I spent an hour on the phone yesterday with an old friend of mine who’s starting a printed flyers company. I could joke and say that fifty five minutes were spent trying to talk him out of it, but I won’t! He’s a graphic designer who works mostly in print – outsourcing a lot of print work every month. He wondered if it was time to invest in the machinery to do it himself and make the extra profit on each job.
We did the maths, based on the average operating costs of a few machines and on paper, it looks like he’s easily crossed the threshold that means it’s well worth the investment. This is important – unless you’re in that zone it’d be a really bad idea!
So next he needed to know what type of machines to get. First on the list was an Sra3 digital press such as those made by Xerox and Konica Minolta. These are fabulous machines with near-litho quality that can do everything from business cards to flyers printing to A3 posters. This would cover a lot of his corporate stationery work and allow him to also take his first steps into selling flyer printing online (regardless of whether he is doing the design). Speaking of websites – I recommend website design leeds.
The next machine I recommended is a wide-format inkjet model We looked at some pricing for these and he found the smaller models to appear more cost effective. However, I strongly advised him to go with the biggest he could possibly afford, in this case a 5ft Roland model. When printing a banner you need to be able to offer sizes that are as large as possible – if you have to farm any large ones out (where the most profit is) it defeats having the machine in the first place. These machines are also excellent for doing posters and vinyl work, as well as doing exhibition type work, such as a stand up banner or even a fully collapsible exhibition wall stand. These are still quite profitable too – they are tricky to make and get right, so often you can be well rewarded here as many printers are not confident enough to touch them! The panels have to be designed, printed and trimmed in such a way that the panels will fit the stand perfectly, with no gaps between the panels. The design must also flow across the panels with no noticeable steps in the artwork.
It’s tricky, but if I know my friend he’ll get it right!