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Green Basement Banners Business

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by blkczar217, Aug 7, 2010.

  1. blkczar217

    blkczar217 New Member

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    Hello all I need a litle advice before making a major investment in a printer. I am looking to start a banner and sign business from my home and was wondering If anyone else is doing this or has done it. What are some of the pitfalls? There is a couple of sign shops in my area and a few commercial print shops. Also If business works out I would move into more signage work. I was hope to compete for Schools and State and local work. I would be focusing on GREEN printing. Do you think this could be profitable?
     
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  2. 1leonchen

    1leonchen Member

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    i would advise against it,
    one the chemical from printing will give u cancer in a couple years.
    two the is no such thing as green printing(material printed on will take 100 years to biodigrade)
    three you have no experience with large format printers.
    if i were u honestly seek a job at a reputable sign shop for a six months before i would invest in a printer and see how hard it is.u wold need to be a designer, a printer specialist in color, a installer, a fabricator, a accountant, sales rep,and efficient at sewing and hemming banners

    finally f u don't believe me and buy a printer u will loose 40 percent of the actual value on the first use its like welding if u play with fire u will get third degree burns.
     
  3. CropMarks

    CropMarks Member

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    Yeah... how much experience do you have in the industry? I've worked in the sign-printing/copy-design industry for about 15 years and there are things I still learn every single day. If you are starting out from scratch, the answer is - no.

    Even starting out on the cheap it could still run $15000+ easy. Used eco-solvent printer $6000+ --- if you know nothing about the technology and you buy a machine with bad print heads they can cost $800+ depending on the machine. My machine has 6 heads..... that's a lot of money. Screwing up prints in the million ways you can screw them up costs lots of money. Making something with materials you know nothing about leads to lots of unhappy customers when their sign or banner fails soon after they put it out.

    If you have no experience... get a job at a sign shop and learn for several years... or keep your day job and do something simple like buying a cheap vinyl plotter and play in your spare time. my 2 cents.
     
  4. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

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    Good advice so far. If you still have the bug to get a business started from home, there are many opportunities with the sales of printed materials and ad specialties...wholesalers abound in this area so it should be easy to find a supplier. The drawback is that your competetion also has the same access to these suppliers. Look long and hard before you begin this business.

    The most important element of a business model is the abilty to "create value". Some people do it only by selling things for more than they paid. Other's do it through their skills and talent. To remain truly competetive and have longevity in this business, you will need the latter...even if you do the design work and sub out the "busy" work.

    The second vital element is the ability to deliver that value in a cut-throat environment, all while maintaining an acceptable living standard. It's not impossible, but then again it's not easy either.

    Do you homework, and be honest with yourself before making the jump.

    Jim
     
  5. CheapVehicleWrap

    CheapVehicleWrap Very Active Member

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    How much is a major investment? Are you considering time an expense as well? Have your drawn up a business plan? Have you identified a need for another sign shop in your market and determined it will be more profitable for you to produce what you're currently outsourcing? Or, do you just plan on undercutting all the other shops (commonly known within the industry as "Moshing")?
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2010
  6. GypsyGraphics

    GypsyGraphics Major Contributor

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    that's HYSTERICAL!!!
     
  7. Replicator

    Replicator Major Contributor

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    :roflmao:
     
  8. SignManiac

    SignManiac Major Contributor

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    You would probably make more money stuffing envelopes from home. The only "green printer" at the moment is a latex printer and that will set you back $50k, so if you have excess money to burn, go for it.
     
  9. SignosaurusRex

    SignosaurusRex Major Contributor

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    According to your profile, you already have an HPZ6100. Whats the real story?
    Yes, many have done it, some make it, some don't. It all depends on whether or not you have what it takes to make it work. Have you ever successfully run a business? Have you got enough, or any, experience in the Sign Industry? How about Sales, Public Relations, Design, Bids and Proposals, etc, etc, etc,.
    Far too many to list. If you had enough experience in either "Business" itself or in the "Sign Industry" itself, you would not need to ask. Have you got enough money or another good paying job to finance such a venture and keep you afloat while you grind away at making a go of it?
    What have you got or can offer that they don't?
    Without being well-established and/or having a fair amount of experience, I think "HOPE" is about all you'll have. Even if you are the cheapest guy on the block it will be very tough to get the jobs, keep the accounts and avoid the pitfalls, especially without a good knowledge of what you are doing and dealing with all the while still "cutting teeth" in the biz.
    That's an "Oxymoron".
    Yes, It can be for the right individual in the right position.[/QUOTE]
     
  10. blkczar217

    blkczar217 New Member

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    Good advice I will take it all into consideration. My background is in prepress, I have worked in ad agencies, small print shops and large for 20 years. I have used the HPZ6100 primarily at work doing signs and poster on the side. I can do all the design and prep work myself and I am a fast learner. I have had my eye on the HP L25500 latex printer which doesn't require and special venting so hopefully It won't kill me. I have no experience in sales, bidding for jobs or estimating. I have a partner who was wanting to do car wraps and he has had training in that area and is a former IT, Large format tech that would be helping me out. He has the space to do the Wrapping which I can help him with with some training.I have been doing lots of reseach which includes reading up here on the forums. I see on here that some have done it from there garage as well as basement. I have also seen web sites and print shops which have purchased the HP L25500 for the selling point of being green, Bioflex states that its material take 3-5 years to breakdown in landfills. Thanks for the advice, I am still working on my business plan to see If this is doable. My investment would be around 50,000.00. I could go work in a sign shop for a year and have down the basic or can the whole idea.
     
