Getting into the laser engraving business from home could easily provide windfall profits for folks who are eager to become successful in a business that shows no indications of slowing down. Products that can be engraved or laser cut are virtually endless, from awards and plaques to laptops and mobile phones. And that’s just for the personal market. Businesses produce products made of acrylics, wood, leather, glass, fabric, and even stone that they need engraved.
The laser etching system
You can purchase everything you need to create a fully-integrated laser etching system from a company such as Needham Coding. Practically any computer will do to get you started, but of course the more powerful, the better.
You’ll need graphics-based software, such as Minilase: Pro Laser Marking Software. And, depending on the type of laser etching system you choose, there are accessories you will need. Some may already come with your system, but make sure you have these since producing a quality product requires having a few add-ons.
- Air assist is a device that blows a constant stream of air onto the point where the laser burns the object. It cleans the surface while you’re engraving, blows smoke away and reduces flare-up from combustible materials.
- Auto focus: This saves you a lot of time by automatically focusing the laser at the correct engraving height.
- A rotary attachment: If you’re etching glasses, bottles, or anything cylindrical in shape, you’ll need this attachment.
The earning potential using a laser etching machine can be significant, whether you specialize in what you engrave or take in all comers. However, you can specialize in three basic categories:
- Gifts and Awards: This is an industry that should continue to grow every year. It also offers a high profit potential because you not only provide the engraving service, but also the product itself.
- General Signage: From storefronts to plaques, informational signs and more.
- Corporations: This can be an extremely lucrative market with the possibility of high volumes of work and regular repeat business.
It’s imperative that you set up a specific pricing schedule so that you will appear professional to potential customers and have a schedule in front of you that tells them up front what they are paying for your services.
- Minimum charge – Establish a minimum charge for the work you do and have it include job set-up.
- Artwork charges – These cover the time you need to create logos or artwork.
- Materials – This covers the complete cost of all the materials you’ll be using.
- Item numbers – This helps you calculate the time you’ll require to engrave each object.
Spread the word about your business to groups and to other business owners to build an effective business. Start with your local chamber of commerce, go to tradeshows, and set up a website.
Although success isn’t guaranteed, with hard work and dedication and perhaps a bit of luck, your new venture into the business of laser engraving could easily be highly successful.