Can $1,000 Improve Your Screen Printing Business?

Tips & Tricks

Bruce from Printavo asked Mike Chong: "How can you improve your screen printing business with $1,000?"

The answer isn't complicated: scour the internet for a good used screen printing press or get yourself an education.

What should you spend $1,000 on to improve your screen printing business?

$1,000 can absolutely improve your shop. The question is how to spend the money so you get the best return on your investment.

That might be a lot of money to you – or it might be pocket change.


Either way, you'll want to purchase something that gets you closer to your long-term goals. That can really take two forms: buy new equipment or invest in new knowledge. The one you choose depends on your situation.

Here's how Mike suggests spending that $1k that's burning a hole in your pocket:

When you're smaller: Buy a used screen printing press – ideally a 6/4 manual press

A Lawson 6/4 screen printing machine that's almost 30 years old
This old Lawson 6/4 is still going strong, decades later.

If you're struggling, or just want to add some extra capacity to your shop, a simple 6/4 manual screen printing press can add a ton of value.

You'll be able to print "98% of jobs with a 6/4 [...] and they're out there if you're looking." It's not uncommon for shops to run their 6/4 presses hard for years and year without major repairs – they're durable, versatile and affordable machines.

Where should you look for a 6/4 press? You can scour DigitSmith for used equipment, and always keep an eye on your local Craigslist. Facebook Groups are becoming a great place to find used gear, and eBay constantly has great deals. It's also worth getting in touch with any other shops in your area. Some might be willing to let go of extra gear for cheap.

While you won't find a shiny, gently-used M&R KRUZER or a Riley Hopkins JR. 6/4 for $1,000, you will be able to print jobs that you can charge more money for.

Suggested reading: Buy Used Screen Printing Equipment and Save Money, Mike's in-depth guide to getting the most for your dollar.

Don't need a 6/4? Get an education!

For $1,000 you can take a trip to almost any trade show or industry conference. 

Get a cheap flight. Stay at a bare-bones AirBnB. Budget a little money for cab rides and food. You don't have to blow the bank to travel to a trade show and get involved.

The floor at ISS Long Beach 2019
You're going to be blown away by the size of trade shows!

The year's biggest trade show is ISS Long Beach. Held each January in Long Beach, CA, it's a gigantic gathering of screen printers, embroiderers, manufacturers, distributors, decorators – too many to list. Industry leaders like Rick Roth and Tom Davenport share their experiences and discuss a broad swath of topics with their Shop Talk series at ISS trade shows. Experts like Mark Coudray host seminars, and Printavo has even been known to share our advice about simplifying your workflow.

Think about it: ISS conferences and other trade shows are 4 days of super-focused educational opportunities. You can't get that on the web or read it in a book. 

There's dozens of other great shows every month:

All of these have great speakers, courses, and educational opportunities. Knowledge, new skills, insights, and new techniques are valuable. We make it a priority to be active at trade shows – it's such a good way to stay in touch with what's really happening in the industry.

The fastest way to improve your business is to improve yourself!

Want to spend less than $1,000 to get cutting-edge techniques for making your shop leaner, more profitable, and more popular? Check out PrintHustlers Conf 2019, July 12-13 in downtown Chicago.

This year, we've invited Profit First author Mike Michalowicz to headline. His book about making profit an automatic part of your business model has helped hundreds of print shops (and thousands of other businesses) achieve truly sustainable profitability.

Mike Michalowicz kissing the profit pig
Mike Michalowicz loves profit. So do you.

We've invited more than a dozen leaders from inside and outside the custom apparel industry for a fresh take on your challenges. Mike Chong will be there too! See the PrintHustlers Conf 2019 speaker list here.

It's a candid, personal event with less than 200 spots. Get your tickets before they sell out!

Next Post: Calling Mike Michalowicz: "Profit First" Author and PrintHustlers Conf 2019 Keynote Speaker

About Printavo

Printavo is simple shop management software. Whether your shop works with screen printing, embroidery, signage, digital printing, or awards & engraving–we make your complex workflow simpler to manage and understand. Printavo keeps your shop organized by handling scheduling, estimates, quote approvals, workflow, payments, accounting and more. With Printavo, you’ll work smarter–not harder.

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