Do you have a passion for books and are worried about the receding presence of hard copies? You can contribute to their conservation by starting a bookbinding business.
Although hard copies are becoming less and less because of digital copies, some people will always prefer turning the pages of a book instead of scrolling the phone or tablet. And for that reason, bookbinders still have an opportunity to thrive in their business. A bookbinding business can focus on restoration, design binding, portfolio binding, and period binding.
If you are considering launching a successful bookbinding business, you must set yourself apart from other bookbinding companies by creating beautiful covers. But first, you need to consider these factors before starting a bookbinding business.
10 Things to Consider Before Starting a Bookbinding Business
Depending on the location of your business, you must check the number of bookbinding businesses in the vicinity. Please look at what they are doing in their business and the services they offer their clients. Then look for ways to make your business better and unique. Start in different areas if you find the competition too tight.
2. Your charges
The amount of money you charge for designing and binding a book depends on the following:
- The type of binding: There are four types of binding to consider, and they include case binding, perfect binding, saddle stitch binding, and spiral binding. When the client has a lower budget, you can use gaffer tape as it makes the covers appear shiny and inexpensive.
- The materials
- The labor
It would be good to introduce discount codes on some services to attract clients.
3. The market
How is the bookbinding market? You can consider surveying by visiting several businesses and learning how the industry is currently. Don’t come outright and say you want to start the same business, as many will not be open to sharing the truth.
In your research, find a business that is not in a competitive environment, and they might be open to giving you advice once they realize you are not setting up shop in their vicinity.
Don’t limit yourself to local clients alone; put your business on the map. You can start by designing a website and listing all your bookbinding services. Then create a magnet landing page and content to attract target clients.
4. Cost of starting
There are many costs involved in starting a business, from registering the business to rental expenses, employee salaries, tool costs, and maintenance. However, the amount of start-up capital for a bookbinding business is significantly less than other businesses, as you can start in your basement or home office as long as you have the binding tools.
5. Tools needed
Before setting up shop, you must ensure you have the tools to start a bookbinding business. You must have set aside sufficient capital as most of the tools cost quite a penny. It will take you time to buy all the tools, but you can ensure you have the essential tools. These include:
- Metal ruler
- Straight needles
- Curved needles, best for Coptic binding
- Glue brushes
- Awl for making holes
6. Is acquisition better
The best part about starting a bookbinding business is you can choose to buy an already set up business. This will help you avoid the stress of registering and buying the tools needed. You inherit the business’s previous clients; you only need to scale operations. Do not buy just any bookbinding business; you must look at their books to determine the business performance.
Before starting a bookbinding business from scratch, you’d best check if there are good franchising options. Being a franchise allows you to reap the benefits of the brand’s reputation, making it easy for you to run a successful business. For that reason, you must ensure that the bookbinding franchise you are buying into is reputable and that clients have good things to say.
8. Target market
It would be best if you evaluate your target market. The best client for a bookbinding business is an independent writer or publishing company that needs help creating covers and binding their books. Therefore, you will need a great design team to catch and keep the attention of your target clients.
Your target client should have a bulk volume of books that needs binding, and partnering with a publishing company would be your best bet. Your covers should be of the best quality.
What are the Benefits of Starting a Bookbinding Business
- You do not need a lot of start-up capital.
- It is a rewarding career as you help your clients create attractive covers that help drive sales.
- Customer loyalty as you’ll ensure you are providing your client with top-notch services. And in return, they will give you repeat business and even recommend your company.
- You have the freedom to choose the people you want to work with. As we know, it’s better to work with a few good clients than to have a load of clients who have non-stop issues and are hard to satisfy.
- You have the freedom to choose your work hours; in the beginning, you’ll indeed work many hours before your business stabilizes. However, once you’ve established a stable client base, you can hire more people and scale down your work hours.
- You have the opportunity to work with different businesses because companies and magazines also need binding services. So do not limit yourself to publishing businesses and approach other businesses too.
- There is no limit as to how much you can make. The more clients you get, the more the revenue.
Cons of a Bookbinding Business
- It’s a repetitive process, so you need to find other ways to motivate your employee.
- Digital copies make it hard to sell hard copies, and bookbinding businesses are feeling the pinch.
- You don’t have a monthly paycheck. Therefore you need to plan and stick to the budget, and above all, keep looking for new clients to avoid financial difficulties.
Although it’s becoming increasingly challenging to sell hard copies due to the emergence of soft copies, bookbinding businesses still have the opportunity to thrive as there are people who love the feel of a hard copy and the sound of pages turning. And digital copies will not offer you the old smell of a physical hard copy. So do not let digitalization discourage you from starting a bookbinding business.