How to Start a Small Vinyl Cutting Business
Taking your vinyl cutting hobby to another level and turning into a business is a big steps and if you don’t know whether you should do it or not only holds down.
Making money from vinyl decals has never been easier and you should take your chances and start a business out of it. The crafts economy is slowly taking the world and you may have heard by now by an impressive website that has millions of registered users and around 20 million active buyers. Most of those buyers are actually running small businesses so, why shouldn’t you give it a try?
Let’s get you through the questions you need to ask yourself and the tips you need if you decide you’re going to take the leap of faith and start your own vinyl cutting business.
Are you really ready?
You’re not going to start a business if you’ve just bought your vinyl cutting machine a week ago, for sure. No matter how passionate or skilled you may be, it’s important that you do master the vinyl cutting and crafting.
Apart from the skills and experience, you may also have to consider some other small problems:
- Buy commercial licenses for any cut files that you’re going to use
- Hiring people
- Copyright and trademark violations
- Run a social media profile on various platforms
- Take professional picture of your creations
- Manage the logistics of receiving and filling orders
- Tax obligations
As you can see for yourself, there are plenty of things to think about and starting your vinyl cutting business is no walk in the park.
What are the costs?
This may be the best part of your vinyl cutting home business: you may not need to invest much in the beginning. Truth be told, less than 1% of the sellers out there had to get loans to finance their business.
So, starting a small crafts business on a tight budget isn’t impossible. By contrary, you may want to start small so you don’t end up doing something that surpasses your abilities.
Passion seems to be the best capital for your small business so as long as you have that, chances are you’re going to be just fine.
What you really need though is though a good vinyl cutting machine as your personal may not be good enough for the professional use.
There are plenty of vinyl cutting machines out there but you need to choose wisely as a machine that is too sophisticated for you may hold you down, instead of helping you.
A desktop machine may be a very good option when you’re starting your small crafting business.
You’re going to need to invest in a good variety of materials too:
- Application tape
- Vinyl rolls in various colors: black, white, and silver, pink, red. Look for the “bundle” deals from the top cutters/
- Weeding tools and blade
- A squeegee
- Cutting mat
The list of things you’re going to need isn’t just over so check the list below too:
- Accounting software
- Packing and shipping supplies
Once your business starts off, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to invest in marketing materials as well (business cards).
Licensing and copycats
Unless you’re creative and skilled enough to cut your own creations, you’re going to have to download other people’s design.
This is not a drama if you’re an entry level crafter, but you need to buy a commercial license for the design if you’re planning to sell it online.
You may have to pay the extra buck for the commercial license, but you can also get some discounts or even for free if you’re trying really hard.
It’s not ok to use the design in order to sell your own products and you need to realize you’re actually stealing and may have to pay for it.
If you have the skills and you’re determined to create your own designs, you should definitely create your own commercial licenses.
On the other hand, if you find anyone using your work with no permission from you, you should get in touch with a lawyer and send a desist letter. Chances are you’re also going to be able to start a legal case against them, but don’t forget to talk to a lawyer first.
And…the money part about your business
Now that you have the machine, the software and the skills, it’s time to start selling. Take a deep breath and be prepared for the moment when you’re not going to sell as much as you want. But, unless you take that chance, you’re never going to know.
Should you go online?
In case you can’t really see it, here are some good parts about selling online:
- Your customer base is easy to measure
- It’s not difficult to find people liking your projects
- The market place has, literally, no limits
- You don’t have to be wide awake while selling (literally)
This doesn’t mean that any online business isn’t coming with few downsides:
- You depend a lot on the quality of your photos
- It’s important that you own the store/blog and not another platform
- You do lose human element when selling
None of the downsides are major, but you need to see the whole picture so that you can make the right decision.
Is offline business a better choice>
You may very well try selling your vinyl decals offline and here are some efficient ways to do it:
- You need to find a client and negotiate the job. It’s important to focus on the latter when you’re not a highly talented designer
- You can also create your work first and sell it only afterwards
If you’re an outgoing person, selling your decals like this is a great way to improve your business. You also have to be in the right places, at the right time to find jobs.
Here are some places and events that may need a small project:
- Party planners
- Small businesses needing signs
- Wedding planners
- Event organizers
- Political organizations
- Interior designers
The final tip
No matter which way you go with your business, have confidence in you and never be afraid to learn new things. As long as you’re really passionate about it and pay attention to the other’s needs and likings, your business should be just fine.