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9 Profitable Printing Business Ideas

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Published on July 21, 2022

Updated on July 31, 2022

9 Profitable Printing Business Ideas

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9 Profitable Printing Business Ideas

The printing industry in the US is recovering from the pandemic slump and is expected to perform better as the economy improves. Although the industry will continue to face challenges posed by the growing ecommerce industry, growth opportunities still abound as the market is valued at an impressive $78 billion. So if you’re thinking about starting a printing business, you’re on the right track. 

Thanks to new technologies, the printing industry is no longer just about books, magazines, or newspapers. We’ve come up with a list of printing business ideas you can explore, such as 3D printing, mug printing, and screen printing. Check it out!

1. Mug Printing

Mug Printing

With a bit of creativity and some business savvy, you can start your own mug printing business. It’s a fun and easy-to-start business with a lot of potential. Mugs are typically used for drinking coffee and other hot drinks. If you’re an avid coffee drinker, chances are you own at least one mug. Did you know that six in 10 Americans drink coffee every day? Most Americans also prefer to receive gifts that come from the heart, such as personalized mugs.

A mug printing business requires you to invest in a mug press machine and find a reliable supplier of quality mugs and other supplies. The good news is you can run this type of business from home so you can save on overhead cost. You may invest in a computer and software to create your designs. An option is to download professionally designed templates and edit these to fit your clients’ requirements. Your designs can give you a competitive edge so you should do your best.

2. Screenprinting

Screenprinting

Screenprinting has been around for ages, but it has taken off in recent years as people have been spending more time at home. The broader arts and crafts market has exploded since the start of the pandemic, and screenprinting has been a key driver of that growth. 

Screenprinting offers an affordable way to express your creativity within a variety of products, from T-shirts to stencils and posters, from stickers to even ceramic mugs. Screen printing can be applied to just about any surface, making it perfect for a wide variety of products and designs. 

One catch is that screenprinting companies have been popping up everywhere lately, so you’ll need to be able to create unique and appealing designs to compete in a saturated market. But if you’ve got your own style and a good eye for design, you could be well on your way to success!

3. 3D Printing

3D Printing

So you’ve decided to start a 3D printing business. That’s great! A strong demand for three-dimensional customized products is driving the rapid growth of the global 3D printing market, which was estimated at $16 billion in 2021. The market is expected to grow 24% per year through 2028 due to increased demand for prototypes, models and artistic designs in various industries like aerospace, automotive, health care and more. 

You will need to understand first the regulations and legal issues affecting the industry. For example, the use of 3D printers is not regulated but the medical products that are produced through 3D printing are regulated by the FDA. A license is also needed for 3D printers that are used to make weapons. If a design used to create a 3D model is covered by intellectual property rights, printing the model would infringe those rights. You’ll also need to make a hefty investment upfront to get your business up and running, but the benefits could be immense.

4. Digital Printing

Printing Business

Do you have some untapped creativity you’ve been hoping to share with the world? Printing could be a great way to do just that. Traditional printing in the US has declined in recent years, as more and more business has been done online, without the need for paper documentation. But globally, the printing industry is expected to see steady growth in the coming years, while digital printing is expected to triple by 2028. You could start your own business and ride that wave to serious success. 

There will of course be some hard work and planning involved. You’ll need to decide a market segment to focus on — it might be screen, offset, 3D or digital printing. Then you’ll need to purchase the required equipment, which could cost up to $30,000. If you short on funds you could rent the printing equipment, instead of buying. And if you have a large apartment or basement, you could initially run the business out of your home to cut costs further. Then once you’ve built a brand and started getting referrals, the orders could start rolling in and you’ll need to find a storefront and start building your printing empire.

5. Sticker Business

Sticker Business

You might view stickers as something for kids, but did you know that many top brands use stickers in their marketing? Stylish firms like Calvin Klein, Coach, and Stussy have helped turn stickers into a fast-growing, $190 billion global industry. As the world gets more virtual, it’s hard to deny the value of something you can see and touch. Stickers are a great way for a company to get their branding out there at little cost.

Starting your own sticker business will require a lot of work, from generating appealing designs to sourcing materials and building your online presence, whether that’s a website or a shop on an online platform like Etsy. You’ll also need to choose if you want to specialize in customized stickers, stickers with quotes and motivational messages, colorful designs, cartoon characters, holiday specific stickers, or something else. 

Keep in mind that the sticker industry has grown so much in recent years that once you start building a reputation, you won’t have to worry about generating enough demand!

6. Shirt Printing 

Shirt Printing Business

Shirt printing is a lucrative industry that continues to grow in popularity especially among the young population. If you’re looking for a new business opportunity, look no further than a shirt printing business. The global custom tshirt printing industry is anticipated to grow steadily and approach $8 billion in market size by 2028. Rising disposable income and increasing preference for customized shirts are expected to drive growth. 

Anyone can start a shirt printing business. But in order to succeed and grow your business, it’s important to be knowledgeable in silk screen printing and updated with the latest printing technology such as direct-to-garments, sublimation, and more. You may come up with packages that already include the shirts as well as the design and printing services for the convenience of your customers. Another way to do it is to come up with your own designs and sell shirts with these designs. With the right skills and resources, you can build a successful business.

7. Greeting Card Business

Greeting Card Business

Although it’s more convenient now to greet family and friends through digital cards, many Americans are still buying and sending traditional greeting cards. These are, after all, still one of the most popular forms of communication. If you are creative and have a way with words, starting a greeting card business may be the perfect opportunity for you! Demand may no longer be as strong because of digital cards, but the greeting card industry in the US is still worth around $7 billion. It’s a huge market that’s packed with opportunities. 

You can start a greeting card business from scratch. To minimize your overhead costs, you can start off with online sales and follow up with a brick and mortar store once your business has grown big. Branding is important, so it’s important to develop your own brand personality and be consistent with the quality of your cards. A greeting card business can be rewarding and lucrative if you are willing to put in the work.

8. Phone Case

Phone Case

Four out of five people in the world, 6.4 billion in all, use mobile phones, and that number gets bigger everyday. Because smartphones are so pricey, most people choose to protect their investment with a reliable phone case. This is why the global phone case market is worth $20 billion and expected to see strong growth in the years ahead. You could start your own phone case business, create appealing designs for discerning smartphone owners, and grab a share of that market while making a good living. 

You can even work from home. All you need is a good phone case mold, the right supplies and a decent website and you can start making sales. You will, however, need to decide on your product line. Will you go with brightly colored cases, cartoon character cases, cases that double as wallets, or all of the above? A good way to make your decision is to look at the competition online and find a market gap, a type of phone case that might not yet be widely available. 

If you can do that, and get your business off the ground with strong marketing, you have a good chance of seeing strong demand in the near future.

9. Yard Sign

Yard Sign

One of the many industries altered and reshaped by the pandemic was yard signs, also known as yard cards. With millions of Americans stuck at home throughout 2020 and beyond, many started using yard signs to express their views on not just politics during the election season, but also to thank frontline workers and join movements like Black Lives Matter. 

You could start your own yard sign business and take advantage of this trend to sell signs on politics, society, sports, and health. In addition, as the pandemic recedes, more and more people are organizing long-delayed social gatherings. This means the demand for yard signs related to birthday parties, weddings and graduations is set to increase. With a good laptop and quality software, you could start your yard sign business at home and choose your own hours. 

You’ll just need to find a reliable, affordable printing firm to partner with, market yourself to stand out from the competition and, when given the chance, deliver excellent products and services. That’s a recipe for success!