All posts by Brent Natzke

Drying time of various inks

The drying time of dye-based and pigment-based inks can vary significantly due to their different compositions and properties.

Dye-based inks typically dry faster than pigment-based inks. This is because dye inks consist of colorants dissolved in a liquid solvent, which evaporates relatively quickly after printing. As a result, dye-based inks tend to penetrate the printing substrate more readily and dry faster on the surface.

On the other hand, pigment-based inks contain solid pigment particles dispersed in a liquid carrier. These particles do not dissolve but are suspended in the carrier fluid. As a result, pigment-based inks usually take longer to dry compared to dye-based inks. The liquid carrier must evaporate, leaving behind the pigment particles bonded to the surface of the substrate. This process generally takes more time, especially for thicker layers of ink or when printing on absorbent materials.

However, it’s essential to consider other factors that can influence drying time, such as the type of substrate being printed on, environmental conditions (e.g., temperature and humidity), and the specific formulation of the ink. Additionally, advances in ink technology have led to the development of fast-drying pigment inks and slow-drying dye inks, blurring the traditional distinctions between the two types in terms of drying time.

We’ve added a ColorLabs Black Hybrid Ink

Ink4mail is now carrying the ColorLabs MRH09A Black Hybrid Ink

ColorLabs MRH09A is a hybrid pigment/dye based ink that allows for fast dry times without an inline dryer on a variety of coated stocks.

The broad range of uses can cover 80% of end users needs, according to the manufacturer.

If you are interested in trying this new ink formulation, please check our website for current pricing.

Please let us know if there are other inks that you would like us to stock, and we’ll see what we can work out.

Starting 2024

As we close the books on 2023 and look ahead to what 2024 might be, we are always thankful for your business and loyalty. We work hard to meet your needs in a quick, efficient and cost-effective manner, and we appreciate your responsiveness to that.

We hope that you will have a great 2024, and that we can play a small part in that success.


AI on Collecting Payments

Navigating the labyrinth of debt collection is a challenge that many businesses, especially small ones, face with a mix of frustration and determination. The pursuit of owed funds can feel like a delicate dance, one where a misstep could cost more than the debt itself. It’s a tricky balance between maintaining client relationships and ensuring that the bills get paid.

One of the primary difficulties in collections is the delicate art of communication. On one hand, businesses want to be assertive in seeking what’s rightfully theirs, but on the other, they don’t want to alienate clients. Striking the right tone in emails and phone calls becomes crucial, turning each interaction into a diplomatic negotiation rather than a confrontation. It’s about threading the needle between persistence and understanding.

Technology has brought both advantages and challenges to the collection game. While digital tools can streamline the process, they also introduce new complexities. Automated reminders can be a helpful nudge for clients, but they can also be easily ignored in a flooded inbox. The challenge lies in finding the right balance between leveraging technology for efficiency and maintaining a personal touch that reminds clients of the human aspect behind the invoices.

Legal complexities add another layer of difficulty to the collection process. Small businesses often lack the legal resources that larger corporations have, making it challenging to navigate the intricacies of debt recovery laws and regulations. It’s like trying to solve a puzzle with missing pieces, where businesses need to be cautious not to overstep legal boundaries while still pursuing what’s rightfully theirs.

In the world of collections, patience is not just a virtue; it’s a survival skill. Payments may be delayed for various reasons, and distinguishing between a genuine delay and intentional avoidance can be a time-consuming task. It’s a waiting game, sometimes requiring a delicate balance of persistence and restraint.

Despite the difficulties, the process of collections is a necessary element of business survival. It’s a testament to a company’s resilience and financial health. Successfully navigating these challenges often involves a combination of clear communication, technological savvy, legal acumen, and a healthy dose of patience—turning what seems like a collection difficulty into an opportunity for growth and financial stability.

AI on Resilience

Small business resilience is like the unsung hero of the entrepreneurial world—a quiet force that keeps businesses going through thick and thin. It’s that ability to bounce back from setbacks, adapt to changes, and navigate the unpredictable twists and turns of the business landscape. Picture a local coffee shop that weathers economic downturns, embraces the ebb and flow of customer preferences, and still manages to brew up success. It’s about more than just surviving; it’s thriving in the face of challenges.

