How to Start a Printing Press in 9 Steps

If you can secure a client with large printing needs, having a printing press may indeed make you feel that you are printing money. Here are basic the steps to start your own printing press:

  • 1. Determine what market niche you wish to target. Most printers are commercial printers which mean they print almost any type of printing job. It is recommended that you specialize and pick the market you believe has the most potential for your capabilities.
  • 2. Know the machines needed and estimate capital requirements. Think of your market’s printing needs and learn the cost of machinery needed to produce it efficiently. Besides machine costs, do not forget to budget for your working capital.
  • 3. Look for an ideal location. Check if the site has 3 phase electricity and if it is sufficient to power all your machines along with other electrical appliances. Have enough space for your bindery, stock room, office, receiving, and storing of undelivered orders. Avoid locations where there is flooding and termite infestation.
  • 4. Register your business. There is no special requirement for opening a printing press. As usual, sole proprietors file in DTI and corporations and partnerships in SEC. Then, secure a barangay clearance before proceeding to city hall for the mayor’s permit. Afterwards, register with the BIR and have your receipts printed.
  • 5. Hire qualified and disciplined personnel. You cannot hire incompetent workers since they will be handling expensive machinery. One of the best ways to get the workforce you need is to advertise in the Printing Jobs category of the classified section of Manila Bulletin.
  • 6. Have a competent press supervisor. Having a good press supervisor will relieve you from a lot of headaches. Look for a press supervisor that can operate the press in case of emergency.
  • 7. Locate suitable and reputable suppliers of paper and other supplies. There is a variation of around twenty percent between the lowest and the highest priced suppliers. Do not just buy from the lowest priced supplier. Inspect and assess the quality if it is acceptable.
  • 8. Learn how to cost and price your services. You must know how to cost and price or else you would know not how much profit you are making per project. Ignorance of costing may lead you to sell your services at a loss.
  • 9. Promote your business. You may have experienced looking for a printing press by going to Recto in Manila. However, in most situations, customers will not come to you; you or your sales person must come to them.

A printing press can be a great business. However, to improve your chances of success you must learn as much as you can before you start. Learn the trade secrets from the actual experiences of veterans in the industry before risking your hard earned capital. BusinessCoach Inc., a leading business seminar provider, offers a highly practical seminar on how to start and operate a printing press.

Originally published by the Manila Bulletin. Written by Ruben Anlacan, Jr. (President, BusinessCoach, Inc. – All rights reserved. Posted with permission.

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