Tips from the experts: Starting a business

7 tips about starting your laser business

Published on: 09/02/2020

Every business owner has at one point thought to themselves "What steps do I need to take to make my laser business work?" In this article 7 Trotec experts offer their personal tips to potential founders looking to get a successful start for their business. 

Tip 1: Plan the start of your business in small steps

Andreas Penz
Managing Director
Developed and built the first Trotec Laser in 1996. He is a visionary in the laser industry.

“The key is to differentiate yourself! Implementing a business idea is an exciting but challenging journey. It's my opinion that every founder should plan this journey well. Define your vision and at least your first two milestones. It’s extremely important to always differentiate yourself from your competitors, though many ask "How do you do that?" The best case scenario is to offer an innovative product idea. Solve a “problem” in your customer group that nobody has solved well to date. The alternative is to offer a very specific service portfolio. Communicate your “unique selling points” simply and clearly so that they become your company’s DNA. The key question is: Why should the customer buy from you and not your competitors? If you can clearly and simply answer this question, then you’re on the right track.”

Tip 2: In the laser business, just like all other industries, it’s all about the customer

Peter Kratky
Managing Director
Passionate sales professional with an eye for the essentials

“Listen to your customers! You won’t always hear positive things, but it is important to learn from criticisms. Take the feedback and constructively transform it into something positive. Adjust your sales strategy and the associated measures and stay flexible. You can only get to know your requirements and wishes if you have an active dialogue with your potential customers. Knowing exactly what your customers expect of you and meeting that expectation is the key to success. That’s how you create real customer benefits.”

Tip 3: Don’t be afraid of laser technology

Franz Gruber
Head of Technical Services
Solves customer problems on the phone, online or in person.

“Don’t be afraid of technology! The training given during installation means that you are well prepared to start your business, the next step is on the job learning. The better you know your laser machine and the application technology, the faster, more efficient and more cost-effective your production is. Trotec supports you in gaining this competitive advantage with various training courses and tutorials. Our lasers are robust, low-maintenance and easy to service. Take care of your laser machine and check mirrors, lenses, vents daily, cleaning when necessary. With the TroCare service package, you don’t have to worry about maintenance costs and you can extend the warranty of your laser machine up to 10 years.”

Tip 4: Just start lasering and start your business with creativity

Denise Kaiserseder
Laser Application Technician
Develops and designs laser samples with a keen attention to detail.

“Laser away! If you have an idea and you know which products you want to offer, get to the laser machine. Be creative and don’t be afraid of doing something wrong. This often results in new concepts and new ways of working. Design ideas and graphic templates can be found in the Trotec DIY gallery or on various online platforms such as Thingiverse, Pinterest or Facebook. Our Trotec JobControl® laser software offers you numerous practical functions: Thanks to the parameter values that are tested and supplied by us, you don’t have to spend a long time searching to find the right laser settings, the JobTimeCalculator calculates the laser time for you in advance. This is also a real benefit in price calculation too.”

Tip 5: Make clever calculations and master your start-up

Petra Berger
Product Marketing Manager Engraving
Responsible for marketing the Speedy series of laser engraving machines with style and creativity

“Make clever calculations! This is especially at the beginning, many of our customers are unsure how to price the laser time. £1 per minute of laser processing time is a common calculation basis. Start with simple products. Personalising picture frames, glasses or wooden spoons. During My visit to IKEA in 2017, I was able to observe the effect of laser personalisation on end customers: Individualisation with the laser turns simple objects into something special – this increases the sales price by a factor of x.”

Tip 6: Use digital marketing opportunities for your business

Julia Weidinger
Online Marketing Manager
SEO, PPC & CRO – she masters every aspect of online marketing

“Invest in online marketing! A good web presence is a company’s business card. If you sell your products online, rely on a respectable shop solution. Making sure that your customers find you is important. Search engine optimisation, inbound marketing, paid advertising and content marketing are the key issues that you should cover. Ask yourself in which channels you can best reach your customers. Wherever your customers do their research, they should be able to find you quickly and easily.”

Tip 7: Gain regular customers with good service

Thomas Weber
Sales Manager DACH Trotec Consumables.
Entrepreneur with over 30 years of experience in sales and the engraving industry.

“Take care of your customers! In my opinion, excellent customer service is the key to success. As banal as it sounds, it is the “supreme discipline”: Treat your customers well. Give honest and fair advice, for the benefit of the customer. Excel with good reachability and boast an excellent response time. It will pay off; these customers will become your regular customers and recommend you in droves.”

Here’s a summary of our 7 tips for starting your laser business:

  1. Plan the start of your business in small steps
  2. In the laser business as with all industries, it’s all about the customer
  3. Don’t be afraid of laser technology
  4. Start lasering and start your laser business with creativity
  5. Make clever calculations and master your start-up
  6. Use digital marketing opportunities for your business
  7. Gain regular customers by providing good service
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