The steps to open a printing company - Hoshino Shiro

The steps to open a printing company

The steps to open a printing company

The idea of ​​opening a printing shop has crossed your mind, but you don't know how to proceed? Here is the procedure to follow, and some advice, to make your ambition a reality!

Do a market study to open a printing company

The first step in opening a printing business is to do market research. The objective of this is to allow you to validate the existence of a business opportunity in the desired location, and to assess the potential turnover of your future company.

To do this, you will have to study in particular:

  • Major trends in the printing market: growth, technical and regulatory developments, etc.
  • The expectations of your future customers: types of needs, budget, purchase frequency, etc.
  • The competitive intensity in the area of ​​establishment: how many competitors? What services do they offer? Does their business seem thriving or struggling?

The printing market in a few figures

The printing market encompasses a set of techniques that contribute to the production of printed works.

It is estimated that it includes: printed advertising, commercial catalogs, periodicals, books, administrative and commercial printed matter, etc.

In 2012, the printing sector included:

  1. 18,100 companies
  2. 58,200 employees
  3. 9.7 billion euros in turnover

Printing: a sector in decline?

The overall production of printed matter has been marked by a decline for several years. We note a decrease of -1.3% from 2013 to 2014. If an increase appeared in May and June 2014, this was overtaken by a fall of -4.5% in July and -1.5% in August.

In 2015, the drop in turnover was confirmed. However, printers are beginning to benefit from their investments in production tools.

So, you can totally get into this business. Be careful though, you will have to be bold and creative to make your mark in the market.

The printing press: towards modernity

To carry out market research for your printing company, you absolutely must focus on trends in the sector.

Indeed, in a society in constant evolution, especially in digital, you must be up to date! The development of digital printing technologies is in the spotlight. Therefore, it is necessary to play the card of new techniques to hope to set up a profitable printing press and perhaps, like, to experience worldwide success very quickly.

You can bet on:

  • 3D printing, in full flight. At the start of the year, 100,000 printers were sold worldwide. It is estimated that everyone will have one by 2040.
  • Large-format printing, on the rise
  • Printing on the textile or decoration market, which is currently very popular
  • Printed packaging, a growing essential.
  • Eco-responsible printing company

Finally, offering additional services can also be a good way to generate revenue. Indeed, print providers who have increased their sales by 10% or more claim that 26% of their income is due to this type of service.

The regulatory constraints of the printing press

By opening a printing shop, you will be subject to several regulations:

  • Regulation of installations classified for the protection of the environment
  • Regulations specific to printed works: signature, legal deposit, etc.
  • The rules relating to the field of company law, the consumer code, and competition law

Opening a printing press: creation, takeover, or franchise?

Market research allows you to go in search of your concept. However, given the difficulties currently encountered by the sector, creating a printing press seems like a risky bet.

So how do you open a print shop while keeping a margin of safety? Quite simply by choosing to become a franchisee or to take over a printing company in good financial health.

Becoming a franchisee has both advantages and disadvantages. Indeed, it requires:

  1. Having a sufficient personal contribution
  2. Pay entrance fees and an annual fee
  3. To accept a loss of autonomy

But on the other hand, this status allows you to benefit from:

  1. Immediate notoriety because you join a recognized brand
  2. Of an accompaniment
  3. Rates negotiated with suppliers

If you want to embark on this adventure, you can for example opt for a franchise specializing in 3D, such as Matrix 3D.

The latter requires: 10,000 euros in entry fees, 20,000 euros in personal contribution and a fee of 4% of your annual turnover. In exchange, you will have specialized assistance: training, regular support, sales and marketing support, website, networking with network members, central purchasing, etc.

If the idea of ​​losing your independence scares you, why not take over a printing press? However, be sure to take note of several criteria before you decide: location, clientele, concept, evolution of turnover, reason for the sale.

Find the ideal place to open a printing company

Printing houses require large spaces. It is sometimes quite complicated to find this type of space at a reasonable price in the city center. Consequently, do not hesitate to opt for the outskirts, commercial or industrial areas in particular can be interesting locations.

The location of your commercial premises is not a crucial point for this market, because professionals and individuals who wish to trust you will probably contact you remotely (internet, telephone, etc.)

Nevertheless, to start a business, it is always better to choose a visible place.

Under what legal form should you open a printing press?

Before preparing the business plan for your printing company, you will need to choose a legal status for your business.

