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Starting a Screen Printing Business
Starting Your Own Screen Printing Business: Common Pitfalls
One of the wondrous aspects of screen printing tee shirts is the wide attraction it has to all types of people. Many people around the world discover screen printing tee shirts and think about starting their own business. What most people don't understand is what it takes and how to get started. Furthermore the learning curve that is involved is often discovered after the purchase of expensive equipment. But, starting your own tee shirt printing business is possible with the right equipment and knowledge.
The first pitfall in starting your own screen printing business is thinking you can make any kind of custom printed garments with computer generated heat transfers. This is most often the starting place for people with limited funds to purchase equipment. Many heat press vendors and suppliers make it look like you can do just about anything with heat transfers and the truth is there are many things that can be decorated with heat transfers. And many people have successful businesses selling heat transferred products. The catch is knowing what works well with heat transferring. But the most important thing to know about computer generated heat transfers is that they do not work well on dark garments. To learn more about this, please read the article; Can You Start A Custom Printed Apparel Business With Heat Transfers?". You may also learn all about the different kinds of heat transfers here; Transfer Articles.
The second pitfall to starting your own screen printing business is buying a start up package without understanding the learning curve involved with screen printing garments. Thousands of people buy start up kits with the promise of being able to generate extra income from home in their spare time. It is true that many screen printing businesses start this way. But it is also a fact that most of those start up kits end up lying dormant in storage. You can find a lot of used equipment like this available for sale.
It is important to understand that learning how to screen print tee shirts takes more than just good equipment. It takes skills and knowledge that cannot be learned overnight. There are many different facets to screen printing and each particular product may require certain knowledge in order to print correctly. Knowing what types of inks to use on different garments is very important and even knowing how to achieve special effects can be necessary. And we are just talking about the screen printing part of the process here. You must remember there is design and artwork involved too.
In the end it also will produce an inferior print. So understanding how to create your art for film positives and screen making is absolutely critical. In fact learning about artwork for screen printing is in itself an entirely different subject and must be learned alongside the actual screen printing skills needed to print tee shirts.
Once you understand what you are getting into, you have to take the time to decide what your ultimate end goals are. This could be like creating a business plan, which is recommended. But this business plan is related to you in that you have to decide what kind of custom printing service you wish to offer your customers and how far are you willing to go with the business endeavor.
Printing tee shirts takes al lot of manual labor and time. You have to be prepared to work hard and stick with it. It also takes a decent amount of equipment to be able to work efficiently and produce quality printed products. By knowing what you wish to accomplish business wise and physically produce, you will be better able to purchase your equipment without wasting money.
This leads us to another consideration often overlooked by beginners. The equipment needed for commercial screen printing requires a good amount of space and may even need special electrical, waste disposal and ventilation accommodations. Screen printing tee shirts is considered a semi industrial business in most cities.
It is important to research zoning laws as well as environmental regulations for the physical location of your printing. It is also recommended to allow enough space not only for the safe and efficient operation of the equipment but for the sorting and processing of garments to be printed. You would be surprised about how much space hoodies can take up in the shop!
After you have all the aforementioned issues sorted out, you will need to consider how to promote your screen printing business in your area. Many people have the fortune of starting out with a niche or a preexisting social network which enables them to get a good start with promoting their business by word of mouth. Word of mouth is a big part of getting additional business therefore it is an absolute must to produce a high quality product at a competitive price. If you have such a social network to take advantage of, then you are in a good position to offer custom printed goods with minimal investments in advertising or marketing. You may even be able to build your business right in your garage.
For those of you who are less fortunate in the social networking area, marketing and advertising may be a necessary part of your business budget. Visibility is also an important tool to be used in promoting your screen printing business. A lot of the time people come into a screen printing store on a whim. Having a good location for a storefront can be valuable. But it also can be a down fall if your overhead is too high. You don't want to be printing shirts just to make equipment financing and rental payments.
It is easy to see that there are many things to consider altogether in order to start a screen printing business. You have to balance financial budgets with business goals and provide numerous supporting skills to make things function. Hard work, dedication and perseverance are all a must. Like many businesses, this one will not become successful overnight. Unless you have a stroke of luck, which is possible.