How to Set Up a Print Shop (On a Budget!)
Have you ever had the desire (or idea) to set up your own print shop? Yet… you haven’t gone any further than thinking… for whatever the reasons may be.
I understand — it’s a scary step to take, particularly now that we live in uncertain times, in an uncertain world. We are left wondering what tomorrow is going to bring. We’re told this is not the right time, the right moment, for us to start a business.
But, what if this, right now, is our time?!
Read over that sentence again, and think about how you could be at home right now working on your dreams and growing into the life you deserve. Think about your family, think about your friends, think about tomorrow…
… It’s a huge task, you know?
It would require a lot of work to build a business that does good for everyone around you. It may take longer than you would like to hear, but I promise, it’s worth trying.
So, my intention with this article is to give you a taste of just how simple and easy it is for you to set up a print shop.
So, let’s sit down and take a good look at your options.
Online Store vs Physical Store
You have two options for setting up a print shop; you can either sell through Etsy’s marketplace or run your own brick-and-mortar store on a busy street corner where lots of people are passing by and are likely to stop.
Of course, hiring someone to build a website for you is an option too. But, it is far more complex than that. So, we’re going to leave this option out for today. Not because of my past experience or anything, but just because it’s an ambitious project to start for a beginner. There are just too many moving parts to this.
So, you’re left with a question… among these which is the best option? And the answer is: it depends on where you live, your personality, and what you want out of your business and life in general.
With that in mind, let’s look at each business model individually and how best to go about setting them up.
Open Your Print Shop Fast With Etsy
If you’re on a budget and want an online store instead of a physical one, nothing beats the Etsy marketplace. It’s a place where people are shopping for handmade goods, vintage finds, antiques, and custom products like t-shirts, hoodies, hats, and more!
And you can tap into that marketplace, advertise your own products and draw shoppers into your store. It’s easier than ever to do so these days — all you need to do is create an Etsy account.
The best part is, it’s completely free! You don’t need to pay for a premium monthly subscription to access all the features like uploading photos and video, adding product descriptions and pricing, etc. Advertising is pretty much the only thing you would need to pay for. But it is an optional thing and is not required for the core functionality.
What I like the most about Etsy is that, even without having strong technical skills, you can quickly open up a print shop. Everything is laid out flat and straight and dead simple — it takes no time at all for most individuals to get the shop up and running.
In my opinion, it’s the fastest, easiest, most risk-free way to build a business ever! But don’t worry if it’s not your thing, maybe a traditional print shop would suit you better.
So, let’s talk about that next.
Want To Set Up a Traditional Print Shop on Any Street Corner?
An online store is not like a physical store. In a physical store, people are able to touch, try and feel things before they buy them. That’s the big selling point and reason why you would want to consider setting up a traditional print shop.
It comes with a lot of perks… especially when you buy (or rent) property in the right place. On a busy street, for example, people walking by may notice just the thing they need and go in to buy it!
Plus, you get to talk to these customers, find out what they really need, and handle any product related product question they may have. All this combined is what separates a physical store from an online print shop.
But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Setting it up requires a lot more capital; you need inventory, shelves, cash register, and products on display. If you’re feeling ambitious and have saved up some money to start with, it shouldn’t scare you away from going this route.
It’s interesting, challenging, and rewarding in a way that is totally different from an online experience.
Bring Physical and Online Worlds Together!
You know what’s great about all this? Is that you can bring physical and online worlds together. You can have your online store set up quickly to validate your business idea and then scale out by having a physical store.
It’s less risky that way.
Just think about it… modern technology allows you to fail without serious consequences. You can fail fast, fail cheap and learn from it. The story is different, however, for a business that’s located along the highway or down the alley. Several factors are working against you, especially in the start-up phase; the number of people that will pass by on a daily basis, whether it’s sunny or not outside, overhead expenses and the list goes on.
So, in the end, it really depends on who you are and whether or not you have a willingness to risk failure.