One of the key ingredients in the resilience recipe is adaptability. Small businesses often wear many hats, and their capacity to pivot when needed is nothing short of impressive. Whether it’s adjusting to new technologies, shifting market trends, or even a global pandemic, these businesses showcase a remarkable ability to evolve without losing their essence. It’s like a constant dance—a two-step of tradition and innovation.

Relationships are another cornerstone of small business resilience. It’s not just about transactions; it’s about knowing your customers by name, understanding their needs, and building a community around your brand. This personal touch creates a loyal customer base that stands by the business even when times get tough. It’s the local bookstore owner recommending a new novel based on your taste or the corner bakery remembering your favorite pastry.

Small business resilience isn’t always about grand gestures or sweeping transformations. Often, it’s the small, daily decisions and actions that accumulate over time, creating a sturdy foundation. It’s the mom-and-pop shop that opens its doors every morning, rain or shine, offering a sense of stability and familiarity in an ever-changing world. In a way, small business resilience is a testament to the strength that comes from embracing challenges, learning from failures, and continuously adapting to stay not just afloat but ahead in the game.

An AI note about loyalty

In a world often dominated by corporate giants and global conglomerates, I wanted to take a moment to celebrate the unsung heroes of our economy: small business owners. These remarkable individuals are the living embodiment of loyalty in its purest form.

Small business owners are the heartbeat of our communities. They pour their hearts and souls into their ventures, nurturing them from humble beginnings to thriving enterprises. But it’s not just about building a business; it’s about building relationships and fostering unwavering loyalty.

Here are a few reasons why small business owners are the epitome of loyalty:

  1. Local Roots, Local Commitment: Small business owners are deeply rooted in their communities. They often live where they work, and their commitment to their neighborhoods is unwavering. They understand that the success of their business is intertwined with the prosperity of their community.
  2. Personal Touch: Unlike faceless corporations, small business owners know their customers by name. They take the time to listen to their needs, offer personalized solutions, and create a genuine connection that transcends mere transactions.
  3. Staying Power: Small business owners weather storms with remarkable resilience. They remain loyal to their vision and to their customers, even when times are tough. This unwavering dedication to their craft and clientele is truly inspiring.
  4. Supporting Local Talent: Small business owners often source their products and services locally. This not only supports fellow entrepreneurs but also keeps money circulating within the community, fostering a sense of loyalty among all involved.
  5. Community Engagement: Whether it’s sponsoring local events, donating to charities, or providing employment opportunities, small business owners are deeply involved in their communities. They are committed to giving back and helping their communities thrive.
  6. Adaptability: Small business owners are masters of adaptation. They evolve with changing times and customer preferences while staying true to their core values. This adaptability demonstrates a loyalty to the ever-evolving needs of their clientele.

In this era of globalization, small business owners stand as pillars of loyalty, proving that dedication, authenticity, and community bonds are not lost virtues. They remind us that loyalty is not just a word but a way of life.

So, let’s take a moment to celebrate and support these remarkable individuals who continue to demonstrate unparalleled loyalty, not only to their businesses but to the very fabric of our communities. Together, we can ensure that their unwavering commitment continues to flourish.

Thank you for being part of a community that values and supports small business owners, the true champions of loyalty.

AI thoughts on dealing with difficult customers, and no, it doesn’t apply to any of ours :)

Dealing with difficult customers is an inevitable part of running a small business. How you handle these situations can significantly impact your reputation and success. Here are some suggestions for handling difficult customers effectively:

