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A Complete Guide On Starting Your Home-Based Print Business In 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent disruptions to business showed us just how uncertain life could be. Many see this as a sign to take their careers into their own hands and run a business from home rather than rely on employers.

It is likely that you, too, have dreamt of being your boss and doing something you love every day – and you can make that a reality! If you are nervous about quitting a regular income source and starting your own business, there is no reason to be.

Seven out of ten home startups are successful – some of the world’s biggest businesses, in fact, started at home. And it is not just about the success rate. The same holds for print businesses thanks to web-to-print solutions.

But let us back that up and talk about stats on home-based businesses in general.

Home entrepreneurs on the rise

Ninety percent of home business owners say that they are happier than ever with their work-life balance. The nature of home businesses makes it inclusive to people of just about any age and background.

It does not matter what you look like or where you went to school, as long as you have a business idea that can make money.

While home-based businesses generate $427 billion every year in America; however, it does not cost nearly as much to start one as you might think.

With the Internet, pretty much everything can be done from home without having to invest in extra office space or equipment. You can also claim tax deductions on your rented or owned property for your home office.

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Plus, when it is just you running the business, you save a lot on employee costs. Research shows that 44% of home-based businesses, in fact, need less than $5000 to get up and running. That is how simple it is easy to start something on your own! With a home business of your own, you get to be the boss and set the rules.

You can pursue your passion and offer products and services based on what you love doing rather than what your supervisor tells you to do. Moreover, running a business becomes even better with web-to-print solutions.

Not sure about being the only one in control?

Are you worried that it is too much responsibility?

Here is why being your boss is the best.

  • Freedom: When you run the business, you can experiment with product lines and move in different directions as you like, whenever you want.
  • Ownership: You retain sole ownership of all your business ideas and product designs, and you reap the rewards once they become successful.
  • Value: You can name your price because you are entirely responsible for how your product or service turns out. This also means that you are liable for any mistakes that might happen.
  • Control: With a business of your own, you can put your talents and skills to optimal use and shape your destiny.

In a nutshell, there is no reason you should not start a home-based business in 2021 and expect good results. If you are looking to offer print-based products, that is a brilliant choice you will never regret. We have created a complete guide to get you started.

Let us dive in:

How To Start A Home Printing Business In Three Steps

Part 1: Pick a printing niche

There are several kinds of print products out there, and it is best to pick a focused niche and not try to please everyone at once. For instance, sign printing businesses are very different from companies that do stationery and brochures, thanks to web-to-print solutions.

Study the market for each niche, determine whether you have the resources and the capacity to meet the industry standards in that niche, and then choose. The pandemic has brought about a change in buying habits.

People are looking to place smaller volumes of order given the uncertainty surrounding their incomes. Web-to-print solutions can offer that.

Part 2: Determine what printing equipment you will need

Once you have a niche, you need to invest in equipment that will help you fulfill your target audiences’ demands. The easiest way to do this is by checking out your competitors’ websites to see what services they offer and how you can improve upon those offerings.

Then, do your research on the printing equipment you will need to fulfill that. While it is understandable not to want to invest too much upfront, bear in mind that what you buy now could make or break your business.

At this stage, you should also do your homework on any permits or licenses you may need for the equipment and web-to-print solutions, and get the documentation in place. This is necessary so that you do not have to face any legal battle in the future.

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Types of printers you can buy

If you are new to the world of printing, which we are sure you are, there are a couple of printers you can choose from.

1. Direct-to-garment printer

This is the ideal printer for those who wish to enter the apparel printing business. It allows you to customize various fabric objects within minutes and without the hassle of traditional garment printing methods.

Applications include t-shirts, sweatshirts, baby clothing, dog vests, wall art, cushion covers, banners, tablecloths, and so on. For custom T-shirts produced at the rate of 10 pieces per hour, you can get an hourly profit of $216.80.

2. Direct-to-object printer

This type of device lets you print directly onto various surfaces like leather, wood, and metal and add high-quality gloss finishes and embossed effects.

You can opt for a smaller-sized printer that sits conveniently on desktops and is ideal for on-demand orders such as at a trade fair.

Applications include mobile covers, laptop covers, stationery, gift items, plaques and awards, glassware, ceramic items, picture frames, jewelry, leather bags, and so on.

For custom-made phone covers produced at the rate of 30 pieces per hour, you can get an hourly profit of $718.

3. Custom vinyl cutters

These offer cut designs in adhesive vinyl and are compatible with many materials, including stencil material, magnetic material, reflective material, and paint masks.

Applications include different types of banners and signage, business logos, window decals, vehicle tints, furniture graphics, and clothing. You can enable your web-to-print solution to sell a variety of print-ready, customizable products.

