Laser Engraving – Starting a Home Business
It can be expensive to start a business nowadays, that is, unless you decide to work from home. Why start a home business? Most home businesses allow you to get started with low startup costs.
If you’re creative and enjoy arts and crafts, laser engraving is the ideal business to start right in your home. You will also need to have some computer skills and learn what is required by your governing authorities before starting any business, but you can start your laser engraving business at home for under $15,000 in most instances.
If you’re concerned that laser engraving is too difficult to master, you might be thinking of the older, larger, bulkier machines of the past. Today’s laser engraving systems are smaller, sometimes even portable, and easier to learn. You save money because so little equipment other than your laser engraving machine and your computer.
When you work at home, you are the master of your time. You work when you want and you’re not under the thumb of a boss or time constraints, at least until you have a lot of customers. You can even get your spouse and the kids involved. Many laser engraving business owners and their families enjoy working together.
With a laser engraving business, you can engrave metal, acrylic, glass, wood, stone, fabric, rubber, and other materials. You can create customized products like plaques, trophies, awards, signage, jewelry, keychains, pencils, pens, golf clubs, laptops, wedding items, anniversary gifts, specialty items, promotional items, and/or any niche that involves laser engraving.
Most small laser engraving business owners invest in a full laser engraving system, or at least an engraving machine that suits their purposes. Laser engraving machines or systems range in price from between $8,500 to over $20,000 depending on your niche and needs. You can obtain a small laser machine for around $10,000 to $12,000 with a large platform (you will need that) and adjustable wattage to perform many types of engraving on many types of surfaces.
You will want some space to work, so make room for your laser engraving machine and some shelves, a computer desk, and anything that helps you get and stay organized. This shouldn’t take up much space, so a place in your garage, basement, or spare bedroom will work for starters.
If you want to try out this business for a bit, leasing a laser engraving machine for about $250 a month is another option if you aren’t ready to invest fully in a machine. Additionally, you do need laptop or desktop that runs Windows and is compatible with AutoCAD, CorelDraw, and Adobe. Compatible graphics software that you’ll need to learn to use is an important part of operating a small laser engraving business at home. If you already have a compatible computer and at least one of these programs, you are ahead of the game.
Unless you live in a large metropolis, there isn’t much competition in the laser engraving business. A little marketing and advertising should help you get noticed. Word-of-mouth is free, so once you get your first customer, you could start getting busy sooner rather than later. If you’re local and nearby a school, try offering them your services, which should spark more business. Schools usually prefer to do business with local businesses when they can.