Shutterfly started as their company to help people print photos from their digital camera.
Vistaprint, one of the leading providers of printing services, began its journey to provide printed products at an affordable price to small businesses.
DiscountedMugs is on a mission to create lasting impressions with personalized gifts within budget.
What’s common among these?
Well, they began with an idea. If you want to step into the entrepreneurial arena within the printing industry, you want to be very clear about your printing business ideas.
Stats say the global printing industry will reach $821 billion by 2022. It means this is undoubtedly the right time to start your own business.
However, printing, like any other business, is undergoing major shifts. For instance, the demand for newspapers and magazines is diminishing while packaging printing is growing.
Hence, you need to invest in something that has bigger opportunities in years to come. To make your task easier, we have prepared this guide of four printing business ideas and how you can improve print shop business ROI as quickly as possible.
Here’s a quick guide of topics that this post covers:
- Start a Commercial Printing Business
- Build a Print eCommerce Store
- Start a 3D Printing Business
- Offer Packaging Printing Services
- A Checklist to Improve Your Printing Shop Business’s ROI
Start a Commercial Printing Business
The commercial printing market is seeing substantial growth. Studies project the market to be worth USD 472.35 billion by 2026, registering a CAGR of 2.24% during 2021 – 2026.
Increasing applications across various end-use segments and technology are driving demand for commercial printing services. Hence, commercial printing products seem to be a good printing business opportunity.
The first step in starting a commercial printing business is to decide on products. It includes booklets, brochures, flyers, business cards, greeting cards, notebooks, and more. The easiest way to find products that are trending is to check Google Trends.
It’s an excellent tool to analyze the popularity of top search queries across various regions. Google Trends also use graphs to compare the search volume of different queries.
For instance, there are five products in the below image – notebooks, business cards, greeting cards, flyers, and brochures. It shows a graph of the search queries in the United States past 90 days. As you can see, the demand for flyers and notebooks is the highest, while greeting cards are the least. This way, you can check the popularity and choose a product category accordingly.
(Flyers and notebooks have the highest demand while greeting card is the lowest)
No matter what printing service you provide, the secret weapon of success is personalization. Whether it’s Nutellas’ ‘Nutella Unica‘ campaign or Coca-Cola’s Share a Coke campaign, brands connect with customers with one-to-one personalization.
Moreover, your customers no longer consider personalization a luxury. They expect companies to deliver better experiences with personalization. Here are some examples depicting online printing business opportunities in this service.
PsPrint is a leading online print production and design company. They help their customers stand out from the crowd with their customizable print products. Users can create their designs on different products like booklets, business cards, flyers, etc. As you can see in the below image, you can design a card by adding text, company logo, images, and more once you choose a design template.
(PsPrint – Allowing Users to Customize Business Cards, Flyers, and More)
Custom Ink is a famous retail company selling apparel, promotional items, and more with the highest quality printing. Using their design lab, users can create and print a variety of products the way they like. For instance, this spiral notebook is a classic promotional item. A user can add their company logo or text and then use it as a giveaway.
(Custom Ink’s Design Lab for Commercial Print Products)
Brush Your Ideas has everything you need from a designer tool. With diverse features and easy-to-use functionality, you can let your customers create personalized designs. Get started now!
Build a Print eCommerce Store
From face masks to jackets, mugs to pillow covers, you can provide your service as a print eCommerce solution. If you do not want to set up a printing infrastructure and manage inventory yourself, you can choose to have a print-on-demand business model.
Print on demand is where you work with a supplier to customize products and sell them on a per-order basis. Following are some options that you can consider for your printing business.
One of the quickest ways to enter the print eCommerce market is starting a clothing line. While there is a lot you can do here, it’s a good idea to choose a product that’s trending and has great future opportunities.
Selling custom design t-shirts is a good printing business opportunity. Studies expect the market to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.7% from 2021 to 2028. With the right business plan and tools, you can have your own T-shirt business. Later, you can expand your t-shirt business by adding more product categories like hoodies, activewear, hats, and more
Another trending category is custom printed mugs. Even businesses use mugs as a promotional product. Hence, starting a custom mug business can open a lot of online printing business opportunities for you.
Just like custom mug printing, selling customized glassware is one of the popular printing ideas for business. With the increase in beverage consumption and glassware usage as promotional products, the market is likely to reach $12.4 billion by 2025.
