Before we dive into the steps of starting a laser engraving machine business, it's best to understand why you should start this business. You need to understand the needs and the market to understand the potential of this business.
To start, you can start a small laser engraving/cutting business from your home or garage. It does not require a large space, a small room or space will suffice.
Second, it doesn't require a huge investment. Desktop lasers are pretty affordable, and you can easily make a living off them.
Nowadays, the development of customized and unique products in the market. All of these products can be made with a laser machine. You can make almost anything with compatible materials. There are tons of ideas you can implement while sitting at home.
You don't need special expertise to run a laser machine. All you need to do is learn a few things and master the security measures. It doesn't take much time to become an expert.
There are countless laser products on the market. You can also realize your ideas and bring something new or better. There's a huge opportunity there.
Simply put, a laser engraver and cutter is a good investment. You can make a living out of it. It provides the better and faster ROI you can hope for. Plus, you have the chance to scale it up and take it to the next level.
There are several basic and major steps to start a laser engraving business plan. Before you buy anything, read through these steps so you can stay on the right track and plan accordingly.
Beginners often get stuck after buying the wrong machine, ignoring prerequisites, picking the wrong niche, and other things. Therefore, you must have a clear idea of what you want in the end. These steps will help you start a successful laser engraving business from the ground up.
Step 1: Choose the Right Machine
Now that there are different types of laser engraving machines, it becomes difficult for a newcomer to choose the right one. This is the most important step in starting a laser engraving business, since your main investment will be a laser machine.
Before diving into the types of laser engraving and cutting machines, we should understand the relationship between power and engraving/cutting.
For engraving, low power is suitable because it gives a very fine spot of light, which is the best for engraving. If you try to engrave with a high powered machine, the spot will be huge and the result will not be very good.
For cutting, the high power of a laser machine is best. It requires fewer passes and less time to cut the material. Low power lasers are not suitable for cutting.
Here, one more thing we want to mention is power. People often get confused because there are several power ratings in the specifications of a laser machine. The power responsible for cutting and engraving is the optics or output power.
When buying a machine, you only need to consider this power. Other power classes are machine power and module electrical power. These give you an idea of power consumption.
You may be wondering which power you should choose, high power or low power. We'll explore that, but it also depends on the type of laser machine you want. So, let's discuss the types of laser machines first, and then what laser power you should choose.
Step 2: Learn How to Use a Laser Engraver/Cutter
Having a laser engraver and cutter is not enough. You also need to learn how to use the machines and software, and various other things you need to know. But don't worry, you can easily master all these things in a short time.
We'll list some important things to consider. You should learn as much about these as possible.
a) Materials and tests
With a CO2 laser machine, you can engrave wood, acrylic, glass, leather, cardboard, paper, stone, metal, rubber, food, fabric and more.
Before you start sculpting, you'll want to do a speed and power test on a piece of the material. It will help you choose the best settings for engraving or cutting.
Laser Engraving Software
You also need to use software that can run the machine. Our machines have simple software that is friendly to beginners. You can also use
You need time to learn to use the software, it's not very complicated. Once you start, you will quickly understand some things.
Safety is very important and you need to take all safety measures before using the machine. First of all, you should wear protective glasses to keep your eyes safe from the laser. Due to any mishandling, the laser light will reflect, so you need to make sure your eyes are safe.
Keep the machine area clear. There should be no combustibles near it. Also, never leave the machine unattended and keep your children and others out of the room.
Another important thing is that you should not try a new material until you know what it is made of and whether it is laser safe.
You also need to make sure there is proper ventilation. Some materials may produce toxic fumes, so you should also know how to filter them and improve ventilation where you use the machine.
After taking all safety precautions, you can start carving and cutting.
Step 3: Purchase Materials and Design Files
In order to make any product, you need to buy the right materials. For example, if you want to make an engraved photo, you'll want to choose the right plywood, which offers better contrast and has less visible grain.
You need to list the products you need for your project. Then, you need to check online stores, local stores and markets from where you can buy them. Make sure to check several websites for the best prices. Sometimes, you can get better prices from local stores if there are any clearance sales.
After the materials, you also need the design files for the project. Sometimes, these files are not needed, but most of the time, you will need them. There are some pre-made design files that you can buy for your commercial projects. Alternatively, you can also search for free design file sites.
Step 4: Go to Market
Selling your product is an important struggling step in starting a laser business. You can make dozens of products, but if you can't sell them, your efforts are useless.
If you want to sell laser engraved and cut products, you should leave no stone unturned. That means trying everything from online marketplaces to easy stores near you.
First, you can try selling products on shopping sites. It doesn't cost a lot to list a product, and then you can make the product once you get the order. If you have a blog or website, you can promote your products there as well.
Social media is the best place to start your laser engraving business. You can create a brand new page and start promoting your products. With the help of paid advertising, you can get a lot of clients, given that you know how to use Facebook ads, or you have a dedicated person who does the job.
Another way to get instant sales in the early stages is through the help of friends and family. You can tell them about your product and ask them to promote it through social media or word of mouth. This will help you sell your products quickly.
You should visit a shop near you and tell them what you can do with a laser machine. You can also make products of their choice. Shops, restaurants and businesses also want such products, so you can also show them your range and convince them that you can customize the product for them.
If there are ten ways to sell a product, you should try all ten and look for the eleventh. Everything you need to do to sell your product.
Step 5: Pricing
Here is an important issue that beginners do not know. Product pricing is very important. Obviously, you are a new seller, so you have to offer your services at a slightly lower price than existing sellers on the market. It's just a simple tactic to skyrocket sales, but you can also match the price if you want, or set it however you like.
First, you need to keep material costs in mind. You've bought the material, so figure out how many items you can craft with it. After the material cost, you need to add advertising, electricity, shipping, packaging, whatever. You also need to remember that the laser machine you are using is a huge investment, so you need to get a return on it too.
Once you determine how much it will cost to make your product, you can set an appropriate retail and wholesale price. Make sure there is enough profit margin to cover your own labor costs and investment in machinery. Try to keep the price reasonable.
Step 7: Grow Your Business
When you want to make a living from your laser engraving and cutting business, you need to grow it step by step. In order to grow, you need some reliable clients or partners.
If you do custom gifts and items, you can contact companies and businesses and tell them you make custom gifts and boxes. They may ask you for special company boxes, keychains, pens, or whatever else they want.
You can contact schools near you to exhibit your engraving products. It can be wooden letters and numbers, wooden toys, building blocks, DIY toys, etc. In addition, you can also provide them with engraved shields, mugs and gifts.
Nearby shops also need wall clocks, toys, custom items, decorations and many other things. You can showcase your product range and ask about their requirements.
The most reliable customers and partners you have, the more reliable your business will be. You will have a constant stream of income.
Step 8: Boost Your Productivity
Once you have reliable customers, a healthy online seller profile, and a steady stream of orders, it's time to expand your business. You need more machines to increase productivity.
You can also buy another CO2 laser machine which has the potential to increase your product range. Upgrade your existing machines and buy new ones gradually. You can quickly scale up your business and increase productivity.