What does short run mean to me?
With traditional printing methods, one would need to print a lot of volume to start seeing any cost benefit to having your book or brochure printed. That means, your local church, insurance/real estate agent, self-publisher, etc. would have a hard time justifying printing a limited number of copies of their material.
Now, with the age of the digital press, you can print as little as 100 brochures or 100 perfect bind books and be more cost efficient than if you tried to do it yourself on your home printer. (definitely can’t bind a book on your own)Also, a printer that has been in business as long as we have, can definitely give you the professional quality that you deserve.
If your local printer is inexpensive, would going to the chain office store be even more cost efficient? Probably not. Get a quote from both and see.
In short, (no pun intended) short run means, even the little guy (again, no pun intended) can get a break on their printing or copying material.