How to Start A Vinyl Business 2019 | Hassle Free Decal Printing
The art and crafts industry is booming, and people are becoming more interested in making crafts and ultimately selling their handwork and starting a vinyl business is lucrative. Vinyl cutting is one of the many arts and crafts endeavors that you can quickly pick as a side hustle. If you’re a natural DIYer, vinyl cutting might be the right business for you, it is easy to set up, and it doesn’t require much capital. In this action-packed post, you will learn how to make vinyl stickers, which can be applied a variety of ways such as:
How do you start a Vinyl Cutting Business?
To start a vinyl cutting business, you will have to be conversant with a vinyl cutting machine and a home computer system that has a design software. A vinyl cutting machine is controlled by a computer that scans the design on your computer and converts it to an outline.
The machine then cuts the design with a sharp blade from a sheet of vinyl. Most vinyl cutters look like a regular computer printer. This allows you to make stickers, logos, and several designs for your home, office or clients.
How to Make Vinyl Decals: What Supplies Are Required for the Business?
Starting a vinyl business requires little capital, only 1% of sellers required loans to start their business to get what they need to make vinyl decals. So, while this business requires little capital, it requires dedication and hard work – there are some vinyl cutter business packages available. Some of the supplies or materials you’ll need to set up a vinyl cutting business include:
Personal Laptop or Desktop:
This is probably one of the first things you already own, and if you don’t own one, you’ll need to buy one for your starting vinyl cutting business. The minimum specifications of the computer should be 4Gb of RAM, 2.0 GHz processor and enough space on the hard drive. The monitor should be big enough to project realistic images, a 16-bit 1366 X 768 resolution is advisable. You’ll need broadband connectivity.
A vinyl cutter is where you will spend most of your capital since it’s your money making machine. You cannot afford to cut cost on this machine, especially if you’re planning to expand your business in the long term. It’s a must have to start a sticker business.
You’ll need to get a quality cutter. One of the best desktop machines you can buy are Silhouette Cameo 3 and the Cricut Explore Air 2. Both machines are inexpensive and most small businesses today started with one of these machines. For a more sophisticated and pricier machine, you can invest in Klic-N-Kut’s KNK Zing Orbit or KNK Force.
Although they are more expensive, they are recommended for successful home business because they cut the most accurate vinyl decals in the fastest time.
Other things you’ll require include;
- Heat Press; used for transferring print
- Vinyl Rolls; in different colors like white, black, blue, silver, red, and pink for your products such as banners
- Transfer Tape
- Cutting Mat
- A squeegee
- Application tape
- Accounting software
- Packing and shipping supplies
What Software Can I Use?
Vinyl cutters come with their software. It will enable you to design basic vectors or load bought or downloaded templates that will be cut out by the machine. However, to create a competitive advantage for your business, you’ll need to be able to cut out your designs. There are a lot of software’s available online, but most professional software include;
This is an affordable vinyl cutting software used by many designers. It is easy to learn and ideal for both beginners and advanced designers. It has user-friendly tools that enable you to edit your designs with professional grade application and will help with your vinyl cutting designs.
Easy Cut Studio
Thousands of users use Easy Cut Studio vinyl cutting software. It is user-friendly and allows you to draw your images on the cutting mat quickly. It has functions for auto-tracing, freehand drawing, Bezier operations, Lattice design, rhinestone design, and the list goes on.
Sure Cuts A Lot Pro
The sure cuts a lot pro is an easy to use vinyl cutting software. The software allows you to create images for decals, t-shirts, signs, and others. It has features like Photoshop, and other Adobe editing software’s into the SCAL workflow (easy-to-use guidelines, magnetic snapping, and even masking).
Commercial Licensing and Copycats
Most of the designs you’ll be using might be downloaded designs except you’re planning on creating all your designs ideas. Downloading designs is typical, however, you will need to buy a commercial license if you intend to sell online.
Buying a commercial license is not a cheap investment, unlike a personal license. If you sell downloaded designs online without a commercial license, it is theft, and you can get sued. If you do enough research, you might find a discounted commercial license.
On the other hand, if you’re skilled at creating your own designs, you can create your own commercial license. This allows you to send a cease and desist letter through your lawyer to anyone using your designs without permission.