  11. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

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    I see three very difficult "strikes" against you:
    #1 Very expensive proposition at $50K...that's a lot of milk money. Will this be borrowed?
    #2 Your indecision about this venture ("can the whole idea") coupled with the need of further training. Hear me out...working for a year in some shops will just get you beyond sweeping the floor. Typical skilled trades apprenticeships are 4 years (8,000 hours). And beyond that, there's even more learning to gain as you become more proficient in your skills.
    #3 Partnerships...They're only good when they bring synergy to an organization. In your case, it sounds like the partnership will be needed for survival. That is not a good thing.

    JB
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2010
  12. 1leonchen

    1leonchen Member

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    just pulling your leg but i would still advise in getting some real sign experience first. the first shop i worked for was 8 years.i thought i knew every thing and i had a lot of hick ups on my own. use your current printer and test your market first. don't low ball and use some of the great wholesalers.

    first rule of business have a business plan.

    low balling will get you nowhere.

    and don't borrow to buy a printer it better for u to learn how to design and sub out your printing to wholesalers.
     
  13. jasonx

    jasonx Very Active Member

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    We started out in my lounge room about 3.5 years ago with just a vinyl cutter. Fast forward 3.5 years we now have a 5000 square feet facility, two wide format printers, narrow format, doming setup, laminators, four staff etc etc.

    So its very much doable. The main piece of advice is that I'd ensure you have about 6-12 months worth of money to sustain the business. In our first year revenue was up and down and hard to predict. By the start of the 3rd year everything leveled out and we starting achieving month on month growth from the previous month and especially from the same month the previous year. I guess this comes from building a solid client base.

    The only other pitfall I can maybe see is that your working from your basement. Now this isn't the problem but the clientele your trying to attract might want to align itself with what it considers a more professional business.

    We looked at the green side of things but what is really green? The HP Latex printer does reduce VOCs but then on the other hand it uses tones more electricity to run. So if your using electricity from coal producing power plants your not really that green are you. The other problem we found is we started looking at this just before the GFC was affecting business. During these times most business' are concerned with the bottom dollar and not the environment. So that's another consideration to take into account.

    All the best with your business.
     
  14. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

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    Nor do you know how to market a business. Nor do you know how to manage a business.

    Here is a no BS answer to your quest.
    You have no business getting into this business until you go work for another sign shop for at least a year.

    Also, green is bullcrap. ITs a lie and just a line for the marketing dept.

    I owned an AB dick t-head in a print shop. I know print shop work. Sign shop is not a print shop. Two different animals,. You are merely in the speculating mode. You have to find a place to work and get some more experience. Otherwise you will be a cooked tom turkey.
     
  15. Sticky Signs

    Sticky Signs Very Active Member

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    I would think that you've probably learned a thing or two after 20 years in the biz. Only one way to find out. Best of luck.
    If it doesn't work out, I know a guy making a fortune selling mini donuts. I wish I was kidding but I'm not.
     
  16. royster13

    royster13 Very Active Member

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    A bus driver turned mini donut guy?.....
     
  17. blkczar217

    blkczar217 New Member

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    Jul 28, 2010
    I see most here believe this would be an impossible task? Are most of you business owners or some former business owners? I have been to 3 sign shops over the last few weeks and all have been very helpful and encouraging in my quest to start up a Banner business, I have seen some of the work that I would be doing and it's not that difficult. The work I have seen In this area as far as banners go is pretty crappy(lose stitching, cheap material, low res graphics) to say the least. I am not looking to blow up over night, I just want to start slow on my own terms and grow the business into something bigger. I have seen enough in my prepress management position to know there is money to be made out here and I have the contacts willing to help. " Green " is selling and printers are marketing this to certain client to satisfy their needs.
     
  18. cdiesel

    cdiesel Very Active Member

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    If you're serious about getting into the business (and it sounds like you are), the first thing I'd recommend is outsourcing your printing while you build a client list. There are MANY businesses out there that don't make it because they have no clients. Most of those haven't gone out and dropped $50k (this is a low number, assuming you're buying the 60" machine, which in the banner business isn't NEARLY wide enough). If you're serious, you'd be looking at the bigger machine. Don't forget finishing equipment. Good welders take up some seriuos room.
     
  19. Shovelhead

    Shovelhead Major Contributor

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    "I have used the HPZ6100 primarily at work doing signs and poster on the side."

    :Oops:
     
  20. blkczar217

    blkczar217 New Member

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    Thanks for all the advice, I really appreciate your opinions.
     
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