Start a Canvas Printing Business

Canvas printing is the digital printing directly onto canvas fabric, this can be as a service but can also be used to start a product business or a hybrid of the two.

A canvas printing business prints, stretches and mounts images printed onto canvas.

The equipment needed to run this business is a large format digital printer and a stapler to mount the canvas.
The materials needed in this business is the canvas, wood to mount and of course ink.
The skills needed in this business, image editing (bitmap graphics editor like Photoshop), image layout (a vector graphics editor like CorelDRAW or Illustrator can be used which is probably overkill for just layout but there are other features that is also used like to add text).
Then you need to know how to stretch and mount a canvas. Although many places customers can buy the canvas only and stretch it themselves at home.

Market Need
This business caters to people looking for unique gifts, designers or photographers looking to sell their work, interior designers and normal people wanting to print and hang something printed canvas on their walls.

Business Model
There are three business models adopted in this business:
Service: A service business in this industry is probably the most common, this is when you offer the service to people wanting custom prints and they bring their photo or graphic for you to print.
Product: A product business in this industry is when the business makes a product to resell. If you’ve even been to a homeware store that sells canvas prints with landmark or famous person printed on that is made by a product business.
Hybrid: A hybrid does both of the above. Sometimes businesses don’t start out wanting to hybrid but are forced. This business depends on a busy sales channel, premium pricing or both, but if you don’t have a busy sales channel or lots of people with disposable income then you might want to sell some prints of Table Mountain on the side just to keep the wolf from the door.

Sales Channel
Sales channel in this business is very important. This is a kiosk type of business, like meaning of names, mug printing, ball printing. You want a busy place where you not only have foot traffic but can charge a premium but also not a whole shop; it is unlikely this business will sustain the rental of a whole shop on its own unless it’s really busy or has other equipment or shared with like a copy shop.

Marketing, Advertising & Sales
Having a sales channel in a busy location will also be your advertising and marketing, you can put up completed work to show people as they pass by, this will serve not only as an advert but word of mouth.

This can be a one-person operation, but ideally two, you need someone to design and print and mount but also someone to deal with customer inquiries, you won’t be busy all the time so it can probably be run by one person but ideally at least two.

Image credit: frints, jondo