In planning any calendar printing project, the obvious fact to pay attention to is that each calendar is a time-sensitive product with a built-in distribution deadline. For the standard 2014 calendar, if your calendar will not be ultimately user’s hands earlier than January 1, 2014, they may already have found another. For a non-standard calendar that deadline could also be sooner (eg., a school-year calendar needs to be in the person’s fingers near the start of school if it will be useful to them). Working backwards from this absolute deadline may give you an excellent timeline for the entire mission.
How are you getting your calendars into the end consumer’s palms? Are you giving them away? In that case, then it must be relatively straight-forward to figure out the distribution logistics and determine by what date you will want to have calendars in hand. Or possibly you’re mailing them out to your clients or members; in that case you simply need to make sure you allow sufficient time for inserting into envelopes, including a cover letter, addressing and mailing. Or consider having the printer or a local mailhouse deal with mailing the calendars – it should probably be cheaper and simpler for you. Simply make sure you find out from the printer or mailhouse how much additional time they may want and factor it in.
If, then again, you plan to print a calendar and sell it, either as a nonprofit fundraiser or as a profit-making venture, then distribution is a bit more difficult. How much time you need for gross sales is dependent upon your sales technique. Are you selling at a local festival or different occasion? In that case, then that provides you a deadline, however keep in mind that you may be better off if you can sell at a number of occasions, in case attendance or gross sales at one occasion aren’t what you expect. Or maybe you are having volunteers sell calendars to family and friends or door-to-door. If so, you need to permit at the very least two weeks, and ideally as much as four weeks, since volunteers all have their own different schedules, and some will need reminders and encouragement.
For those who print a calendar that you plan to promote, it’s best to make sure you develop and implement a solid advertising and marketing plan. Marketing doesn’t have so as to add to the general duration of the calendar venture – you’ll be able to and should start advertising and marketing through the planning and manufacturing stages of the venture. However, in case you wait to begin marketing till you have the calendars in hand, then you will need to allow at the least just a few extra weeks, perhaps extra, to your marketing message to reach the supposed audience and encourage them to purchase.
The production phase of a calendar printing challenge begins if you hand off the entire pictures, text, logos, advertising, and so on. to the printer, and the printer turns it into calendar art work so that you can approve after which places it on the press and delivers to you the finished product. Be sure to speak to your printer early on to fins out how long this takes. In our case at Yearbox, it is normally about three weeks (generally sooner in case you have a particular deadline). If you happen to anticipate last-minute changes or additions, or if you will be proofing by committee, then it is best to most likely allow a bit of additional time – maybe a month in complete – for manufacturing.