3D printing is a new technology that’s about to change the game. Many sectors are starting to use this technology to achieve different results. In this article we discuss How to Start Your Own 3D Printing Business.
From aeronautics to medical to education to manufacturing of jewelry, there’s a great variety that suggests that 3D printing has no limitation. It’s cheaper, faster, and you will be fascinated by how it results in beautiful original designs from different materials.
That’s why starting a 3D printing business is a good idea, if you play it right. After a while, when your business starts getting recognition, you can make a profit. But how do you start a 3D printing business? Here are some steps and ideas:
Planning is an obvious step in starting any type of business. In 3D printing, there are a few things you need to determine before taking any further steps. You can start your business at home to save the money you would spend on rent.
Or you can rent a small place in case you plan to hire employees to help you with the business. Both are good options depending on how big and how expansive you plan the business to be.
Another thing you need to plan is if you will have a printer, or if you will just make designs and send them to a 3D printing manufacturer. In the latter case, you will still get the finishing product on your website and split the profit with the company that printed your work.
Of course, if you have your own 3D printer, you won’t need to split the profit, but getting a good reliable printer might be a bit expensive. However, it’s worth it if you can afford it.
The last thing to plan is the specialization. Do you plan on printing specific things only? If so, what are the materials best suited for your work? For example, if you plan to print miniatures, you can get a resin 3D printer.
You can get some ideas on what figures to print if you click here, but you’re advised to try your printer out first by printing a bench, which is a 3D boat. Many talented designers offer their designs online for free.
Now that you made your plans, time to form a legal entity. Start by establishing a legal business entity like an LLC. It will save you personally if your business gets sued. Then, by law, you have to register for taxes, by applying for an EIN, before getting started.
There are also state and local business licenses and permits. Surely, if your brand or designs are unique, you should get your work copyrighted for protection. Lastly, get your business insured to protect your business finances in case of a covered loss.
Sort Out Financials
It’s important to have a separate business account because it separates personal assets from business and eases the taxes and accounting process. Getting a business credit card will build a credit card history to help you raise money and invest if you need to, later on. Set up accounting to keep track of your income and expenses and understand how your business is performing. Hire an accountant if you need to, or do it yourself if you can.
Promote Your Business
When everything is in place legally and financially, it’s time to market your business. Establishing a brand by making a logo and a website is the most essential part. Taking small steps like making 3D gaming characters for your nephews or jewelry for your friends is the way to get recognized and recommended. Never underestimate word of mouth.
There are other different marketing strategies like using social media, blogging, and guest blogging. You can use affiliate marketing, by giving commission to businesses to promote your products.
Make sure your marketing plans match your target audience. Awareness of the target audience can make all the difference. For example, if you make gaming action figures, you can promote them at a con or any event for gamers. If you make jewelry, you can promote it on Facebook pages made for accessories and so, you get the idea.
Starting any business is always very challenging. 3D printing is futuristic and is still in development which makes it an ideal business to start. You need to plan it well and know your settings, type of business, and niche.
You can do a lot of things with your 3D printing business. If you have a knack for designing, you can make and sell your original designs. Or you can print designs chosen by your customers with the best quality, it’s all up to you!
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Also published on Medium.