Starting Your Vinyl Cutting Business Locally
Before opening an online or offline business, you’ll need to check the US patent and trademark office to ensure you’re not using another company’s name. Choose a name that is descriptive and is not on Pinterest, Facebook, or Instagram.
You can start selling your crafts to family and friends, and then branch out to your local community. You can ask them to spread the word to other acquaintances and friends who might need vinyl decals, stickers, labels, signs, cards, or party accessories. You can participate in events/craft fairs at schools or convention centres. Other places you can sell locally include;
- Sports teams for schools
- To wedding planners for invitations cards, menus and stickers for décor
- To party planners for baby shower cards and decors.
- To interior designers for vinyl wall decals
- To local businesses for signs and stickers for their clients
During crafts shows, you want to display beautifully finished products so that potential clients can pick and handle your craft. You can display mugs, t-shirts, and tumblers or the loose decals and stickers.
Pros of Selling Locally
- Building close-knit clients and organizations in your community
- Clients and potential clients get to see your craft first hand
Cons of Selling Locally
- To sell locally, you must be socially adept, basically a people person
- It is limited which means that your business might not expand exponentially
- You will have to work with the client’s deadlines.
Starting Your Vinyl Cutting Business Online
For most new businesses, starting an online business is usually the first step to getting recognized and selling while for others selling online is often the next step after setting up their local store. You can set up your website if you don’t want the additional fees that come with sites like Etsy.
You can also open a business social media profile on Facebook and Instagram. Sites like Etsy offer crafters a platform to sell to people in need of their craft at an affordable fee.
If you want to start on Etsy, here are a few helpful tips
- Use gorgeous pictures
- Have people you know buy your products and get them to leave feedback
- Pack and ship on time
- Start with low prices
- Optimize our keywords to get noticed quicker
- Have a good customer service
Pros of Selling Online
- You get to reach a broader audience that isn’t possible with local stores
- If you’re not a people person, don’t fret! You don’t need to have face-to-face interactions
- You can make sales while sleeping or cooking
- You get to have your own schedule
Cons of Selling Online
- Huge competition and is quite slow to get noticed
- You must be responsive to online messages
- Packing and shipping is a hassle
- Most of your work will need to be photographed and which means clients won’t be able to touch your craft physically.
A useful tip for driving sales on your website or Etsy site is to do giveaways or offer discounts on your products. And finally, make sure your image is consistent on all your social media profiles. You can also use apps like Stickify, uSticker, and Sticker Maker Pro to make custom stickers.
How to Price Vinyl Decals
Pricing them is simply a matter of looking at the work entailed, competition prices, and your reputation.
No matter what, look at how competitors are pricing them. If you are a local print shop you can just look at nearby shops but if you’re online you’ll want to look at the big competitors business to consumer pricing.
If you’re just starting out you may want to be on the cheaper end. After all, if you’re new it’ll be hard to get customers if you’re selling at the same price or higher than more established customers. It’s possible to sell if you have a unique selling point, but generally, it’s pretty hard.
Finally, if certain stickers are harder (which you’ll understand through more experience, and have an idea by looking at prices) then charge a little more. As your reputation goes up you can move prices up (a little) as well.
White labeling and Print on Delivery (POD)
White labeling is when companies remove their logos and brand from their product and services which can be rebranded by your company for sales and distribution. For example, you can buy a generic set of cups that have no labels and use your vinyl cutting machine to create labels for your clients. Here at FoamCorePrint we offer white labeling and reselling at great prices to maximize your margins and ship quickly to make sure your customers are satisfied.
While POD is when you sell your own custom designs on products like t-shirts and mugs. With POD you can pay for the product and services after it has been sold, which reduces the need of buying in bulk or doing inventory.
Pros of POD
- Mass Production: Since the products and services are readily available, you won’t have to go through the hassle of producing your own.
- Depending on the supplier company you use, the shipping and fulfillment is usually their responsibility. All you have to do after sales is customer service.
- You can test ideas, and since you’re not doing any inventory, it reduces investment and risk.
Cons of POD
- Cost per item is usually higher than buying in bulk and might yield meager profits
- Shipping might get complicated since you’re not in control.
- You have limited control on customization.