This article is in two parts to make your life easy. The fist half talks about the kind of items that are super easy to sell and the second half talks about how to find reliable suppliers.
PRINTS THAT YOU CAN EASILY SELL
Lets start with some obvious items, things that we have all designed for our clients:
- books / mags
The list can go on, however my advise is not to offer everything under the sun, simply because some things will just not be worth your while (not great profit margin) or it might be that you can't find a good source for items you want to offer.
I want to also take your attention to a whole different category of products that you can leverage in the print/design industry; PROMOTIONAL PRODUCTS. These are products such as company pens, t-shirts, mugs, sweets, bottles, usb, CDs and much more. Your corporate clients will use these items during events, meetings, collaborations or generally in their offices. Again the items lists can go on but you have to be sensible about what you offer.
WHERE TO FIND RELIABLE SOURCES
When it comes to promotional products, try to work with the producers and not brokers that are getting the items from 'their factories in china'. In some cases this might be of an advantage since some of these brokers have spend the time and money to visit and build great relationships with these producers in china, other times you can find someone reliable on your own. Again use your discretion.
When i first started out i looked for my local printers. You will note that depending on location you the printer's rates will vary. For example, London based printers are more expensive than Northern UK. With experience you will get to know which places work out best for you. Sometimes its even cheaper to source outside your residential country. Being in the UK, most of my prints always came from Germany/Poland as that was much cheaper than printing in the UK. However it is difficult to know which company is reliable since you can visit to check their estates yourself. Generally if they are not good communicators you should not do business with them. Also always get samples when you're trialing a company to check their quality of print.
If you are thinking about getting into print-design make sure you know a little bit about the print industry, for example, paper, materials, ink, litho or digital print ect. You have to be fairly prepared for the questions that your customers will ask you.