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Intern Thinks: Why Not Heat Printing?

by Bella B., Web Marketing Intern

Bella prepares for possible future business endeavors.

If there is one thing I have learned over the summer is that the heat printing industry is much bigger than I ever imagined and it only continues to grow. As I was going through the dreadful job application process I had the crazy idea to start a heat printing company out of my room. My dad has a heat press from a couple years back that he no longer uses and might let me borrow. Before making any drastic moves I did some investigating on the Stahls.com education pages and found some tips:

1. Research the industry:  Use industry associations, web searches, periodicals, governmental agencies, & your competitors’ customers!
a.    What will my company do?
b.    Who is my target market? What will they want? Why should they do business with me?
c.    Weaknesses & strengths?
i.    Who are my competitors?
ii.    What are they doing right? Doing wrong?
iii.    How can you capitalize on their weaknesses?
iv.    Why should their customers give you their business?
2.    Start-up-costs:
a.    Consider the following-
i.    Location – will this location cost you an arm & a leg?
ii.    Rent – how high is the rent? Will you be able to make payments?
iii.    Potential remodeling expenses – New roof? New paint? New flooring?
iv.    Equipment – computer, inventory, equipment (heat press, vinyl cutter, accessories, etc.)
v.    Expenses – employee wages, insurance cost, licensing & permits etc.
b.    Calculate your opening expenses & start-up capital. Keep in mind what resources you already have and what additional finance resources you may need. (Loans, professional help: lawyer, accountant, etc.)

3.    Write a Business Plan: This is a guide for your business and is usually required with seeking financial assistance.
a.    The products & services your company will offer (details are key)
b.    Mission statement – as a company what is your goals and objectives?
c.    Financial projections: How much do you think your company will be worth?
d.    Legal structure: Are you a sole proprietorship? Partnership? Corporation?
e.    Market analysis & strategy: how do you plan to market your customers?
f.    Market opportunity & competitive advantages: Where do you see opportunities for your company? What makes your company better than your competitors?

4.    Start-Up Checklist:
a.    Write a business plan
b.    Business name – originality is key
c.    Legal structure
d.    Business licensing requirements
e.    State & federal tax registration
f.    Registration for an Employer Identification Number (EIN)
g.    Intellectual property protection (patents, trademarks & copyrights)
h.    Business insurance
i.    How many employees will you hire?
j.    What’s your image/brand?
k.    Where will you be located?
l.    Secure financing

With the help of Stahls’ products and what I have learned this summer I feel this crazy idea has the potential to be a success. For more information and tips on vinyl cutter investment strategies check out Stahls.com/start-heat-printing-business.

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