So, you’ve decided to become a part of the printing business. That’s a good startup business idea. Despite digital products weighing over printed ones today, the demand for printing remains strong. And in the remaining years, revenue for printing businesses still looks promising.
But how does one launch a successful printing business? Well, time to stop the guessing game as we share 7 simple hacks to kickstarting your dream printing business!
Focus on a specific niche first
Like any sort of business, you’ll find more success in your venture if you only focus on one niche. Do you want to do t-shirt printing, digital printing, sign printing, or any other type of printing?
When you focus on a certain product or service, you pour out all your best into perfecting that craft. When you establish good rapport with your target customers, that’s how you build your brand. And with a positive brand image, you can expect more referrals and customers your way.
Contrary to popular belief, offering countless printing services doesn’t guarantee you long-term success. Attempting to do too many things at once can only result in mediocre products and services. How can you offer the best t-shirt printing services to your customers if you still have to balance your time and energy with sign printing and digital printing? Do you think you’ll be memorable in the industry if your printing business is only known to be a “jack of all trades but master of none”?
That’s why defining your target market is important. What type of customers do you want to serve? Companies, individuals, politicians, or businesses? This is one of the most important tasks when starting your own local printing business because having answers to these questions will make it very easy for you to streamline your efforts. This will also help you determine which products and services to offer to the market.
Once you’ve determined your target customer, things will go smoothly from there. You can build the right rates and packages for your services. You can identify your marketing strategy, and even forecast your peak and off-seasons. You won’t need to throw in money on materials and other supplies that you aren’t sure would sell.
You can always branch out during the later stage of your business, especially when you see a demand for a particular service.
Study printing standards. Then take them by heart.
If you want to beat the competition, work on an industry-standard level. That’s the shortcut to going from startup to an established stage.
Standards of the printing industry branch into two categories. First, the safety standards, which tackles the proper handling of printing equipment and the like. Then we have the technological standards, which include guidelines for producing premium-quality printed outputs (like recommended software to use, file formats fit for quality printing, etc.).
If you do a little research on printing industry standards, you’ll come across the term ISO 12647-2 printing standard. This is the standard you need to hit if you want to produce printed products that exude international quality. You can check out this excerpt from ISO to learn more about this.
Aside from understanding how the industry works, studying printing standards is also necessary for your business to be free from any legal repercussions. Offering printing services without knowing how the industry works can result in fines and penalties, and could even become the reason why your printing business crashes.
Snoop on your competition
You want to know what clicks and what doesn’t in your industry and your target customers. Competition can lead you right to that information. And no, it’s not a dirty tactic – it’s part of the business!
Your competitors have been offering printing services in the industry for years, which means that they have a lot of experience in dealing with different kinds of customers and creating products and services that truly fit the needs of the customers. Take note of their strategies and assess which works and doesn’t.
The best and most discreet way to snoop on your competition is to check out their online presence. Visit their website. Learn anything you can about their business. Study their pricing, packages, and promos. If you’re lucky, you can even see the type of equipment they use. Get as much information about your competitors through their website and take note of these things when you formulate your own business plan. The strategies implemented by your competitors can help you save resources in utilizing equipment that won’t positively impact your business.
Next, you’ll want to visit your competitors’ social media pages. Check out what people say about them. See what people love about them, and make sure to deliver the same in a different way. That goes for negative feedback too.
To find the best competition to “study,” do a quick search on printing business near me. Ideally, the top five businesses in the results are your ideal subjects.
Printin’ la vida local
If you want to find success in your local printing business, emphasize on the word LOCAL. The area where you live is a good start.
With a local target market, you have less competition, most of which are still figuring out their overall approach like you are. Plus, it’s easier to snoop on your competition this way.
Your family and friends are living in the same local area as you are. This network is a good place to start spreading the word about your business. Since they already know you, you can expect a good flow of support from these people for your printing business. There’s a high chance of word-of-mouth marketing too.
Start by offering your printing products and services to your friends and family by meeting them personally or asking them to share your printing business online. Ask them to leave reviews once they availed of your printing products and services.
Remember, if you market to everyone, then you market to no one. Choosing a narrow scale of customers is better than running after a broad spectrum. In fact, businesses that focus on serving their local area enjoy more foot traffic and sales than those who operate on a wider range. Just take this local printing business in Markham as a good inspiration.
Study the best location for your business
Unlike other service businesses, you may not likely get foot traffic every day. You may need to consider this fact when renting out a space for your printing business. If possible, try renting out space near your home to reduce costs. Or if possible, establish your business in a huge space in your backyard or house itself.
If you’re planning to establish your printing business mostly online, location’s still important. That is, in the question of WHAT PLATFORM to use to sell your services or products. Building an e-commerce website and/or creating social media profiles are mandatory. It just falls down to what social media platform works best for you, and your local SEO skills that could work for your website.
It’s all about the mindset
Your business idea may not be that unique or life-changing, but if you focus on serving deliverables in hopes of helping people, that’s life-changing in itself too. Your business doesn’t need to be 100% revolutionary. Just better than the next-door printing business.
Stop reading this and get printing!
You can read a library’s worth of business books or follow an expert like they’re freakin’ Jesus of Nazareth. But relying on these just increase your fear of starting a business more.
Experience is the best teacher. You’ll only know what type of printing service clicks when you start to deliver what people need. The same idea goes for your marketing and your other areas for improvement, growth, and much more. Those business tips from before would only make sense once you try them out yourself.
As a parting gift for your local printing business, here are some words of encouragement to motivate you more:
“So what if you’re afraid? Be afraid, but do it anyway!”
May the printing gods find your business worthy of steady blessings!