How to Start a Web2Print Printing Business: A Complete Guide

How to Start a Web2Print Printing Business: A Complete Guide


A printing business will always be in-demand. Globally, printing is an evergreen industry giving entrepreneurs a lot of opportunities to thrive.

However, the average number of employees in a printing business in the United States as of 2022 falls within the range of 7 to 8 individuals, with a precise average of 7.6 employees per printing business.

This is because the latest printing equipment requires little to no human labor to operate the machinery.

As more printing business owners utilize this automated equipment, fewer technicians are needed for manual work. In addition to that, the latest digital printing equipment is compact, automated, and cost-effective.

So, if you want to start your printing business, you are at the right time in the right place. Because we’ve got you covered with a full-proof, legally compliant, customer-friendly online printing business plan.

We have put together this exhaustive guide to answer all your questions from “how to start a printing business” to “ how to gain maximum traction in the beginning of your business”. Let’s get started.

Essential Step Zero: Market Research

In 2023, the worldwide printing and related support activities market experienced a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.0%, rising from $355.78 billion in 2022 to $369.89 billion. The USA, Europe, and some of the Asian countries are the key markets for printing.

Despite the shift to digital alternatives in the USA, the market generated $82.9 billion in revenue over the past five years.

The commercial printing market worldwide is poised for substantial growth in the coming years, with an anticipated value of USD USD 484.22 billion by 2027.

The commercial printing market is assured of remarkable growth over the next few years. Due to the technological trends along with the rising applications, the printing business demand is encouraged globally.

How to Start a Printing Business from Scratch?

Nowadays, practically anyone with capital and a full-proof plan can easily get started with an online printing business, even from home. There couldn’t be a better instance to join the trend. Hereon, we bring you five basic steps to start an online printing business from scratch.

Step 1: Find your Niche.

The most basic thing to start with is your target audience and the niche of your business. These two go hand-in-hand. You cannot possibly sell without knowing what you’re selling and, most importantly, who you’re trying to sell to.

Some of the most successful printing entrepreneurs started a printing business by sticking to a niche in their specialized area. It is better to target a particular need and fulfill it instead of selling all things to all people. Once you’ve decided your niche, decide what audience you want to target. Deciding this at an early stage is essential to create designs pertaining to that niche that appeal to those audiences. Once you have decided your niche and your target audience, ask yourself the following two questions:

  1. What will be Your Unique Selling Point?Now you need a unique selling point for your products. Researching your niche printing businesses for the latest trends is what you need to do next. Study the market and find out about your current competitors. Find out what they’re lacking and what you can do more to make your services more attractive. Find ways to offer the badly-needed services and improve upon the entire online printing business within your niche.
  2. Do You Consider Selling Customized Printing Services?If your niche includes printing on products like bags, greeting cards, T-shirts, visiting cards, mugs, keychains, and so on, you’d surely want to consider the customization option. Letting your customers design their own products as and how they want in a hassle-free manner would surely turn lucrative.

    You must be wondering why there is a big fuss about personalized products. Well, the answer is simple. Customers love things made just for them.

    Personalized products are a great way to make customers happier and to keep them engaged.

    A recent McKinsey report suggests that 76% of consumers are more likely to buy from brands that offer personalized products, and 78% are more likely to recommend those brands and make repeat purchases.

    Another study on creating customer loyalty through customization states that:
    “Customization increases perceived service quality, customer satisfaction, customer trust, and ultimately customer loyalty toward a service provider.”

    Offer your customers personalization options, let them upload photographs, write personal messages, add designs of their choice to their products, and so on. Customer experience finds value through exclusivity in the form of customized products. It gives them the feeling of something unique and something specific that works just the way they want.

    We can help you offer product customization and make your web-to-print store more productive with cutting-edge Web to Print Solutions.

    Don’t miss out on the opportunity to increase customer loyalty, attract new customers, and

    boost your productivity.


Step 2: Online Visibility – A Must Have.