When it comes to printing business ideas for eCommerce products, the list is endless. Clothing, home decor, phone covers, coffee mugs, uniform, photo album, and a lot more. Deciding what products to sell can be difficult.
You need to ensure that there is a market for what you are selling. Moreover, the products you decide to sell directly influence major business decisions, including finances, inventory, marketing, etc.
Let’s think strategically about printing ideas for business and what should be your next step.
Start a Printing Business Using 3D Technology
One of the latest technologies that have become popular in the last few years is 3D printing. Did you know the market is likely to expand at a growth rate of 21.0% from 2021 to 2028?
From eCommerce to the medical industry, there is no shortage of possibilities to start a printing business using 3D technology. The key to success is identifying your niche. Here are some printing business ideas using 3D technology that you can consider.
1. 3D Packaging
As 3D technology is becoming better with each passing day, many businesses are considering it as an option for packaging. Since 3D printing helps in creating on-demand packaging, it helps reduce waste. Moreover, the technique allows customers to make their own personalized packaging.
A good example of 3D technology in packaging is Smart Cups. It’s a line of energy drinks in 3D-polycapsule printed cups. When you add water, the self-stirring cup turns it into an energy drink.
Sipa is another company that turned to 3D to develop an innovative package design. The company creates impressive elephant-printed 3D bottles.
(Sipa’s 3D Bottles)
2. 3D Printed Shoes
3D printing is influencing many industries, and the shoe industry is no different. Many brands like Adidas and New Balance are becoming more and more successful with the help of 3D printing.
3D printing research analysts SmarTech predict that the 3D printed shoe industry will become a $6.3bn industry within a decade. These are bold predictions that seem to be a good printing business opportunity.
Let’s look at a few examples showing online printing business opportunities in the footwear sector.
Rebook – In 2016, the shoe company developed a new concept of shoemaking: liquid factory. The purpose of it was to replace the traditional molds with 3D printing techniques. Later that year the brand released a limited batch of 300 shoes with 3D printed outsoles.
(Rebook’s 3D Printed Outsole)
Ecco – This Danish shoe manufacturer developed a new shoe that they call Quant-U. It is the first-of-its-kind service that uses biomechanical data acquired via 3D scanners to produce customized silicone midsoles.
(Customized Silicone Midsoles By Ecco)
Apart from these, you can also consider 3D smartphone cases, photo frames, drinkware, etc.
Offer Packaging Printing Services
One of many printing business ideas to consider is packaging and labels. At a global level, the packaging industry is a major economic generator. As per the reports by Smithers Peria, the worldwide authority on packaging and print industry, the demand for the world packaging industry will reach $1.05 trillion by 2024.
The growth is due to the increasing demand for printing solutions in end-use industries like food and beverage and pharmaceutical.
According to a market report, the demand for packaging printing is likely to remain robust as hospitals, drugs, and PPE kits packaging companies are responding to the crisis.
If you are looking for printing business ideas, this industry has great opportunities to offer.
Since the packaging printing business is versatile, you would want to focus on a specific market like cosmetics, food products, medical goods, etc. Doing some market and competitor research will help you find out who you wish to cater to.
You can choose from a variety of products like promotional boxes, signature boxes, handbags, bottle neckers, stickers and labels, etc.
It is entirely up to you if you wish to start a full-fledged packaging business or choose one or two product categories and then go big.
Next up is to keep an eye on the latest trends in the industry. Currently, digital printing is gaining popularity in this sector. It offers labels and packaging companies attractive benefits like faster turnaround, cost-effective print prototypes, the ability to print multiple versions, and more. Hence, more and more businesses are switching to digital printing. Check out a few examples of brands offering packaging printing.
Whether it’s a small carton or a huge printed shipping box, Packlane has everything you need for your packaging needs. What sets them apart is the custom design lab. Users have complete freedom to pick a style, change graphics, add text or logo, and more. Once they create their design, they can get a sneak peek in 3D and instantly get a quote.
(Packaging Printing By Packlane)
eCreamery, one of our clients, is a US-based brand known for its mouth-watering ice-creams and personalized packaging. Users can choose their favorite flavors and then personalize pints with their favorite titles using their product design tool.
(eCreamery Offering Personalizable Pints on Their Packaging)
At Brush Your Ideas, we have helped many print business owners set up their stores and grow their business with our product design tool. Check out how a product design tool can make all the difference in your printing business.
