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Printing Business

Printing business is still alive. On average, mini-printing kits (offset machine + accessories) can bring an income of about $2,000 –5,000 per month.The price of one stamp on a photocopier equipment is $0.5, and costs about $0.12 per print. Taking into account you’re working at a full load, it is possible to earn the profit of$10,000monthly.The payback period usually results in 3 – 4 months. However, with the rapid technological progress, you risk waiting for 2 – 3 years.

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Supplies $3,000
Personnel $2,000
Property $1,500
Other $3,000
18 payback

Print recipe
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Screen printing kits
1 Color Silk Screen-Printing Kit Screen... $126
1 Color 1 Station Micro Screen Press Kit $359
4 Color 1 Station T-shirt Printing Kit B $749
4 Color 4 Station Screen Printing Kit I... $1,540
4-4 Color T-shirt Printing kit F with... $1,845
Big 4-4 Screen Printing Package Kit $3,199
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Heat press machines
2in1 Mug Printer Sublimation Heat... $305
8in1 Digital Heat Press Machine Transfer... $499
5in1 Heat Press Machine Digital Transfer... $444
4 in 1 Heat Press Machine Digital... $600
Gowe Advanced New Design 8 In 1 Combo... $999
- 1 +

In the printing industry, three basictypes of organizations exist: printed media, express printing and advertising agencies. 

In this market segment there are several types of companies. 60% of production is provided bythe large companies with a full production cycle. Up to 30% of the market share belongs to advertising agencies that produce T-shirts and cups as souvenirs on their own and place part of the orders with other enterprises.Finally, about 10% of the printing business is owned by small firms. To survive, a printing business has to be equipped enough to handle anything from single-page printing to large-volume orders.

Get into the digital printing service business as an alternative option suggested by the current media/publishing business ideas. Printing business cards and manuals is the core source of printing business income.

Small printing services are in demand among the owners of modest printing shops as well as large enterprises. I.e., educational institutions order instructional materials and manuals, caterings look for price tags and colorful menu covers, banks and trading firms need price-lists.

It is recommended to open a private print business as a sole proprietorships due to the low legal liability.

Before launching this type of business, it is obligatory to register for federal and state taxes, and obtain any required business permits at the local level.

On the average, you can earn around $1300-4000 per month.

As for the rest factors of success, first and for most, the availability of customer base influences the performance heavily. Timely orders execution and location are also critical.

To conclude, here are the valuable advantages of entering this field:

-       Offset printing is the most common high-volume commercial printing technology;

-       Great for customising marketing material (your business will work not only in hand of your clients, but for your own distribution);

-       it’s thecheapest method to produce superior printing in commercial quantities. That’s why it is in high demand;

-       high profitability ratio;

-       average payback period.

The cost of equipment for printing industry is different.The risograph can be bought for $10,000 while the price of a color copier can be up to $50,000.Purchasing wholesale screen printing equipment is a very important part of outfitting your new business. You can order a corresponding set from different resources: wholsale printing suppliers to sign and retail producers. As some industry owners joke, to get started you would need a digital press, cutter,folder,stitcher and pallet jacks and a very large line of credit.

To produce a small volume of goodsusually the method of transfer printing is applied. Part of the equipment is used for both T-shirt and cup print. To obtain an image in electronic form a scanner, digital photo or video camera can be used.If there is no appropriate equipment, you will have to ask the customers to bring the image in electronic form or send it via e-mail.A PC with some special programssuch as Photoshop and Corel Draw is used for image processing and output. At the stage of transferring images onto fabric or a glass, various equipment is required. For mugs decoration there is a special equipment: so-called round heat press.

To launch this type of business, you will need:

PC -$400-800
Scanner -$80–2,500
The color printer -$130 -530
The continuous ink supply system -$100

The versatile heat press -$1,300
The round heat press (for mugs only) -$450

A piece of advice: If you want to produce high-quality offset printing in one or two colours for flyers, posters, business stationery etc. then you would do well to consider a Heidelberg GTO or PM46-2. Both are very capable presses and are made by the company who it is widely agreed make the best printing presses on the market.


In order toenable transfer printing, special suppliesare needed: thermal transfer paper, color inkjet printer with CISS and sublimation ink. As a rule, T-shirts made of the polyester, cotton or silk are involved in printing business. There are certain requirements for the mugs as well. For transfer printing, the porcelain is used: glass and plastic require more expensive and complicated equipment.The cups should be of cylindrical shape and of a certain diameter. The cups and all corresponding supplies are purchased from the wholesalers.

On the whole, you will have to purchase:

Kit ink for sublimation (thermal transfer) of 6*100ml: $130
Paper for sublimation (100 sheets per pack): $35

Polyester T-Shirts (100 units):$510
Porcelain mugs with photoporation (100 units):$230

You also have to decide on a location of your potential printing services. It can be an educational institution, large store, or the territory occupied by many different organizations. A small point of processing T-shirt and mug print can be allocated at 6-10 square meters.Electricity is needed to run the equipment.The main requirement for print business premises is a good location. It is desirable to place one in the city centre, close to the subway station or traffic interchanges.It attracts potential customers: tourists, local consumers ofsouvenirs and promotional products users.Another advantage isto accommodate your print business in one of the central department stores, large shopping malls or shopping complexes. Visitors and local employees will become your target audience.

The main sanitary requirement is the lack of moisture and dust. These harmful elements may damage your expensive (and not really) equipment along with your authority. If you decide to open a large-scale and professional printing center, your expenses will most probably reach $100 instead of $5,000. A lot depends on the space rent, quality of equipment and furniture.

The best locations for a printing shop include near or inside schools and universities because most of your prospective clients are students who look for copy stores that can provide bulk copies and color copies for their school lectures and requirements – you can also checkout places near to the court, railway station, notary office, shopping malls. 

A small transfer printing business may be run by one or two people. Often, thesepositionsare occupied by the business owner and his family members or friends.The salary of employees can be installedon a piece-rate basis. Another option is to offer a fixed payment. Usually, each employee receives up to $150-200. The main job requirementis the ability to process the image on your computer.A creative approach to image processing and the ability to consult the customer is crucial. Nohigher education or special degree is required to work with the equipment as far as it is quite simple in exploitation and demands only some compliance with the elementary safety rules.However, an employee with special computer design courses would be a benefit.

If you're a printing beginner, you're best off hiring a certified and experienced freelance technician to consult you on the right equipment for your budget. May cost you a pretty penny to get a quality opinion, but it's well worth it. Freelance technicians often have a network of other technicians, so finding personnel to install and run your machinery would also be a much easier undertaking.

On the whole, you will need the following staff:

-       a manager;

-       an operator;

-       a system administrator;

-       a cashier.


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