Business Overview

A custom prints business is a “jack of all trades” kind of business. These businesses often focus on printing on everything from business cards to t-shirts. This also opens the door for turning some of your more successful screen printing endeavors into sideline businesses (that focus solely on something like t-shirts, for example).

Who is this business right for?

This job is ideal for someone who is good with both technology and people. It is necessary to be good with technology because you must know your way around the hardware and software necessary to print onto a variety of different surfaces. You must be good with people because your clientele is potentially very diverse—the professional who needs new business cards may be very different from the college student who wants to order an ironic t-shirt.

What happens during a typical day at a custom prints business?

In no particular order, your daily activities may include corresponding with existing customers, reaching out to potential customers, and managing your advertising (including a web page and social media presence). You may periodically clean and perform maintenance on your equipment and, in rare cases, order new equipment and new parts. Most of any given day will include creating your custom printed items and then shipping them to your customers.

What is the target market?

Your preferred clients may vary depending on whether you want to specialize in a particular printing service or not. Generally, though, business people will be your preferred clients because they are likeliest to become steady clients, needing to periodically get more of their original business card designs, to change cards as their employers and information change, etc. Thus, while you would make more per t-shirt than per business card, those buying things like t-shirts are less likely to become repeat customers over the years.

How does a custom prints business make money?

A custom print business takes customer requests and charges money to print customized words and graphics onto different kinds of items.

What is the growth potential for a custom prints business?

There is good growth potential for this business because you can start small and build your way up. For instance, you may start out only printing on certain items, and once you have become successful in that, you can branch out to other printing services. Since you will already have the equipment, you can also sell your own custom-designed shirts and prints through venues such as Etsy, offering you a different revenue stream.