So, now you know what you are selling and to whom are you going to sell. The next important question to address would be where will you sell? When you start a printing business, building an online presence is of uttermost importance. Everything from a website, business applications, social media presence, etc., comes under this category.

  1. Social MediaIn the early days of your business, a social media account can greatly boost your online presence. When you’re to start a printing business from home, you are more likely to go slow on your capital and would not be willing to spend most of it on advertising, building websites, and so on. Social media presence is a boon for those looking forward to starting a printing business from home.

    For home businesses, social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram can prove to be beneficial. You can build a social media page to publish your content and improve your reach. With most companies, entrepreneurs, millennials, and youth active on social media these days and with your unique service offering, you will surely get profitable business.

  2. Start a Printing Business WebsiteYou can create your website, register a domain name and build the website as you want. A website is important as you will want to showcase your work to your future clients. A well-ranked website can get you global attention and lots of printing assignments. With a website, you can do a follow-up location-based advertisement, target audience-based advertisements, and so on. You can post case-studies and client portfolios to showcase the work that you did for your clients.

    You will also need a system where you can get all the orders from. That again depends on what kind of niche services you are into. If you’re only targeting to take printing the mass-produced products, you will need a system to manage your consignments. If you are selling products and customized services as retail, you will need an ecommerce store or a portal to process all your orders.

  3. E-commerce PlatformIf you are opting for an ecommerce platform, then make sure you choose the right platform. There are so many options to choose from. Your ecommerce platform selection should base on your niche business. You can also select the platforms based on licensing, cost of development, customization, support services, and so on.

    Magento, Shopify, and WooCommerce are three popular ecommerce platforms with active communities of developers for support. Magento is the popular choice for larger enterprises and for someone who needs flexible customization. Shopify and WooCommerce, on the other hand, are hassle-free to start with. You can easily integrate the store to your website and get up and running within days. Each platform has its pros and cons. To know more about these platforms, go through this detailed guide.

Launch your own store in no time with a Web to Print solution. Click the link to know more.


Step 3: Plan Your Budget

Printing business entrepreneurs are always on the lookout for a round budget figure. Many plan it ahead of their execution plan, and it is important to do so. The financial plan depends on how big you envision your line to be. Think about the type of material you want to offer, type of printing methods, printing goals, designing goals, and so on.

For example, if you’re offering T-shirts of different materials, styles, and colors, your supplies cost is more likely to go high. If you are just selling cotton T-shirts, you will not have to spend more on material supplies. You should also consider the cost of printing separately. Choose the printing equipment and infrastructure that you’ll need to address those needs.

Consider additional expenses such as the cost of website development (if you want to have one), Facebook ads, paid social media tools, and so on. If you are opting for a customization tool, then you need to count that too. Once you’ve decided on the budget, you can finally move to choose the supplies and infrastructure to start a printing business.

Step 4: Pre-execution Requirements

Before you execute your plan, make sure you meet the following requirements. Think about the printing methods, supplies, to the printing equipment and printing infrastructure. Let’s have a detailed look at all these aspects.

  1. Printing MethodsWe recommend choosing your printing methods first to ensure your supplies and the infrastructure. For the web-to-print industry, there are a total of eight types of printing methods. Some of the popular ones are engraving, thermography, foil stamping, embossing, digital printing, etc.

    While choosing the printing method, think about the factors like quality of the output, required resolution, compatibility of the printing method with your design tool and, so on. Digital Printing is one of the most common methods used by entrepreneurs to print products. Plus, digital painting requires an image resolution of 300dpi. It ensures better image quality and output.

    Choose software to manage your print workflow. It is better to have a dedicated streamlined process. It eases the operations from the beginning itself.

  2. Printing Equipment

    Once you’ve decided on the printing method, printing equipment shouldn’t be hard to decide. It is also advisable to research what equipment your competitors are using. Once you determine that, start looking to purchase your printing equipment. More research will ensure that you find the highest quality and, yet still, affordable equipment. The wrong equipment can break your business. At the very least, you’ll need a computer desktop, design software, and a high-quality digital printer.

