by Alice Davis
You might have heard stories of people making good cash with a vinyl cutting machine and wondered if it's really possible to do so.
The truth is, you can turn that cutting machine gathering dust in your craft closet into a money-making machine and increase your streams of income.
How exactly to do that? Where to start? What supplies do you need for this job? What products to sell?
Below, we'll answer all these questions and discuss more details on how you can use a vinyl cutter to make money.
One of the TOP reasons why you should start a vinyl cutting business is the value. With a well set up business (we'll show how to do it in this guide), you can get some good returns for the time you put in it.
Another reason you'd want to venture into this business is the low startup cost. You don't have to pump all your savings into this business. Just get some cash for the essential equipment and supplies and you're ready to go.
Other cool reasons to start a vinyl cutting business today include:
Like any other business, you'll need some basic equipment and supplies when setting up your vinyl cutting startup.
Here's a list of things you’ll need:
(If you don't have these tools already, buying them as a complete kit is cheaper than buying each item separately).
When buying a new vinyl cutting machine, you need to choose one that best suits what you need to craft. For instance, if you want to cut large designs, you shouldn't limit yourself to a machine with a 12-inch cutting area.
And if you wish to make small creations, say stickers, buying a $1000 plus machine won't make sense. Regardless of which machine you choose, ensure it's easy to use.
As for the vinyl cutting software, most cutters come with their own cutting software. However, these apps might only be suitable for beginners, as the professionals tend to criticize the limited flexibility and options in these apps.
For advanced users, some of the most professional software available for you include Easy cut studio, CorelDraw, and Sure cuts a lot Pro.
You'll also need a computer or a personal laptop. If you don't have one, you'll need to invest one as it's essential for your business. A model with these specs will do: RAM (4GB), 2.0 GHz processor, 16-bit, 1366 X 768 resolution, and adequate hard drive space.
You'll also need a commercial license for your new startup. If you're a skilled designer, you can easily create your own license that enables you to send a cease and desist warning to anyone who uses your design work without seeking your permission first.
If you download your designs, however, you'll need to purchase the license since downloading designs without a permit is theft.
Obviously, your new business will need a product that you'll be selling and making money.
But don't just hop onto any product.
Pick something that will perform well.
One way to come up with a product idea is to choose what your competitors are already selling. This way, you can try mimicking them and sell your product at a lower cost to attract customers.
Having the right product at the right moment is another trick to getting it right with your product(s). Check what the current trends and hype are, and come up with stickers, decals, etc. revolving around them.
With this in mind, here are some of the most profitable vinyl creations you might consider creating and selling:
Now that you have already figured the best-performing products, you shouldn't sit back and hope that customers will come looking for you.
You'll need to start reaching out to customers for even bigger profit margins.
So, who will be your target clients/customers?
When you started out, you were probably selling your crafts to your family and friends only. But don limit yourself to individuals…try reaching out to companies and sell to them as well.
For instance, you can hunt for events in your locality and reach out to their organizers to see if you can provide them with stickers. Moreover, you can contact the companies involved in the event and sell them more goodies made by your cutting machine.
Some of the key events that you can tap into and make a kill include Christmas parties, weddings, parties, association events, schools' graduations, university graduation, business events, and even political events.
Since you can't rely on word of mouth alone to market your product, you'll need other channels to make your business known to more and more potential customers.
Luckily, the internet has made this entirely possible. And you can easily make your online presence felt by using the two most popular social media networks—Facebook and Instagram.
You can create a fan page or use your personal profile…though a fan page bearing the name of your business is way better.
On your page, you need to tell people about your business and even share some of your latest, professional-looking creations.
The best thing about using social media is that it's 100% free (it's like free advertising), and the results are magical if you optimize your pages well.
Finally, your business is up and running. You're receiving orders on a frequent basis. Money is trickling in. And now you're busy as never before.
But what can go wrong?
One mistake beginners do when running their new businesses is not being organized. This can really affect your business, and before you know it, you'll be closing your startup for good.
The BEST way to do it is taking note of everything going around in your business (note down even the things you know you can easily remember).
If a customer makes an order via a call, be sure you cross-check with them about their requirements and note them down. The last thing you want is your customers leaving negative reviews about your business because you sent the wrong product to them.
Take note of all your business expenses as well (a spreadsheet will make your job easier). Note down the amount of cash you spend for a full sheet of vinyl paper.
Tracking your expenses will help you control your margins…and make the necessary adjustments to increase your profits.
As you spend more time in this business, you'll learn a lot of things. You can put your experience to work by expanding your business.
For instance, you can upgrade to what products you sell…you can get into vinyl t-shirt printing, which is sure to take your margins even higher (you'll need more equipment for this one, though, including the best heat press machine for small business).
Always be on the lookout for your competitors and keep to their pace.
And DON'T forget the most important thing—your customer feedback! It can really help you fix where your business is going wrong, as well as help you grow it to the next level.
If you have always wanted to know how you can make your vinyl cutting machine, this is the best piece of advice you can get on how to get started.
From the essential equipment you need to selecting your products, looking for customers, and marketing your new business, we have discussed pretty much everything you need to get started with your venture.
And, remember, this business has the potential to give you handsome returns if you put the time and effort into it. It'll increase your income. And you might even consider turning it from a side hustle into a full-time business.
Wish you luck!
About Alice Davis
Alice is a writer who lives in the City of Long Beach. She has a husband, an exceptionally small chihuahua, and 15-pound Maine Coon. Alice got her bachelor of science in biological science from UC Berkeley. Now, she likes writing about a lot of things; including but not limited to technology reviews, science stuff, and anything food-related.
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