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7 Possible Disadvantages of Operating A Photo Printing Business Today

Looking at how most businesses operate around us, it’s evident that technology has become our connecting point. The services that shops provide us can now be done conveniently at our homes. One of which is the services photo printing businesses offer.

Gone were the days we had to go out and save our documents on a USB drive for printing. Before, professional photo printing shops competed to provide the cheapest yet quality prints. But today, most of us now have our home printers. One that we can use anytime we need to print a document.

But even though that’s the case, many professional photo printing services still thrive today. However, most that do have already established a name and reputation in the industry. On the other hand, for small, starting photo printing businesses, building a name for their brands could take a while. 

In today’s technology-reliant world, running a photo printing business could come with challenges. However, if you’re wise in your business strategies, you can surely turn those into advantages. Here are seven possible disadvantages if you’re planning to operate a printing business.


1 – Low service demand

The first disadvantage you could have is low service demand. Since many people now prefer to transact and mail files digitally, it’s undeniable for printing services to have low demand. However, there’s something you can do to avoid that.

One would be to offer various services aside from printing. Since people value posting their photos online, it would be nice if you could offer services relating to that need. If you only plan to have printing services, it’s unlikely to hit your target monthly sales.

To avoid going through this disadvantage for a long time, consider including services relating to online photography.


2 – Inconvenient product delivery and claiming 

I’ve mentioned earlier that people can now do many things conveniently in their homes. Because of that, people’s standards and demands have become higher. The thing is, product delivery could take days. On the other hand, going out of your home for document printing could be inconvenient for others too.

In short, it’s difficult to choose whether an online business is better than opening a physical store. When you choose to deliver your prints, you have to be careful in the delivery process. Minor dents on the file could leave a negative impression on your customers. On the other hand, operating a physical store alone could be inconvenient for people who hate going out. 

At this point, you just have to weigh which of the two would attract more customers than the other.


3 – Inconsistent income flow

Almost every business experiences this third disadvantage. Most businesses take more than a year to develop a consistent income flow. However, it could take longer for those that offer services that are no longer in high demand. 

Operating a regular printing business could be challenging unless you provide tarpaulin and billboard printing services. But just like the previous points, you can do something about this. As long as you’re planning to offer unique printing services that others haven’t done yet, you can combat this third disadvantage.


4 – Unpredictable work demand

Since it’s possible to experience an inconsistent income flow, expect that your work demand will also be unpredictable. Just like you, many starting businesses could operate unexpectedly. When that happens, you could encounter sudden orders for your printing service. 

But on other days, it could also feel like no orders would happen. Having unpredictable work demands is a disadvantage because it could affect your motivation to work. Unless you strongly believe and expect unpredictability to be part of your business, this won’t be a problem.


5 – Low employee motivation due to unpredictable work routines

Concerning my previous point, uncertain work routines could result in low employee motivation. If you’re operating a sole proprietorship business, this could be easy for you to surpass. But if you plan to hire employees who love to accomplish and do many tasks daily, this is a challenge.

There are various reasons people decide to leave their jobs. Aside from the common causes of salary and politics, people also resign due to boredom. The thing is, people need to feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction in what they do. If your employees rarely accomplish anything, expect that their work motivation will decrease. 


6 – Competing with the products and services offered by well-established printing shops

This sixth point is one of the disadvantages that terrify many starting businesses. As a starting printing business, you have the burden to meet and compete with massive companies that people trust. In short, you must provide services that compete with big brands’ quality at a justifiable price for a starting business.


7 – The status of the industry could affect your business’s longevity

Lastly, the position of the industry could affect your business’s longevity. As we know, we now live in a digital and fast-pacing world. People now demand convenient and easy access to things that once were hard to do. And as much as possible, if you can do things digitally, so be it. 

Because of that, the standing of the printing industry is slowly at stake. Since businesses introduce technological innovations yearly, it’s hard to tell how long the printing industry will survive. That’s why the industry’s status could affect your business’s longevity. In short, there’s no guarantee that you can get back the capital you’ll allot for your business. 


But as long as you’re presenting something new to the market, the chances of experiencing these disadvantages are low. 

Starting a business that contradicts today’s growing digital world can be terrifying. But as long as you’re confident that you’ll bring something new to the market, those feelings will slowly fade. After all, being terrified is part of starting a business. Because to be successful on the field, you must be wise in betting your cards consistently. 


About the author:

Bianca Banda is a writer for DS Colour Labs Ltd (DSCL), a professional photography lab that offers a vast range of products and services for photo and print needs.


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