How start-up print businesses can quickly attract customers and maximise opportunities

Rob Brown, Senior Manager Business Development, OKI Europe Ltd, outlines how transfer media printing can open up a world of rewarding opportunities for start-up print businesses
It’s a tough time to be starting a business, but that doesn’t mean making a success of it is impossible. In the print industry, there are plenty of lucrative opportunities for new businesses – particularly with the support of the right technology, and it doesn’t always require a huge investment. 

The promotional products industry generates annual sales of €14.9 billion in Europe1, however, fulfilling the growing demand for short-run customised or personalised products can be challenging.  Start-up businesses looking to build their customer base and quickly generate revenue can do this by adding short-run printing on-demand to their service portfolio.  This can include personalised t-shirts and merchandise to help new businesses stand out from their seasoned and recently established competitors. 

By investing in technology that removes the high costs typically associated with short-run printing, new entrants to the sector can make highly personalised designs profitable. When that technology also offers unique white toner printing in addition to CMYK, they can really add the wow-factor to designs.

Transfer printing: convenient and cost-effective alternative to traditional processes

Transfer media printing is a fast, easy and affordable route to delivering personalisation for individual customers or providing customised branded goods for businesses. Choosing a transfer media printer means a business won’t just be limited to garments such as t-shirts, hoodies, baseball hats and tote bags – it will be able to customise solid items on demand too, such as mugs, glassware, flasks and stationery. 

Transfer printing is quick and hugely cost effective compared to other more laborious methods such as direct-to-garment (DTG), screen printing and embroidery and, by investing in the right printer, businesses can remove limitations around minimum order quantities. 

The costly and lengthy set up of traditional customisation methods means it simply isn’t profitable to accept low volume orders. However, transfer media printing can accommodate any order volume, from one customised item to thousands, allowing businesses to cater for one-off short-run orders and large batch orders too. 

Print Service Provider, Sweet Tees & more, traditionally relied on screen printing and embroidery to create its custom orders, but to make these processes profitable, the business had to delay customer orders until they exceeded 12 units. Switching to OKI’s Digital Transfer Media Printer allowed the business to significantly reduce lead times and print any quantity of custom orders, creating an on-demand service and stopping customers from taking their business elsewhere. 

Choosing the right technology to stand out from the competition

An extensive range of customised product options isn’t the only thing that will impress potential customers. The quality and flexibility of the customisation will matter too. This is where white toner printing technology can add the wow-factor to designs and set a start-up business apart from the competition. 

OKI’s innovative white toner technology adds white to the standard CMYK spectrum in either CMY+W or CMYK+White, opening up a whole new world of creative design possibilities. The addition of white toner can produce solid, sharp, bright white colour designs and can be applied as underlay on dark or transparent materials to make designs really stand out. 
Custom branded products business, Geared Up Solutions, recognised the ability to slash lead times as an essential attribute when selecting a digital transfer media printer. With customers increasingly asking for shorter lead times, the business needed a solution that would allow it to work quickly without compromising on quality. After installing OKI’s Digital Transfer Media Printer, the business can now produce professional quality custom orders in any size, from one item to 10,000.

A compact easy to use device will allow a new business to get started from anywhere, without needing specialist skills or having to hire commercial space to house sizable and costly specialist equipment.

There are plenty of opportunities for start-ups in the print space and short-run customised garments and merchandise is one area that is becoming increasingly accessible. A transfer media printer that doesn’t demand a lot of space and can produce alluring designs with clever toner technology will help even the most inexperienced entrants to the print industry stand out against the competition.

Discover more about OKI’s innovative, award-winning solutions for Print Service Providers or request a Callback to claim your free* Personalised Print Samples.

Request a Callback to claim your free* Personalised Print Samples or find out more about OKI’s Solutions for Print Service Providers


  1. Techconsult / PSI study “Industry Structure Analysis 2017-19”
*Terms & Conditions Apply
  1. This offer is provided by OKI Europe Limited (“OKI”) and is valid from 1 April 2021 until 31 December 2021.
  2. The offer is conditional upon you requesting and receiving a callback from an OKI Representative.
  3. This offer is limited to Print Service Providers only. A Print Service Provider is a business that provides commercial printing services.
  4. The offer is limited to 2 print samples per business or individual, on a first come first served basis, while stocks last.
  5. To participate, your registered office (or for individuals your address) must be located in EMEA.
  6. Individuals must be at least 18 years of age to benefit from this offer.
  7. The offer is subject to the laws and exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.
  8. OKI reserves the right to amend, extend or terminate this offer without prior notice.
Please note, for information on specific media that should be used with OKI printers for the applications specified on this page, please contact your local certified dealer or contact us.

Connect with OKI UK

linkedin twitter youtube facebook instagram

©1995-2024 Oki Europe Ltd.