In the avenue of printing their are three main routes you can take. The actual printer, where you own an online or physical store and print the documents yourself. Print reseller or broker, where you bring the jobs to the printer and set prices, or affiliate printer where you bring business but are given a percentage of what customers buy.
The most expensive way to start is actually printing everything yourself. However, unlike the other two, you can set all the rules and prices. You also can get the best profit margin going this route. Unlike print resellers, who have to set prices according to yours, or affiliates with percentages, you can set your profit to nearly any percentage you want. You are also in complete control of your quality. Now, this may scare some people, but having this freedom allows you to do what other printers cannot, perhaps bringing in more customers.
Also, being in total control, you can make programs for affiliates and resellers. These will be looked at in detail below. Using them can get you much more customers, so if your selling abilities are not up to par, these programs can easily help you make more customers.
Again though, price is the largest here. You have to buy physical space or an online domain. Buy or rent the printers, and even if using only online stores you need to ensure you have enough space to house all the machines. You also need to be technical sound with the machines, and may have to hire others to help run them, as well as get occasional service to maintain them. But once again, if you can get passed this aspect and reach customers, this route affords you the highest profit.
Print resellers bring business to the printer. Some printers offer this service, and set their prices at discounted rates as to make a profit themselves and for the reseller. Usually this done by an online domain, but the reseller can be advantageous and go out on their own. Many companies act as resellers. Take Staples for example. While they offer actual printing, they have many products that another company produces. Thus both make a profit.
While have a physical store run entirely on the reseller philosophy could prove too daunting, you can talk to small businesses (or if you’re good at selling, larger companies) and get them to use your service. You would talk to them, tell them the benefits of picking you over another company, show them samples, and they will make the order.
Print resellers act as a middleman, and thereby make money like a retailer. By going out and getting people to print from the company you are sponsoring, you make money for you and the company backing you, fostering a good connection between the two.
The bad part about being a reseller though is having to rely on another printer service you may have little contact with; so if they mess up you look bad. They also rarely offer custom samples, so you will have to put out money to pull in customers. Also, unlike the printer, you have to abide by their discounted rate. Some offer a percentage discount (somewhere between 15%-30%), some have random lowered prices on products. Where business cards may be 25% less for you, their post cards may have no discount, and their flyers around 10%. Others though just allow you to use their service and offer no discount. All they are willing to do is blind ship the documents, as where you will have to work around higher prices than most other competitors.
The profit you can make here is usually moderate. But you have to work with your printers guidelines for price, and reel customers in. The job is more selling than printing.
Affiliates is solely online. Here, you would place a banner or text link on your blog or website, people click said banner or text link, and use that sites printing service. This is perhaps the easiest method, but is also the hardest to make money. While there is less work on your part, you just need to build traffic and make people aware of the printer and to use them, the percentage of profit you get is small. Most printers offer around 15%-20% of the customer’s order to their affiliates, and sometimes bolster that rate with special promotions, look at here now.
Since you are not actually dealing with any customers though, you cannot talk them into upselling or cross selling, thereby lowering the potential you could make. Again though, this is the easiest route, as you are acting merely as a directing force. You show them the printer, and they use the service, nothing else.
Each three have their distinct advantage and disadvantage. What it comes down to is passion, strengths, and the money and time you are willing to put into these projects. As the difficulty increases, so does the potential for profit, but take everything into mind first before jumping into something too difficult or costly.