Screen printing is a great way to start making money. Many printers that have started printing as a side hustle have transformed their side gig into a full-time job. This lifestyle change is truly transformative, it takes grit and diligence. There is no limit to the business opportunities opened by screen-printing. Today we dive into different ways to elevate and grow your business.
Growing your silk-screening business doesn’t necessarily mean you need to acquire new customers or complete more print jobs. We know what you are thinking “I don’t have the time or money to learn a new skill such as embroidery.” We have some awesome news, there are many other ways to grow your business and not all of them require learning a new skill!
Here are a few reasons why you should offer new services and upsell to your clients:
- Increase revenue – this one is a no brainer, but a valid first point.
- It’s cheaper to upsell a client than to acquire a new customer – Adding a new service is undoubtedly cheaper than the marketing cost and time commitment of acquiring a new customer.
- Be everything your customer needs – If you don’t offer a specific service, your customer might look elsewhere to find it and you could potentially lose this customer.
If you are a screen printer and want to stay strictly screen-printing, here are a few upsells that require little cost and will add value to your customers:
- Poly bag and size-label your garments – This is as simple as it sounds, simply polybag every t-shirt and label the t-shirt with a size sticker. It helps the customer keep merch clean and organized. If your customer is in retail, they will gladly pay an extra fee for this service. We have seen some shops charge anywhere from $.50-2 per shirt for this service.
- Print logo and size on neck inside shirt – Many brands want their company logo and the size of the t-shirt printed inside the shirt for a polished, professional look. If you don’t offer the service, they may not know to ask. We see some shops charging anywhere from .70 cents to $1.50 depending on quantity.
- Print on items other than t-shirts – With your printing press, ink, and supplies the world is your oyster. Make sure your customers know about all the substrates you can print on. Offer tote bags, koozies, posters, packaging, and other garments.
- Offer specialty inks - If you are printing with plastisol inks, you can offer water-based printing with a markup. Water-based discharge printing produces a very soft hand feel and customers will pay premium for it. There are also puff inks, high-density additives, and plastisol glitter inks that can be sold as premium inks.
Now if you want to add more services aside from screen printing you can consider adding services such as:
- Pre-burned screens to DIY printers - There are a lot of small printers and crafty mom/dads that would gladly pay for a pre-burned screen rather than exposing one themselves. Buying a pre-burned screen eliminates the process of printing inkjet film and exposing emulsion, which can be a burdensome and expensive process if you aren’t experienced printing. We have seen shops selling pre-burned screens starting at $56 apiece.
- Heat pressing - This goes hand in hand with screen printing. If a customer requires only a few pieces of a print you can take on the job without requiring a high minimum.
- Design services – Many Customers looking for screen-printed t-shirts are not designers and have little or no experience with photoshop or illustrator. These customers need help! By offering design services you can create convenience for your customer as well as yourself, the art files will be ready in the proper format to print.
New Services to Offer at your Screen-Printing Shop
Offering completely new services at your shop can be very beneficial and make you a one stop destination for all custom needs. There are two ways you can merge into new trades/services:
- You can outsource the job to another company already set up to do the service and charge a fee on top to your customer. Keep in mind if you outsource these services your profit margins will be pretty slim as you still need to offer competitive pricing for your customer. If your price is not competitive, they will find someone else to do the job.
- You can also make an investment by learning this new skill and purchase all supplies and equipment required to create the product. This method allows you to keep 100% of the profits.
Common Services to Offer alongside Screen-printing:
- Stickers or labels – If your customer is a brand or in the retail space they may be interested in labels or stickers to enhance the brand experience. If you do not outsource you will need to purchase supplies to create labels/stickers such as a vinyl and a vinyl cutter.
- Sublimation – This is a popular form of printing that uses heat to bring ink and fabric together as one. It is full color and will allow you to print over seams as well. If you do not outsource this service, you will need a sublimation machine and specialty inks.
- Etching on cups, mugs, pens, etc. – This is a great service to add if you print a lot of business merchandise. Companies are constantly sourcing swag for corporate gifting. If you do not outsource this service, you will need an etching laser machine and other tools.
- Embroidery – This service speaks volumes for itself. Embroidered hats, polos, and sweatshirts are in high demand for businesses and small brands alike. If you do not outsource this service, you will need to learn the art of embroidery as well as purchase machinery.
The sky is the limit when it comes to the services you can offer your customers and is not limited to this list. We advise you to listen to your customers, are they asking for something you don’t offer or are they requesting referrals to other businesses? Can you fill in the gap for them? Filling in the gaps for your customers ensures they come back to you for all their customization needs and more.
While we highly suggest expanding your services, we urge you to sit down and do the math. Don’t jump in without doing your due diligence. Does it make sense to offer this service? How much will it cost to add the service and how much can you profit? How much time does it require, are you ready to part ways with this time for the profit margin?
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Screen Print Direct Crew