Start Here October '18

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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63 S T A R T H E R E 2 0 1 8 car wraps, mounting and other simple finishing applications," explains Conrad. "Most folks have a laminator, a flatbed cutter and some form of stitching option," says Mahmoud. When Can You Expect to Make a Profit? Having a realistic idea of when your new business will make a profit is important. Conrad says a big part of your business plan- ning should look at your break-even point and beyond. "Don't set your plan to strict goals since your business will change and evolve as you go. Be diligent enough to stick to your plan but flexible enough to react to new market opportunities for increased growth or market penetration." Maxwell says that there's great variance and too many com- ponents to provide a comprehensive answer. Location (overhead costs), labor rates, financing, machine and ink type, consumables, software, media, finishing, etc., can affect production costs to varying degrees. "Low cost-of-entry doesn't always translate into better value because of hidden consumables, service or other printer-related expenses," he says. Maxwell adds that "Once a printer/ink type is determined, WIDE-FORMAT we recommend preparing an ROI that takes into consideration monthly costs for equipment, labor and overhead, and calculate that to return a 'cost-per-day' to run. Then determine a realistic 'sellable-per-day' square footage rate from that data, to get a good idea of production needs, costs and return. This is a highly simplis- tic model but it will help start the conversation about how much is needed to sell in order to achieve a good ROI. Printer manufacturers and experienced dealers can be very helpful in developing an ROI expectation based on an individual business." Buyers may want to consider purchasing a quality dye- sublimation printer, such as Roland's Texart RT-640, to decorate soft signage, apparel, hard goods with vibrant, eye-catching graphics. (Image courtesy of Roland DGA)

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