Screen printing is a process of pushing a variety of colored inks by using stencils. People use it to print designs, logos, or even messages. They can print on textile tapes, fabrics, caps, hats, t-shirts, signs, water bottles, gym bags, posters, and more. For some good reasons, screen printing is one of the most common and popular activities. When it comes to the salaries of workers, a screen-printing business can be productive. Also, it can be productive if you calculate its annual turnover.
Important cost factors of screen printing
If you are already doing a custom screen printing business, you are well aware that each job is different. It implies that your initial cost and profit can vary extensively, regardless of whether your fixed costs are the same or not. It is a challenge of maintaining consistency regarding profitable custom orders.
Generally speaking, the expense of printing includes two parts of costs, direct costs, and indirect costs.
a. Direct cost, is the costs used for printing production directly. It mainly covers the original design fee, production cost of film, screen plate making cost, printing cost, materials cost, follow-up processing cost after printing, wastage cost, and power consumption charge
b. Indirect cost means the company management cost, equipment cost, plant depreciation cost, indirect materials costs, salaries of operators, and management team.Welfare, transportation, official business, and various taxes and other expenses. Meanwhile including the cost of sales: mainly including sales staff salary, welfare &transportation fee, postage fee, packaging and cargo transportation cost, advertising and publicity fee, business tax, and other expenses. Generally speaking, overhead costs correspond to direct costs the same. The total price of the product is the direct cost + the indirect cost + the profit.
So, how much does it cost for starting a screen-printing business? It depends on a lot of factors. Includes your shop's location to what kind of articles or materials you print on. But there are three crucial factors that you should consider the most.
- Labor cost
- Materials and inks cost
- Equipment cost
Screen-printing companies employ workers at different skill levels and salary costs. Here are a few common positions and salary ranges.
Production managers are the most highly-paid positions. Because they provide a set of skills that add a lot of value to the company. The monthly estimated salaries for production managers range from $6k to $10k (different areas and different printing industries will have different salary levels. Here just for a rough idea for a reference)
Machines operators can vary by location. But professional machine operators are being paid $15 to $20 for an hour in many markets. A few companies assign the position of the lead operator to one machine operator. Machine operators handle different tasks of receiving and dispatching.
Salespeople receive commission and salaries that rely upon their experience and skill set. But many companies provide a low or moderate base salary to their sales staff. The commission will depend upon the percentage of their total sales value. How you structure their salaries depends on what you need to boost. But we recommend using profitability rather than revenue.
Artists can get salaries ranging from $3.5k to $6.5k each month(different areas will have various salary levels). Most of them work part-time. They usually prefer to be paid hourly or at a per-piece cost. Many companies bring down their art cost by using outside art services. Because an artist wouldn’t take hours to work in small-to-medium screen-printing companies. In some companies, machine operators or screen-printing technicians will design instead of those professional designers.
Screen technicians can handle different duties like exposing, coating, or reclaiming screens. Depending on their experience, screen technicians can get salaries at hourly rates. It ranges from $12 to $20.
There are many different positions and duties in screen printing companies. But these are the 5 common positions of this industry. In almost every company that does screen printing.
Materials and Inks Cost
In the screen printing process, you only can use one screen plate prints one color each time. So, the estimated amount is 45$ per screen. Standard prints' costs range from 2$ to 20$. This cost depends on the size of the print, the number of colors, and how many products are being printed.
There are tons of materials. Different materials have different usages and price. The same as inks. Normally, screen printing inks includes oil-base and water-base two types. The price of water-base is always higher than oil-base inks, due to the water-based inks are more environment friendly than the oil-based inks. What kind of materials and inks to use depends on the printing requirements of your end clients.
So, your least expensive choice would be cotton. Whether it's pure cotton or mixed with other materials, it is the least expensive material to print on. Other fabrics like moisture-wicking or nylon will cost you more.
So, what amount does it cost to buy materials or fabrics for screen printing? Again, the answer is “it depends.” Screen-printing companies buy in bulk to get case pricing. It means they make order in multiples of 72 pieces. You can do the negotiation on different wholesale prices with significant materials distributors. You may spend a lot of cash acquiring materials for your customers. Because it depends on the type of material or fabric that you print on.
Many factories start by buying second-hand equipment. There might be some companies that get straight into an automatic machine. Because they feel tired of printing with their hands.
Top-notch screen-printing equipment for a big printing machine is costly. Because these types of equipment need some tools.
Automatic screen-printing machines can cost you around $20k. Up to $100k for a reasonable used model. Even more for best-in-the-list models by top manufacturers. Manual presses are less expensive, but they are also less capable of printing in large volumes. An automatic screen-printing machine draws the separating line, the line between “serious” and “interest” businesses of the industry. Yet, we are not putting companies down that prefer "print by hands".
Curing dryers Curing dryers cost a certain number of dollars. They also consume electricity or gas to boot. Many companies decided to buy an automatic screen-printing machine. Because they need to upgrade their printing equipment to improve their market competitiveness, just to stay aware of the latest printing equipment.
Software and consumables like emulsion or ink represent a huge chunk of the cash. Also, the money to start an effective screen-printing business, too. The consumables are only an expense of doing business. But the software for the screen-printing process has a major ROI (return-on-investment). That makes your business effective and organized rather than disorganized and riotous.
You’ll likewise need to spend cash on tools (like T-squares, squeegees, and more). But these are the modest, recurring buys that you can consider like consumables. Furthermore, advanced equipment comes later in your company’s growth. Equipment such as computer-to-screen machines and hybrid printers.
Screen Printing Revenue
Do screen-printing companies make a lot of money? That relies upon their action, their costs, their clients, and their overhead.
Many screen-printing companies might not hit the show-stopping revenue amount. But there are a lot of screen printers who turn a clear profit on their work. Because they are careful about their pricing. They only take orders that are easy to deal with and generate a profit from those orders.
Like in the case of the US country. The revenue of the screen-printing company follows the typical distribution. It indicates that those companies generate revenues between $100,000 to $1,000,000. There are many shops or companies with annual incomes above $1M. But there are a few screen-printing companies with revenues above $5M.
Even nonprofits need to bring cash to proceed with their goal and to succeed. So, it is better to know how much you need to sell your products to make a profit. Unless you are in screen-printing for fun only. There are a lot of books out there on this topic of "screen printing startup cost". Also, some “pricing guides” are available. Yet there isn’t a perfect exact answer for this. Successful and efficient screen-printing needs cost planning and working discipline. We hope this article will help you to get started in this screen-printing business.