How Brochure, Banner and Book Printers Can Establish Themselves in the Business
Technology has undergone tremendous leaps of progress over the last few years. Several new industries have come up, and the classic industries have been completely revolutionized and revamped with new methods and new technology.
A prime example of this is the printing business, which has gone into overdrive ever since digital printing became an accepted industry standard. It is an industry which is growing exponentially day by day, with new applications, technologies and prospects emerging every single day. This is as good an industry as any for an aspiring entrepreneur to set up a business.
An Insight into the Printing Business
The printing business is a lucrative one. If you are good at what you do, and are able to answer the market demand, you will rake in a good deal of money.
However, it isn’t easy at all. You can’t just buy a printer, install some software and get started. There are several challenges you will have to face and overcome before being able to really launch your business in the big leagues.
If you have your heart set on high quality offset printing, you will have to lay aside a significantly large amount of money on an offset printing machine. From printing ink, to spare parts, replacements and separate machines for more output, you need deep pockets and a fair amount of investment from venture capitalists or other investors too.
This business requires as much planning as any other. Printing is a long-term business, so you will have to make some decisions related to finances and company policy before you go ahead and reel in clients.
You can’t be a general printing company. You will need to find a few things which you are good at and want to provide to your customers, be it offset printing, visiting card printing, book printing or brochure printing. You select your equipment based on this niche as every purpose requires a different DPI setting and many more fine kinks.
Location, Location, Location
Even before going through the advertising and referral process, it is important for you to start the business in a good area. Having an office in a busy business or college district would ensure instant recognition and eventual progress. This way, a lot of the targeted traffic will stroll in anyway due to your office’s proximity to their location. This in turn means more investment.
You need a lot more than Adobe Photoshop for a successful printing business. For starters you will need to purchase the entire design suite offered by Adobe, or an equivalent like Quark. These licenses will cost thousands of dollars too.
Having the equipment and the software isn’t enough, as you need a designer who is creative as well as knowledgeable and talented in the use of said software. You can and should opt for courses or training to learn and implement the knowledge you gather yourself, as you really cannot afford to start hiring so early.
In the end, it all comes down to money. You will need to set aside a large sum, and also come up with a good accounting plan to keep track of how much is being spent on what.
Another issue which has arisen for printing businesses is that they are now facing serious competition from online providers as well. Most customers would like to sit at home and order online from a firm to have their printing done and delivered. With so many companies of that type already in place, your start-up will have to displace them and still stand strong. However, if you are located near a business sector, you are still almost assured a steady influx of assignments, as one company or the other is always in need of brochures, pamphlets, visiting cards, flexes, banners and the like.
Easier Ways Out for Start-ups
One thing you can do is rent or buy a small office in a good area, where you have someone (even if it is you) at the desk to speak to prospective clients as they come in, while the actual operations could be in your garage or a larger office somewhere else. This way, you build a good image for yourself, as a professional. These smaller offices shouldn’t be too difficult to afford. You will then need to build your brand. To spread goodwill, take on the first few projects for free. Also, build a corporate portfolio with the jobs and designs you have worked on, so that you can wow prospective future clients.
You will have to promote yourself and your services shamelessly, with business cards, brochures and advertisements as well. While you will need to design quite a few, some assignments can always be delegated to crowd-sourced projects. Maybe you don’t have an eye for design. Maybe this particular assignment has your head all blocked. You could simply go over to a crowd-sourcing website where several designers could then tackle your proposition, and then you could choose the best one and pay him. You will be given full ownership rights.
Other Ways in which Make it Big in the Business
If funds are a constraint, but you definitely want to start a business in the printing sector, you could be a broker. A broker would not be required to purchase any equipment or hire people, or even invest in human resources. You wouldn’t need to design anything or purchase expensive software. It is often easy enough to do, as you need internet access, a computer and a phone to get started.
A broker acts as an intermediate. You first run from one office to another for a while, till you have developed a good network of printing partners. Now that is covered, start reaching out to customers. You will be acting as an interface between customer and service provider, as you accept the order specifications, and the job itself is relayed to your printing partner. You should start off by building a website for yourself, which can attract clients and allow them to submit requests online so that keeping track of them is easy too.
There is a lot you can do in this field. Make the most of it!