June '20

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4 4 G R A P H I C S P R O J U N E 2 0 2 0 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M In the graphics industry, this typically oc- curs through two primary channels: tradi- tional screen printing or digital methods. Both have wide acceptance in our industry and serve unique markets. WHY TURNKEY EQUIPMENT PACKAGES ARE HELPFUL A turnkey equipment package is the easi- est way to diversify your business because it offers everything you need to get started. When shopping for equipment, look for companies that have a long track record of offering this type of package. This typically means they have deep experience in the industry from different angles. When you purchase a turnkey package, you want more than just the equipment. You also need the manufacturer's support, especially in the beginning. If you already operate an existing busi- ness (chances are many of you reading this do), you have an advantage over new com- petitors. First, congratulations, because you have already established yourself. No need to file incorporation documents, register with the state, or take other action that might require a lawyer. Adding new equip- ment does not require much in the way of paperwork. Second, you already established your overhead costs. This knowledge is valuable. While new equipment may change some of your operating costs, such as electricity consumption, having an established pattern and his- tory helps set up your business plan for expansion. The more unknowns you eliminate, the more successful you will be. Finally, there is a lot of cross- over knowledge in our indus- try. Just look at any trade show floor or other readers of this magazine. We all serve niche industries but use related skills. For example, a sign shop add- ing screen-printing equipment (or an embroidery shop getting into direct-to-garment) already understands graphics, manipulating art files, RIP software, and the like. Having these types of base skills flattens the learn- ing curve. It makes sense to want to take your hard-earned knowledge and add a turnkey equipment package that uses that knowledge. As an existing business, you have the abil- ity to deduct new equipment purchases. What could be better than adding new equipment? Doing it with "free" money. Section 179 of the Internal Revenue Code allows you to deduct the purchase price of new equipment from your taxable income on your federal income taxes. WHAT TURNKEY EQUIPMENT OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE? After you have decided that purchasing a turnkey equipment package is right for you, the next question becomes what to add. There are a variety of options, so here are some of the most common types, along with pros and cons. Screen printing is an option no matter what type of printing you do now. This might be the most popular choice as cus- tomers always want T-shirts. Plus, screen printing is a versatile method of decorating. Besides garments, popular screen-printed items include tote bags, koozies, and pro- motional items. If you already sell shirts and have a con- tract printer do the actual production, you understand the basic operation and lingo. When you add a screen-printing startup package, you suddenly control the produc- tion. Most people who start screen printing for themselves find a dramatic increase in quality and faster turnaround times, lead- ing to happier customers and more income. Basic turnkey screen-printing equipment includes a printing machine, flash unit, conveyor dryer, and exposure unit, but note that packages vary. For example, Lawson Screen & Digital Products offers a vari- ety of turnkey screen-printing equipment startup packages that range from basic to advanced depending on budget and pro- duction needs. Screen printing can be done in an area as small as six by eight feet. Learning the screen-print- ing process is relatively simple, and it is only as messy as you are. One factor to consider is that a few steps require access to wa- ter during screen creation and cleaning up. One of the simplest turnkey equipment packages to add is direct-to-garment (DTG) print- One of the simplest turnkey equipment packages to add to your business is direct- to-garment (DTG) printing. Lawson offers the Epson F-2100 DTG printer, along with a pre-treat sprayer and heat press machine. (Image courtesy Taylor Landesman) Adding screen-printing turnkey packages is a popular choice for many decorators looking to grow their business. Basic turnkey screen-printing equipment includes a printing machine (pictured here), flash unit, conveyor dryer (pictured here), and exposure unit, but note that packages vary. (Images courtesy Taylor Landesman) TURNKEY EQUIPMENT

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