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Micro Business Looking to Expand into Print

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by LeLuni, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. LeLuni

    LeLuni Member

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    Sep 17, 2012
    Hello,

    I have a small side business making laser cut wooden children’s clocks here: www.LeLuni.com.

    I would like to expand my offerings into complementary children’s room wall stickers and removable ‘wallpaper’ (large scale print graphics that are peal-and-stick onto walls).

    My inspiration for this new product line idea can be found here: http://www.thewallstickercompany.com.au/ (from their video it looks like they use a 64” Roland printer/cutter)

    (((BTW, my day job is in the tradeshow exhibit industry, so I have accumulated a good amount of large format graphic print knowledge - though we outsource the actual printing to local vendors. I have a very good understanding of the common graphic software programs (adobe and corel) as well as a reasonable knowledge of print media/substrates. )))

    I currently have about $8,000 from my side business, and the ongoing profits net me about $1,000 a month.

    I’d appreciate everyone’s opinion on the following questions:

    1. What, in your opinion, would be the necessary (bare minimum) equipment to begin this exact new product line?
    Assume the designs would need to be printed and not just cut solid vinyl.

    2. On a budget (i.e. purchasing only used equipment), what would you anticipate startup costs to be, including media?

    3. Can you point me in the right direction as far as the best type of print media for this application?
    I believe the site above mentions their ‘fabric’ style peel and stick graphics. In my day job we have noticed vast difference in the types and textures of vinyl that different shops use, and I’m unfamiliar with the specific brand names that have crossed my desk.

    I greatly appreciate your time and assistance and am looking forward to any insights you all can provide.

    Thanks,
    John
    LeLuni :thankyou:
     
    Tags:
  2. ChicagoGraphics

    ChicagoGraphics Major Contributor

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    Welcome to Signs101
     
  3. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

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    1) if you wanted to limit your output, you could go with a 30" printer, but should probably go 54"
    2) maybe $10k used? (assuming you dont need a laminator as you will only be doing the fabric wall material
    3) phototex
     
  4. Gino

    Gino Major Contributor

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    Welcome from PA.......................
     
  5. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

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    I would recommend you try subbing out the production to a wholesale printer first, if after 6 months you feel you would make enough money to warrant buying your own printer and the headaches that come with it, you can do so.

    No point jumping in with both feet first.
     
  6. LeLuni

    LeLuni Member

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    Sep 17, 2012
    """I would recommend you try subbing out the production to a wholesale printer first, if after 6 months you feel you would make enough money to warrant buying your own printer and the headaches that come with it, you can do so."""

    I like this idea, I'm just not sure I could make any money by doing single runs on a per order basis. Do you know anyone who has done this?

    Does anyone know any wholesale printers they could recommend in the Greenville, South Carolina area?

    Thanks,
    John
     
  7. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

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    You'd probably make more money because you wouldn't have the headaches of misprints, machine malfunction, etc
     
  8. LeLuni

    LeLuni Member

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    Sep 17, 2012
    Is this unanimous, or are there other recommended types of 'wall sticker' media?
    I'll start building a list so that I can query for samples.

    Thanks again for this info,
    John
     
  9. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

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    Ding, ding ding...we have a winner. Proceed with caution in this new market.


    JB
     
  10. Craig Sjoquist

    Craig Sjoquist Major Contributor

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    +++ On hiring a shop to print for you.

    Welcome to a outstanding Signs 101 & people.

    As cool as it may sound doing your own printing, go back threw the archives & do some reading you will read that printing is no picnic.

    At your cash & income you go broke fast.

    Ya got a cool product, put extra cash into expanding your market range & offering new products like the printed walls but create that market 1st & cash flow that you can spend $100,000 without worry. ,... just being real...
    So what if ya only make 50% instead of a little more, you will have alot less stress.
     
  11. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

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    Signs 365 is out of Michigan and Arizona....makes no difference if you can have them UPS it to you in two or so days. They also drop ship.


    JB
     
  12. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

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    BTW...that's a fine bunch of young gals you have on your web page. You're a blessed man.

    With that in mind, you should begin focusing on your shooting skills and keep a shotgun handy over the front door...they'll be teenagers quicker than you realize.


    JB
     
  13. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

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    I've had good luck with avery 2611, it's a vinyl wall film as opposed to a fabric like phototex, but it works great and contour cuts MUCH better than phototex
     
  14. FireSprint

    FireSprint Very Active Member

    Welcome from Omaha!
     
  15. LeLuni

    LeLuni Member

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    Oh, I sure know it :) thanks!
     
  16. LeLuni

    LeLuni Member

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    Thank you all for your advice.
    I'm going to start getting in some samples and will outsource printing to begin with.
    I'll keep you up to date.

    Thanks,
    John
     
  17. briankb

    briankb Active Member

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    Phototex has a rough texture but it works great and as described. It's the only printable wall adhesive material I've tried.

    On the printer. Having owned and sold one without much profit in between. I would echo what others have said and find someone to outsource your prints. There are PLENTY of wholesale to trade printers for this stuff and several can be found in the Merchant section of this website. You will not get the same markup as having the printer but you will also not have the investment in equipment, education, and time either.
     
  18. g&eprinting

    g&eprinting Member

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    The clocks are awesome!

    If you make designs to match the clocks and order ten from someone I'm sure they would give you a deal and you'll have them in stock with the clocks and save that money.
     
  19. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

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    Wow...how about making children's names (or other items) in wood to coordinate with the clocks...and perhaps even the wall graphics?

    You could establish multi-tiered package offerings from something basic to downright awe inspiring...all in a simple, easy-to-do kit. I think prospective parents might jump on it.


    JB
     
  20. JMDigital

    JMDigital Active Member

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    Great choice to sub this out for a bit first. Let me ask you, I read your FAQ page that says you use light weight laser cut 3/16" birch veneer core plywood that has been conditioned, sanded, and hand-dyed. Does that mean that the designs are purchased already cut? For example the “Baby Bunny in Light Blue"Do you purchase the Bunny shape pre-cut and do the color yourself, or do you have a laser cutter and cut the designs yourself?

    I really like the clocks I actually may order some for Christmas presents this year for the little ones in my family!! :clapping:
     
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