you never heard of Vistaprint?” Kelly are you serious? Thanks for helping promote large scale industrious print conglomerates so we small prepress/print pros can apply for unemployment a little quicker. P.S. Any VP card thats done at discount or free will have the VP logo on the back. Nice little free advertising ploy. Your are good Kelly but this article/blog sux!

  • Printing company owner

    Kelly, Let them do what they do? Really? Slander the small business owners who own the "local print shops" that they refer to in their commercials on national TV? On one hand they are looking for business from "small businesses" and in the next sentence – they are insulting the "small business owners" that own the local print shops. All businesses have their niche and do better to produce what is in their best capability to provide effectively. But don’t insult others to gain sales. It’s just bad business overall. I agree with your approach and the questions you ask the prospect, but, you should never insult the propspects’ intelligence by saying demeaning things about the vendor they currently use. Now – what was the strategy for those Vistaprint commercials?

  • louise

    Their products are awful.. Cheap looking.. and watch for their hidden costs.. And you pay to advertise for them.. NOT !

  • john

    Dude.. You just said what I’ve been telling people for years. Sorry to tall the smaller shops that would like to compete. Vista is a behemoth and creates a chance to make your own business better.

    Kelly- well done

  • Richard Verschoor

    Using Vista Print is one step above writing on the napkin. At least the cards that I have seen from them. If you have or are starting a business and can’t afford a decent card you are in trouble to start with. Imagine being introduced to a possible business relationship and giving him a freebee card. That prospect isn’t even worth a nickle?

  • Brian

    This article is kind of ridiculous.

    If we go with your premise of letting VistaPrint eat up the small work, so now instead of 10 printing companies all trying to get the same business from a specific company now we have 100. How is that gonna help?

    Competition is fierce enough as it is, you suggest to make it tougher? Doesn’t make sense to me.


  • lowz

    I know for a fact a local private university that uses Vista Print for postcard printing . They are taking business from all of us because their price becomes the barometer. Fed Ex is a better source for the lone proprietor wanting cards. Vista Print is to the quick printer is what Wallmart was to the independent drug store…..lowering profits until we walk away !

    People want convenience. They have that down with simplified templates. Most people are not very creative. Has anyone watched " House Hunters" when people cannot envision a different color paint or appliance?

  • Scott Cappel

    I find myself telling individuals I meet that want affordable short run work the same all the time. As a printer, if what Vistaprint does and who it caters to is a threat to you, you’re in more trouble than you think.

  • Kathleen

    The advantages to using smaller print shops is number one customer service and the relationship with the custmer. Number two is VP does not offer design services, does not have a 100% satisfaction guarantee on their products. You are given 15 seconds of your custmers attention when you had out a business card- if it does not POP to them you just wasted time and money.

  • Mike Casey

    I am finding more printers are buying from Vista or 4over, marking it up and making more money versus printing themselves. Value add is the focus for many now and the" put ink on paper commodity stuff" like business cards seems to be an area for a win/win. I would be careful not to broadcast your customer base in situations where coopetition turns into competition. Beware of that. Keep your most valuable asset, your customer base, tight to your chest.