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The Ultimate Guide To Starting A Custom Printing Business

With almost everything going digital these days, it’s become easier to create custom designs for almost any surface–t-shirts, mugs, caps, towels, pillows, among others. There are apps and software that offer rich functionalities and better precision to bring your ideas to life.   

Because of these advancements, the printing business is attracting an increasing number of investors and creators. If you want to start your own custom printing business but don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s a definitive guide to starting your own custom printing venture. 

  • Choose Your Target Market     

As with any other business, you need to have a clear idea of your target market. This process involves knowing what they want, how they behave, as well as what they need your products or services for.  

The printing business covers a wide range of audiences. There are practically various pieces of printing equipment that can print on anything. Check whether you can cover every design and need or would you rather focus on one niche. These niches may be classified in many ways: age, need, material, design, among other elements.

  • Select Your Ideal Online Platform  

Nowadays, the multitude of e-commerce solutions may result in confusion when it comes to choosing the best one for your printing business.  

Generally speaking, you can decide whether to use a hosted site or a self-hosted platform. The former works great if you don’t have enough capital to pay for the subscription and other fees. Since everything is ready and has templates that you can choose from, you’ll manage to have an online store in no time. 

Comparatively, a self-hosted site is more flexible and has customization features that allow you to create your own visual identity and branding. This is extremely useful if you want to stand out from your competition. Other than giving you the liberty to create a unique store, you have the option to enhance your online exposure by making a few tweaks in your search engine optimization (SEO) strategies. Because of the endless customizations it provides, self-hosted platforms are more expensive than its counterpart.  

Having the capacity to print on non-traditional items can help you stand out from the rest. Most of us are used to having our t-shirts and mugs printed on. But do you know you can print on other surfaces, too? A blanket, for instance, is one unconventional material to print your photo collage or album. To see how it works, go here

If you want to capture this niche, consider a self-hosted platform that allows the customer to create their own designs with ease and to do more than what they could imagine.

  • Decide Which Printing Method You’ll Be Using 

Depending on the effect you wish to achieve, there are different means to print on garments. For instance, most custom design printers offer t-shirt printing in four ways: using silk screen, heat transfer, direct to garment, and embroidered printing. Each method comes with its own benefits and downsides.   

For instance, screen printing provides consistent and enduring imprints, but they can get complicated for items with multiple color requirements. Heat transfer printing, meanwhile, prints fast but it’s less long-lasting and requires pricey printers in order to get going. For instance, heat transfer is involved in printing on a mug, which requires a special printer and uses a process called heat pressing.     

Additionally, printing directly on the garment is a process that could generate good quality prints but they can be slow. Embroidered printing is perhaps the most preferred method, especially when making logos on uniforms as they look professional and sleek.

  • Look For Reliable Material Sources

You can’t print and ship out customers’ orders unless you have a steady supply of materials to print on. From t-shirts to pillows, blankets, hoodies, and other household items, make sure a supplier is capable of sending you the items you need, and on schedule. Look for a supplier who sells high-quality yet value-for-money products. In a similar manner, choose the affordably yet best ink for your business and client requirements. 

Don’t forget to purchase the pieces of printing equipment that you need to start printing.         

  • Run Some Test Prints 

The proof of the pudding is in the eating. That being said, run a few tests before selling some of your products. Have your friends and family design their own products and have them printed. Seek feedback from your mock customers and ask them about their experience from designing to ordering, checking out, and shipping.    

Take note of the hits and misses. Then, take note of the processes that need improvement. 

Wrap Up

Starting a custom printing business requires motivation, creativity, and great customer service. In order to stand out from your competitors, always look for ways to improve, especially your business processes. By making things easy, fast, and efficient, you’ll experience fewer cart abandonments.

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