April '21

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 114 of 118

1 1 0 G R A P H I C S P R O A P R I L 2 0 2 1 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M continued from page 28 continued from page 85 "e lifespan of a roll-to-roll machine can vary depending on the parts the manu- facturer uses when building the machine," says Chris Padilla, also of Mutoh America. "Some roll-to-roll machines use parts that are only designed to last a couple years or so, and some use more industrial parts to ensure that machine is going to perform for many years to come." A good industry rule of thumb is that your printer should last you at least seven years before new technology and options make it less protable to continue with- out a replacement or upgrade. at doesn't mean your printer won't continue to be a workhorse for you long after that, it's just unlikely to be as ecient in comparison to other options on the market that your competition might possess. Like we've seen over the last couple years, planning for the future isn't an easy thing to do. But when things go well, you'll nd yourself wanting to move beyond the in- troductory machines and into a more ad- vanced machine. In that case, what can you look forward to from a more advanced model of roll-to-roll printer? "Today's product lineup usually of- fers similar features at every price point," Maxwell says."e more expensive prod- ucts, though, will oer faster throughput and expanded capabilities with ink." "Typically the biggest dierence between an entry level roll-to-roll machine and a high-end roll-to-roll machine would be the amount of workload it can produce in a short period of time, i.e., print speeds," Padilla says. "Entry level roll-to-roll and high-end roll-to-roll machines generally share the same capabilities as one another, but if the customer needs a machine that is capable of producing prints at a higher rate, then they are most likely going to be looking at higher end machines to accom- plish this." GP MATT DIXON is the managing editor of GRAPHICS PRO magazine. He can be reached at ROLL-TO-ROLL PRINTING If you will use a storefront like Etsy or Amazon, collecting sales tax might not be an issue. If you will sell on your own website, you will need to be able to cal- culate and pay sales tax for every state you make a sale in. Calculating the cor- rect sales tax not only diers by state, but many counties and cities include a sales tax that must be collected in addition to the state sales tax. Selling internationally is even more com- plex. If you don't collect the tax, you risk being charged for it later (and penalties) without an opportunity to collect from the customer—a very expensive mistake. Also consider the time spent calculating or building tax tables for this eort and actually making payments. Many of you will have your accounting rm take care of this. It's not a free service, so take this cost into consideration as well. CONCLUSION Creating your own product can be excit- ing and fun. e fun wears o quickly if you are not making money or you have too many surprises. A business plan, even a brief one that includes all your costs, is critical. You may not know each and ev- ery cost. Estimate or guess, then rene the cost table as you learn the real cost or gain experience. Start with a simple plan and allow it to grow if justied. If a product is not mak- ing money, change it or cut it from the menu. Lost leaders can be valuable, but you will only want to make that case for a very few. GP BOB HAGEL recently retired after owning Eagle's Mark Awards & Signs for 18 years in Southern Cali- fornia. While owning the business, he offered a full line of personalized products using laser engraving, sandcarving, and full-color UV direct print on prod- ucts. Today, he consults on starting and expanding personalized businesses, and on improving produc- tion efficiency and quality. He can be reached at YOUR LASER AT WORK continued from page 73 • If you want to change location, what is that going to take? • If you want to have more people involved, what is that going to take? Wages, government fees, benets, liabilities, risks, rewards? • Sales and Marketing – what would you be able to do yourself? What would you need to hire out? • Annual sales? • Other assets and metrics? • What are your expectations from your business? Only you can dene what success is in your business. Unless and until you de- ne it, how will you know when you have achieved it? Once you have a rm and realistic un- derstanding of where you are right now and where you want to go, then you can follow a path to get from here to there. Some of this is pretty hard, and it's hard on you because it's admitting things that you might not be comfortable admitting. Just get it out of your head and get it down on paper or on the keyboard so that you don't have to remember it all. You can do this, even if you have to sit down a couple dierent times to work on it. It's not something you can just churn out. If you're able to do that, you probably haven't dug deep enough. When you get to the things that you want and identify the gaps, the things that frustrate you, and the things that you wish were dierent, esh it out and make it very specic. en, take a deep breath and dive in to make the changes so that you are on your way to Point B. GP JENNIFER COX is one of the founders and serves as president of the National Network of Embroidery Professionals (NNEP), an organization that supports embroidery and apparel decoration professionals with programs and services designed to increase profitability and production. You can contact her at STITCH SOLUTIONS

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

view archives of GRAPHICS PRO - April '21