How to start a printing business in Nigeria


There is a high demand for printed work in Nigeria, making it a very lucrative business anyone can start. In this post, you will learn how to start a printing business in Nigeria.

What equipment do I need to start a printing business?

1. Printing machine

As a professional in the printing business, printers are your most important equipment, and you should take them very seriously. There are many types, brands and models in the market, each having different specs.

If you don’t have access to large capital, you can start with professional-grade laser and inkjet printers. Although you won’t enjoy the best experience, they’re good for standard-size documents.

With time, you can acquire wide format printers, as they will help you print banners and posters. If you have access to large capital, you should go for a commercial-grade offset printing press. Although it’s more expensive, it’s very suitable for large-scale printing.

2. Laminating machine

A laminator or laminating machine adds a layer of protection to documents and photos, and they can keep working for years. A few customers will patronize you for lamination and you can use that to make easy money.

3. Cutting system

Running a printing business means that you will be cutting lots of paper every day. You will need a cutting device to help you with this.

If you’re short on funds, you can purchase a manual cutter. If your printing business has access to large capital, you should get a semi-automatic or fully automatic cutter instead.

4. Computer

No doubt, you will need a desktop computer or laptop for graphic design work. Note that graphic design applications use a lot of resources, which is why you need a computer that has a powerful CPU and Graphics Processing Unit (GPU).

You will also need a medium-sized or large memory (RAM). You should install desktop applications like Adobe Suite and Corel Draw. You should also know how to use these devices with a printer.

5. Binding equipment

Having a piece of binding equipment is not compulsory, as not all printing businesses offer binding as a service. If you want to render binding services, you can get comb or wire binders.

Alternatively, you can get a thermal binder, but you will have to charge your clients more money since the equipment costs more to purchase.

How much does it cost to start a printing business in Nigeria?

This can vary, depending on the level at which you want to operate. If you want to open a printing business that uses commercial grade equipment, you should prepare ₦5 million.

You can also start small with ₦1 million, but you won’t be able to offer many printing services.

Types of printing business in Nigeria

There are many types of commercial printing that you can choose from. Here are the main 4 types.

Offset lithography printing 

This commercial printing technique is usually used to print high-quality promotional works. This includes branded coasters, mouse mats, product advertisers, books, newspapers, posters, stationery, etc.

Digital printing

This commercial printing technique is commonly used to print labels, letters, newsletters, some banners, point of sale items, menus and many other customisable products for businesses.

Large format printing

These types of printing businesses print external vinyl banners, signage, wallpaper, floor graphics, laminating and mounting, pop-up displays, exhibition graphics, billboards and lots more.

LED UV printing

LED UV printing is usually used for materials that are required to have crisp and clear colours. They are used for high-quality handbooks, catalogues, portfolios, newsletters, magazines, posters, leaflets, brochures and many more.

How to start your printing business in Nigeria

Follow these steps to start a printing business:

1. Create your business plan

A business plan is an outline of how you want your business to proceed. Once you have all your steps and activities figured out, draft your business plan from it. It will serve as a manual book that will guide you through your business career.

Your business plan should include the following details:

  • Startup costs
  • Financial plan
  • Operational costs
  • Customer analysis
  • Company Overview
  • Competitive analysis
  • Market research
  • Marketing Plan
  • Operations plan

Recommended: How to write a business plan

2. Get the required capital for your printing business

Money is the fuel of all businesses. Pending the time when your printing business will start yielding profit, you will have to keep funding it. You need to look for diverse funding options to get your startup and operational costs.

Here are the most common ways to get capital for your printing business in Nigeria.

  • Using your personal savings (bootstrapping)
  • Getting money from your close relatives and friends (love money)
  • Angel investments
  • Venture capital
  • Business acceleration programs
  • Business incubation programs
  • Obtaining business loans from commercial banks
  • Applying for business loans from thrift cooperative societies and microfinance banks

Also read: How to get funding for startups in Nigeria

3. Find a strategic location

Your location is very important. Aside from being in a busy commercial environment, it should also be safe from armed robbery, banditry and the like.

Don’t forget that you will be using very expensive equipment, so you should shield your shop/workspace from harsh weather conditions.

4. Brand and register your printing business

The next thing to do is to get a name for your business and also design your logo. Your business cards and employee attire will display your business name, so make sure to pick a good one.

You can register your business with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) online or visit the branch closest to you.

5. Get the required equipment for your printing business

Depending on the type of printing business and the level at which you want to operate, there are many grades of printing equipment that you can buy.

To save money, you can buy fairly used equipment. However, the lifespan may not be as close to that of a newly purchased one. Here are some of the equipment you need for your printing business.

  • Printing machine
  • Computer
  • Laminating machine
  • Cutting devices
  • Binding equipment and lots more

6. Hire the right staff

Depending on the size of your printing business, you may need to hire a few employees. Unless you only receive one customer per day, there’s no possible way you can run a printing business yourself.

You will need assistance with one or two things. The only way you can work comfortably without hiring employees is if you take in apprentices.

Conclusion

Now you have some basic knowledge on how you can start a printing business in Nigeria. You can get a shop near academic institutions, offices and commercial centres.

Remember to treat all your customers with the love and care they deserve. You should also deliver high-quality service while sticking to deadlines.



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