Start an Engraving Business
By Eric Hammer
Starting an engraving business is not nearly as difficult
as you might at first imagine it would be. You don't need to
be an artist and you don't need to have any appreciation of art.
All you need is to buy the equipment and be able to trace a stencil.
The machines do everything else.
Don't like the idea of handling a stencil? Increasingly, there
are machines used for the engraving business which are based
You simply type in the name that you want engraved and then
use a mouse to choose the picture. Place the object inside the
machine and click "OK." It will do everything else,
leaving you with a perfect engraving every time without the need
to handle a stencil by hand.
Engraving is also becoming popular with a lot of people as
a way to personalize various objects. Most people who start an
engraving business these days use lasers which can cut into almost
anything so that engraving on a piece of stone is just as easy
as engraving on a piece of glass, plastic or metal. The laser
depth can be set automatically so that you don't burn through
to the other side either.
How Much Can You Make?
As with any business that you are going to start, it's impossible
to quantify numbers since so much depends on your own initiative.
However, to give you some idea, simple engravings on things like
plaques (for example for the door) can cost a few dollars while
engravings on stones can cost several hundred dollars.
Ways to Make More | Related Opportunities
Remember to keep your designs fresh when you are running an
engraving business. It's not enough to simply keep a set of stencils
that the company sent you. You should always be looking to purchase
additional materials. You should also be looking for new things
that can be engraved. While pretty much anything with enough
thickness can get engravings on it, having more examples means
getting more impulse purchases.
For example, when people come in to have a plaque engraved,
if they see a mug with engravings they may decide it would make
a perfect gift. Speaking of that, it goes without saying that
you should offer to do engraving both on the customer's own materials
and on materials that you supply. This way, you can take a huge
markup on the cost of simple products such as plastic plaques
and the aforementioned mugs.
Qualifications / Requirements
You'll need a steady hand to handle some kinds of engraving
equipment, however increasingly you don't even need that. New
engraving equipment which is computer controlled means that almost
anyone can start an engraving business without having to know
anything else about how the equipment is handled.
Start by visiting the shops of some of your potential competitors.
See the kind of work they do and the kind of equipment they use.
Pay special attention to unusual objects they do engravings on
so you can mimic them. Then, buy the equipment, set up shop and
start your own engraving business.
Check out these helpful resources to learn more about starting
an engraving business:
- A company that supplies engraving equipment in a pseudo franchise
(they don't do actual franchises, but they do offer support and
equipment. They just don't have exclusive "territories"
like traditional franchises have).
Small CNC Milling Machine: How to Start a Small
Laser Engraving Business - Another introduction which focuses
on a specific type of laser for engraving.