ExecutiveChronicles|If you’re thinking about starting a 3D business, now is the perfect time to do it.
After a slight slowdown, the 3D printing industry is accelerating again. Some predictions claim that sales related to 3D printing next year will experience a 12.5% growth and a total of $3 billion in 2020.
The reason behind the growth is the rise of technology – printers can now print larger objects, and they are performing faster. Different materials are being introduced to the market, and there is a shift from using plastic materials to metal.
Possibilities for application are countless and the industry climate is just right. Here are a few tips on how to prepare for entering the world of 3D print.
Learn about technology
One of the basic prerequisites for starting a 3D printing business is a thorough understanding of the technology it uses, starting from the blueprint, the materials, and the final, postprocessing phase.
Fortunately, there are many courses available online that you can enroll in, designed for learners with different levels of knowledge. You can check out sites such as Udemy, Lynda, or Instructables and choose the course which suits your needs and skills the most.
Find your niche market
There are numerous applications of 3D print, and before starting your own business, you need to be certain about the role your company will play on the market.
Some of the sectors where 3D printing is most often used are:
- Healthcare – used for making hearing aids and prosthetics.
- Education – 3D printers are used for creating innovative educational toys and various learning packs.
- Automotive industry – used for testing customized parts.
- Food industry – By using edible materials, you can make pasta or chocolate of unique shapes and sizes.
Have your own business idea
Some of the good ideas for starting up in the B2C sector are printing jewelry or other customized products, making various collectibles and figures or creating designer products, such as home decorations you can sell in limited series for an affordable price.
If you would rather run your company in the B2B sector, think along the lines of creating and printing the prototypes, products for e-commerce stores, or creating and printing various promotional goods other companies can use for their promotion.
You need to have a well-developed business idea, as well as a clear insight into both your customers and competition. This will help you make a unique offer, the one that will make you stand out.
Make a financial plan
According to a study, 82% of small businesses fail because of cash-flow issues, so you should make sure your financial plan covers all the expenses, both planned and unexpected ones.
Here are some of the costs you should include in your plan:
- Pre trading costs – all the expenses you have before you start trading, such as various licenses and fees, for registering your domain name and your trademark, etc.
- Marketing – the costs of the market research, advertising and promoting, logo and webpage design and development.
- Operations – equipment and inventory, tools, materials, supplies as well as on-going monthly costs for the internet, website hosting, telephone, etc.
- Space – rent and utilities, office equipment, etc.
- Administration – state fees and ongoing fees, as well as costs related to accounting, insurance, etc.
- People – wages, salaries, and benefits.
Your budget will depend on how small or big you want to start, so you might need to seek external funding options. Pay special attention when choosing a 3D printer, as it needs to satisfy your specific business needs.
Spread the word
Put some extra effort into making your 3D printing business recognizable in your community and in your niche. The more visible your business is, the more you’ll sell, so don’t be afraid to spread the news about it online and offline too.
In addition to your website, use social media channels relevant in your niche to promote your business, as well as popular e-commerce sites to feature your products.
Engage with people in your community and make as many connections as you can, because they can be useful for the further growth of your business.
There is a place in the 3D print industry for everyone with a good idea, especially if it is a unique one.