How To Start A Print Shop Business: Create A Business Plan

How To Start A Print Shop Business: Create A Business Plan
  • Post author:
  • Post published:Jan 13, 2022
  • Reading time:7 mins read

Have you been thinking about starting your own print shop? 

The calendar has turned to the year 2022 and what better time to finally act on your dream of owning and operating a print shop than right now. 

Owning your own business isn’t easy. There are a lot of steps involved and the capital needed to get you started. Whether you’re ready to pull the trigger, or if you’re still on the fence, we’re here to help. 

We here at DecoNetwork want to give you a guide on how to start your own print shop and what you will need to do in order to get the ball rolling. 

In this first article, we will give you information on how to form a business plan. This will include costs of operation, what type of shop you want to run, and more. 

Creating a Business Plan

The first thing you need to decide on is what kind of business you want to run. Print shops come in all shapes and sizes. If you’ve clicked on this article and have made it this far, you probably already have an idea of what you want your business to look like. 

Finding a niche, or two is always a good idea when starting a business. If there are already several people in your area doing what you have in mind, your success might be hindered. Make sure that what you plan to do fills a need in your local market. At the end of the day, you will need customers to make your business successful. 

Do research on your local market and make sure that your business model is achievable. Whichever model you go with will impact every move you make from here on out. 


The location in which you intend to operate will dramatically affect your startup costs and month-to-month expenses. The beauty of this business is that you don’t have to work out of a brick-and-mortar location. You can own and operate a business right out of your own home and work your way up from there. 

If you want to operate your business out of a storefront, your cost of operation will increase rather quickly. Depending on your area, you will be spending thousands of dollars a month on rent. But if you want to have a large operation with the potential of making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, that will be a necessary investment. 


The size of your location will directly affect how much and what type of equipment you will need to purchase. 

From a screen printing standpoint, your startup cost varies depending upon the size of your operation. But it is reasonable to assume that you can start screen printing for less than $10,000. The list of things needed to get started will include a manual press, flash dryer, exposure unit, screens, ink, emulsion and a handful of other miscellaneous items. 

If you plan on going big from day one and you have the required square footage at your disposal, an automatic screen printing machine will run you upwards of $100,000 depending on the number of colors it can handle. A high-quality 8-color automatic press is in the neighborhood of $75,000. 

There are payment plans for these machines, however, that will allow you to not spend as much money up front if you’re looking to purchase a piece of equipment that’s on the higher end. 

And while that might sound like a lot of money to be shelling out for one piece of equipment, the speed at which the machine can print shirts will allow your business to produce more shirts per day, ultimately leading to more revenue per day. 

DTG Pricing

If you’re looking to get into DTG printing, you will likely be spending anywhere from $5,000-$15,000 for one machine. You will also need to purchase a heat press and a pretreat machine. But just like the screen printing equipment, DTG machines can be financed, too. This will allow you to make a monthly payment rather than one lump sum. 

If you go the finance route, finding out what your daily break-even point would be one of your next moves. If your monthly equipment costs are $500 and you profit around $10 per shirt, your break-even point per month would be 50 shirts. Anything over the 50 shirt-per-month mark would be your profit. 

Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to how much money you will need in order to get your operation underway. It all depends on what type of printing you’re looking to do, what size operation you’re going to have and whether or not you will want to finance those things. 

Miscellaneous Purchases

There are other miscellaneous things you will need to purchase to get your business up and running. A computer, software programs like Adobe, and a print shop management software like DecoNetwork to help with production workflow, and eCommerce and help set you up with a website. You’ll also need some type of insurance and payroll if you have employees working for you. 

One of the last major things you will need to do when creating your business plan is to come up with a name for your business. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or super catchy, but it needs to be something customers can easily remember and recognize. Creating a good logo to pair with your business name can go a long way in helping your business. 

In Summary

To summarize everything, formulate a business plan. Figure out where you are going to operate your business. Decide on what equipment you need to purchase. Budget for the remaining miscellaneous items you will need such as software programs and come up with a business name. 

In the next article, we will talk about forming a legal identity, registering for taxes, opening business bank accounts, obtaining permits and more.

Leave a Reply