How to Start A Vinyl Business
Vinyl decals are an enjoyable and profitable craft. Many companies use vinyl decals as a promotional tool or decorate their doors, windows, walls and other items. Auto dealers use them to promote brand visibility by placing their name, contact info and logo on the body of their vehicles.
If you’re considering starting a vinyl business, here are some things you must do to create a successful start-up. Many people like the idea of a vinyl business, but fail because the passion and dedication are simply not there. Before you venture into this business, be sure you have the enthusiasm to make the business work because it can be competitive.
Here is a guide to start your vinyl business as quickly and easily as possible. Once you know what you need to get and do, you’ll be better able to achieve your goals.
License, Location, and Insurance
Before you start any business, there are 3 important aspects to consider including location, license, and insurance. The first two are compulsory while the last one is important but not mandatory.
First, you need to get licensed and every jurisdiction has different requirements. The best bet is to contact your local small business administration and allow them to guide you through the process.
Next, you need to secure the location that will best suit your business if you plan to have a brick and mortar store. If you are operating out of your home, dedicate a special area of your home to your business. You can actually use this as a tax deduction later on, so long as it is truly dedicated to business purposes only and not personal use.
Insurance is another important consideration. It will cover situations like equipment damage, liability claims and property theft. While it’s not mandatory, it is definitely recommended and most insurance for handmade businesses is quite affordable.
This business requires a computer and you can use a Windows PC or a Mac. Many who run vinyl shops prefer Windows because it’s more affordable.
There are many vinyl cutters available and you’ll need to do the research and select the one that best meets your requirements. There are two types of cutter drive motors – the first type is the mechanical stepper and the other is called the digital servo.
The mechanical stepper is inexpensive, but has some flaws like noise and irregular small cuts. The digital servo is a bigger financial investment, but is less noisy smoother, and performs more precision cuts.
Before you buy any vinyl cutter model, make sure that you check the brand specs online. Don’t forget that the drivers must work with the operating system of your computer and must be up to date. Also check the plug-in/vector software. The size of the cutter is less important as long as it has the right features.
Check out our reviews of vinyl cutter models for more information.
You don’t need to spend much here. The purpose is to give your customers a guide or print labels if you want to sell online.
If you draw artwork yourself you’ll need a scanner. Another option to consider would be an all-in-one scanner or printer to reduce space and costs.
The following additional tools are also necessary: a cutting mat, wooden ruler, burnishing tool, tweezers, Xacto knives, squeegees and a work bench or table.
Once your shop is equipped, it’s time to purchase your vinyl making supplies. You can start small if your budget requires, or purchase in larger lots. You’ll need the following:
The rolls you need will depend on your machine cutting area. Oracle 631 works well for a window or indoor wall and lasts up to 3 years. Oracle 651 is an indoor or outdoor material that lasts for 6 years outdoors.
There are both clear and non-transparent masking tapes. Some are low-adhesive and others high and some work better with specific types of vinyl. Be sure to purchase based on your particular needs. Don’t choose a cheap alternative when it comes to masking tape.
After you’ve purchased your equipment, it’s time to choose the software you will use for your business.
Vector Drawing Software
The two most popular vector drawing softwares are Corel Draw and Adobe Illustrator.
Dedicated Sign Shop Software
For sign businesses, some of the most popular software titles include Vinyl Master Pro, Sure Cuts A Lot Pro, Flexi Sign Making Software and SignCut Pro. Choose according to your needs and budget.
If you plan to sell your items online and not just locally, you’ll also want to invest in packing materials, a postal scale, box tape, printer paper, labels and tape.
Marketing Your Business
You’ll want to be sure you also have brand visibility and a way for people to find you online. A website or blog should reflect the name of your company and explain your services, specialties and expertise.
An online store using platforms like shopify are also recommended if you want to allow people to purchase from you online. If necessary and you have the budget for it, you may want to hire a programmer to build a custom store for you.
Pulling it all Together
It may look as if starting a vinyl business is a Herculean task, but don’t worry about it. Once you get everything prepared and get going, things will fall into place.
You can promote your business by using your vehicle as a billboard, make samples for your friends and family to gain exposure, and use social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Social media is the least expensive means of advertisement and can be highly targeted.
Feeling inspired? Get started today and watch how quickly you can start to make money doing something you really enjoy.
Special thanks for this guest post goes to Maria Jennifer. Maria is a successful printing business developer who also loves to share her experiences and thoughts on her own blog at TshirtProfessional.com blog