How to Start a Flex Printing Business

Summary

Any business with a solid plan can be profitable. So, with flexible printing and any industry, having a detailed, well-prepared business plan is very important to embark on your journey.

Good news! Starting your flex printing business can really bring you success. Did you know the flexographic printing market is expected to register a CAGR of 3.9% and reach $186.57 billion in 2026?

Flex banners are one of the most popular forms of outdoor advertising. Whether you’re selling promotional advertising, exhibition stand printing, signage, or banners for stages, you can make some good business out of them.

We have prepared this detailed guide to help you kick-start a flex printing business.

There are two ways you can get started:

  • Open a brick-and-mortar print shop and set up your entire business offline.
  • Launch an online flex printing store with an online product design software product integrated.

Note: You can run offline and online businesses simultaneously if your budget allows. You can take orders online and manufacture custom products offline.

The first method is much more suitable if you have a big capital reserve to invest; the second method is ideal if you want to start your business with less capital investment. Plus, you get to reach customers globally.

Oberlo Online Shoppers

(Rapidly Rising Number of Online Shoppers)

With more people shopping online, there has never been a better time to start an online business. Our web-to-print storefront enables entrepreneurs to take their business online quickly. With powerful frontend and backend features, our store has a product designer tool that enables your customers to design your offerings.

Take your flex printing business online with PrintXpand. See how it would work with your estore.

 

Latest Trends in Flex Printing Business

As most places in the world are free from the clutches of the COVID-19 pandemic, opportunities for flex printing businesses have increased as people search for more custom signage and labels. If you want to know how to start a flex printing business, here are a few popular flex banners to check out.

1. Re-Opening Signages and Banners

As people have returned to their everyday lives and all the offline stores are back in business, the stores have again started looking for a traditional marketing source in addition to digital advertisements.
So, with people re-opening their offline stores in different countries across the globe, they want something to attract customers again.

This can be one of the reasons why the global billboard and outdoor advertising market is projected to grow from $65.45 billion in 2022 to $67.8 billion in 2023 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.6%.

Opening Signages and Banners

(Image Source)

Also, now that public gatherings and celebrations are not restricted, organizers of various events, concerts, and festivals want to spread the word and are opting for creative banners and hoardings.

2. Health and Safety Signages and Banners

The effect of COVID-19 has now subsided but has left people across the globe aware of health and safety measures. Hence, safety banners are one of the most popular flex printing ideas.
Especially in government offices, corporates, and industries; they would need repetitive reminders for safety measures like washing hands, maintaining distance, wearing face masks, etc.
Several government and non-government organizations may purchase custom signages from your store for health warnings, safety precautions, instructions, etc.
Besides, the demand for traditional flex banners for political rallies, sports events, charity programs, billboard advertising for companies and industries, etc., also growing.
Offering custom signage or banners through an online product designer tool can be highly profitable for your business. Enabling end-customers to design custom display boards, posters, banners, etc, will help you inform and engage their customers.
1Business 40020

(A Fully Functional Sign & Poster Design Tool by PrintXpand)

Maximize your profit potential by enabling customers to design display boards, posters, and banners online.

 

Hence, the digital flex printing business has a great scope ahead, and you can start it to earn profits. Now that you know how the flex printing business can be great, let’s consider how to start it.

Here is the Step-by-Step Guide on Starting a Flex Printing Business

1. Estimate Your Budget and Investment

Several factors must be considered when developing a flex printing business plan to finalize the estimated cost and budget.

  • For offline business, this includes – a large physical store, electricity and maintenance charges, manpower, raw materials, designing tools, packaging, and shipping, etc.
  • For online business – an online website, a warehouse, or a third-party vendor, raw materials, shipping costs, online product designer tool, printer, etc.

In general, online flex printing business investment is less than offline. You can even cut down on manufacturing or shipping costs by tying up with a raw material supplier and a dropshipping provider who will handle your packaging, shipping, and return costs and grievances.

Once you know your expenses clearly, you can better understand and manage your budget requirements. It is good if you think you can afford all the expenses yourself. Otherwise, you can also apply for the machinery or other expenses fund.

