Whether you’re looking to start your own print shop or expand the services you already offer, there are many important factors you need to consider. Getting the right information and planning ahead can help you avoid common mistakes that can hurt your business.
Marketing and Advertising – Targeting a variety of customers sets you up for success. Entrepreneurs who market their services to small businesses, large corporations and individuals realize faster profits than those who target only one type of clientele. It also allows you to develop a reputation for quality work and service.
Equipment – The equipment you purchase will depend on the services you offer and your budget. You could invest in a commercial printer, plate maker, color copier, laminator and other equipment. Some print shops choose to lease their equipment, paying off the investment over time.
Design Software – The right design software can help you create professional-looking prints and presentations for your clients. It should include all the tools you need to create your projects, such as page layout, text editing, and graphics.
Business Insurance – Having business insurance is essential to protect your company’s assets in the event of a covered loss. It can also be useful in the event of a disaster, such as a flood or fire.
Recording Expenses and Sources of Income – It’s important to keep detailed and accurate records of all expenses and income to ensure that your taxes are filed correctly. Keeping an accurate accounting can also make it easier to analyze the performance of your print shop.
Licenses and Permits – Some state permits may be needed to operate your print shop business. You can learn more about licensing requirements at your local, state or federal government website.
Certificate of Occupancy – Before you lease a physical space for your print shop, check that the location is in compliance with all building codes and zoning laws. This will ensure that your business is operating legally and safely.
Other Licenses and Permits – As with any new business, you will need to register your shop with the appropriate authorities. This includes filing with the state secretary of state and acquiring the necessary business licenses.
You’ll also need a tax ID number. Applying for a business license can be easy and convenient, but it’s still a good idea to seek out assistance from the Small Business Administration (SBA) or your local SCORE office.
The right insurance policy can be an excellent way to protect your print shop and its assets in the event of a covered loss. Having insurance can prevent you from having to pay large fines or having your business shut down altogether.
Online Directories – Joining an online directory can be a cost-effective marketing strategy for your print shop. Having an online presence is crucial for attracting and retaining clients.
Business Associations – Membership in a local business association can be helpful for new and experienced print shop owners. It can also help you network with other professionals in the industry and build relationships with prospective clients.