Anyone who has ever seen a laser engraving machine in action can attest to the wonder of watching the laser draw a picture or cut through solid metal. Imagine being able to play with one of those all day, and at the same time enjoying the fruits of entrepreneurship. Here are the seven steps to learning how to start a laser engraving business at home.
Learn about technology and equipment.
Laser cutting and engraving is a complicated process that is made simple by the amazing machinery and technology that exists today.
The two main types of machines today are fibre and co2 laser cutters.
In the past decades, co2 laser cutter technology was the standard method throughout the manufacturing industry. However, fibre laser technology has quickly gained popularity in the last several years as the technology became more efficient and cheaper to produce.
When starting a laser cutting business, the aspiring entrepreneur will need to find out which type of machine will handle the cutting and engraving work that is being planned.
Come up with a business plan.
A realistic and effective business plan is vital for success in any field or industry. For a laser cutting business, many different considerations must be made.
Getting the equipment, setting up a legal entity, doing market research, and product or service planning are all issues that must be resolved before moving forward, and that is just the beginning.
If financing is going to be required, the business owner should definitely plan on having these questions, and many others, addressed in the business plan to have any chance of getting funding.
Get the equipment.
One of the benefits of starting a laser engraving business is that once the machine is acquired, the material is one of the only expenses of the business.
However, those machines and all of that laser technology are expensive, right? Well, yes and no.
The main decision that must be made at this point is whether to purchase a machine or to lease one. There are cost and tax savings that make both options viable paths to profit, it depends on your available capital and the scope and plan of your operation.
Learn the skill and practice.
Learning how to use a laser cutting machine takes time and practice. Without gaining the proper knowledge and skill with these machines, a laser engraving business is dead where it stands.
There are numerous blogs and videos all over the internet that provide basic instructions or ideas. Some areas have vocational training or other programs that a beginning business owner can use to reduce the learning curve.
If there are other companies in the area providing laser cutting and engraving services, it is not a bad idea to try to get a job or internship with them. You can then learn the skills and the business from the inside, and get paid to do it!
Plan the catalogue.
After the machine is purchased or leased, and the skills have been acquired, comes the fun part. What products or services will the new business offer?
Most people immediately think trophies or award plaques when laser engraving comes to mind, but some of these markets may be oversaturated in your area. Some businesses use laser engraving for wedding or baby photos, signs, bar codes, even making rubber stamps.
As with any business, think about a problem that needs solving or a service that needs to be provided, and then consider how the tools and skills your business possesses can solve these issues.
The pricing of these products and services should have been in the business plan, but are certainly open to adjustment given changing market conditions.
Create a marketing plan.
Marketing is the most important task that any business has to handle. When starting a laser engraving business from home, marketing in some form or another is the only way to get customers and profits.
Fortunately for entrepreneurs, the digital age we live in has provided countless forums and methods for marketing a business. Building a website and utilizing social media are free or cheap, and allows the owner to target exact markets and demographics for customers.
Enjoy the profits and freedom of entrepreneurship!
Most workers dream of being their own boss. With some hard work, patience, and solid planning, anyone can start a laser cutting business from home and enjoy the feeling of independence that running a business provides.