PCBs, also known as printed circuit boards, are very important components that are found in various electronic devices. Medical devices, smartphones, calculators and weapons systems all contain PCBs. These designs have become integral in many industries, and this industry has shifted globally to areas such as China and India.
One segment of this market includes application and manufacturing, while the other segment focuses on innovation. These designs have also become more complicated, and the development times have decreased. This means that if you are considering starting a PCB design service, there are certain factors you will need to address if you want your business to be competitive.
What are the Challenges?
You may have the engineering and design capabilities required to operate this type of business, and you may have the best PCB layout software at your disposal, but you must be proficient in other skills in order to be successful. Negotiation, sales and marketing will be necessary to propel your business within the industry.
An inexperienced designer will likely encounter more obstacles when starting a PCB design service than a seasoned designer. With that being said, if you do not have several years of experience in designing and engineering printed circuit boards, you may want to consider partnering with another designer or company in the industry to gain some knowledge and improve your online portfolio.
Acquiring New Customers.
It will be your task to convince your potential customers why they should choose your design service instead of working with companies that are more established. This is your opportunity to place a spotlight on the services your company offers.
Many companies that use PCB design often have difficulties during the design process, and they typically incur additional costs due to delays. Explain that your service manages the entire process. This should include management from design concept to completed product. By hiring your firm, they will be able to focus on other business related tasks.
What Services Should Your PCB Design Company Offer?
In addition to design, your business should offer a range of services that include, but are not exclusive to:
- Signal integrity
- Studies for design efficiency
- Data management
- PCB assembly
- PCB fabrication
Unless you have a degree in electronics engineering with an emphasis in PCB design, you will need to learn the entire PCB design process. You have a choice of taking offline courses, or you can study online tutorials. Textbooks, seminars, workshops and online lessons are just some of the educational resources that PCB design business owners can utilize to expand their knowledge and grow your business at the same time.
Choose Your Niche.
You may decide that you want to target designers and developers that are in low cost PCB commodities. These are developers that design printed circuit boards for inexpensive mass produced items like calculators. You may decide to enter the segment of the market that focuses on innovative designs like flexible circuits.
Designing printed circuit boards is only one part of the equation. Strong marketing and sales skills are also necessary to operate a successful PCB design service.
[Image credit: European Circuits Ltd]