Start your own printing business

Start your own printing business and discover an exciting, profitable adventure.

Printing services are important for any marketing campaign, whether the primary focus is on postcards, posters, banners or written materials, such as brochures or booklets.

Printing Business

A poorly done printing job can affect the credibility of the company, as people may start associating the poor printing with the operations or mentality of the company. Keep these things in mind when you start a printing business, as you should provide top-quality print products for your client to maintain a solid customer base.

With the modern laser printer it could be possible to even start your own printing business at home. In my first business I purchased a large laser printer to do my own printing of leaflets. I was doing about 100 a day; the printer I used could have easily done ten times as much.

You must not only assess the material on which the printing has to be done but also how much printing is required. Time and price are important issues to be considered with this regard. You must evaluate the rate for the printing job along with the time it will take to complete it. Businesses have to complete the job within the given time or they shall suffer financial losses.

Steps to start your own printing business.

1. Market Research

When thinking about how to start your own printing business you need to determine what local competitors are offering and what they are charging for their services. Use surveys to determine the demand for services in the area. You may want to hire a marketing research firm to do the research to ensure a succesfull start.

2 Create a Business Plan

Plan every detail to start your own printing business successfuly, not only how it will start but how it will operate for the next several years. Write a list of printing services you wish to offer. Some printers may allow you to print postcards, posters and booklets, while another printer is required to print large banners and add prints to fabrics. If you wish to offer fabric printing but cannot afford this type of printer with your current startup budget, offer the services using a third-party printer.

Plan out what property, equipment and employees you will need and how you will obtain the capital to start up. Plan out how you will market your printing business. Print out the business plan and make it as professional-looking as possible. It will be used to attract investors or apply for a bank loan, if needed.

3 Choose a Space

To start your own printing business at home can be lucrative and enjoyable if done right however it is best to ensure that you have the space to do it, some types of printers could be dangerous in a small space. Consider carefully the type of printing you are doing and how you are going to do it.

When looking at a space to start your own printing business it would be best to locate your business near a corporate campus or industrial park so potential customers are nearby. If you can't find a suitable location in one of those areas, look for one in a downtown neighbourhood to be near potential customers during normal business hours. Choose a space that is large enough to accommodate printing equipment and a customer service area. Make sure the area where you will store your supplies and completed print jobs is moisture-free.

4 Purchase equipment

If you have chosen to start your own printing business at home , you may not be able to afford a lot of equipment, so you will need to create a relationship with a local or Internet-based commercial printer. This is essential if you will be selling banners and other large printed items. However, for smaller items, you will be able to perform your duties with a computer and the necessary design software, such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. A digital printer will be expensive but the most valuable piece of equipment you own. Not only will you be able to print your proofs, but many small jobs can be done from there. You will also need toner, paper, a paper cutter, other tools and materials if you personally cut or design the paper.

If you are looking to start your own printing business on a larger scale then more investment is required. You need to include an offset printer, a copier and a duplex printer so you can handle both large and small orders as they come in. You want to be in a position to service everyone who walks in for the first time, so your customers will recommend you to business associates. Having the proper equipment to do different-sized jobs will allow you to meet all customer needs. If warranties or maintenance contracts are available, consider purchasing them so your equipment will be protected. Buy a commercial paper cutter, commercial fax machine and a laminating machine to offer a variety of services to your customers.

5 Source Suppliers

Research printing supply vendors and establish relationships with several that will meet your needs. You will need colored and white paper of different bond weights, envelopes and business card stock on a regular basis. You will want to have regularly scheduled deliveries so you never run out of supplies. Be sure to have more than one vendor on tap, so if one runs out of the type of paper you need, you can quickly call the second vendor.

6 Build a portfolio.

Put together spec jobs. These are samples of each service that you offer. Display the jobs in the store for walk-in customers to see. Make copies of some of the samples to send out to potential customers.

Create your marketing materials so people become familiar with your printing business. Build a website with your printing services and prices. In addition, print postcards and samples you can send to potential companies, offices and smaller businesses.

Develop price packages. Giving discounts to customers who order large print quantities, as well as to customers that regularly use your services, will build a strong customer base. As a start-up marketing campaign, offer discounts on orders higher than £100 to attract new customers.

7 Hire staff.

If you are going to hire someone to work in the shop, be sure the person has experience with colours, design, types and fonts. Consider hiring a graphic artist to do double duty with customer service when you are not there. A graphic artist will be able to contribute design logos, business cards and stationery for your customers.

8 Establish hours of operation.

Keep your potential customers in mind as you decide when to open and close each day. Normal business hours will provide the bulk of your business, but staying open a little later each night to handle special rush jobs will give you added income, because you can charge premium rates for such needs.

9 Set up your accounting software

Set up your accounting software. Choose a package that tracks print jobs, customer information, invoices and payments. Hire an accountant to handle your quarterly tax returns.

10 Advertising Your Printing Company

You can advertise your business by placing the advertisement in the newspaper or by distributing fliers. Apart from this, you can take the inter-net route to advertising by creating websites, which provide information about your company and the services you provide. The advertisements should be able to convey the details in a simple and easy manner. It should hold only relevant information. The customer doesn't have much time to go through highly messy and unorganized data where he is not even able to find the contact information. You can even post boards and advertise in E-magazines, which allow free advertising.

You can start sending the word out about your business by volunteering to do print work for area organizations and charities. Offer to create and print their newsletters, business cards, invitations and event programs. Ask if you can use what you've created in your portfolio. This will give you experience as well as something to show potential clients.

If you can provide decent quality work on time at a reasonable rate, the customers may not only be satisfied but may also return to you with more work. The satisfied customers may also tell their friends about your firm and this might gradually increase the amount of work you get.

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