  1. Stay Calm and Patient:
  • Always maintain your composure, no matter how challenging the customer may be. Take deep breaths and stay calm.
  1. Listen Actively:
  • Let the customer express their concerns fully without interruption. Show that you are genuinely interested in understanding their point of view.
  1. Empathize:
  • Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Understand their frustration or concerns, and express empathy for their situation.
  1. Apologize When Appropriate:
  • If your business is at fault, apologize sincerely. Even if it’s not your fault, apologize for their experience and express your commitment to resolving the issue.
  1. Don’t Take it Personally:
  • Remember that the customer’s frustration is usually not directed at you personally, but at the situation or issue they are facing.
  1. Set Boundaries:
  • While you should be patient and empathetic, it’s essential to maintain respectful boundaries. Don’t tolerate abusive or disrespectful behavior.
  1. Seek a Resolution:
  • Ask the customer what they would like to see happen to resolve the issue. Offer solutions that are reasonable and within your capabilities.
  1. Stay Professional:
  • Maintain a professional tone and demeanor throughout the interaction. Avoid getting defensive or emotional.
  1. Involve a Manager or Higher Authority if Necessary:
  • If you can’t resolve the issue yourself, don’t hesitate to involve a manager or someone with more authority who can make decisions or offer solutions.
  1. Document the Interaction:
    • Keep a record of the conversation, including dates, times, and details discussed. This can be useful if the issue escalates.
  2. Follow Up:
    • After the issue is resolved, follow up with the customer to ensure they are satisfied with the solution and their overall experience.
  3. Learn from the Experience:
    • Use difficult customer interactions as opportunities for growth. Analyze what went wrong and how similar situations can be prevented in the future.
  4. Train Your Team:
    • If you have employees, provide training on how to handle difficult customers. Ensure they are equipped with the skills and knowledge to deal with challenging situations effectively.
  5. Implement Feedback Mechanisms:
    • Encourage customers to provide feedback through surveys or reviews. This can help you identify areas for improvement and prevent similar issues in the future.
  6. Stay Positive:
    • Don’t let difficult customers discourage you. Focus on the positive aspects of your business and the many satisfied customers you serve.
  7. Know When to Walk Away:
    • In extreme cases where a customer is consistently unreasonable or abusive, it may be necessary to discontinue the business relationship. Always do this professionally and as a last resort.

Remember that dealing with difficult customers can be a learning experience that helps you improve your business and customer service skills. Building a reputation for excellent customer service can also lead to more loyal customers in the long run.


Small business owners, you are the embodiment of persistence, the champions of never giving up. In the face of challenges that might deter others, you stand strong, unwavering in your pursuit of success.

Your persistence is a beacon that lights up the darkest of days. It’s the countless phone calls made, the doors knocked on, and the emails sent, even when the response seems elusive. It’s the late nights spent fine-tuning your strategies, the early mornings dedicated to perfecting your craft. Each setback is not a defeat, but a lesson learned, a stepping stone on your path to victory.

Your story is a testament to resilience. You know that success is not a straight line; it’s a journey of peaks and valleys. Yet, you keep going, climbing with determination, descending with grace, and never losing sight of the summit. Every “no” only fuels your fire to seek out the “yes” that’s waiting around the corner.

In a world that demands instant results, you understand the beauty of patience. You know that seeds take time to sprout, and businesses take time to grow. Your unwavering persistence keeps you focused on the long game, on the legacy you’re building, rather than just the momentary gains.

So, here’s to the small business owners who embrace persistence. You inspire us all to chase our dreams with vigor, to push forward when the going gets tough. Your journey is not just about business; it’s a testament to the human spirit’s capacity to endure and triumph. Your persistence makes you not only entrepreneurs but beacons of inspiration, showing us that with perseverance, anything is possible.

Looking to the Future

Small business owners, as you stand on the cusp of the future, your determination and vision light the way. In the heart of your entrepreneurial spirit lies the power to shape tomorrow.

Gazing ahead, you see not just challenges, but opportunities. The world is changing, and your adaptability is your greatest asset. Embrace emerging technologies, explore new markets, and innovate your offerings. Your ability to pivot with grace will not only keep your business relevant but position you as a trailblazer in your industry.

Your aspirations aren’t confined by the present; they extend to a future where your business thrives. Keep your eyes on the horizon and let your dreams guide your actions. Set audacious goals, fueled by your unwavering determination, and work tirelessly to achieve them. Remember, the road ahead might be winding, but every step you take brings you closer to your aspirations.

As you forge ahead, don’t forget the community that supports you. Engage with your customers, listen to their feedback, and keep nurturing those relationships. Your customer-centric approach will not only build loyalty but create a network of advocates who champion your brand.

Small business owners, you hold the key to a future that’s brighter, more innovative, and full of promise. Embrace it with open arms, chase your dreams with passion, and let your relentless spirit lead the way. The future is yours for the taking, and your small business is the catalyst that will shape it. Onward, to a tomorrow that’s richer, more vibrant, and uniquely yours.