It’s an undeniable fact that modern technology has opened the door to new possibilities for the business world. The laser is amongst many inventions of modern science. It has played a vital role in almost all industries and businesses.
Many people who have the opportunity to see an EM-Smart laser engraving machine in action are eager to start a business utilizing this portable equipment. Due to the extensive variety of products and materials that can be laser engraved, a laser engraving business has become one of the most popular and profitable ways to start a business in a growing industry that takes only a small investment.
Laser systems are so easy to use that you’ll be able to start using one in no time, and they are so affordable, they usually pay for themselves in a short amount of time! Whether you choose to open a storefront business or work from home, you’ll find laser engraving a profitable new way to start a laser engraving business.
However, every coin has two sides, building your own business is no simple feat. A great deal of planning is required before you’ll be ready to open shop. This guide will give you a head start in answering many of the fundamental questions you must ask yourself before entering this exciting business venture. The purpose of this guide is not to provide you with a business plan, but rather it is designed to get you started on the path to establishing your own laser engraving operation.
Advantages of Laser Tech
-One Tool for Many Materials — A single laser system is capable of engraving a countless number of materials without the need for finishing equipment.
-Contactless Material Processing
-Scalable Processing — Whether you’re working on one product, a small batch, or a large order, an EM-Smart laser system is designed with a broad range of features to adapt to your workload.
-Laser engraving is as simple as printing. First, create your design on a graphic design program. Next, send the finalized artwork to your laser via your computer’s printer driver.
-Design Flexibility — Unlike traditional engravers, a laser system can create highly intricate details.
-High Processing Speeds
-Laser technology saves users time during the preparation, processing, and post-processing stages.
How do you start an engraving venture?
A laser engraving business is a service-based enterprise, which means you need to start with the most important document — your laser engraving business plan.
This plan should answer some basic questions such as: How will your laser company convey its message and what is the best way for you to reach potential customers? What are some ways in which this engraver can make sales leads? How do you plan on closing deals with their prospects?
Is the laser engraving business profitable? This is a question asked by many who are eager to enter this business.
Laser engraving is a great way of adding value to otherwise bland objects. Value addition is one of the easiest ways of charging a premium for products. People naturally gravitate towards personalized items and they won’t mind spending more on such items. You can easily buy a piece of jewelry, add customized and durable engravings on it and sell it for a lot more than you would without the engraving. Suffice it to say that laser engraved items will give you very good margins.
Besides, many people think of trophies and gifts when they think of laser marking or engraving, and while they can be moneymakers, you’re better off thinking bigger if profit margins are a priority. Getting bulk orders from corporate or industrial laser engraving clients is where the big bucks are, which we’ll discuss in detail later on.
Take EM-Smart as an example, since personalization and customization of products are in high demand. This world′s smallest 20W fiber laser engraving machine will be most suitable for the customization and personalization of gifts, souvenirs, handicrafts, logos, brands, etc. for designers, handicraftsmen, Etsy sellers, Kickstarter entrepreneurs, creative agencies, and small businesses. But it will also depend on what product or service and how well you can market it of course.
What good ideas can I create with the laser engraving machine? That will depend on your imaginations. Barcodes, lipsticks, coins, bracelets, magazines, wine pots, pens, purses, notebooks, tags, forks & knives, gifts, hard wares, key chains, mobile phones, nameplates, toys … This could be an endless list.
In order to set up an engraving business, one of the important tasks is to identify the products and/or services you plan on offering. Here are some business ideas you might want to consider:
-Office stationaries — pens or name cards or company logos
-Season ornaments such as Christmas, July 4th, and Valentine’s
-Customized awards or tokens for every occasion
-Tags with names for animals
-3C digital products
-Medals or coins or signages
-QR codes or barcodes
You can offer turnkey solutions or just plain engraving solutions. Specialization could also be an excellent service you can offer to potential clients.
Although engraving is not as big as other industries, this is a profitable one. All you need is to create ways to generate revenue based on the capabilities of your engraving technology.
Customers & Market
Customers are the lifeblood of your engraving business. So, it’s imperative that you know who they are. If you identified your target market clearly, you can create an effective engraving plan. How do you identify your potential customers and target market?
-Case studies: You can track the competition and keep an eye on industry analyst blogs and reports.
-Gain Insights from Professional Social Platforms (such as LinkedIn and Quora).
-Online and offline networks will help you better understand your prospects.
Another useful hint is to conduct a product or service analysis. Define the advantages of your goods and see who would be interested in such a product/service. Most probably, people interested in engraved products are businesses, companies, or organizations.
Starting with people you know is typically the best option since it allows you to make a fast sale and obtain referrals. However, there are numerous alternative ways to build your potential client list. Here are some:
-Personal Contacts: friends and family or the people they may know
-Existing customers: most probably, dissatisfied customers of competitors
-Trades Shows: an excellent way to widen your network
-Community Events: groups of your target market
-Purchase a Lead List: an expensive with low results when improperly executed.
