A laser engraving business is a very profitable business you can start from your home. Have you ever thought of it? If you are looking for a way of pulling out of formal employment, laser engraving offers a great opportunity for you to venture into business. If you are so creative, laser engraving business is right for you. Even if you are not naturally a creative person, the laser will enable you to develop your creativeness.What’s laser engraving?Laser engraving is simply the marking and cutting of materials using a laser system. A laser system works like a printer. A laser is a raw beam or heat energy directed to a specific area where an engraving is performed. It takes seconds for a laser beam to create a permanent engraving on any material.There are many companies that manufacture laser engraving machines worldwide. But the best laser systems I have known are made in the USA. That’s where the laser engraving technology started and spread in the rest of the world. If you need a laser engraving system that won’t frustrate you, I recommend buying one from the pioneers of this technology.What do you need to venture into a laser engraving business?To start a laser engraving business, you need the following:1. Business plan.A business plan is a great way of defining your business and identifying your goals. You should prepare a business plan. Success in any business requires good planning. It helps you to raise money. It also provides you with milestones to gauge your success. It should be the first step in your laser engraving business venture.2. Laser engraving system.To venture into an engraving business, you must buy a laser engraving system. Laser systems are costly. Good laser engraving machines range from $8,000 up to over $45,000, depending on the size and energy. That’s not little money at all. It could be a lifetime investment to most people. So you should invest in a system that won’t let you down. The good thing is that it’s a one-time investment. Good laser systems last long.3. A computer.You need a good computer in your laser engraving business. You may use a desktop or a laptop. Any Windows 2000 upwards, XP or Vista operating system is recommended.4. Graphic software.A designing software program is a must-have in your engraving business. Laser engraving systems are designed to run on most Windows-based graphic software programs like CorelDraw, Adobe and AutoCad. But CorelDraw is what most people use in laser engraving.The laser systems come with drivers that print images from any of these programs.5. Creativity.People who flourish most in a laser engraving business are those who are creative, sales-oriented and think outside the box. As an engraver, you must always be on the lookout for offering new products and services. The laser system is a versatile machine. With it, you can only be limited by your imagination.There are numerous products you can produce and put on the market. To do this effectively, perfecting your designing skill in the software program you are using is important.6. Marketing.There is no business that can prosper without effective marketing. You have to do a lot of marketing for your engraving business. Visual advertising is so important. People need to see your engraving and cutting examples to really appreciate them.You have to determine your signature samples, which you can mass produce and send to prospects. They should exhibit the great engraving and cutting capabilities of your laser engraving equipment. You may also customize them as necessary.Create strong personal relationships to establish a firm foundation for your laser engraving business. Networking is a very good cost-effective marketing technique. Spread the word about your business through networking.You may also use trade shows to exhibit your productsand services to your prospects. It’s good to target different types of trade shows with specific related products.Creating a website for your engraving business is a great way to get customers. By establishing your business online, you expand your client base from your immediate geographical area to the rest of the world.Using the word of mouth is so effective. It’s cost free. It’s easy. Everyone is capable of trying it out. Do it together with flyers and business cards. I like this marketing technique. It’s good to pick the contacts like a telephone number and email address of the people you talk to for business. You may ask them to send to them a newsletter which may eventually turn them into real customers.What engraving business opportunities can you tap?There are a number of laser engraving business opportunities. They include among others electronics engraving, marble and stone etching, wood engraving and cutting, logo engraving, medical part marking, photo engraving and barcode engraving. There are also other opportunities. They include laptop customization, signage, wedding memorabilia, corporate giveaways, glass etching, nameplates, toys and games, laser cut cards and invitations, photo frames and albums, wooden models, jewelry and much more.Engraving services are needed in various industries, markets or occupations. You can explore the following fields to get customers for your products:- Clothing designers- Automobile dealers- Carpenters- Churches and other religious organizations- Hospitals- Home builders- Jewelers- Gift shops- Manufacturing plants- Restaurants- Non-profit organizations- Zoos- Libraries- Recreational centres- Event centres like stadiums- Schools of all levels- Interior designers- Private businesses- Architectural design firms- Individuals… and much moreWhat materials can you use in your business? Ideally, the laser system can etch and cut on numerous materials. The commonest ones are acrylic, wood, rubber, stone, glass, paper, fabric, ceramic, plastic, marble, tile, press-board, slate, granite and leather. You can explore it’s capability to laser engrave on many other materials around you.Why should you start an engraving business?1. Profitability.It is very profitable. An engraved product costs more than twice the cost of its raw material. Products and services engraved on a laser system are on high demand. Most people pay back the money invested in the laser machine within a year.2. Creative freedom.A laser engraving business allows the freedom you will rarely find in any other business. You can create what you want. You are only limited by your imagination. Virtually, anything you can imagine and design can be turned into a real object with a laser system.3. Flexibility.You may choose to work part-time while maintaining your full-time job. You can also work the hours you want. If you have a full-time job, this is the time to save money. Invest it in a laser engraving business. You will be able to slowly grow your business right from your home. Finally, it becomes a full-time job4. Low running costs.Although laser systems cost much money, running an engraving business does not require high running costs like in other businesses. The laser machine can last a long time without making any repairs. And by the time it gets old, you will have made a lot of money.5. Small manufacturing plant.There are many people with laser systems. But very few of them know that it’s a small manufacturing plant. Most people limit themselves to engraving traditional items. These are items like plaques, awards, signage and photo frames. But the laser system can do much more than that. Just explore into its other capabilities. You will live to wonder throughout your life.ConclusionStarting a laser engraving business is very profitable. To effectively benefit from it, it’s advisable to invest in a very good laser system. Buy a system with a higher wattage. Speed and working area matter a lot in a laser engraving business. Have a plan to clearly understand your start-up costs, business line and profitability.What laser system would you recommend for starting a profitable laser engraving business?