How to Start a Picture Printing Business

by Jonah Morrissey; Updated September 26, 2017
Digital cameras have made photography more popular than ever.

Picture printing businesses are busier than ever. Electronic devices from cellular phones to personal MP3 players have the capability to take photographs. People love capturing candid moments with these devices. Even digital cameras the size of credit cards can take high-quality photographs. Capturing a memory is something people desire, and sharing that memory with others is part of that experience. A photo printing business can focus solely on digital printing or can be broader and include traditional photo processing. However, creating a niche business can keep you competitive and also keep costs down at the start.

Items you will need

  • Business plan
  • Legal forms
  • Tax forms
  • Printing equipment
  • Storefront location
  • Camera accessories

How to Start a Picture Printing Business

Step 1

Put together a business plan. Research and develop your idea through the process of creating a detailed business plan. Acquire all of the necessary documents such as lease forms and other agreements. Research the competition and the overall market. Compile all of this information into your business plan.

Step 2

Hire a lawyer to assist you in starting a legal business. There are many decisions to make, such as what form of business you will start, from a sole proprietorship all the way to a corporation.

Step 3

Hire an accountant. File all of the necessary applications on the local, state, and federal level to make sure that your business is set up to comply with all tax laws. Set up an accounting system for your business, and work with your accountant regularly.

Step 4

Decide what type of services you would like to offer. Most people are using digital photography. Artists and other high-end photographers use traditional film. However, when you are starting up, it may be a good idea to limit yourself to digital picture printing. This will cut down on the amount of space and equipment you will need to acquire to start.

Step 5

Research and acquire printing equipment. A popular option for digital printing is a self-service kiosk. The customer can insert a media card or other digital storage device and select the pictures for printing. The kiosk does all of the work. A clerk can assist the customer as needed and facilitate payment after printing. People expect on-the-spot printing, so the kiosk is a competitive choice for printing equipment.

Step 6

Select a location for your picture printing business. A shopping plaza is a good option because people will be there for other shopping needs. Convenience in picture printing has become essential. Quick, good quality, and easily accessed are all key features people look for in picture printing services. Choose a location and acquire a lease agreement.

Step 7

Acquire a good selection of camera accessories to have on hand in your storefront. Camera batteries, bags, and media cards are in high demand. Picture frames and albums are a good choice for home accessories. Place these items in an area visible to your printing kiosk. While their pictures print, they will have an opportunity to browse for accessories.

Tips

  • Start a weekly or monthly camera club. Creating an event or experience for your customers can lead to a loyal customer base. Photographers love to network and share ideas, techniques, equipment advice and photographs.

Warnings

  • Do not open your doors for business until you are ready to make your first impression. The first impression you make can determine your success.

About the Author

Jonah Morrissey has been writing for print and online publications since 2000. He began his career as a staff reporter/photographer for a weekly newspaper in upstate New York. Morrissey specializes in topics related to home-and-garden projects, green living and small business. He graduated from Saint Michael's College, earning a B.A. in political science with a minor in journalism and mass communications.

Photo Credits