    Printing Equipment
  3. Supplies and InfrastructureNext is to look for suppliers. Note down your supplies and look out for similar suppliers. You will need the necessary supplies depending on your niche. Find wholesale suppliers for the same through industry contacts, trade journals, the internet, etc.

    Go according to your budget and choose the one that best suits your budget. But, keep one thing in mind, i.e., do not go for low-quality products solely because of the budget. It is all about customer satisfaction, and low-quality products/services hardly bring any customer satisfaction. Once you’re done selecting the supplies, use various Inventory management software to manage these supplies from thereon. This will reduce the manual work and will help you form a dedicated workflow or a centralized method.

    Lastly, set up the infrastructure pertaining to the printing method you choose. Set up a professional workspace with the required equipment. The printing equipment solely depends on the printing methods that you choose. Aside from traditional printing, customized printing is also in demand nowadays. It gives clients the opportunity to have customized outputs that satisfy their printing needs. Let’s have a brief look at it.

  4. Adapt a Product Design Tool So, after a set of printer units, a website, a social media plan, printing materials, and a couple of printing personnel later, you are now all set in starting your own printing business. Apart from taking the third-party printing contracts, you can also offer customized printing. For which you’ll need a product personalization tool. The more uniqueness and flexibility your designer tool offers, the more likely customers are to click on your website. As we noticed earlier that product personalization is trending these days.

    1Web2Print 40115

    A product personalization tool is a Web-to-Print software that lets you offer diverse features to your customers to create customized designs. An Intuitive W2P product design tool offers everything from diverse customization features to print-ready designs. Ideally, most tools provide a massive library of images, texts, clipart, and ready templates. A fully-responsive designer tool is also perfect to create personalized designs on every printable material. It can have element-based pricing, design-based pricing, and so on. Pick a tool that gives you full control over its offerings and flexibility. PrintXpand is one such tool. It understands your business feasibility and provides a custom UI for you to control where your end-users can perform customizations. Plus, it offers multiple integrations and can work with multiple platforms.

Transform your printing business and stand out from the competition with our customizable product

personalization tool.


Step 5: Delivery and Logistics Management

Last but not least is logistics management. You will need an effective logistics infrastructure to manage your supply chain as smoothly as possible. Again, you can do this on your own, by creating logistics workflows, or you can outsource it to a third-party company. Decide on a commission to pay them either monthly or based on orders.

So these were the five steps to get started with an online printing business. However, the main decision to take is the choice of printing equipment and a custom design tool. So, make sure you choose the right partners, so that you can get started in minimum time.

Start a Printing Business: Work with experts

We hope that this guide helped you create a clear plan to start a printing business. Without a roadmap, things can get chaotic as there are lots of things to manage. But now, you have the perfect plan and tools to frame the perfect business strategies to start your printing business.

PrintXpand is a full proof solution to this dilemma. Our W2P developers can help you get up and running within just a few days. Our web-to-print solutions are available for multiple platforms like Magento, WooCommerce, Shopify, Prestashop, OpenCart, PHP, etc. We also build multiple custom integrations for managing your inventory and print job workflow.

Our product comes with the top functionalities that you need to acquire, engage, and serve your potential end-customers in the best way possible. We guarantee that our team of expert developers will get you through every difficulty as you embark on this journey ahead.

All product and company names are trademarks™, registered® or copyright© trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.

Sanjoli Jain

Sanjoli Jain

Sanjoli, an ENFJ is an engineer turned writer, with a non-binary approach towards the world. Along with a keen interest in writing, her goal is to make the intersection of art and technology coherent for our readers. She is passionate about Science, Reason and Rationality. When she is not writing, Sanjoli is often found travelling, exploring indie-pop music and watching experimental films on the internet.

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