Today, we’re kicking off a blog series on how on-demand printers and anyone offering wide-format printing services can jump into an exciting new market within the industry: Décor printing.
Chances are you’ve heard about the booming customizable décor printing opportunities in our industry. With the advances in substrates and printer technology, offering your customers more ways to create one-of-a-kind projects for residential or commercial spaces has become more accessible than ever.
It’s also likely your customers are starting to make requests for projects like wall murals, canvas wraps, floor graphics, customized window screens and even lampshades. In other words, if you can print it, they can decorate with it!
“Diversifying your business is an important and effective way to not only stay on trend, but also separate yourself from the competition, whether they’re other local shops or bigger on-demand print providers,” says Rachel Gamberg, LexJet’s market development manager. “It also gives you the opportunity to improve your profit margins as well as the perceived value of your brand.”
Sound intimidating? Nah. In fact, you probably already have some of the equipment and media you need to get started right now. Below, we’ve pulled together a list, by printer type, of the different room décor applications that you can jump into now if you have at least a 44-inch printer. (In future blogs, we’ll discuss adding more advanced projects to your capabilities when you’re ready to venture into new printer technology.)
Now it’s time to consider a few other elements when building your business plan. First, start thinking about a pricing structure for various projects. What is your cost per unit, including costs for printing, hardware, time, labor and possible mark-up opportunity? You have more room to move up in price the more unique and customized the project is.
It’s also vital to start considering where your graphics are coming from. Custom photography is a good first step. There are several online options for a wide variety of graphics. We like HP WallArt Suite, which walks you through the print-ready PDF/app process.
In this series, we’d like to leave you with a few “to-do” items to help you get started. Here’s your first task list:
- Take stock. Based on this blog, consider what you already have on hand to begin some décor projects. Start thinking about what you can add to your line of offerings, and begin building a pricing structure and marketing plan. Also, consider starting conversations with your customers about décor applications, and ask if they’re looking for any of those mentioned above, and how you can help them with it.
- Add some substrates. Contact a LexJet representative to discuss décor media that works with your current printer and what you can reasonably add to your inventory to start creating décor projects. Our reps can help you grow your business at a manageable rate.
- Get inspired. Don’t know where to start? Read wide-format publications that discuss décor regularly, like BigPicture.net, PrintingNews.com and DigitalOutput.net, or check out consumer magazines like Architectural Digest or Veranda. You may want to book yourself into the next printing or interior design trade show/expo. You can also take a walk through your local hardware store and dream up your own ideas for items that would benefit from a custom printed graphic.
Coming up next: In future blogs, we’ll discuss which services you can handle in-house and which ones you may want to outsource. We’ll also talk about networking within your community and marketing your new décor services. Stay tuned!