 

Handpicked Related Content: How to Start Dropshipping Business with Zero Inventory

2. Registration and Licensing

No matter which business you consider – offline or online, licenses and permits are necessary. Therefore, always ensure that you have registered your business and obtained all the necessary licenses and permits based on your business.

You can get help from your state governor’s or county clerk’s office. You can also consider consulting a financial advisor to look into your business expenses and taxes you will have to pay.

3. Setup the store and infrastructure

For a print business, the main machine required is a flex printing machine. There are several flex printing machines out there. However, before you buy any printing machine, check your requirements and ensure that the printer you choose has all the specifications you need.

Several printing machines let you print on various surfaces, such as wood or MDF boards. You should also have a computer along with a normal printer to view the final design.

First, you must set up your website for your online print store. There are several platforms to choose from, such as Magento, Shopify, WooCommerce, OpenCart, etc.

Setup the store and infrastructure

Hosting your store online would allow you to set up a web-to-print store and offer personalized flex banners to your customers—something new to win more customers!

Numerous companies, such as Vistaprint, Flexprint, Printshop, and One Printstore, offer personalized flex banners that customers can design themselves.

This gives you the freedom to offer personalized products. Your customers can create the products they want with pre-defined designs, clipart, and social media image creativity

Web to Print Solutions by PrintXpand is easily integrable with all popular eCommerce platforms. With various features and functionalities, your customers can design their favorite poster or banner in minutes using our tool.
Essential features of a flex design software
Our tool is easily customizable as per your business logic. Share with us your requirements, and our product experts will conduct a personalized demo.

4. Location

A physical location is a must if you want to open an online store. If you are considering opening your store only at a single location, choose the site carefully. The location must be such that it attracts a large number of audience. Additionally, you must have specific areas for customer desks, designing, and printing.
However, if you are thinking of launching your business online, you may not need to search for a physical location immediately. Still, if you want to store your stock products somewhere or package your final products, you will need a small warehouse or a suitable small physical space. But you don’t need to consider the location so much as it is not for customers but just for your backend operations.

5. Required Manpower/Staff/Workforce

While an offline store would need more manpower, an online print store may also require you to hire a minimum number of employees to manage of various operations.

For instance, you may need:

  • A website developer or a web-to-print solution provider
  • A marketing expert to track print orders and sales, fulfill them, and form strategies to boost conversions and sales.
  • An expert graphic designer handles customers’ requirements and designs custom products exactly as they want.
  • A team of delivery men if you are thinking of delivering your products yourselves or a dropshipping manager if you collaborate with a dropshipping solution provider.
  • A technical expert to help solve any glitches in your machinery or your web-to-print software even if you let your customers design products themselves on your W2P storefront solution.
  • A technical support team to address customers’ grievances and resolve their issues in the minimum time possible.

Your need for these workers also requires you to be at the helm of your financial operations, like managing your money to pay for their services. Payroll payout must be prompt, and the rates must be at par with those in the industry to encourage employee loyalty. It’s also advisable to keep payroll files and pay stubs for at least 12 months to comply with regulatory rules and ensure that you’ll have proof should any payout issue arise within your organization.

So, ensure you have a well-organized workforce to carry out your business operations smoothly.

Partner with an A-One team of business analysts, designers, developers, and marketers to build, manage, and grow your business.

6. Launch & Promote

Once everything is in place, it is time to start promoting your online flex printing business. Here are a few marketing tips to follow to market your printing business.

1. On-Site Optimization

For an online business, a website is like the heart and soul. It won’t be available if you don’t have a proper website properly designed and optimized for keywords. A slow-loading site can also prove to be a big put-off for customers.

So, run routine audits to ensure loading speed, keyword optimization, and several other ranking factors.

There are also several other ways that you can consider to ensure high ranking in search results which are as follows:

I. Resources

Keep a ‘Resources’ section on your website that can include blogs, white papers, case studies, etc. This section will help attract the audience who want to know what more you have on your site besides your products.

If they find this ‘Resources’ section really interesting, they may want to read more. Optimizing these blogs and articles for keywords can also help rank your site higher simultaneously, in addition to informing the audience and gaining traction.

