Monthly Archives: December 2019

What Are the Top Revenue Generators for Wide-Format Printers?

December 31, 2019

On the surface, a wide-format printing studio may not seem like the most dynamic business concept. But once you dig a little bit deeper, you quickly realize the opportunities to provide solutions to organizations across a variety of industries and discover a breadth of revenue-generating channels.

For a snapshot of the top revenue generators, take a look at our infographic below:

What Are the Top Industries for Wide-Format Studio Owners?

The No. 1 industry for SpeedPro owners is advertising and marketing firms. A close second is small-format and commercial printers, as well as sign companies. Both are wholesale arrangements with other firms that serve the end user.

Advertising and marketing companies work with SpeedPro to help satisfy the marketing needs of their clients. This segment has helped grow the wide-format printing industry by 6 percent and Speedpro by 11 percent. Marketers use wide-format for brand and product awareness and cultural enhancement through environmental graphics, window graphics, POP displays and many other applications.

Quality and customer service follow-up are the most important requirements for satisfied clients. The gross profit margins for this industry tend to be some of the highest, as quality and service trump price every time.

Meanwhile, the partnerships SpeedPro owners forge with small-format and commercial printers and sign companies frequently yield steadier business. Franchisees become a wholesaler for small format and commercial printers, and we enable another sign company, for instance, to provide full service to their clients.

The relationship is often reciprocal. Commercial printers can help SpeedPro owners provide a full suite of printing solutions to their clients. In most cases, it’s a very cooperative arrangement – and not competitive. Margins are a little lower than those from projects with advertising and marketing firms and other end users, but the work is stable, which helps cash flow and allows a studio to cover more of its overhead.

Other important industries for SpeedPro include construction, retail and consumer products, and events and conventions. All of these are solid-margin industries as each project is completed in collaboration with the client and customized for their specific needs.

SpeedPro franchisees by and large experienced strong sales in each of our top ten industries from 2017 to 2018.

What Are the Products for Wide-Format Studio Owners?

Wide-format printing business owners deliver a wide array of product-based solutions to their clients. Like any product, there are those that provide higher and lower profit margins.

Wall, window and floor graphics are high volume and some of the higher-margin products among SpeedPro studio owners. The cost to produce and apply these products is relatively limited compared to other products. The next two highest volume products are signs and vehicle wraps. Vehicle wraps typically yield a slightly lower margin as they require more labor hours to apply. The volume of these products among SpeedPro studio owners vary widely – some do a large number of vehicle wraps while others do very little. It depends on the market demand.

Banners are among the highest volume products based on materials needed for production but offer the lowest margins. They help with cash flow to cover overhead costs while the other main products drive the greatest per-product profit.

Textiles and soft signage are among the fastest-growing wide-format printing products, replacing rigid substrates due to lower cost over the long term. They’re also increasingly in demand because they:

  • Are reusable
  • Don’t require skilled installers
  • Are more environmentally friendly
  • Are easy to ship and store

Most of these products are custom and require collaboration with the client. They are not commodities that clients can simply order online. This helps to keep margins strong as studio owners seek opportunities to deploy these products.

For a better understanding of the services and products SpeedPro studio owners provide, take a look at one of our recent articles.

Inside the $11 Billion Wide-Format Printing Industry

December 23, 2019

Competition to grab consumer attention is creating robust demand for services in the $11 billion wide-format printing industry. Thanks to digital ad fatigue, businesses look to advertise and market their products or services in a holistic way. That includes a diversity of signage in the real world.

Here are just a few areas where wide-format printing businesses, such as SpeedPro, are experiencing demand and where growth opportunities in the industry are emerging:

Building Better Business Environments

With increased competition among industries in a booming economy comes the demand for increased productivity from employees. And, everybody knows, employees that are happy and engaged in their work are the most productive workers.

Businesses across North America are improving their work environments with window graphics, wall murals and other large graphics. The right graphics can brighten workspaces and inspire employees. Replacing drab, white office walls with scenic murals, company logos, mission statements and motivational quotes can promote company culture and convey to new employees and visitors what the brand is all about.

Immersing Consumers into Brand Experiences

Millennials, today’s largest living generation with tremendous spending power, demand memorable experiences with most of their purchases. In order to capitalize, businesses seek to immerse them and consumers of all ages in captivating experiences that promote their brand.

One popular way to do that is with pop-up bars, stores, salons and other venues. Businesses using the pop-up format are utilizing wide-format printing products to pull audiences into their brand’s messaging. Products that can easily be installed and taken down are most prevalent in pop-up venues, including floor and window graphics, three-dimensional signs, retractable banners and stands, and other temporary signage.  

The pop-up trend – which is increasingly being considered a marketing mainstay – is creating demand for wide-format printers because the format is an effective marketing tool.

Grabbing Consumer Attention on the Run

Out-of-home (OOH) advertising has shown significant growth in recent years. Spending by businesses on advertising on banners, bench wraps, billboards, vehicle and fleet wraps and window graphics is strong. Businesses in the wide-format printing industry are there to meet the demand.

OOH signage on the aforementioned mediums allows businesses to build brand recognition, be seen by a wide audience and attract customers they might miss out on otherwise. OOH signage stands out to consumers because they’re used to seeing advertising on digital devices – smartphones, tablets, laptop and desktop computers – and therefore advertising in the real world stands out as memorable.

Brands that use OOH signage as well as advertise and market online have an advantage over their competitors.

What’s Next in the Wide-Format Printing Industry?

Emerging growth opportunities for wide-format printing businesses include the use of white ink for graphic designs and non-traditional substrates for signage.

