With 3D printing becoming more accessible every day, you might have been considering different 3D-printing related business opportunities for your startup. Of them all, there are some strong reasons why you should consider PCB (circuit board) printing and manufacturing.
We’ll walk you through all the perks and benefits of starting a circuit board manufacturing business, covering everything from competition to potential profitability.
High Profit Margins.
Profit margins are important to any business: and most retailers and traditional services-related businesses operate on low profit margins which make it difficult to stay afloat, especially through early years. But PCB printing and manufacturing is well-known for its high profit margins in most cases, and for entrepreneurs who are productivity-oriented, it can be relatively easy to start and successfully operate a highly-profitable startup.
Large Market Size.
In 2015 alone, the market size for PCB printing as an industry in the U.S. ranged in at roughly 58 billion dollars. The broader marketing category, electronics manufacturing, totaled roughly 430 billion dollars. Compared to many industries, that’s a large market split between relatively few competitors. And according to some metrics, 2015 ended with 2.5% industry growth over 2014, with orders coming faster than months in the previous year. These metrics indicate slow but steady growth through 2016.
Making a Business Plan.
From your goals, mission, and vision, your business plan is usually a test of how strategic and realistic your goals are. And some businesses have a better ability to forecast sales than others, allowing you to hedge your bets on performance. Luckily, the PCB market has grown substantially in recent years, for all kinds of applications, making it easier than many other startup ideas to provide a straightforward and targeted business plan. If you’re looking for financing or investment capital, this is a crucial factor! Not all startup ideas will be able easily accommodate these informational needs, and are likely to be more of an investment black box.
Low Competition Markets.
Of course, all businesses have competition, and strong local competition can be a revenue killer. But it’s a straightforward task to scope your local and regional area for PCB competition, and to assess how you might be able to enter the market given their products. Providing niche services, such as PCB printing to inventors, beta-testers, and small companies can be a great way to slide into the market beside large competitors who primarily serve big businesses and large batch jobs.
Entry Options and Entrepreneurial Freedom.
With most businesses, to enter the market you can either buy an existing business or build your own from the ground up. With most business ideas, this will usually end up with needing to get staff, office spaces, and paying for a substantial amount of equipment or products. With a PCB printing business, most of these costs can be very minimal, and if you’re competent in 3D printing, at small scales it can be an owner-operator business with no need for employees until you scale up.
The Bottom Line.
There’s no substitute for persistence and good planning. No matter how much experience, intelligence, or talent you happen to have in PCB design or 3D printing, when you’re starting a new business, you’ll always come across unforeseen hurdles. But beginning a business in a field that’s trending up, and with few barriers to entry, can help mitigate your risks. For those with design or 3D printing skillsets, starting a PCB printing business could be the right move for you: the barriers to entry are low, it’s easy to identify potential clients and competitors, and there’s more than enough past performance data on the industry to help project success data.
[Image credit: European Circuits Ltd]