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  • my own business

    Hello all,

    I am a commercial electrician who is curious about starting my own digital printing business (in my garage of 350 sq ft). I live in the silicon valley and have a few contacts at various companies who are fed up with fedexkinkos and would be interested in giving me some work if I were to start my own place. I stumbled on to this website while researching digital printers. Obviously I am not going to be doing anything as exotic as any of you who do this for living but the work needed to be done doesnt need to be. Mostly its legal, h.r. and marketing stuff that are in binders or folders.

    Please no insults or negative comments, if you dont approve or have anything constructive to say please move on. To those of you who admire my bravery/foolishness and have some tribal knowledge please feel free to comment.

    Heres what I would like to know right of the bat,

    machines= new or used?
    lease or purchase?
    which brand? (xerox seems to be the 800lb gorilla)

    I want machines that are the first entries in commercial printing (not high end office printers). Someone suggested three machines. One color(xerox 700), one b&w (xerox 4110), and one machine that makes spiral and comb style binders [is that what the plastic binders are called?]. These are just a few of my many questions, Im data mining right now and all the info I can gather will help me determine if this venture is worth doing. Im not in any hurry this is just something Im looking into and would like to do if feasible.

    Thank you in advance

  • #2
    What kind of jobs do you currently have locked down if you get. I have been in the industry for 7yrs and we dont even have the workflow for the 700. If you are just starting out and doing it from your home I would first see about outsourcing. Even as small as we are compared to some of the larger printers on here and even we do printing for resellers. If these clients are going to kinkos then they are use to and comfortable to their pricing and their pricing is typically on the high end. You should be able to outsource this work, work out an arrangement with a local printer. Do that for 6 months or so to get a feel for where you are with the volume as well as get more business. You should then have a feeling of the current volume you have and how steady it is.

    If you are deadset on getting your own equipment Xerox, Canon and Konica Minolta are the top 3. A few yrs ago the big gorilla was KM, then Canon and over the last few yrs it was Xerox. I cant say just who it is right now as I have seen Canon and KM make some big moves with their equipment. I would not buy new if I were you. I would buy a used and possibly from a dealer so you know it has been refurbed and looked over as well as possibly get a service contract. Dont know if you can get a contract working out of your home. I say used this way you dont have a huge investment starting out. Run this printer into the group until it is time to upgrade. You can always keep this printer as a backup even if you upgrade.

    I have a Xerox 252 and for us many larger BW jobs we run on the 252 as it is faster then my older BW units and the click charge is a fraction less. Brand new I believe the 252 runs around $25K give or take. Buy used and spend $5-10-15K and grow from there.
    As for binding you can buy online a coil binder to punch holes and insert the coils for $400-600. Not sure if that is what you are asking.

    Keep us posted.

    Comment


    • #3
      Wow, thanks for the response that was really helpful,

      as far as what kinda of work I could get, it will be mostly binders with tabs and a mix of color and B/W. I've been researching used machines and either way its going to be a huge outlay of cash. As a result outsourcing is the only way Im willing to start a business for the same reasons you described. The only thing Im wondering is how or what do you do to keep the shop, your subcontracting the deals to, from cutting you out of the picture?

      Thanks again

      Comment


      • #4
        Look for resellers

        Go out and search for resellers, people that deal with people who broker jobs, they will not "steal" your clients.
        Also make a point with your customers that you are a service provider, you solve their problems, so when they deal with you it is more due to the fact that you deliver on their needs, not because you have the best price. There will always be somebody cheaper than you, you can not build your business on price alone. Look at Vista Print, they offer free business cards, and yet I sell mine for over $75, all because of the service (design, customer service, personalized, etc.)

        --
        Jose Barrios
        ColorBox Printing

        Signs, Business Cards, Brochures, Vinyl Banners & Design
        Last edited by jbarrio5; 11-30-2010, 01:50 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Best way is that you start doing job what every day need of Company.
          And try find customs very much, so you have every day orders.
          But if you have only a few customs, when thet stop order what you do ?

          I am working print business over 30 year.

          Regards from Finland
          if you want more discussing ask more.
          lomakep@nic.fi

          Comment


          • #6
            Also i see "Vista Print " I think that it is Finnish Company, but REALLY they not do without money ! If they sell free, business stop very soon!
            It is only way want more customs! But no good way, I think so.

            First and best way start business is that is honest, and very kind for customs and want good service.
            Price is second way.
            Regards again
            Mauri

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by New2theGame View Post
              Hello all,

              I am a commercial electrician who is curious about starting my own digital printing business (in my garage of 350 sq ft). I live in the silicon valley and have a few contacts at various companies who are fed up with fedexkinkos and would be interested in giving me some work if I were to start my own place. I stumbled on to this website while researching digital printers. Obviously I am not going to be doing anything as exotic as any of you who do this for living but the work needed to be done doesnt need to be. Mostly its legal, h.r. and marketing stuff that are in binders or folders.

              Please no insults or negative comments, if you dont approve or have anything constructive to say please move on. To those of you who admire my bravery/foolishness and have some tribal knowledge please feel free to comment.

              Heres what I would like to know right of the bat,

              machines= new or used?
              lease or purchase?
              which brand? (xerox seems to be the 800lb gorilla)

              I want machines that are the first entries in commercial printing (not high end office printers). Someone suggested three machines. One color(xerox 700), one b&w (xerox 4110), and one machine that makes spiral and comb style binders [is that what the plastic binders are called?]. These are just a few of my many questions, Im data mining right now and all the info I can gather will help me determine if this venture is worth doing. Im not in any hurry this is just something Im looking into and would like to do if feasible.

              Thank you in advance
              I am a print broker right down the road from you (West San Jose). Please contact me if you'd like at david@kleinprint.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Have you much jobs? What you want invest, because year is end?

                Comment


                • #9
                  If you're going to outsource get a confidentiality and non-complete contract signed before you start giving them work.

                  "They won't steal..." Bullshit.

                  Tell that to the last printer we partnered with on a $10,000 job when the customer looked them up in the phone book directly and cut us out of the order...

                  Comment

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