This article is a contribution from a friend of mine who runs a printing business in Quezon City.
Desktop printing is one of the most profitable businesses which require minimal cash out. You can even start it with the use of your computer and a simple home printer.
If you are thinking to start a printing business, here is a guide to help you choose the basic tools you may need.
Needed Tools for Home Based Desktop Publishing Business
- Inkjet vs. Laser Printers
- Inkjet Printer – This is one of the most popular and inexpensive types of printer in the market. However, original ink cartridges don’t come cheap. Buying a set of colored and black may be almost the same price as a new printer unit. It is suggested to have your printer converted into a continuous ink system or, select a model which has an ink tank attached directly to its cartridges. This allows you to have a higher yield yet lower printing cost.
- Laser Printer – This type of printer is more expensive than Inkjet types. These are available in monochrome (black and white print only) and colored types. Both monochrome and colored type use a toner which is also more expensive than ink cartridge refills. Prints produced using laser printers are more professional looking. Printing process in laser printer is also much faster than inkjet. This allows you to have more output in a shorter time.
Print Shop Professional is one of the most popular software in doing print projects. It makes designing as easy as pick, edit then print. It includes images, templates and photos that are free for commercial use. This is ideal for entry-level designs.
Another good software is Microsoft Office Publisher. This is perfect for those who are already familiar with MS Office features. It allows you to instantly format and edit your project with the use of preset publication types and color schemes.
For advance editing, there is the Adobe range of products like Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator and more. There are good and free alternative for these software applications. This is discussed in detail in our article Free Desktop Software for Business.
- Media Types
There are a lot of paper types that can be used depending on the type of your printer.
You may use specialty board and papers available at local bookstores. These are usually letter-sized papers which vary in colors, texture and thickness. It is very important that you check your printer’s specification especially on the thickness or weight of paper that it can handle. The weight is usually indicated in GSM (grams per meter). As of this writing, many home printers can handle up to 200gsm and some can handle up to 220gsm.
Photo paper is another option. It gives the best color output specially when using inkjet printers. These are A4 in size and sold in pack of 10’s and available in glossy, matte and satin finishes. Photo stickers in A4 size are also available.
Whatever paper type suits your requirement, always check the label if it is compatible with your printer to avoid printing issues.
- Cutting Tools
A pair of quality scissors tops the list. Choose the type and size that you are most comfortable with.
Paper trimmer is also a must-have. Popular options are the guillotine type, which allows you to cut thick media fast and perfectly straight. Another is the rotary type which works best with media type that are prone to tearing.
A cutting knife paired with a quality cutting mat is also an essential. These are useful when you want to manually cut out irregular shapes.
Sample Project Costing for Home Based Desktop Publishing Business
Let’s use business cards as an example.
A box of regular business cards can be sold for 350 pesos. Suppose you are using a printer with a continuous ink system, and the average cost of print is about 3 pesos per page in full color at high quality print setting. A single pack of specialty board costs around 40 pesos and will yield 100 pieces of standard size business cards. Time spent in doing the design and manual cutting of cards took you about 1 hour to finish, and you can finish 4 boxes in a day. Labor cost is 100 pesos per hour.
Computations are as follows:
|Specialty Board (10 sheets)||40.00|
|Ink Cost (10 sheets x 3.00)||30.00|
|Layout & Cutting (1hr x 100.00)||100.00|
|Total Costing||170 x 4 boxes = 680|
|Selling Price||350.00 x 4 boxes = 1,400.00|
|Total Cost||170.00 x 4 boxes = 680.00|
|Profit||180.00 x 4 boxes = 720.00 / day|
Other Project Ideas for Home Based Desktop Publishing Business
- Invitation Cards
- Gift Tags
- Greeting Cards
- Photo Printing
- Report Cards
- ID Cards
- Door Hanger
- Business Forms
- Company Profiles
The list of possible projects goes on. All you need are few tools and creativity to turn your passion into profits while staying at the comfort of your home. For more efficient design process, you can find and download many templates from this page Print Templates.