If you are planning to get into the screen printing, t-shirt printing or sign making business, you may have asked yourself, is it better to start from scratch or buy an existing business?
Before you make your decision, consider some of the pros and cons.
If you start from scratch, you will have the burden of making numerous critical decisions, all of which will have a bearing on the success or failure of your business. When starting from scratch, you will have to decide on a business location, equipment purchases, marketing strategies, building a customer base and numerous other mundane issues that will have to be resolved to get your business up and running. On the positive side, starting from scratch gives you the flexibility to do things exactly as you see fit. If you believe you have a better business model than your competitors, starting from scratch will you enable to prove your beliefs.
If you buy an established printing business, you are essentially buying a proven operation. Most, if not all of the major business details will have already been worked out for you. Your primary task will be to keep the business running smoothly and profitably. The drawback of buying an existing business is the purchase cost and the financial risks involved if the business should start to falter or fail. Moreover, if the business has unhappy employees, outdated equipment, etc., you will inherit these problems as well.
Which way you decide to go depends on many things, most likely the most important factor being financial considerations (how much money or credit that you have available). If you decide to start from scratch, write a well researched business plan and go from there. In preparation of your business plan, you will need to compile a list of equipment and supply purchases that will be necessary to get your printing shop into operation.
A good place to start is the ASPA Screen Printing Equipment and Supplies Directory. The ASPA Directory will help you source and determine the costs for all of the equipment and supplies you will need.
If you have decided to purchase an existing printing operation, a good place to start is BizBuySell.com and related “businesses for sale” websites. Your local commercial real estate broker is also a good place to inquire about local businesses for sale.
Starting up or purchasing a business can be a life fulfilling venture. Do your homework thoroughly and decide what's best for your particular circumstances. Good luck!
ASPA Staff and others