Before you invest a dime in a laser engraving system and supplies, it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into when starting a laser engraving business.
To Start a Laser Engraving Business, You Will Need to Start With:
- A detailed business plan
- Plenty of capital to open and operate for at least one year
- Knowledge about laser equipment to choose wisely
- Knowledge of how to safely use the machine and software
- Knowledge of how to run a business and make it successful
- A business license in your region
- Business insurance coverage
- A viable and noticeable location
Gaining knowledge about laser engraving and the equipment is something you’ll need to cater to your customers properly. Some companies that sell laser systems offer training with your purchase as well as software that they teach you to use.
Something to remember: Laser engraving training is not a one-time thing. It’s ongoing when you want to grow your business and expand your product offerings.
If you don’t have enough cash on hand or easy access to money to start your business, finance it. You will need between $8,000 and $20,000 for a quality laser system, plus whatever you need for one year’s rent/leas, and then factor in supplies, materials, office equipment, utilities, and other basics that you need for your business. $20,000 to $50,000 is a relatively low startup cost for modern businesses.
Believe it or not, learning to operate laser engraving machines isn’t any harder than using a conventional printer. You need some knowledge and training for using the software, but other than knowing how to navigate on your computer, there isn’t much to learn. You start by creating a design from your computer and send it to the laser engraving machine just as you would send a document to print on your printer.
Things to Consider
Power is one thing to consider when buying a laser engraving machine. The more powerful the machine, the more types of materials you can engrave. That power will help you work with thicker substrates. More power also means faster production, which helps to curb costs and time. The faster you can create products for your customers, the happier they will be and the more successful you will be.
Business insurance will likely be something you must obtain whether you hire employees or operate the business as a one-man operation. It is wise to consider hiring a few people to help you cater to your clients as you grow.
Promote and Grow
Don’t forget to advertise, promote, and market your business using local resources, social media, a website with a blog, the radio, the newspaper, and online ads. You might consider getting a magnetic sign for your vehicle and rent a billboard if you can.
Watch your competitors, then match or exceed their offerings as you grow. Make your laser engraving business stand out from the others regardless of whether you have local competition or not. Build good relationships with the community and use good business practices for the life of your business.
In the end, your initial investment in a laser engraving system should pay for itself within that first year as long as you work hard and get yourself out there.