Have you wondered what it takes to be a screen printer and start a business? Maybe you’ve seen success stories of people making six figures just by selling on Pinterest and Etsy.
Customized designs and t-shirts are in demand, with the market expected to reach close to $7 billion by 2027. That’s a 10% increase.
Starting a screen printing business now is a good move. You’ll be in an industry that offers plenty of opportunities to grow.
What does it take to be one of the successful screen printers? Read on to learn the steps to start your own screen printing business.
1. Develop a Business Plan
Do you want to stand a chance to survive? You have to write a business plan. This allows you to carefully think through your business.
The business plan uncovers risks, opportunities, and helps you make strategic decisions about your business.
For instance, you’ll have to decide your primary target market for your screen printing business.
If you want to target a local audience, you’ll want to connect with local businesses and sports teams. You’ll have to research the competition in your area, too. You could decide to create a brand and sell apparel online.
2. Decide Your Business Location
Could you start a screen printing business in your home? You can, but you might be better off having a storefront to sell gear.
It depends on a few things. How much space you have available for equipment and inventory. You also need to think about screen printing ink storage and if your home has enough ventilation to run a safe business.
One other consideration is your target audience and distribution channels. For instance, if you plan to create your own brand to sell to women online, you could get away with a home-based business.
However, if you target the local community, you want to have a storefront for them to visit. They can check out gear and feel like they’re ordering from a legitimate business.
If you do decide to have a physical location, you need to choose a central spot for people to visit.
3. Get Startup Financing
A complete business plan details your financials. You should know how much money you need to start your business. The business plan includes your monthly revenue projections and operating expenses.
You might need to get financing for your business, depending on how much your startup costs are. There are a lot of options get the financing you need.
A loan is probably the easiest way to obtain financing. You may have to secure the loan with business equipment to get a lower interest rate. This means that you’ll lose the business equipment if you default on the loan.
4. Obtain Licenses and Permits
You need to make your business official, so register the business with your secretary of state’s office. Check with your city to see what the business registration requirements are.
You might have to register to collect and pay sales taxes in your state. There might be special requirements for screen printers if you use and store chemicals in your work.
Always ask a professional like a CPA or business attorney to understand what your requirements are.
5. Learn Your Craft
You want your business to be known for quality screen printing. It takes time to learn how screen printing really works and to develop your craft.
Stay up to date with fashion trends, screen printing equipment, and methods. If you have limited experience in screen printing, you’ll want to practice your craft as much as possible.
Test out designs, colors, and fabrics to ensure that your customers are thrilled with the final result.
6. Purchase Equipment
You should know enough about your craft to know what you need to purchase. There are screen printing machines that are under $10,000 new.
What if you want a big, expensive screen printing machine? You could spend around $80,000 on a new automatic screen printing press.
The alternative is to bring the cost down by getting a used screen printing press. Network with other screen printing companies in your area. You could find one that’s closing down or upgrading equipment.
You’ll also need to have supplies and plenty of shirts available to handle orders.
7. Market Your Business
How will you get customers? The answer lies in your business plan. That’s because your marketing plan depends on your target market.
Your marketing plan needs to reach people where they are, online and offline. Learn how to advertise on search engines and drive traffic to your website.
Social media is another avenue to reach people. Don’t feel like you have to be on every network. Pick one and become a master.
8. Be a Financial Manager
You could have a business that earns over $100,000 a year and still lose money. How is that possible? You don’t look at your financials.
This is where most business owners fail to manage the business. They check bank balances and decide what to spend based on what’s in the bank account at the moment.
You need to learn better methods to manage your funds. There are money management systems that show you how to allocate funds and set aside money for profits and unexpected expenses.
Seek out the help of a CPA and bookkeeper to help you make your business profitable.
Become a Top Screen Printer
Is it possible to be a screen printer and have a thriving business? It is because there are a lot of opportunities to sell online and locally. No matter how you structure your business, you need to make sure that you manage your business so it’s profitable.
Are you ready for more tips to help you start your business? Check out the site for great business tips and advice.