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A Guide to Starting a 3D Printing or Laser Engraving Business, by Vanessa Holwell

A Guide to Starting a 3D Printing or Laser Engraving Business, by Vanessa Holwell

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The COVID-19 pandemic changed lives around the world. Many people moved or switched jobs as a result, for example. If you're interested in changing your career following this global upheaval, you might pursue entrepreneurship. The 3D printing and laser engraving fields are two areas that are currently trending and could make for a lucrative business.

Project 3D Printers is dedicated to helping professionals in these fields thrive. Find out how you can start your own successful 3D printing or laser engraving company below.


Research your business concept and write a plan

Before you start any business, research the demand for the goods or services you plan to offer. You want to ensure that your offering is in demand. This is true for 3D printing and laser engraving alike. The 3D printing market is expected to reach $55.8 billion by 2027, for example. Meanwhile, laser engraving has already found mainstream popularity.

Whichever option you pursue, sketch out a comprehensive business plan before getting started. This covers key points of how your business will be structured and operated, from management setup to marketing plans. Grow Think offers templates you can use to write out the details, ensuring you don't miss anything major.


Raise the capital you need to cover your startup costs

One of the most significant costs you'll have when starting a 3D printing or laser engraving business is machinery. This isn't the only expense you'll face, however. Create a list of all startup costs you anticipate, including setting up a website, renting a commercial space, hiring employees, and paying for shipping, payroll, and similar administrative fees.

Once you know exactly how much money you need, you can look into funding options. A traditional bank loan is one route. However, you can also try other possibilities, like offering equity in exchange for funding. In this arrangement, investors provide you the cash that you need, while you give them an equity share in the business.


Come up with a stellar marketing plan

Marketing is critical to any business' success. When designing your marketing plan, consider your target audience. For example, with 3D printing, you might focus on businesses instead of private consumers. As The Next Web explains, businesses can use 3D printing to create cost-efficient and low-risk product prototypes.

Once you have your target audience defined, think about how to best reach them. What media, from traditional ads to social networks, will your target group respond to best? Startups have many affordable digital marketing tools at their disposal, from MailChimp for email campaigns to Canva for creating compelling social media posts.


Continually look for ways to streamline operations

Once your marketing kicks off, you will start getting your first customers. As your 3D printing or laser engraving business continues to grow, look for ways to continually cut overhead costs and streamline operations. For example, say you have a team of employees. You want to make sure they are using their time wisely.

A platform like Intuit Field Service Management can help. This is intuitive software to connect your service techs and corporate office. You'll benefit from easy job scheduling, real-time updates from the production floor, and immediate invoicing. With this granular data, you can easily manage productivity and track cash flow.

Starting a new business in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic can be daunting. However, the world is in a state of change, making now a logical time to take action. Fields like 3D printing and laser engraving are great industries to get into, promising future growth.

For more information about starting a laser engraving or 3D printing business, consult the Project 3D Printers blog.

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