3 Most Important Questions for Starting a Laser Engraving Business

Published on: 09/01/2020 Author: Alexander Jauker

At our Viscom in-house exhibitions as well as in my private sphere, enterprising individuals often approach me with their exciting ideas on how to use a laser for customisation and personalisation. These ideas range from personalising high-quality beverage bottles to cutting cake-toppers for special occasions to engraving chopping boards with amusing quotes and sayings. One thing I have noticed during these conversations is that there is always a couple of specific questions that arise: How do I go about approaching my business idea? What do I need to know in order to make it work?

The three most important questions to start with:

  1. What products do I want to sell?
  2. Who are the customers that will buy my products and services?
  3. Will there be a lot of competition or am I offering a unique idea?

What products do I want to sell? Specialisation versus a wide product portfolio.

Specialisation certainly helps to reduce set-up costs and the amount of time that is dedicated to every individual workpiece. If we take for example, engraving chopping boards with quotes and sayings, there would be a wide choice of sayings that could be engraved, but the material settings used to mark the material would always be the same. But as the scope of products provided gets larger, the greater the creative time processes will be. This means that when calculating the final price, one must allow for the increase in time spent, and factor this expense into the cost of the final product.

Who are the customers that will buy my products and services? B2B or B2C.

If your customers will primarily be companies, then the purchasing process will be far more complex than if your customers are predominantly private individuals. In the B2B sector, the time invested before making the first deal, will pay off later through repeat orders and higher volumes.

Will there be a lot of competition or am I offering a unique idea? Who are my competitors?

Are there any other laser businesses already doing the very same thing that you have chosen to focus on? If the answer is yes, what unique features do they offer? Every laser engraver should ask themselves, what is my point of difference, where and how can I establish a unique identity and be different from what everyone else is doing?

Business plan, marketing concept and financing

Once you have answered these first important questions, you will have a clearer sense of your business purpose. The next step is to get started with the detail: Your business plan, the marketing strategy and your finances need to all be carefully worked out. Our downloadable guide “How to start a laser engraving business” will give you a detailed insight into this topic.

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My personal tip: how to get productive faster

I personally have been an enthusiastic user of Trotec machines for more than ten years. The endless potentials of using a laser keep me continually fascinated. Let me recommend one more thing - take the time to look at Trotec’s range of materials. Having a good understanding of the full range of Trotec materials available will certainly broaden your mind to potential product ideas, all of which contributes to starting your business a lot easier.

More about the author: Alexander Jauker

Alexander Jauker is an enthusiastic fan of lasers. He’s been part of the Trotec team for over ten years. His role is Head of Strategic Marketing and Product Management.