Customers can use a product designer tool to personalize them all. For contour-cut decals produced at the rate of 35 pieces an hour, you get an hourly profit of about $661.50.

4. Heat transfer objects

Heat transfer printers use a blend of heat and pressure to transfer designs onto cloth and other materials. You can choose from vinyl and digital heat transfer options and pick a size based on the types of products you will be selling. Applications include different clothing items, hats, tablecloths, banners, water bottles, pens, and so on.

Part 3: Set up an eCommerce storefront using the web2print software

Personalization is the need of the hour everywhere, not only in terms of the products offered but also in the browsing and buying experience.

A business running on a web-to-print solution is the most comfortable and cheapest way to offer this personalization, even if you are starting.

Essentially, customers can upload their designs onto the storefront and tweak them to suit their requirements, which you then fulfill.

They can store the design templates on the product design tool for ready access, and you can also offer them pre-made templates to pick from.

Who Can Start A Home-Based Printing Business?

1. Graphics designer

Designers who already have experience working with graphics for an ad agency or entertainment department can consider a home-based printing business as a way to establish their brand. With full creative control over what they sell and how graphic designers can use their home startup as a launchpad to making the big leagues someday.

2. Small entrepreneur

Often, creative people with families to look after might want to have their income source without the rigid schedule of a full-time job. For them, investing in a lightweight printing machine and designing custom print products using the product designer tool for their friends and family is a fun, easy way for them to earn money and be independent.

Checklist Before Starting A Business

There will always be excuses and obstacles that get in the way of you starting a business of your own. However, if you are convinced that you want to be your boss, the time is now. Keep the following checklist handy when you start, and do not look back anymore.

1. Make a plan:

Set your goals and timelines down on paper so that the business plan has an existence of its own.

2. Choose your products:

It is best to start small and focus on the products you feel most confident about selling. You can always expand further down the line. So, choose your initial product portfolio wisely.

3. Make the business real:

Set up a website, have your brand name and logo, and write out a vision and mission statement.

4. Deploy a web2print software solution:

Doing so will reduce your burden of tracking sales and managing shipment. Plus, you can enable your customers to personalize their print-ready and place an order swiftly with a product design tool.

5. Choose a sales outlet:

Selling your products online is easy, as sites like Amazon, Etsy, Shopify, and eBay let you set up a storefront without much trouble. You can also promote your products by word-of-mouth among your friends and family.

6. Check whether you need a license:

As a business owner, you may need to acquire a license for tax purposes. Get that sorted asap. Seek help from a financial advisor for better clarity, so that you can run your web2print software-based storefront easily.

7. Set up your workspace:

Whether it is a room in your house, your garage, or a space you rent out, be sure to furnish it with everything you need to get going. That will motivate you to take your home-based business seriously.

8. Purchase your machines:

Choose the best for your business niche, and talk to salespeople and fellow designers for advice if you are having a hard time picking.

9. Market:

Promote your business in as many ways as possible. Talk about it with your friends and family, introduce yourself to strangers at a cafe, connect with people at virtual events, and so on. You never know where your next customer may come from. So, do not be shy and market aggressively using your web-to-print solution.

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Print Products You Can Sell

1. Custom T-shirts:

T-shirts are among the most-loved personalized items and have gained popularity in the post-COVID era with the shift towards loungewear and athleisure. From cartoon characters to photographs to names to brand logos, you can get just about anything printed using a T shirt design software.

2. Tote bags:

Bags serve the dual purpose of being useful and a great fashion accessory when made well. You can offer custom printed tote bags in high-quality fabrics as a gifting option or for corporate branding with a tote bag design software solution.

3. Mobile cases:

Mobile covers are emerging as a fashion accessory of choice, especially among the younger crowd. Different designs can be incorporated into a cover, from heat transfer print to vinyl cutter designs.

4. Decals:

These make for a quick and fun addition to glass or plastic surfaces, such as a window or a laptop cover. Customers often use these to personalize their cars or their electronics using the decal design software.

Wrapping it up

Times are tough, but people and businesses worldwide have managed to survive in 2020, if not thrive. So, if you are thinking of starting your home-based print business, do not think twice. There is a lot of potential in the market to grow with quality printing services and impeccable customer service—all thanks to web-to-print solutions.

So, if you are looking for a robust web2print software solution using which you can set up your home-based print services, then by all means, please get in touch with us at inquiry@designnbuy.com.


Saumya Nawab
Saumya Nawab

Saumya is a skilled marketer who manages marketing communications at Design’N’Buy. From content and social media to branding and PR, Saumya looks after all aspects of digital marketing meticulously at Design’N’Buy. She collaborates extensively with the sales and operations teams to provide the best service to her clients. She proudly holds a masters degree in business administration and a diploma in international businesses.

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