Resources-Psprint

(Have a resources section where users can find blog posts, ideas, testimonials, etc)

II. Website Design

Your website is your ‘first face’. If you want your visitors to be attracted to your store, ensuring the look-and-feel of your site must be immersive. Ensure your site has all blocks and content neatly arranged and CTAs are distinct and visible.

Also, remember that many of the audience access a site on a smartphone or tablet, making it essential for your site to be mobile-friendly. A responsive screen will open on all screens properly, irrespective of their sizes. If your website stays undistorted across all screens, it will help your customers access the site easily and enhance their on-site experience.

Especially when you have a mobile-friendly site, see to it that you have:

  • Proper and clear CTAs that customers can easily notice and click on.
  • Use Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) if required.
  • Try avoiding text-blocking ads and pop-ups.
  • Perform mobile testing regularly to find out any run-time glitches and solve them instantly.

For instance, the website of the printing giant Vistaprint is very easy to navigate. Products are categorized, and the search bar enables end-users to quickly find what they are looking for.

Vistaprint

(Easy product search)

III. Write Compelling Product Descriptions

Catch product descriptions are a great way to grab your audience’s attention. Keep your product descriptions eye-catching, relevant, and unique, and optimize them with proper keywords.

Detailed product description

(Detailed product description, and customer reviews to help customers take better decisions)

Similarly, you can use many other on-site optimization techniques to drive high traffic and sales based on your targets.

Build a feature-rich and user-friendly website with PrintXpand. Understand how it can work with your business.

1. Promote Your Designs

No matter how artistic and innovative your banner designs are, customers won’t buy them unless they see them. It is imperative for you to showcase your best specimens and promote them across all the possible platforms—your site, social media channels, other sites, and more.

2. Strengthen Your Bonding with Existing Customers

Every business must have the means to connect with its customers on a deeper level. A CRM software product is the need of the hour to have all your existing customers’ data at your disposal.

With all this data at your fingertips, you can easily create your marketing strategies. Whether it is email marketing, webinars, or push notifications (in case you offer a store app), you can use one or more depending on your requirements.

Once your business takes off, you can also start loyalty programs to engage your existing customers and attract new customers through good word-of-mouth. These loyalty programs can include offering gift cards, additional hidden discounts, bonus points and rewards, etc.

3. Make Social Media Your Power

Undoubtedly, social media is an important part of everyone’s life today. People spend a lot of time on social media platforms daily. Social media marketing is indispensable if you want to expand your business and let your customers notice your business

Choose one or more social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc., that best suit your business plan and start promoting your brand on them.

You can go live, share blogs, showcase your latest products, announce sales, etc. to keep customers engaged throughout. Not only your existing customers but also the new audience will notice your offerings on a larger scale and can show interest in buying them.

One of the few ideas is to encourage your customers to display their banners post their pics on social media, and tag their friends and acquaintances. With more people noticing these pics, several may show interest in your brand and enquire about your offerings. And they may eventually turn into your tool.

Handpicked Related Content: How to Get Customers for Printing Business

 

Ready to Kickstart Your Flex Printing Business?

While the flex printing business is always blooming, it has unlocked even more opportunities since the onset of this pandemic. If you want to start a flex printing business, you can follow the steps mentioned above.

PrintXpand has helped thousands of printing businesses succeed. Our flagship product, the Product Designer Tool, enables you to offer product customization in your store. Additionally, print ERP software streamlines all your daily operations.

Execute your flex printing business plan into reality. See how the Web to Print Solutions can bring the sense of uniqueness to your store for 2X sales!

 
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.

Yesha Bhatt

Yesha Bhatt

Yesha Bhatt is a literature major who strongly believes in the mighty power of words. She recently made the jump from being a student to a professional by joining Biztech as a Content Writer. Her aim is to make tech easier for our readers to understand while she herself takes a journey into this mystic would of bits. Apart from writing and binge-reading, she is passionate about women's issues and history and mostly hangs around on Twitter making sensible points about women's issues and Indian politics.

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