You’re thinking about how to start a laser engraving business at home but don’t know where to start. You have so many questions that you need to be answered, such as “How do I get customers?” “What equipment do I need?” and “How do I learn the trade skills for laser cutting?” You begin to wonder whether it’s a viable business at all. The answer is yes. A laser cutting and engraving can be a great business idea. But, you have to know what you want to do and get some insights first.
Fortunately, we put together this article to answer all these questions and more. Read on to find out how to start a laser engraving and cutting business at home.
Is Your Business Viable?
First, you’ll need to think about whether or not your laser cutting business will be viable. Some things you may consider are the type of services you’ll be providing and the location that you are running your laser engraving and cutting business from. Usually, laser cutting services are in high demand in industrial or commercial areas. So, you may have difficulty attracting these type of industrial clients running your business from home.
However, nowadays with the internet, you may be able to sell your services or finished products online in bulk. So taking this into consideration you may provide laser cutting or engraving services for smaller items that can be sent through the post. (As opposed to larger and bulky items that might require an industrial space). By considering these things you ensure the business is viable before starting a laser cutting business.
Learn Trade Skills for Laser Cutting and Engraving
Laser cutting is a technical skill and it will require some training and experience to be able to operate the machinery. So, to gain the necessary skills you might enrol in a course at a technical school. There you’ll learn how to operate the machinery and gain the knowledge you’ll need.
Another way to gain skills is to do an apprenticeship with an established laser engraving or cutting business. This way you’ll also get paid while gaining hands-on experience. Alternatively, if you’ve already worked for a laser engraving business you’ve already gained the necessary skills for starting a laser engraving business
Create a Business Plan
Whether you decide to scale your business beyond a one-person operation or not, it’s a good rule of thumb to have a business plan. It will help you get funding (if you need it), help you understand your market, and develop strategies for reaching them. It also helps you to set financial goals and project your numbers so that you’ll know whether you’re on track with your business, or faltering. All of these things will give your laser engraving business the best chance for success.
Acquire Your Laser Cutting Equipment
Next thing to do is acquire your laser cutting equipment. This decision shouldn’t be taken lightly since it is the basis for your entire business. A good laser cutter will produce the high-quality results you are looking for, run cost efficiently, and be durable so that it lasts a long time without breaking down or requiring repairs. All of these things will help with the success of your laser engraving business.
There are 3 things to consider when acquiring your equipment. First, is whether you will focus on cutting or engraving. While most lasers can do both, having one that is specialized will produce better results. For example, engravers typically require a laser for a small work area and fast processing speed, while cutters require a higher powered laser for a larger work area.
Next, is deciding to rent a machine vs buying. If you are starting out, you may decide to rent a machine. This will help you test the market and save you from making a big outlay of funds in the beginning. On the other hand, if you are experienced and know there is an established demand for your services you might purchase the machinery outright.
Finally, you’ll want to decide on whether to purchase a machine with co2 laser cutter technology or fibre laser technology. There are pros and cons to each one. Generally, fibre lasers are more efficient and economical when cutting thinner materials, while co2 lasers have an advantage with thicker materials.
Market Your Laser Cutting and Engraving Business
This is where you’ll bring in the money to make your business profitable. You’ll need to identify target markets of people who will require laser cutting and engraving services and develop a plan to reach these people with your marketing messages. You may decide to do this by creating a website and promoting yourself online, or you could network at industry events where people in your target market can be found.
You now have everything you need to start your laser and engraving business. Follow these steps to ensure your business is on the path to profitability and success.