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Starting a Home Based Print Brokering Business – The Steps You Need to Follow

If you don’t have the large amount of funds that are required to start a brick and mortar printing business, consider starting a print brokering business in your home. This type of business requires very little capital and is well suited for a home based business. Any business, regardless of its size, needs printed pieces of all kinds. This includes such things as business cards, letterhead, envelopes, forms, pamphlets, sales sheets, presentation folders, labels, promotional products and much more. Businesses usually don’t care where their printing comes from as long as it is done correctly and on time.

A print broker doesn’t have his own printing facilities, but does have connections with wholesale printers that can provide all of the printing needs his customers might have. The print broker secures the job from his customers and then has it printed at a wholesale printing company at wholesale pricing. The broker charges his customer retail price for the printing. His fee is the difference between the wholesale and retail price of the item. Printing brokers typically get a 30% to 50% discount off the retail price from the wholesale vendors.

This business model usually works best if the print broker also provides desktop publishing services to his customers. You don’t need to be an experienced graphic designer, but basic layout and design skills are a plus. There are inexpensive desktop publishing programs on the market that a beginner can learn to use effectively in a short amount of time. One of these programs is Print Shop. Print Shop is easy to learn, inexpensive to purchase and will allow you to do most of the jobs your customers will require.

If you are not already familiar with terms used in the printing industry, you can do a Google search for printing terms and find many useful resources. One such resource is the glossary of printing terms provided at Printusa.com

Here are the basic steps you will need to follow to get your business up and running:

1. Initial Setup

a) Name your business and decide on a business structure. For most small businesses this will be a Subchapter S Corporation, LLC or a Sole Proprietorship. Do your research on the type that is best for your business. The Federal Government and the Small Business Administration both have websites with lots of useful information on naming and structuring a business. If you do decide to incorporate your business, consider doing it yourself on line at The Company Corporation to save money.
b) Get the necessary city, state and federal (if applicable) permits required to operate a business where you live. A sales tax permit from your state of residence is extremely important because it allows you to purchase goods and services for your business at wholesale prices.
c) Purchase desktop publishing software, a good laser printer and a scanner if you don’t already own these items and learn how to use them.
d) Contact wholesalers for various types of printing services and request catalogs and pricing information. You will need that sales tax permit for this step. A good place to find wholesalers is by looking in the various trade journals devoted to printing. A good free source is Quick Printing magazine.

2. Develop Your Initial List of Target Customers

There are many ways to do this, including searching the Yellow Pages of your local directory, checking your local newspapers, local business directories and by visual inspection of the businesses in your area.

3. Market Your Business Services

First, you will need to develop and print your own business cards, letterhead and other sales pieces. You can also design a number of generic pieces using your desktop publishing software to show people your capabilities as well as to give them ideas for their own business. You will use these pieces and/or the catalogs you receive from your wholesale vendors to show potential customers. Some of the ways you can market your business include:

a) Targeted direct mail using the list you developed above
b) Networking at various organizations in your area
c) Cold calling either in person or by phone

You can get this type of business up and running fairly quickly and without spending much money. It is not a get rich quick business but it has great potential for a person with a good business sense and good marketing skills.

Importance of a Business Valuation When Selling Your Business

When most business owners decide to sell and they wish to be the one to start the process, the first and obvious place to start is with a business valuation. A business valuation gives the owner a reference point as to whether the price they hope to get for the business will be reasonable and/or achievable.

Some business owners choose the selling price for the business based on what they want in order to sell. They may have a certain amount of debt they wish to retire, money they need for retirement plus an ache that makes them think there business is worth a certain amount of money. Not a good basis for trying to convince a buyer about the asking price for the business.

Other valuation techniques include the “rumor” method. The “rumor” method is the price an owner chooses to use based on what he heard his friend sell his business. Rather than a friend, it could have been a competitor two counties over or something they read in the local paper. Once again, not a good method to use to convince a buyer on the asking price for the business.

Business valuations can be simple and straightforward or technical and complicated. If the business is 100% owned by one person, has been in the same location with roughly the same number of employees for the last three years and the business has been operated the same way, then a valuation would be fairly easy to do if all financial records such as profit and loss, tax returns and balance sheets are up to date.

The above can be complicated if the business only has one or two customers. If your business has existed for 54 years but has been supplying nuts and bolts you manufacture to General Motors and they are your only customer, how willing do you think a new buyer would be to take over the business.

Consider another example. If the business is 40% owned by a father that retired 6 months ago and now his son wishes to sell his 40% interest with the remaining 20% owned by a long term employee that is also going to retire in 12 months, how easy do you think it would be to value this business?

The bottom line is that the permutations are endless. But as we suggested at the start of this article, getting a business valuation is the right starting point. Inevitably the market will determine the final price paid. But don’t forget, the price is only the start of the journey; it’s the final terms of the offer that determine the value offered for the business. Price and value are not synonymous. The business may have a price of $1,000,000 but the value could be a totally different figure. You’ve heard the expression – Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Value is from the same family, that is, value is in the eye of the Beholder.

Be aware there are different types of business valuations designed to meet different purposes. A business valuation that may go before a court of law is much more sophisticated and analytical than a business valuation that gives an opinion of value to the owner of a business that’s thinking of selling. That is, to meet legal standards the valuation needs to be USPAP compliant.

A service I provide my clients that are considering selling their business is a Brokers Opinion of Value. I also do Certified Machinery and Equipment Appraisals. Because they meet different requirements for different reasons the final reports are completely different and therefore have different costs. Know what you want from your business valuation and understand the final cost will vary according to the sophistication of the report.

How To Create One Of The Best Christian Home Based Businesses and Ensure Its Success

Many Americans have become unhappy and dissatisfied with their corporate jobs, and may look to a Christian home based business opportunity as an alternative to such boring professions. However, some people interested in starting a Christian home based business may not understand the meaning behind it, or the fact that there are a few different types of Christian businesses. It is important to know the difference between them, and to accordingly choose one of the best Christian home based businesses for you.

First of all, you must understand that no reputable home based business can guarantee that you will make money immediately. It will not necessarily be easy, and it will take patience and hard work, especially at the beginning. Those who do not understand this concept will most likely give up when the going gets tough, which will be early and often in this type of business. However, once you have the basic understanding that working from home takes as much work as any other job, you will be prepared to begin a profitable Christian home based business.

We are very fortunate to have the internet as available and popular as it is, because it means that your business will have very little overhead to start. All you need is a computer with internet connection and a small space in your house to start a home based business. Ecommerce is a great, cost-effective way to sell products, and is not going away in the near future.

One of the best Christian home based businesses to have is a retail store online. For example, you could sell Christian books, school supplies with Christian logos or band names, and even apparel. Really any item that you are interested in, you can sell. That is because passion about a product makes it easier to sell to others; they will notice your excitement about it, and their curiosity may get the better of them. Do not expect to sell something that you would not buy.

Another great home business can be created when you join an affiliate program by simply starting an affiliate website of your own. This is another opportunity with very few costs to start. This also allows inexperienced people to find out firsthand how online business and marketing work, as they have less responsibility in such a business.

Many options exist in Christian home based businesses. The first and most important decision to make is what type of product or service you want to sell. This will determine how to go about it. After such preliminary decisions have been made, the rest should come easier, as quality products will mostly sell themselves, making your hard work and passion for the product pay off.