Dye sublimation is a digital printing process that imprints an image on specially coated ceramics, polyester fabric and metals. It is required to apply for a business license and register the company name in your state before operating a dye sublimation business. It is also essential to conduct market research, learn how the dye sublimation process works, how to use graphics software and how to troubleshoot printing issues. Starting a dye sublimation business is appealing because it does not require a large capital investment. Other advantages include low overhead and the ability to print high quality images on almost any surface with a polyester coating.
Learn how the dye sublimation process works. The first step to print an image onto transfer paper using a printer that specifically uses sublimation inks. Sublimation dye turns into a gas when heat reaches 400 degrees Fahrenheit and pressure is applied. Then, the ink forms a permanent bond to a polymer-based fiber or polyester fabric. The result is an image that will not peel or crack.
Determine what services will be offered. There are many specializations in dye sublimation. For instance, your business can specialize in placing images on mugs, t-shirts, license plates, badges, ceramic tiles, business cards and trophy plates. Prepare a comprehensive business plan that includes a company description, statement of purpose, list of services and mission statement.
Compile a list of high-probability business prospects. Research what a prospective client does so that you can target your services to fit their needs. According to Inc.com, companies should narrow their focus to one specific demographic to differentiate their company from others in the marketplace. Some dye sublimation businesses market their digital printing services to corporations, small businesses, schools or souvenir shops.
Be familiar with how to troubleshoot and fix printing and pressing issues quickly. You should also have a strong knowledge of how to work with graphics software program, such as Photoshop, Corel or Gimp.
Laurie Scott is a freelance writer and graphic designer who lives in Georgia. Since 1999 she has worked independently serving small businesses, large companies, government and nonprofit organizations. Scott received a bachelor's degree in marketing from Georgia State University.