While the Internet may be taking over many aspects of printing, some things are still preferred on paper. Banners, programs for special functions, birthday and holiday greetings are all still popular on paper. It’s not exactly socially acceptable to hand someone a laptop to look at when they enter the church for a wedding, after all. Niche printers, which are those which specialize in certain areas and can create unique and interesting designs, are also becoming more popular.
Find out if there is a demand for printing services in your local community. A lot of competition does not mean you shouldn’t start your printing business, but you may want to narrow your focus or try to do most of your business nationwide on the Internet. Find out if you need a license to operate a business from your home. If you won’t have a lot of traffic coming to and from your house and won’t need a lot of parking, this should be easy. At first, 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 hone in on the packaging industry, an automatic foil stamping machine will be a good investment from your end.
Getting the word out for your business
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. Create and print your own business cards, newsletter, brochure and flyers. Use these to promote your business.
Hand them out to friends and family, and bring them to events that you participate in. Advertise in local publications to promote your design and printing skills. Perhaps develop an insert to go inside your paper to really illustrate what you can do. A website will also be valuable, particularly if you create interesting and unique announcements, programs and invitations. You may need to consult a web programming professional to enable your customers to input their specific information and order online. Printing can be an interesting and rewarding career, but it requires training and experience to produce quality results.