This choice is relatively important, because it will influence in particular the mode of taxation of the company, your social security system as a manager, and your responsibility with respect to the debts of the company in the event of bankruptcy.

If you want to work alone, avoid the status of micro-entrepreneur. Indeed, you will not be able to recover the VAT, which risks being a certain financial handicap, and you risk being blocked quite quickly by the turnover threshold.

Rather orient yourself towards the EURL (Single-Person Limited Liability Company), the SASU (Simplified Single-Personal Action Company), or a form of sole proprietorship.

If you wish to work with one or more partners, you will have more extensive possibilities: SARL (Limited Liability Company), SAS (Simplified Joint Stock Company).

Opening a printing shop: professional skills and equipment required

1. Professional skills

Anyone can open a printing house, no diploma is required. However, the job of printer is very technical: computer skills, knowledge of materials, media, shapes, and colors.

It is therefore preferable to undergo training relating to the graphic industries or to recruit experienced staff.

The qualities sought? Precision, organization, technicality, commercial sense. At the headcount level, you will need to plan to recruit staff to perform the following tasks:

  • Print production and delivery
  • Equipment care and maintenance
  • Commercial prospecting and follow-up of receipts
  • Financial and administrative management (accounting, payroll, VAT, timetable management, etc.)

Do not underestimate the workload at the administrative level, consider calling on an accountant to relieve you.

The necessary equipment

Creating a printing press requires a substantial initial investment. The bad news? It's not going to get any better with the arrival of 3D printers.

In particular, you will need to make the following investments:

  1. Layout of the premises and possible renovations
  2. Purchase of professional equipment as well as a vehicle for deliveries
  3. Acquisition of office furniture and computer equipment for the administrative part
  4. Creation of a website and design costs (creation of the logo and the image of the brand)
  5. Costs related to the establishment of the company (creation of the company, contracts, etc.)

It is generally better to bet on modern professional equipment to hope for a rapid return on investment. But you can choose to opt for second-hand equipment in order to reduce the amount of the initial investment. Using financial leasing or leasing can also be a solution.

What marketing plan to open a printing house?

Previously, it was enough to equip yourself with good equipment to satisfy customers. Today, customers are increasingly demanding both in terms of quality and deadlines. Moreover, the digital age is revolutionizing the market by forcing entrepreneurs to adapt.

Thus, before you start, it is essential to develop a marketing strategy to attract and retain customers. This must take into account market trends, without forgetting the profitability of your business.

Several options are available to you, but you can consider implementing the following actions in particular:

  • Create a showcase website to highlight your know-how, the services offered, and generate leads
  • Canvass companies in your department by phone, mail, or email
  • Advertise on the Internet (searches related to printing on Google for example) or in your area of ​​establishment (posting in industrial zones, distribution of leaflets in shops, etc.)

Write a business plan for a printing company

The business plan stage is often feared by entrepreneurs and for good reason, this document will have a considerable impact on the success of your search for financing.

A business plan is a reasoned and quantified presentation of your project to create a printing press. Rigorous and precise, it must highlight in particular:

  • The setting up of the project: legal structure, partners and managers, location, etc.
  • Your local market analysis
  • Your marketing strategy: services, prices, target customers, commercial positioning
  • Your financial plan: income statement and forecast balance sheet, financing plan, break-even point, etc.

If you are not used to writing business plans, a good solution to accomplish this task is to use online business plan software.

Using specialized software has several advantages:

  • You are guided in writing by detailed instructions and examples for each part of the plan
  • You can draw inspiration from business plan templates already written
  • You easily make your financial forecast by letting the software take care of the accounting aspects for you
  • You get a professional document, formatted, and ready to be sent to your banker

If you are interested in this type of solution, you can try our software for free.

Find financing with the help of the printing business plan

Your business plan will be your best ally in finding financial partners, and your projected financing plan will be a crucial and decisive element.

If you are looking for private investors (business angels, for example), they must demonstrate an attractive potential for profitability to justify taking the risk.

If you seek bank financing, you will need to demonstrate sufficient cash generation potential to meet your financial commitments, as well as fair risk sharing between the bank and the partners. We advise you to have a significant personal contribution before contacting the financing organizations.

To find out more about the options available to you, you can consult our financing guide in which we sift through all the possibilities: banks, equity investors, leasing, crowdfunding.

Now you know how to open a printing home. Do not hesitate to let us know if you have any further questions.

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