How To Start A Printing Business
How to Start a Printing Business – Tips For New Owners
Up until this point, Sign.com’s blogs have focused on general small business interests such as advertising, marketing, and other ways in which small business owners can get their goods and/or services into the general zeitgeist of their communities. This was in order to get people running all sorts of small businesses on their feet.
For this particular blog, however, we’ve decided to focus our lens somewhat. As the printing industry is near and dear to Sign.com’s hearts – we thought we’d focus on tips and other things to consider if you are someone is wondering how to start a printing business. Of course, at first, you will want to decide exactly what sort of printing business you want your small business to be.
What Kind of Printing Business Should You Start
There are many different processes and products, which make up the printing industry. The first thing to ask yourself is which combination will serve your small business best. As with many general small business considerations, you should start with your target customer in mind. Challenge yourself to find a niche within the world of printing.
Focus you and your small business into a specialized area – for example sign making or digital printing. If you chose to be simply a general “printing business” – you would spread yourself far too thin – attempting to be all things to all people – and master of none. Instead, choose one specific area of the printing industry to grab hold of – and focus on being the best at that particular thing.
Creating A Business Plan For Your Printing Business
The next consideration during the development phase of your small printing business is to create a business plan. In fact, the U.S. Small Business Administration can help you towards this lofty goal. The SBA (as they are known) has free business plan information available to the general public. Be sure to use this resource.
In a small business plan, you should give details of your operation including startup and operating costs, marketing and advertizing budgets and plans, and pricing for your small business’ goods and/or services. Ensure that you are projecting your financials properly. This will undoubtedly be to your benefit for a long time to come.
The next step is bureaucratic, no doubt, but it will allow you to move forward in your small business with the confidence to know you are bending no rules or breaking any regulation. It is imperative that you thoroughly research and obtain any and all licenses, certifications, and permits, which legalize small businesses in your local area. You may wish to meet with your local economic development agency to acquire the exact right steps required to move forward.
Make Sure To Follow The Rules
As a small business owner, you will be responsible for quarterly estimates of income, “reporting of actual proceeds and paying your personal proprietorship (or limited liability corporation [LLC]) for taxes and social security for yourself.” During this process, it is also important to decide on your small business’ specific business structure. Be sure to contact your Secretary of State and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to ensure that your small business’ name is not already in use. For some small businesses, you may also need to obtain business financing through the U.S. Small Business Administration, your bank, or various equipment providers.
Speaking of equipment providers: the next step in the establishment of your small printing business should be the purchasing or leasing of your printing equipment, supplies, software, and stock. This, of course, will all depend upon which niche of the printing industry you have chosen as your small business’ focus.
What Tools Will You Need
For example: what sort of graphic design software will your small business and its operations require? For digital printing, perhaps Adobe Photoshop and other applications within the whole Adobe Design suite would fit your needs. For sign making small businesses: perhaps SAi Flexi Software would be optimal. “SAi Flexi is the only all-in-one design, print, and cut software for sign and print providers. With nearly 3 out of 4 [sign] shops using it, Flexi is the industry-standard for sign-specific design tools, RIP software, print-and-cut software, and direct vinyl cutting.”
Following these steps, you may also want to consider using your new equipment and printing process in a test run: print your small business’ marketing and promotional materials. See how well your new process works: and how effective your marketing materials actually are.
Next, use these brand spanking, shiny and new marketing materials in order to attract potential customers for your small business. Turn printed items into products by creating a menu of the goods and/or services your small business has the ability to offer.
Set Up Your Printing Business Website
Another great step in this final marketing process is to ensure that you create the best website for your new small printing business. This will allow you and your goods and/or services to reach an even greater audience than any brick and mortar location could ever possibly offer. A larger audience, of course, means more potential customers filtering in to your actual brick and mortar locations. And that is never a bad thing.
These steps on how to start a printing business will help you to begin establishing your small printing business’ brand. If you follow them all, you will be well on your way to creating a business which fills a niche printing need within your community. Best of luck!