Small Business Printing Notes

I recently posted a “commitment” that I made to myself about my small business plans, and since then I have put a little more thought into the process and direction I wanted to go in. One direction that I was interesting that was seriously thinking about is small business printing. And you’ll that most of what I wrote about was in this direction, but also generally useful information.

So today I wanted to take a moment and collect a couple of the notes together that I had made on the topic.

They focus primarily on printing, and personalized business services.

Business Guide

I linked to the business guide from the SBA, which if you are thinking about setting up your own printing pipeline you will want to pay close attention to the document and guidelines. Still even if you plan on having somebody else do the printing you might find the guides useful.

Here are a couple of points that you can take away from the guide.

Here are a couple of things you’ll most likely be interested in if you are looking into printing. The SBA linked to some of the considerations on the EPA’s website but the link was broken and I couldn’t find the linked page.

Links to Web sites containing regulatory and reinvention information about the printing industry, including lithographic printing, gravure printing, flexographic printing, and screen printing.

You’ll notice that small home businesses will be looking into several of these areas.

For example women who design and sell their wedding and other invitations on Etsy. Or people operating a silk screen printing business out of their garage.

Also if you want to sell prints of your art work you might be dependent on the lithographic printing.

Other options:

  • Outsource the printing to a local printer.
    This is something that I have thought about, and I have even gone and talked to several printers. Their attitude was from disinterested to professional. But they all had several problems which turned me away. Most of them were also too expensive for my budget.
  • Home printing.
    This is the route most of us will think about first. But there is one small problem. There is a lot of initial investment that need to be taken into account. There are also the regulations that we have just looked at.
  • Outsource the printing to a 3rd party POD service.
    This is another option, which is also affordable. One site, CafePress, has a breakdown of what their service entails. Still, I fail to see this route as the best solution. The upfront cost is lower (zero in most cases) but they also offer small returns. I understand that they are covering the costs of printing, allowing you to profit from their infrastructure but it might still be more affordable long term. It would really be beneficial to look at the numbers.

No matter my choice the target platform for now will be something like Etsy’s market place which seems perfect for the small business.

These are definitely not the only options but they have been the ones that have been going through my head. Right now I still need to sleep on which one, if any of them are right at all, and then make my choice once things have settled in. I estimate that I will make decision by the New Year, but it will be a process that should be thought through before I jump and start my own business.


  • SBA.Gov Special consideration for print publishing.