Business Idea: How to Start a Print Broker Business
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The print business is one of those businesses that move along with advancement in technology. The innovations we find today in this industry has not left Africa behind. In spite of the growth in digital marketing, the print industry has rather experienced growth. We find that the digital print sector has seen more growth than when it was depending on the offset print technology. The increase in the number of print brokers show proof of this. If you want to become a print broker, then make sure you read this post and others that will follow.
The growth has also brought about an increase in income for those who had taken the print business as a career. It’s not an easy task getting a graphics designer nowadays for full-time. Most of them prefer to work part-time and even charge more than what they earned a month 5 years ago for a single job today.
Most of the branding startups you have today do everything from branding online to physical branding. They offer their services from digital marketing to print services.They serve as a print broker to both their clients and print shops.
Is it legit?
You maybe asking if starting a print business without owning a shop is legitimate. This is one of the questions that will come to mind when you think of running a print business without necessarily owning a printing press. You can do that of course and it is legal. A print broker or specialist is someone who sells on behalf of printers or searches and serves customers. They usually act independently and not employed by printing companies they represent.
Customer service as a key ingredient for print brokers
Print shops usually have a repeat of customers and if you take care of them, you will grow and even build a business that is greater than the print shops that print for you. Many print businesses rarely promote their services. There is a common saying in Cameroon that “a shoe-mender (cobbler) rarely puts on nice shoes”. This describes the print industry in Cameroon in particular. They brand and print publicity materials for companies but will rarely brand or do for their services.
This gap has made it possible for brokers to come into the market and at times make more profit than the print businesses. Brokers use the Internet to advertise their businesses and reach more clients. These brokers negotiate their prices with the print businesses and their clients and what they make from the difference is their profit.
I have been into print broking for more than 10 years now, though as a part-time business. Frankly speaking, it pays if you know how to do your negotiations well. The printers are always ready to arrange a profit for you because outsourcing their marketing had been a long time practice.
Printers are your ‘employees’
Think of your business as though the printers are working for you in various locations. You hire them to print what your customers demand. It can be booklets, brochures, catalogs, calendars, business cards, banners, fliers, T-shirts and many more. You may also decide to focus on specific items since there are many products. With the power of social media and Internet, you can hire printers anywhere around the globe and sell to your customers everywhere.
Requires little or no capital
This is a business you can start with little or no capital. Meanwhile you can also learn some skills in the print business like designing. I will be doing another post on how to start a design business in the coming days. Graphic designers usually work with printing shops. Most print brokers actually have a graphics design business running along with the print business.
In the next post, I will be giving you the basics for starting a printing business without owning a print shop. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you want to start a print business of your own for advise. Meanwhile, you can leave a comment below if you have had an experience as a print broker. Share this post to help others who are looking for a way to earn an extra income.
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