One of the questions we often get asked when someone is first discovering dye sublimation is why, if a business owner already screen prints or embroiders, adding sublimation is necessary. There are a lot of reasons why adding sublimation could be advantageous to the owner of a decoration business, and I thought I would cover a few of them today in this post.
Reason #1: Reasonably low cost – Adding a new decoration discipline to your shop can be expensive. Embroidery machines, vinyl cutters and direct to garment printers generally aren’t cheap and can represent a significant cost outlay for a business. A sublimation system, on the other hand, including a heat press, can generally be purchased and set up for significantly less than $5,000, which in business terms is not that big an investment.
Reason #2: Reasonably high profit margin – People love personalization and they’re willing to pay for it. Most sublimation blanks are fairly inexpensive, and the cost to make an item will of course, also include paper and ink and labor costs, but many personalized, sublimated items can often be sold for double or triple their cost.
Reason #3: Lots of support – EnMart has been doing sublimation for many years, and our techs have encountered pretty much every sublimation problem. We can advise you on the best ways to get started and help you solve any problems you may have. Sawgrass Ink also offers a wide variety of education and events, from videos to seminars, which can be useful to those running a sublimation business.
Reason 4: Relatively small learning curve – We’re not going to tell you sublimation is easy because, like any discipline, it has it’s own quirks that need to be solved and techniques that need to be learned. Sublimation may, however, be easier to learn than some other decorating disciplines. The printers are inkjet printers that most people are already familiar with, the graphics software used can be the software you’re comfortable with and already know. There are plenty of webinars, seminars and articles out there to help you get started. If you understand how to use graphic software, can run a computer and printer and are familiar with a heat press, you shouldn’t have a huge difficulty in learning to sublimate.
Reason 5: Wider variety of products – Most decoration disciplines are centered on garments which isn’t a bad thing – but doesn’t leave room for a lot of diversity. Sublimation, on the other hand, does allow you to decorate mugs and mousepads, puzzles and tote bags, a wide variety of hard and soft goods that other decorating disciplines can’t accommodate. A wider variety of products either allows you to upsell your current customers or to have products to entice new customers and either will be a benefit.