5 Tips for Starting a Screen Printing Business from Scratch•
These tips will set you on the path to making your screen printing goals a reality
If you have a creative mind with an eye for detail, starting a screen printing business might be right up your alley. You can utilize your talents in stenciling and creating unique designs for customers to wear on shirts, hats and other items. Starting a business from scratch can be the most rewarding and scary thing to do. However, with the right equipment and knowledge you’ll be set up for success. Follow these tips for building a successful and long-lasting screen printing business.
1) Choose a Niche Market
Ever hear the saying, “quality over quantity”? The more specific you get with your niche, the easier it will be to identify your target audience, the direction you set for your business, and how to best advertise. When thinking about choosing your niche, try to choose two or three markets that interest you and you are passionate about. An example of specific target markets include card writers, sports teams, bands etc. Once you establish yourself in that market, those customers will think of you when they need a customized apparel. Moral of the story, don’t feel like you have to be the jack of all trades.
2) Invest in Quality
We can’t stress how important it is to set up a strong foundation for your business. Don't cut corners and try to save a a few bucks by purchasing cheaper equipment. Invest in a quality screen printing press right away. A manual screen printing press is the norm for new small businesses. It is important to remember that a quality press is an investment and will grow as your business grows. It will hold its value throughout your business’s life or until your business has grown to the point of upgrading to an automatic press.
Investing in high quality inks, aluminum frames, and degreasers will save you time, money, and hassle too.
3) Ensure you Have Enough Space
There’s a lot to think about when determining the space needed for the perfect print shop. Sketching the dimensions of the shop, equipment, storage, and supplies can be a helpful way to determine the space needed for an ideal set-up. It’s important to figure out a layout before implementation because it also helps you decide what product would fit your shop best. For example, if you are trying to save space a countertop press might be better over a stand-alone press. Here are some things to consider when sketching and determining space:
- Type of Screen Printing press
- Doors and windows
- Electrical dryer and compressor
- Electricity outlets to run the equipment
- Storage for inventory and completed projects
- Boxing and shipping area
4) Brace Yourself for a Learning Curve
You can buy the best equipment on the market, but you won’t succeed unless you have the knowledge to pair with it. You won’t perfect your craft overnight. There are many different variables that go into creating the perfect product. Knowing the perfect mesh count, tension, and correct inks to use depending on substrate will be things you will learn as you create and grow. Just remember that everyone has had to start somewhere!
5) Market Yourself
As a new business on the block it is crucial to get your name out there so people can start utilizing your services. A great way to get your business known is by making shirts for sports teams or volunteering to create shirts for a special community cause. It’s always a good idea to hand tag your shirts so people know where the products came from without having to ask. These ways boost your brand’s visibility in the community and increase brand loyalty.
It is also important to remember the advantage of having a solid business strategy before you jump in with both feet. Some questions to ask yourself are:
- Who is my target market?
- How will I promote my company?
- Which social media platforms will I use?
- What is my mission statement?
- What sets my business apart from others?
- Who is the local competition? What makes them successful?
Answering these questions will help you hone in on what your brand is and who your audience is and therefore, how you will market yourself.
Following these tips will set you up on the right track for a successful screen printing business.