Contract printers can be termed as ‘printers for hire.’ The customer, in this case, provides the printer with both the garment and the artwork. On the other hand in custom printing, the decorator provides both the material and the artwork. Depending on your specialty as a printer, the printing can be on apparel or hard goods however the most popular form is the t-shirt/apparel printing. Contract printing is more complex than the explanation above as it is often demanding with many competitors but for those who can handle this niche the profits are high, and you get to deal with loyal customers.
Why You Should Venture Into It
The greatest advantage is the stable customer base who are knowledgeable on art. Such customers often give you large orders, and you do not have to go looking for them. The loyal customers can also market you to others who might need similar services which increase your profits with time. The fact that you do not need sales and marketing staff and inventory lowers your production costs leading to more profits.Another advantage is that you will deal with few customers with larger runs. You will also get better at the work you do with time as you understand your customers’ needs, meaning less setup and breakdowns and a guarantee of jobs even when a custom printer does not have jobs.
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Some of the disadvantages of contract jobs include the fact you might make less compared to a custom printer at the start. A contract printer does many orders at one time which means discounts are frequent, and jobs might be few. Another disadvantage is that losing one customer for a contract printer can be disastrous especially if it is a big customer this is why contract printers need to diversify their clients and not depend on only one big customer.
Things To Remember Before You Venture Into The Business
First, you need to minimize mistakes because profits in this niche are made from the few pennies from many jobs. If you make many mistakes, you will make a loss. Allow for 1-2% mistakes especially in case of expensive garments as mistakes will be costly.
Make sure you have good automatic machines to work on the thousands of orders from clients. You also need enough capital to buy the needed equipment for such orders. You also need to meet deadlines as they are critical in contract printing and this is one way you will build trust with your customers.Ensure you have a good tracking system to receive and manage your customers’ orders. Finishing is another service you should be ready to give as a contract printer as most of these goods have to be ready for retail.Ensure you have the order minimums you are willing to accept as a contract printers to make profits. You must also be willing to do rush orders as they are common and you never know, rush order clients might be your most loyal customers tomorrow.
Communication problems are also common in this line of business especially because the customer might not be the end client and there might be many middlemen involved be sure to get the right instructions and often communicate before you finish the job.Most importantly don’t give up, many contract printers who started from nothing are today running successful businesses.