Until recently, to get white in a graphic design with other colors, printers were limited to using white substrates. For anything that required white on a sign, the colored inks just would not be applied to that section so the white of the substrate could show through. But, there were few white options among those substrates, which limited the vibrancy of the white that showed through.

However, current printer technology now allows you to use white ink on a wide variety of substrates – not just white – and the vibrancy of whiteness can be adjusted to the marketer’s preference. When white ink is used as the base, other colors are more vibrant, too. Marketing professionals now have more options for signage with white in it.

Marketers also have more choices in substrates, spurred on by mounting environmental concerns. Materials that are more environmentally-friendly than PVC and other plastic sign bases, such as polyester-based fabrics, are gaining traction of traditional substrates. Polyester is often made with recycled materials and can be recycled repeatedly. Substrates made with bio-degradable materials are also on the rise.

SpeedPro is Your Entry into the Lucrative Industry

Earning potential for entering the wide-format field looks promising, as evidenced by a jump in the number of print businesses considering adding wide-format printing capabilities, according to a PrintingNews survey last year. Twelve percent of respondents said they saw adding wide-format printing as a business opportunity in 2019, which is up from 10 percent the previous year.

As solutions providers, SpeedPro franchise owners offer these and many more products and services to clients. In the growing industry, SpeedPro franchisees experience 11 percent growth in same store sales, our top 25 percent of studio owners enjoy $1,124,244 in gross sales and a gross profit of $738,448.*

We provide comprehensive initial and ongoing support and training so you and your team of two to three employees are ready to help clients and adapt to changes in the industry. Because your success matters to us, we even help you begin generating revenue before you open through our Ramp-up Program.

With 180 studios throughout North America and counting, there are opportunities in markets in the United States and Canada to open a SpeedPro franchise and grab a share of the robust and growing wide-format printing industry.

To learn more about joining a wide-format printing franchise committed to sustainability, contact us today!

*These figures are included in the 2018 SpeedPro Franchise Disclosure Document (the “FDD”) and involve the average sales information for the twenty-six SpeedPro Studios that comprise the top 25% (based on their 2017 fiscal year financial performance) of the 107 SpeedPro Studios that have been in operation for at least two years and that satisfied the other reporting criteria set forth in the FDD. Within the top 25%, 10 of the 26 SpeedPro Studios met or exceeded the average Gross Sales figure, 8 Studios met or exceeded the average Gross Profit figure, and 14 Studios met or exceeded the average Gross Margin figure. The Gross Sales, Gross Profit, and Gross Margin figures are based on each franchisee’s actual 2017 fiscal year unaudited financial statements submitted to SP Franchising LLC. Your financial results are likely to differ from the figures presented.

What Does Sustainability Look Like in Wide-Format Printing?

December 16, 2019

The push to become more environmentally-friendly has sparked innovation across industries, even carving out entirely new categories in green technology, sustainable energy, waste management and more.  

Just as environmentalism has fostered eco-friendly practices across industries, sustainability continues to drive demand and customer loyalty in business. More than two-thirds of consumers consider environmental impact when making a purchase – a value that has transferred over to the B2B realm as well.

By tapping into the green economy, business owners can not only foster stronger demand for their products and services, they can also capitalize on additional revenue opportunities. This is particularly true in the wide-format printing industry, where 45 percent of print service providers reported a growing number of customer requests for graphics and signage made with green printing practices.

From minimizing waste in the design process to leveraging eco-friendly materials and technology, wide-format printing businesses stand to gain by employing sustainable practices.

Here are three ways wide-format printing businesses can promote sustainability:

  1. Use Eco-Friendly Inks

Print solutions providers are increasingly sourcing sustainable materials and supplying greener alternatives to answer growing customer demand. This, in turn, has also prompted ink suppliers to move toward offering more environmentally-friendly options.

Many traditional inks use harmful solvents, which exude a cocktail of chemical emissions when used. However, UV-curable inks, as well as latex and water-based solutions, produce far fewer emissions and are becoming more commonplace in the industry.

Similarly, vegetable-based, VOC-free and other eco-friendly inks are designed specifically to break down easily during the recycling process. These inks can be particularly useful when printing signage on plastic, cardboard and paper-based substrates, which businesses are more likely to recycle at the end of use.  

  • Leverage Sustainable Substrates

The substrates and applications involved in wide-format printing projects also play an integral role in sustainability. Some of the industry’s go-to plastic substrates are high in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) – a non-biodegradable material. Fortunately, many print solutions providers are migrating toward PVC-free vinyl, banners and other substrates.

Recyclable substrates made from 100-percent natural materials are also becoming more popular. Cardboard, cardstock and other paper-based products have long been popular options for point-of-purchase (POP) collateral, trade show displays and other wide-format graphics and signage.

Meanwhile, print suppliers have also created many new branded options for recyclable substrates, from EnviroBoard to Falconboard™. Some suppliers, such as Hewlett Packard, even provide a shipping label so business owners can easily return biodegradable substrates to the HP facility to be recycled.

  • Reduce Waste with Greener Techniques and Technology

It’s not just the inks and substrates used in the finished product that are becoming more eco-friendly. Many wide-format printing businesses have also been working to optimize their design and printing processes to reduce waste and lower their carbon footprint.

This comes largely as a result of innovations in green printing technology, such as UV flatbed printers. Not only do these printers leverage low-impact UV-based inks, they also print directly to rigid and flexible substrates, cutting down on the materials used and discarded in the printing process. Allowing studio owners to load, print and collect media simultaneously, efficient and eco-friendly printers also have a faster turnaround time for the end product, which saves energy.

Greener practices, processes and technology in wide-format printing continue to drive industry demand, while creating additional revenue opportunities for print solutions providers.

To learn more about joining a wide-format printing franchise committed to sustainability, contact us today!