Beginner’s Guide on Starting a Printing Business in the United Kingdom

Starting a Printing Business in the United KingdomCurrently, there is a continuous change in the printing industry. There are multiple reasons why the printing business is still in demand. First, the industry today looks for quality printing for packaging, labels, and advertisement. Next, other businesses are building credibility and brand awareness through the help of high-quality printing.

If you are thinking of starting a printing business in the United Kingdom, there are several factors you have to consider. Like any business venture, you have to focus on how you can set your business apart from them. Stay ahead of the competition by thorough planning. Keep on reading to learn how you can launch your printing business.


What is a Printing Business?

The printing business is shops where consumers can seek the services of printing different materials. They may specialize in different kinds of prints, such as posters, papers, and business cards. There are also those who do bulk printing of souvenirs like mugs, t-shirts, and more.

With the rise of technology, 3D printing services have also sprouted in the market. They create 3D objects that may be of use to other business industries or even individuals.

Aside from the skills and knowledge about designing and printing, it would be helpful if you also have a background in the business. So without further ado, here’s a guide on how you can start a printing business and thrive in the marketplace.


Determine Your Target Market

Before starting a printing business, you should know your target market and establish your customer profile. Through this, you can market your business efficiently, understand their needs, and provide solutions. Most importantly, you can have a better position in providing quality products and customer service. By determining your target market, you can set your business apart from the competition.

  • Decide Which Printing Services To Offer. Create a list of services your business can provide. Some of the choices you can think about are brochures, business cards, invitations, tarpaulins, and T-shirt printing.
  • Create A Customer Profile. Understanding the types of people or industries interested in purchasing your goods and services allows you to market directly to them instead of marketing to a general group. While you should still market to those outside your target market, most of your marketing efforts should be toward this group.
  • Develop Survey Questionnaire. Gather information about potential customers. This way, you can assess the people who might purchase your service. You can integrate this questionnaire into your social media pages and website.
  • Research About Your Competitors. Learn what other businesses do to generate more sales. Through intensive research, you will know how to reach the right customers and how you can be more distinguishable.
  • Identify How To Reach Your Target Market. After knowing them, you will learn whether to promote your business traditionally or digitally. You can review which platforms are your customers most active and responsive to.

Start Small and Invest in Equipment Needed

In launching a printing company, you will need to procure equipment, supplies, and materials. However, since you are still starting, make sure that you spend your capital wisely. It is easy to lose money because of buying equipment and supplies.

Focus on a niche and concentrate on a specific printing service if you are new to the business. Then, later on, you can expand when you have generated sales.


Create a Package or Give Discounts

Instead of focusing on selling single services, it would be helpful if you create a package wherein they will pay higher because of the larger volume of purchases. Think about the best inclusions you can give to your clients.

Also, most customers ask for discounts if they purchase repeatedly or buy in huge volume. These customers can be loyal, but you have to ensure that you still gain profits.


Learn How to Market Your Business

Most printing businesses offer graphic designing to maintain a long term relationship. You can also make some samples of your work with a price list. Through this, you can showcase the quality of print and the materials you used. Then try approaching other businesses that may need your services, including start-ups. These businesses may need to establish letterheads and other business stationery.

Retaining customers is also important in the business, so you need to ensure that you provide quality customer service. You can also ask for feedback and referral. Use social media to inform your clients about the packages you offer and exhibit your work. The key is to advertise your business and let the people know why they should buy from you.


How to Register Business in the United Kingdom

If you are starting the business alone, the UK government will consider you as a sole proprietor. Every aspect of the business is your responsibility, including profits, liabilities, and taxes.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to registering your printing business in the United Kingdom.

  • Choose a business name for the business and decide about the location.
  • Register your printing business with HM Revenue and Customs for tax purposes.
  • Create a separate bank account to simplify the accounting process.
  • Get insurance that can cover your business needs, such as breach of copyright, libel and slander, public liability, and motor insurance.
  • Keep records of every transaction for accounting purposes.

After your business registration, consult with an accountant to know whether you have reached the VAT registration threshold. The UK government established a threshold of £85,000 within the 12-month period. If you want to focus more on the marketing and finance of your start-up business, we can guide you with your company registration in UK.


Licenses and Requirements to Launch Your Printing Business

Like other businesses, the printing industry must follow regulations and guidelines. For legal matters, it would be advisable to get a specialist to ensure that the business complies with legal requirements. But to give you an idea, here are some that you should learn. In case you need help you can find a corporate service provider in United Kingdom to help you.

Data Protection

Since the business will need to keep records of client’s information, they might need to register with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The ICO is an established authority in the UK mandated to protect individuals’ data privacy. Its General Data Protection Regulation was introduced to provide additional protection to personal information.

In acquiring a data protection license, it is important to let the ICO know customers’ personal information is used by your business. Furthermore, the ICO collects data protection fees from businesses and establishments which could range from £40 to £2,900, depending on your business’ size and annual turnover.

Copyright Legislation

As a business owner, you must be aware of copyright legislation. The company must not reproduce materials without the permission of the copyright holder. Moreover, if your firm decides to print raffle tickets, take note that there are laws regarding printed business stationery.

Fair dealing, a term referring to the legality of the use of copyrighted material, varies across situations, but a rule of thumb is that only small portions of copyrighted text should be copied and reprinted. This could mean less than or equal to 5% of a copyrighted work, one book chapter, one journal article from an issue, or one paper from conference proceedings.

Hazardous Waste

Businesses that produce 500 kilograms or more of hazardous waste such as solvents must register with Natural Resources Wales. A business’ hazardous waste producer registration lasts for 12 months only; thus, it should be renewed regularly to avoid incurring any penalties, particularly for larger printing businesses.

Thoroughly review the list provided by the website to see if your business needs a hazardous waste permit.

Environmental Protection

Because businesses like printing companies produce industrial waste products, the company should adhere to the appropriate disposal of wastes. It is advisable to tie in with licensed specialist waste management companies in UK, such as J&G Environmental, to ensure that your waste is handled safely and efficiently.


Move Forward and Make Your Business Idea Happen

Launching a business to the market can be challenging. You must equip yourself with knowledge and skills in business handling. Starting a printing business requires huge capital for equipment, materials, and supplies. It would be best if you start slowly and expand gradually.

Keep in mind that identifying your target market, niche, and marketing strategy can help you succeed in the industry. But above anything else, you should also learn about the laws to avoid costly mistakes. Hopefully, through the guide mentioned above, you can successfully start your business.

If you want to focus on the business itself, we can assist you in registering and processing requirements to quickly establish it. Set up and run the business through our services, including company incorporation. You don’t need to face the registration, financial, and marketing problems alone.

Contact 3E Accounting if you have inquiries and concerns on how to start a business in the United Kingdom. Our goal is to help you achieve your dreams and optimize your business. With us, you can ensure that you get the right information and advice.

Starting a Printing Business in the United Kingdom