A Checklist to Improve Your Printing Shop Business’s ROI
Here are some ways you can reach your target customers and improve sales:
1. Quickly start selling With an Online Store
There are two ways you can build an online store for your printing business. One, you develop an eCommerce store from scratch, and second, you get a ready-to-use web-to-print store.
When it comes to building an online store from starch, there are many platforms to choose from. As per Investopedia, the top five eCommerce platforms are BigCommerce, Wix, Magento, Squarespace, and Shopify.
Before you choose a platform, evaluate the solutions and confirm if they meet all your needs. You can connect with their support staff and solve all your queries. You can even test the features yourself by starting a free trial.
The biggest problem with building an eCommerce store from scratch is its high cost. The cost of custom development depends on your business requirements and the functionality you choose. The more complex your project is, the more investment it requires.
Another option that will save you cash, and time is having a ready-made web-to-print storefront. It comes with all the features that you need to launch an online store in no time.
Brush Your Ideas aims to provide ready-to-sell B2B & B2C Web-to-Print Storefront for both established businesses and startups. With our web-to-print solution, you can customize your online store as per your business logic. It comes with easy-to-integrate customizable themes that let you build a store as per your needs.
(A Snap of Homepage From Brush Your Ideas Web-to-print Store)
We know how important it is for businesses to streamline all their operations. Our web-to-print solutions have all the tools like inventory manager, print job manager, etc. that you need to streamline print workflow.
What sets us apart is that you can also include a product design tool with our web-to-print solution. Printing is a competitive market, and one way you can make your business better than competitors is your unique selling proposition.
Offering customization with a product design tool will differentiate your products from others and hence enable you to attract more customers to your store. We are ready to help you build a printing empire that your future customers just can’t stop talking about. Let’s get in touch to discuss your project.
2. Have a Solid Marketing Plan
There is no doubt that with an online store, you will be able to reach more prospective customers. However, you will have to get them to your store. There are tons of ideas to market your printing business. In this section, we will discuss some of the easiest ways to attract customers to your website.
A. Engage with Customers on Social Media
Social media platforms are one of the best ways to increase engagement and build a community of followers. The first step in developing a social media strategy is determining the platform you want to market on.
“It’s important to be where your audience of potential customers is today and where they might be tomorrow. It’s better to be ahead of the curve than behind.” — Andrew Delaney, Social Media Marketing Manager at HubSpot
When it comes to choosing a platform for your printing business, you need to think of your target customers and where they hang out.
For instance, if you have a B2B printing business, you would want to spend more time on Facebook since a higher percentage of users are on Facebook for professional purposes. Business decision-makers spend 74% more time on Facebook as compared to other people.
On the other hand, if you want to target the younger crowd, you can consider creating a business profile on Instagram. In the US, 75% of people aged 18-24 use Instagram, making up the largest group by age, followed by 57% of 25-30 year-olds.
Once you decide on the platform you want to focus on, it’s time to create engaging posts. Check what your competitors are sharing and find out how uniquely you can promote your products or services.
B. Work on SEO Strategy
You may ask if SEO is right when you are just starting. There is no right or wrong marketing approach at any given time. Sooner or later, you will need to start investing in SEO strategy as nothing can beat a strong and organic search engine visibility.
Here’s a little heads up before you work on improving your rankings – (a) SEO may take more time to show results, especially if you are into a competitive market, (b) you will face high competition from paid ads as they occupy more space on SERP.
Having said that, at the core of having a Google-friendly website is high-quality content that your audience is looking for. Great content with website speed and keywords will determine the success of SEO.
When it comes to optimizing your pages, you also need to take care of on-page optimization, mobile friendliness, better user experience, schema, backlinks, etc.
Also, consider creating a Google My Business Account. It is a free and easy-to-use tool to manage your online presence across Google.
Are You Ready?
Aspiring printing entrepreneurs start with knowing different printing business ideas. But it’s not just about what you sell. What truly makes you successful is the value you provide to your customers by solving a problem they face.
We have helped many entrepreneurs like you to build and grow a successful printing shop business with our designer tool and web-to-print services. In our 14+ years of experience, we have developed quality-driven solutions that help business owners effectively manage their web-to-print business. Additionally, we also assist businesses in their marketing strategies to reach more customers and increase sales.
We can’t wait to see how your printing business turns out. Let’s get in touch to create a solid plan for your business.
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