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How to Start a Profitable Digital Printing Business

Do you want to start a small digital printing business? Find here a detailed guide to the sample plan, advantages, cost, and profitability of the digital printing press business.

Digital printing is a specific method of printing from a digital-based image directly to a variety of media. Digital printing is a newer option than the most popular and older offset printing. Due to several advantages, digital printing is becoming highly popular.

You can start a small digital printing unit with a moderate startup capital investment. You need a retail location, digital printing machine, consumables, and skilled manpower for quality work.

For the small customized printing requirements, people prefer digital printing to offset. In addition to that, it reduces the cost too.

Why Digital Printing Business?

  • First of all, you can start a digital printing venture with a comparatively lower startup capital investment. So, you take a minimum financial risk of starting a printing business.
  • With the upgraded digital printing machine, you can provide great work quality. It is as good as offset printing.
  • As far as print time is concerned, it takes less time. Digital label printing doesn’t require plates which means a shorter setup time so your labels are printed faster.
  • With digital printing, you can enjoy design flexibility. As you don’t need to use plates and you print directly, you can change the shades and designs often and frequently.
  • Finally, you can address the customers who need small-quantity printing. And the number of this type of customer is far more than the customers who need bulk quantity printing.

10 Steps to Start a Digital Printing Business 

1. Learn the Skills of Digital Printing

The business demands specific skills and knowledge about the work process and industry. If you have some experience, then it is the perfect opportunity for you. And if are a beginner, then you must gain some experience first. It is better to work with other organization that offers digital printing services.

Specifically, you need to understand the printing process, the pricing strategy, and the way of advertising. Every industry has some internal tricks. Until and unless you don’t go deep down, you won’t be able to understand the inside factors. Simply, you need to learn the nitty-gritty of the business.

2. Understand the Local Market

Like any other business, it is essential to gather as much information as possible. Do market research, and know more about digital market volume, degree of competition, scope, and threats.

This market information will help you not only create an effective business plan but also explore the available gaps.

3. Find Your Niche

For a startup company, deciding on the product is a make-or-break decision. And for deciding the products, you need to understand the exact demand in your locality. Generally, there are plenty of options you can explore. Some of the most popular items are business cards, photos, leaflets, brochures, banners, letterheads, t-shirts, signs, and books.

However, it is better to research the market. You need to get as much information about the present printers in your locality. And try to find out the gap. Try to figure out what services they are lacking.

Related: How to Start a 3D Printing Business

4. Craft a Digital Printing Business Plan

Now you can craft the business plan. Crafting a business plan is the most important step you need to take before starting the business. A financial analysis and marketing strategy are the most important aspects of a business plan.

You must include the startup cost including the machinery, equipment, and other necessary consumables. Additionally, calculate the working capital cost including shop rent, manpower cost, raw material, and other administrative expenses.

If you are planning to start on a small scale, some of the basic topics that your digital printing business plan document are as follows:

  • Initial and Recurring Costs
  • Market Competition
  • Target Customers
  • Pricing plan
  • How do you plan to sell your digital printing services?

5. Name Your Digital Printing Company

It is extremely important to choose a catchy and attractive name for your digital printing venture. You can check our detailed guide on the steps to be followed to name a business to learn more.

A correctly coined name for your digital marketing company not only contributes n overall brand growth but also fetches more customers.

6. Legal Considerations

Register your business and obtain all the necessary licenses and permits required in your locality. It is advised to consult with legal professionals to ensure compliance with local regulations.

7. Select the Right Location for Your Digital Printing Unit

To make the business successful, you must have a great business location that ensures enough footfalls. And even if you need to pay more for that don’t hesitate. According to the product range, you want to offer to determine the area Sq Ft you want. You will need to have space for machine operation, equipment keeping, and admin jobs. If you want to address large-scale requirements, then you must secure a bigger space.

8. Equipment Needed to Set up Digital Printing Unit

The most important tool that you need to run a digital printing unit is the printer. The type of printer will largely depend on the type of printing you are going to deliver. It can be an inkjet, laser screen, or offset. For large production, a laser printer is a better option.

Other than a printer, you will also need ink toner, cartridge, and other necessary consumables. Also, you need a computer attached to the printer. According to the design requirements, you may need to use some design software solutions like CorelDraw and Photoshop. Try to use every inch of the space effectively.

9. Create a Website

Create a professional website showcasing your services, portfolio, and contact information. In addition, implement online ordering and payment systems to make it convenient for customers to place orders.

10. Promote your Business

Start promoting your business from day one. You need to concentrate on the B2B promotion. Generally, business houses and corporates are the major buyers of this type of product.

Develop a strong brand identity, including a memorable logo and consistent branding across all marketing materials. You can utilize digital marketing strategies such as social media advertising, search engine optimization (SEO), and email marketing to reach potential customers.

Attend local business events, trade shows, and networking functions to promote your digital printing business. Build relationships with local businesses and potential clients.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Digital Printing Business Profitable?

Though offset printing dominates the printing industry, the demand for digital printing is increasing rapidly. The cost-effective nature of digital printing against traditional analog printing is the major reason.

Currently, digital printing accounts for 16.2% of the global print market value and 2.9% of the volume. According to industry experts, the previously dominant offset litho will decline in terms of value.

Inkjet is the fastest-growing print process. It is increasingly being adopted in more applications as the quality, reliability, and economics of the process improve. Additionally, the expenditure on R&D bears fruit in this industry.

What is the Cost of Starting a Digital Printing Business?

The investment required will depend on the size and number of customers you’re planning to handle. On average, the cost of starting a small digital printing business will be around $ 10,000 to $20,000 in the United States. It includes business registration fees, license fees, insurance premiums, software expenses, manpower costs, website fees, and marketing costs. The office rent is not included in the digital printing start-up cost as it depends on the location. However, if you are planning to start from home, the cost will be much less.

What types of digital printing services can I offer?

Digital printing encompasses a wide range of services, including business cards, banners, posters, brochures, promotional materials, personalized items (e.g., mugs, T-shirts), and more. Consider your target market and equipment capabilities when determining your service offerings.

What equipment do I need to start a digital printing business?

Essential equipment includes digital printers, large format printers, cutting machines, and graphic design software. The specific equipment may vary based on your services. Invest in high-quality, reliable machines from reputable suppliers.

How can I differentiate my digital printing business from competitors?

Differentiate your business by specializing in a niche market, offering unique services, providing exceptional customer service, and maintaining a strong online presence. Consider environmentally friendly practices or quick turnaround times as additional differentiators.

How do I set pricing for my digital printing services?

Determine your pricing by considering production costs, competitor pricing, and market demand. Offering package deals, discounts for bulk orders, or loyalty programs can attract and retain customers.

Do I need a physical storefront for my digital printing business?

While a physical storefront can enhance visibility, it’s not strictly necessary. Many successful digital printing businesses operate online, using a professional website to showcase services and facilitate online orders.

What software should I use for graphic design in a digital printing business?

Popular graphic design software includes Adobe Creative Cloud (e.g., Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign) and CorelDRAW. Choose software that aligns with your team’s expertise and the specific design needs of your business.