How to start a small printing & copy service business

Written by sara melone
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How to start a small printing & copy service business
A commercial-style copier will be essential to your copy-service business. (business woman image by Mat Hayward from

If you are looking for a way to make money operating a small business, consider starting your own copy and printing business. If you know how to work with printers, how to format documents and have decent customer-service skills, it might be just the right business venture. Other small businesses and professionals are constantly seeking to outsource their larger-scale printing and copying needs to a print shop. Whether you decide to open your own shop downtown or work out of your home, your business could fill a niche in the community.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Copiers
  • Printers

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  1. 1

    Check on the local business laws in your state. If you open a storefront location, you probably will need to file for a business license and a permit to legally operate a business. Running a small business out of your home may not require the same legal formality, but it's best to check on the laws in your state.

    How to start a small printing & copy service business
    If you operate a small-business location, you probably will need a business license and operating permits. (store front image by Derek Abbott from
  2. 2

    Set up your equipment. You will need at least two commercial-size colour printers and a colour copier, or a combination printer and copier. A fax machine or faxing function built into an all-in-one device also would be helpful. You could buy new equipment or find used equipment from business sales and classified ads.

    How to start a small printing & copy service business
    A commercial-size printer and copier is essential to a printing business. (The printer image by vin5 from
  3. 3

    Organise your supplies. You will need toner and ink, paper in various sizes, and card stock if you plan to print business cards, invitations, or post cards. You should have access to a computer to view and format digital documents, and a laminating machine. Collating supplies such as staplers, paper clips, and bulldog clips also will be useful.

    How to start a small printing & copy service business
    (pile of paper sheets with paper-clips image by stassad from
  4. 4

    Compile a menu of services you plan to provide, and create a price list. The menu should be printed and available to customers. The services list should be included in all advertising for your business. Offer as many services as you can handle.

    How to start a small printing & copy service business
    Be clear about the services you intend to offer. (Writing of business plan image by Vasyl Dudenko from
  5. 5

    Print up business cards for your business and market to other small businesses in your area. Advertise online and in the local paper and Yellow Pages. Clearly state your services, and offer a discount to new customers and to new-customer referrals.

    How to start a small printing & copy service business
    Marketing is the key to finding clients. (marketing image by dead_account from

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