-Online webinars or live streaming
-Social Network System (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, etc.)
-Online ad campaigns or promotions
Types of Engravers
A laser engraver machine has different types. It ranges from low budget to expensive. If you’re just starting out and don’t have much money, it might be better to purchase a lower-end laser machine with fewer capabilities.
There are possibilities that your business venture might not work as expected. So, your investment isn’t that too high. It’s also important to keep in mind how often you will use the laser machine. Machines used frequently need higher quality parts than those only used occasionally.
If you aren’t sure what a laser engraving machine is, you can read our blog for more detail. In this blog, you can learn the different types of engraving solutions.
It can range from a few hundred dollars to over $10,000 for an engraving machine. It is best that you start with laser engraving machines at the lower end. Then, upgrade as your business grows if necessary!
Where to Start?
Now that you’ve got engraving ideas, customers, and the market in place, it’s time to take action.
If you are on a tight budget, here is a basic portable laser engraver that is perfect for you starting out! It has a reasonable cost and can engrave through materials like metal, plastic, rubber, coated wood, leather, or acrylic.
A portable laser engraving machine is also a great entry-level machine if you choose a metal engraving service. The machine will get your business started in the laser engraving world.
If you’re looking for more advanced laser engraving machines then here is another high-end laser engraving machine with high engraving speed and precision. It works perfectly on almost all normal materials including all kinds of metals, plastics, leathers, ABS, rubbers, slates, stones, marbles, etc.
Whatever kind of laser engraving machine you are going to purchase, take these elements or parameters into your consideration, since they are going to be closely related to your engraving and profitability. For instance, you’ll need to find out which materials you can engrave with your laser, and raw materials are your other main costs. Other items you’ll need when starting out are a computer, photo editing software (it’s usually included in the package when you purchase the laser machine). The factors you need to consider while purchasing the machine include:
-Standard Engraving Field
-Maximum Engraving Height
-Supported Image Format
It may not include everything but it should be a valuable checklist for your purchasing reference.
You’ve made it. Becoming a laser engraving entrepreneur is not that difficult, but it takes hard work. However, in return for that effort, you get to work on your own terms, create the items of your choosing and make a ton of cash!
But wait! You may forget one step — registering your laser engraving business, which is an often-overlooked procedure, but is a critical one. If you miss this step, you may find yourself hounded by those Offices-in-Charge. You may also fulfill other important statutory criteria such as submitting your taxes by registering your company.
Businesses that thrive in this field are creative, sales-focused, and outside-the-box thinkers, according to our study. Take a close look at your personality and see whether you fit the bill. If you’re laying down the initial piece of ground yourself, you might just stop there. If you’re starting on a medium or larger note, you’ll need to produce a whole lot more materials.
You could pay lower costs by hiring personnel that you may train. Make sure you learn how much it costs to hire and retain laser engravers from those who already have them. Engraving is a very affordable way to start a business for individuals who wish to pursue this line of work.
Promotion is important in creating awareness about your engraving product and services. You may also use your branding and marketing strategy to create a website (An example). Lots of people settle for setting up social media pages or write themselves off as not being technically savvy enough to take this step. This is a huge mistake in today’s global marketplace, besides those social media channels (they are an important way to reach customers of course), where you can set up a website for your laser engraving business with minimal knowledge of coding or website building. There are lots of CMSs to choose from, making setting up your website as simple as using MS Word.
Think also of your branding strategy. Your logo should represent your profitable laser business. Using your marketing plan, grow your laser engraving business. From time to time, evaluate the effectiveness of this plan. If you need to change or update it, you can do so.
A Thousand miles journey starts with a single step. The laser engraving business looks really simple but actually, it’s not. So, you may encounter different types of challenges on your business journey.
What are some potential challenges in starting a laser engraving service?
One challenge a laser engraver can face is the lack of demand for its services. Do not forget about marketing when starting out on laser engraving projects! (This is the importance of the above point — Business Promotion)
Another concern might be running costs. These costs depend on the type of laser engraving machines you buy. When you buy an advanced laser engraving machine that can meet more demands from more customers, it may also take a longer period for you to recover your cost.
These accessories are additional costs you need to account for. It’s important to factor in these costs before making any final decisions.
Some other issues include noise levels and maintenance requirements. You should account for everything before investing in one of these devices.
So, you’ve decided that start an engraving business. Congratulations! Now it’s time to get started with your laser engraving company by creating a sound business plan. Identify potential customers and markets.
From there, it will be easier to classify costs associated with starting up this enterprise as well as enumerate ways to generate revenue. You can also secure financing and register your new venture before getting going on your marketing campaign.
If all goes according to plan, then promote and grow your laser engraving company until it becomes a sustainable endeavor — and enjoy taking pride in knowing that you created something from your own money.