- 12 ways to profit from the Printing Value Chain in Nigeria
Ever since the invention of the first printing press by Gutenberg, the business of printing has been a very dynamic business that has been feeding and clothing people regardless of the general economic situation in the World. In Nigeria to be precise, the printing business has given a lot of people economic independence and has provided jobs which hitherto were non-existent in the economy. Many people may not know this, but the printing business is one of the businesses that according to the general populace is very rudimentary (like those of the road side mechanics) but it produces money and steady income for those who have been involved in the business. Have you ever seen a printer go hungry? Then you have seen a printer that is lazy and does not want to work! This is because the printing business revolves around people who are both technically minded, humble and creative. Printing as a business requires one to be able to use the innate skills that the Creator has given one to be able to produce results without dependence on one person or another. Although, in the beginning of the apprenticeship of the business, most printers go through hard times before making it one way or the other.
The real secret of the printing and design business is that events are always taking place one way or the other. People are being born, students are graduating, people are dying, birthdays are being celebrated and so on and so forth. There is always something happening somewhere one way or the other. So people must always try to commemorate events and as such they turn to the printer for one solution or the other! The real secret to being a successful printer is to be a people person!! That is apart from the technical skills required for the business. There are different kinds of printing activities that occur under the printing business. They are depicted below:
- Paper printing for paper and paper related products,
- Adhesive printing for stickers, signboards and banners,
- Garment printing: (stitching and heat transfer)
The following below depict the ways, means and methods for profiting from the printing business value chain:
- The sales of paper: Most people think that sales of paper is a very rudimentary business that only simpletons are meant to sell. However if one should really check it out, once there exists ready and steady buyers of the different kinds of paper and paper products then it suddenly becomes a very profitable business that the smartest entrepreneurs undertake! This is because paper is an essential products in Nigeria and there are very few companies that are making paper locally. In fact, over seventy percent of the paper used in Nigeria is imported. As such, paper trading is one big business opportunity not to be missed out on.
- Servicing of printing machines: Again, most people think that being a printing machine mechanic is a business that is meant for only dropouts and the uneducated. They do not realize that printing machine mechanics are some of the most highly paid blue collar technicians in Nigeria. This is because this technical service is a highly specialized service that only few people are engaging in. Unlike those who service cars, generators which so many people are doing. Printing machines require specialized professionals who understand the business and know the circumstances that can cause these machines to spoil and the best practices required for maintenance. This dos not only cover paper printing machines alone. It also covers the stitching machines, adhesive machines, direct imaging machines and even the garment heat transfer machines as these all require professionals who have their various specializations.
- Supply of industrial ink and toner: This business again is one that many people do not know about. Printing machines (both ink presses and direct imaging machines) require ink and toner to keep producing. As such, the business of supplies of the above are mission critical and without it many printing jobs simply would not exist. So this presents a unique opportunity for any person who wants to take advantage of a business that provides constant return to do so without much stress as a simple marketing field trip would produce a lot of orders!
- Supplies of printing plates: Ink printing machines require plates in order to cast their impressions on paper. These plates are fundamentally required for the operations of any ink press as the plates are the designs that would be delivered to the paper that is picked up by the machine.
- Graphic Designs: Anyone serious enough to learn Corel Draw or Adobe Photoshop should be able to have a job in the printing sector. This is because these businesses provide ample opportunity for such individuals to showcase their skills via designs. No printing job can ever come to light without the above two graphic applications which serve as the digital input process.
- Retail marketing of print and design services: This is the marketing of oneself to the retail clients as such a form of direct marketing is bound to produce orders for the individual. Are you currently unemployed? Then attach yourself to a printing press, present proposals and get jobs paid on commission! This is because someone is always being born, graduating from school, dying, getting married, arriving Nigeria, even being ordinated in Church or having one anniversary or the other! If you network properly, you will have money in your pocket!
- Supplies of digital separation films: Separation is the process of putting the designed material on either separation paper for transfer unto plates or separation film. There are basically four kinds of colors that are separated in the printing business: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. The difference between digital separation and analog separation is the resolution produced which increases the quality of the output to be printed. Of course, it should come as no surprise that digital separation produces higher quality than ordinary analog or computer separation. This is because digital separation machines are different from the computer LaserJet printers that produce the computer separation films. As such, it is worthwhile to note that digital separation films will always be in higher demand than computer separation films!
- Supplies of lamination films: when paper printing projects are completed, sometimes the finished products require lamination. This of course presents an opportunity for budding entrepreneurs to be able to supply these films as and when due to the printing houses. More money to be made for the enterprising individual!
- Finishing services: When paper printing projects are usually completed, there exist several light manufacturing finishing services that may occur on the projects. These services are usually referred to as finishing services. This is the easiest portion of the printing business to enter as apprenticeship is usually short and the projects are usually constantly incoming. It provides steady income and gives the finisher as they are often called in printing parlance regular employment so to speak. Finishing services include but are not limited to: folding of large papers (for printing of books), stitching of books and stapling and application of glue to book covers.
- Machine operators: Without operators in the printing business, there would be no printing activities in the first place! Operators are the people who serve at the crux of the business. They are the main core. It is with these operators that the jobs indeed get done. They work all year round to make sure that jobs get delivered. Operators go through some of the most intense apprenticeships ever for any technical sector. This is because printing machines are very expensive to acquire and must be treated with care. Operators are needed for all kinds of machines and many are versatile enough to learn how to handle more than one machine. From the press machines to the cutting machine (guillotine), to even the stitching machine and the direct imaging machines. Operators get paid but if one does not possess the interest for the job, one should not even bother to consider apprenticeship as an operator!
- Supplies of adhesives and flex materials for signboards and stickers: In this specialized area of printing, the supplies of these materials are critical towards the successful operations of such businesses. The adhesives and flex materials are what paper is to paper printing businesses. Without them, the business cannot function period! So, supplies of these materials is critical and presents profit to those who can see it!!
- Supplies of garments to garment printers: Supplies of T-shirts and other garments to garment printers is another way for anyone who wants to make steady income to be able to do so without stress. This is because the garment printers need such and if as a supplier one is well known then business will just keep rolling in. And one day, the million naira contract will just arrive through supplies of garments! Many people have become millionaires this way.
In conclusion, the printing business is an extremely lucrative one that will not just pay the bills, but will also give any serious entrepreneur an opportunity to build a business. Politics is here again, and this is the time for printers and even would-be printers to make a lot of money provided that they are strategically positioned to do so. So, what are you waiting for? Go and collect your money and build BIG business today!!