The best way to escape the daily 9-to-5 grind is to start your own business. If you’re tired of working for someone else and want to control your own hours and build your own dream, then you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll discuss how you can build your own printing business.
We’ll break it down into seven bite-sized tips that you can start implementing today.
1. Prove Your Market
The first and most crucial step to take whenever you’re thinking of starting a business is to first prove your market. Too often, many a would-be entrepreneur tries to go all in and build a business without first taking the time and effort required to conduct proper research.
Proving the market is essentially gathering evidence that your business will be successful. You want to make sure you do this before you invest further time and money into the startup, so that you save that capital should the market prove not to exist.
With a printing business, you want to ask yourself the following questions.
Is my location too saturated? Are there too many printing locations in this area?
Does this area have easy access to printing materials and equipment? Or will it be prohibitively expensive to start the business?
Have any competitors gone bankrupt in this location? Is that a sign that this area is not able to sustain a printing business?
Once you have the data gathered to prove that yes, your location of choice can and will sustain a business, then you can start to operate and move full steam ahead.
2. Choose a Legal Business Structure
The next big tip is to choose the right legal business structure. In order for you to be a legal entity in the eyes of the government, you have to be incorporated as a business. There are many different legal structures that you can take on.
An LLC, or Limited Liability Company, is one of the most popular business structure types. This is because it allows for multi-person ownership while also limiting the liability of personal assets should the business go under.
For more complicated ownership schemes, a C Corporation structure may be more appropriate. However, it’s important to keep in mind that a C Corporation is taxed at a heavier rate than less complicated structures, such as the LLC, sole proprietorship, or partnership.
3. Start Small with Affordable Equipment
When you start your printing business, you don’t want to go all-in on the most expensive and high-end equipment right off the bat. Instead, you want to make small investments in a few good printing pieces that you know will get the job done.
This is because you want to ensure that you’re able to do business in your area before you commit larger amounts of capital to this venture. Although you should have already proved your market with research, nothing will give you as good of an indication of your long-term success as analyzing your current level of success.
Once you have too many customers to handle your lower-end equipment, it’s time to think of upgrading and expanding.
When upgrading and expanding you need to ensure your service and product keep consistently high quality. That means answering customers’ questions and concerns in a timely manner. That’s when getting IT Services for your business can come in handy. Many IT support services are quite affordable and worth the price too.
4. Market Your Business Online
Don’t forget to market your business. You could have the greatest, cheapest printing services, but if nobody knows about then what’s the point? You need to get the word out about your brand. This is particularly true if you’re a new business and don’t have an existing base of clientele to do word of mouth marketing for you.
Get a website. Do SEO on it to ensure that it ranks highly for printing-related search keywords for those searching in your location. Utilize social media. Use your printer to print fliers and put them everywhere. Just get your brand in front of as many eyeballs as possible.
5. Run Frequent Promotions
There’s just something inherently tantalizing about a promotion that human nature can’t resist. That’s why it’s a great idea for you to start running promotions for your printing business. Offer Zine printing services at a 50% discount. Waive fees for bulk orders. Thrown in a free design consultation.
Whatever it is, just make sure that it adds enough value to your audience’s day for it to be worth their while. There’s nothing worse than a promotion that doesn’t add value to your audience — they won’t take you seriously, and such a promotion can only hurt your brand rather than build it.
6. Talk to Businesses
One great and often overlooked source of revenue for printing businesses is other businesses. The truth is, other businesses will often be able to write checks for far larger amounts than your average consumer. This is because they’ll be much more likely to order things in bulk than your average consumer.
A restaurant that’s building up to its grand opening, for instance, is going to ask for tens of thousands of fliers to put on door handles in every neighborhood. A magazine publication is going to need thousands of pages printed every week. Get out there and network with local business owners so that they can hear about your services.
7. Get Investors to Expand
When it’s time to start thinking about expanding your business, consider that risking your personal assets against a loan may not be the best way to go. Instead, you can consider asking an investor to go in on the expansion with you in exchange for a share of the profits.
While these ownership schemes are sometimes legally complicated to set up, they can be well worth it if you’re not ready to take out another massive loan to buy more printing equipment.
Starting a Printing Business Doesn’t Have to Be Hard
There you have it — starting a printing business and becoming your own boss doesn’t have to be hard or complicated. If you follow these seven steps, then you’re sure to be met with success at some point along your journey to becoming an entrepreneur.
For more business advice, be sure to take some time to check out the rest of the articles on the website!