In planning any calendar printing challenge, the obvious reality to pay attention to is that every calendar is a time-sensitive product with a built-in distribution deadline. For a standard 2014 calendar, in case your calendar is not in the end person’s hands before January 1, 2014, they might already have found another. For a non-standard calendar that deadline may be sooner (eg., a school-year calendar needs to be in the user’s hands near the start of college if it’ll be useful to them). Working backwards from this absolute deadline may give you an excellent timeline for the whole undertaking.
How are you getting your calendars into the top consumer’s fingers? Are you giving them away? If that’s the case, then it must be relatively straight-forward to determine the distribution logistics and determine by what date you have to to have calendars in hand. Or perhaps you might be mailing them out to your customers or members; in that case you just have to be sure you permit sufficient time for inserting into envelopes, including a cover letter, addressing and mailing. Or think about having the printer or a local mailhouse deal with mailing the calendars – it would probably be cheaper and easier for you. Simply ensure you find out from the printer or mailhouse how much extra time they are going to want and issue it in.
If, on the other hand, you propose to print a calendar and sell it, both as a nonprofit fundraiser or as a profit-making enterprise, then distribution is a bit more sophisticated. How much time you want for gross sales is dependent upon your sales technique. Are you promoting at a neighborhood festival or other occasion? If so, then that gives you a deadline, however take into account that you’ll be higher off for those who can promote at a number of occasions, in case attendance or sales at one event are not what you anticipate. Or possibly you’re having volunteers promote calendars to family and friends or door-to-door. In that case, you should permit a minimum of two weeks, and ideally up to four weeks, since volunteers all have their own different schedules, and some will want reminders and encouragement.
When you print a calendar that you just plan to promote, you should make sure you develop and implement a strong advertising and marketing plan. Advertising does not have to add to the overall duration of the calendar challenge – you can and should start marketing in the course of the planning and manufacturing phases of the project. Nonetheless, when you wait to begin advertising and marketing till you will have the calendars in hand, then you have to to permit at the very least a couple of extra weeks, perhaps extra, for your advertising and marketing message to succeed in the intended audience and motivate them to buy.
The manufacturing phase of a calendar printing project starts while you hand off all of the photographs, textual content, logos, advertising, etc. to the printer, and the printer turns it into calendar artwork for you to approve after which puts it on the press and delivers to you the completed product. Make sure you talk to your printer early on to fins out how lengthy this takes. In our case at Yearbox, it’s usually about three weeks (sometimes sooner if in case you have a specific deadline). For those who anticipate last-minute changes or additions, or if you can be proofing by committee, then it is best to in all probability permit a little additional time – possibly a month in total – for production.