If you have a high-quality printer and an entrepreneurial spirit, you may want to start your own small printing business. It’s not as difficult as you think!
Step 1: Practice!
Get some practical experience by printing your own marketing materials. Create and print business cards, brochures, stationary, and signage for your business. The quality of your own printed collateral will show your potential customers what they can expect from your work, and give an example of the kinds of services you’re prepared to deliver, so make it your best.
Step 2: Keep records.
During the production of all your business marketing materials, keep very accurate records of your time, and of any consumables, such as paper stock and ink or toner consumption. Your own experience and the records you keep during the practice phase will help you price your services for your customers. You need to keep records in order to determine what you should your customers charge in order to make a profit.
Step 3: Service.
It’s time to start connecting with potential customers and find out what services they really want and are willing to pay for. Many people are comfortable printing their own text documents at home, but want high-quality prints of their photos. It may be wise to specialize in a photo business, where you focus on helping your customers get the most from their own digital photos, which too often languish unseen on memory cards. There is increasing demand for customized photo books, to replace old fashioned photo albums.
Step 4: Software.
You probably have basic software that you used to create your marketing materials, but once customers start requesting specialty services, it may be time to invest in specialty software. Software can be extremely expensive; make sure to factor the cost into your price structure. You can also look into licensing photo book software, which can enable you to meet your customer’s needs with a low upfront investment. A solution like PicsToPrint may be a good fit for your small photo business.
Step 5: Expand!
Once you have some experience and a few customers, it’s time to look into growing your business. If you haven’t yet established a business location and expanded your marketing efforts, it’s probably time. Some low-cost ways to increase business can include offering your customers loyalty discounts, participating in social media, and asking your customers and friends to help spread the word.
Of course you’ll need to secure the necessary permits and licenses for wherever you live, and comply with any local regulations, but it really isn’t that difficult or expensive to start your own photo printing business from home. We hope that these tips inspire you to get started today.