Sign & Digital Graphics

March '18

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42 • March 2018 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S DIGITAL PRINTING AND FINISHING DIGITAL GRAPHICS Wide-Format Printing Business Suppliers offer advice and tips for opening or expanding a wide for- mat business B Y B I L L S C H I F F N E R Bill Schiffner is a free- lance writer/editor based in Holbrook, New York. He has covered the imaging industry for 29 years and has reported on many evolving digital imaging tech- nologies including wide-format print- ing and newer electronic digital sig- nage. He was the editor for a number of imaging publications and websites. He can be reached at bschiffner@ CET Color's Q5-500 4' x 8' UV-curing flatbed printer provides the latest Ricoh printhead technol- ogy with 1,280 nozzles per head. (Image courtesy of CET Color) P erhaps you own a small print shop and are looking to expand your ser- vices, or you are new to the market and are considering buying an existing wide- format business or starting one from the ground floor up. Whatever your situa- tion, there are a number of points to con- sider and a lot of homework that needs to be done before putting up your "Open for Business" sign. Buying an existing shop requires less work in start-up costs and finding a location. Starting a wide-format busi- ness from scratch will take more time, but it could allow you more flexibility in choosing a location, equipment and the work you want to produce. What Goes into a Business Plan? The first thing you need to do is cre- ate a business plan. This plan should have an ROI (return on investment) model. Create a spreadsheet and a letter explain- ing the new business plan. Include actual numbers with a timeline that shows how, in time, the business will start to make money. The business plan should review the basics such as payroll, rent, overhead (electric, heat, etc.), marketing, capitol (equipment), future expansion, expected material costs, vehicles, and anything else needed to make the business successful. Dave Conrad, director of sales and marketing, Mutoh America, Phoenix, Arizona, says the business plan should look at basics like market strategy, competitive analysis, a SWOT analysis Getting into the W I D E - F O R M A T D I G I T A L P R I N T I N G

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