Launching a print SME is now easier than ever
The advent of digital printing has transformed the printing landscape – and in this blog, we’ll be looking at how new technologies have created new opportunities, and democratised printing.
Several trends have combined to create this environment: the decline in demand for volume printing of identical items; greater availability of online design and printing software; and the increased feasibility of very short runs and mass customisation on digital printing presses.
This means that it is now possible for start-ups to design unique, niche products without significant outlay on design software and hardware. They can then have their designs created in any volume at all – no matter how small – by a PSP equipped with digital printing presses.
Given that these possibilities exist, it’s worth examining the kind of products that represent the best business opportunities for SMEs in the print world. It’s also worth noting that this list has changed due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
As lockdown restrictions are gradually lifted and more businesses re-open, certain products are in huge demand. These include floor graphics to help people abide by social distancing rules, signage to advise them of new entry requirements, and containers for hand sanitiser – not to mention fabric masks.
Now that the initial panic has subsided, and businesses are adjusting to the new normal, there is a more measured approached to coronavirus prevention procurement. In other words, the usual rules of procurement have begun to apply again. That is, quality and price have once again become prime considerations.
More considered procurement decisions offer opportunities for innovative supply companies – not least in terms of branding. Items such as PPE, hand sanitiser packaging and signage can all be branded. Again, digital printing presses make small print runs economically viable. This has the advantage of allowing SMEs a greater degree of agility – there is no need to maintain high stock levels, which could be a liability for a start-up with limited funding and a shorter financial runway.
Repurposing printed items
South Africa has a strong tradition of business innovation – the coronavirus pandemic is just the latest in a series of adverse events that enterprises in this country have had to factor into their plans. Again, after an initial period of shock, SA’s business community has begun to adjust – and find ways to adapt to changing customer behaviour.
This has created a need to communicate new or revised pricing, service offerings and products – which in turn generates new business opportunities for print companies. Start-ups and SMEs have the advantage of not being tied into existing contracts, and can more actively explore new revenue channels.
Some things never change
Although the world has been turned on its head in 2020, the golden rules of business still apply. Print industry SMEs – like any other company – need to research the market, identify target audiences, and offer the right product at the right price – all backed by excellent customer service.
As a start-up, it’s no longer necessary to make capital investments in printing presses – instead, the required capacity can be purchased from established PSPs as and when required.
Ask the experts
At Kemtek, we have many years of experience in assisting both design companies and PSPs derive maximum benefit from technology, and grow their businesses. Whether you launched your enterprise in 2020 or 20 years ago, our technology experts can help you unlock new revenue streams and convert your innovative ideas into cashflow.
The coronavirus pandemic has shown how new opportunities can arise in even the unlikeliest of situations – and the versatility of digital printing software and technology makes it easier than ever to take advantage of them. Ask us how.