How to Start a Printing Business That’s Profitable — and Relevant

Thinking about starting a printing business? The industry is well-positioned for long-term growth. Right now, there are about 25,000 companies specializing in commercial printing here in the United States, generating nearly $900 billion in annual revenue. It is certainly a lucrative industry, with growing demand.

Based on 2020 numbers, the Global Commercial Printing Market was valued at nearly $412 billion. By the end of 2026, that value will climb to an estimated value of $472.35 billion. And the future of the printing industry? Five years from now, the printing market is predicted to witness remarkable growth. If you see this as a profitable venture there will be a few decisions to make as you learn how to start a printing business.

Steps to Starting a Printing Business

First, you need to make some decisions. What type of printing services will you provide your customers? You can be as specialized as you want, catering to different needs. For example, will you do vinyl sign printing, screen printing, business cards, brochures, direct mail, documents, etc.? Industry analysts with future forecasting advise the broader your scope, the more diversification or services you can offer, the better your profitability.

Looking ahead, experts say emerging trends include new innovations in design, laser cutting, digital marketing, and direct mail. Your job will be to source the best marketing possible for your customers to help them get the word out about their business.

The next step in deciding how to start a printing business is figuring out where you will operate your business. Will you be home-based, a storefront brick-and-mortar, or online?

The third step is to set up your business. You will need a business plan that develops your organizational structure, finances, pricing, insurance, and marketing strategies. You will need to obtain the proper permits and licensing. You can often enlist the help of a business consultant or attorney to help you with establishing your printing business.

Services Provided and Equipment Needs

Depending on the type of services you offer, you will need to purchase specialized equipment for those purposes. Those printer options include inkjet, laser, screen, and offset. If you are going to print vinyl signs, you may want an extra-wide sign and label inkjet printer. Offset, engraving, letterpress, and digital printers serve the paper goods market. For promotional services, you’ll use screen printing, transfer printing, foil stamping, and pad printing.

You will need design software and a compatible computer system, once again dependent on the type of printing services you will offer. You may only need a desktop program or graphic design capability. Plus, you will need accounting software for inventory, invoicing, and tracking expenses. Check your list for cutting equipment for paper or vinyl and be sure to have an assortment of inventory available for customer needs. Equipment, stock, and supplies will be a large investment. You will need to price accordingly to ensure you have enough capital to begin this business.

Also, for consideration, while the print business is very appealing from a profitability standpoint, are you equipped to be a print specialist? Do you have formal or on-the-job training? Or, will you run the company and need to hire other skilled employees to assist in your business?

There is demand for these services. As someone who will be helping other businesses with marketing, your business will need to be well-promoted to establish a customer base and keep revenue coming in. Your marketing strategy should include targeting your audience, perhaps small or medium-sized businesses, and letting them know what you can do to help them.

Become an Allegra Franchise Owner

In fact, that’s what you’ll do as an Allegra franchise owner. Print marketing is just one of the many services you will provide your customers. As an Allegra business owner, you’ll help your customers get their message out to new and existing customers using a variety of innovative, profitable, and relevant strategies utilizing print, digital, advertising, public relations, and more.

Allegra’s wide range of services offers your franchise multiple revenue streams. Ongoing print and marketing program management services generate recurring revenue, and a high percentage of Allegra customers make frequent reorders.

There are several ways to become an Allegra Center owner. Through our resale program, you may purchase a center from a current owner who is retiring or otherwise seeking to sell. Next is the Allegra MatchMaker® Program, which helps entrepreneurs enter the industry by buying a print shop or a marketing business and converting it to an Allegra Center. You can also convert your existing print business into an Allegra Marketing-Print-Mail Center so you can take advantage of our proven business model and support programs through the Allegra Advantage ProgramSM.

Learn about purchasing an Allegra Franchise and the training and support you will receive as a franchise owner with Alliance Franchise Brands — a leader in franchise training, technology, and implementation.