If you are considering buying a printing franchise to fulfill your dream of business ownership, it’s natural to wonder about the state of the industry.

How does it fare in our digital age? What’s its size? How do printers boost revenues? And, what are the industry’s prospects during and after the COVID-19 Pandemic? Let’s take a look at myths and truths surrounding these issues.

Myth: People prefer digital communications to print.

Truth: While there’s no denying the popularity of digital options, printed materials are still preferred by many. In their article, Dispelling the Myths about Print and Paper, Two Sides North America revealed the results of an American consumer survey conducted with global polling firm Toluna. The results showed:

• 88% of American consumers believe they understand, retain or use information better when they read print
• 62% of 18 to 24-year-olds have concerns that the overuse of electronic devices could be damaging to their health
• 73% of Americans feel that reading a printed book or magazine is more enjoyable than reading them on an electronic device

Myth: Printing is a small industry that doesn’t hold much promise.

Truth: On the contrary, printing is a huge industry in America. Per the research firm IBISWorld, its market size is $80 billion. There are 47,952 printers nationwide employing 416,687 people. That’s a sizable number of potential competitors but you won’t be butting heads with any dominant players, if you are planning to purchase a print business. In printing, the field’s practically wide open; no one commands a market share larger than 5%.

Myth: Printing is only about applying ink to paper.

Truth: While producing brochures, mailers, flyers, forms, stationery and the like is the primary focus for many printers, most are meeting the needs of clients with additional related services and augmenting their bottom lines in doing so.

In their 2019 State of the Industry Report, the Printing Industries of America (PIA) showed all of the ancillary services that were provided by printers in the last year. The top five were:

• Mailing kit fulfillment: 55.41%
• Mailing management: 52.7%
• Professional creative design: 47.97%
• Web-to-print fulfillment: 43.24%
• Marketing document management: 36.49%

Myth: Printing may never recover from the COVID-19 Crisis.

Truth: How recession-proof is the print industry? At the end of the day, these are all “truths” that make it recession-proof.
And, while no one can say for certain how long the crisis will last or what the printing industry will look like as businesses and organizations re-open, pre-pandemic trends provide a clue. Per the PIA in their 2019 State of the Industry Report, steady growth among printers was forecast through 2019. They noted, “the printing industry is one that typically tracks pretty well with the overall economy.”

What’s more, printing is an industry that’s weathered previous storms. The report states, “Since the end of the Great Recession in June 2009, print markets have become increasingly healthy.”