Tips for Starting a Photocopy Center or Xerox Business

Posted by under Business . Published: June 19, 2017

A photocopying center or “xerox” business is not a normal consideration when one wants to start a business in the Philippines. But if you notice, they are everywhere, especially near colleges and government offices.

Despite the existence of digital technology to duplicate and distribute documents, the need for photocopying services still exists. And the “xerox” business remains as a viable business to venture on.

If you’re interested and looking for tips on how to put up a photocopy business, then here’s a general guide to help you get started on the right path.

Capital

You shouldn’t go to this business blind, so determining your capital budget is a must. Before you start, estimate the amount of copies you will produce each day by determining how much foot traffic is generated in other photocopying businesses.

Now that you have determined your estimate, ask for your supplier for a quotation which should include the approximate cost per copy. Factors to consider are toner cost per copy, paper cost per copy, electric consumption of unit and most importantly, the maintenance costs pf the photocopier.

Your supplier will be your friend often in these business, and that means being in good terms with them can lead you to discounts and better offers.

Doing this will help you know just how profitable your business will be, and you will be prepared in handling the whole operation cost.

Equipment

If theoretically, you’re going to have a lot of customers immediately, you should consider first the capabilities of the photocopier you’re going to acquire as the demand may overtake your supply.

Be wise in choosing your photocopier since you will rely on using it every day, which means to be also aware of the frequent wear and tear. With that being said, if we were to rank the option of acquiring a photocopy machine it would be:

  1. Refurbished or Second-hand
  2. New
  3. Rent

The reason why it is better to purchase refurbished or second-hand equipment than renting them is because they are generally cheaper and often just need a few repairs to get it to working on optimal condition.

Renting the equipment will only make your profit margins low, so it is advisable to avoid using such way as possible.

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Nowadays, purchasing photocopiers or printers have built-in chips that tell you that they are running low on ink. However, it is a way to make consumers purchase ink immediately even though the cartridge is not yet empty.

Performance wise, choose photocopiers that can produce 40-50 copies per minute. Often, you will have regular customers with large volume requirements.

Consider the RISOgraph for a minimum of 1 ream per printing as this will yield you more profits.

For a better-quality print, opt for powder-type photocopiers, which is usually the norm these days. Of course, you will need a stapler and the A4 paper rack for mounting reams of paper. These items usually cover the base of your business operations.

Contact your supplier and ask for the warranty term on parts of your photocopier and the usual response time for service repair.

Photocopiers breakdown frequently (paper jams, moisture, alignment problems, etc.). You want to cover all the major parts with one-year warranty and a less-than-24-hours response time when repairing them.

Location

The convenience and accessibility of your business will reap you benefits, so you should choose areas where documents are needed quickly such as office and school districts, areas where high foot traffic is guaranteed.

And contrary to what you might think, one of the best locations is near other photocopying centers. This way, you can initially have spill-over customers.

Additionally, the more xerox businesses in an area, the more popular it will be, and word of mouth will certainly help in bringing in more customers.

Marketing

Earlier it’s been mentioned that photocopying businesses are still thriving, and are usually located everywhere. So, what do you do to make you stand out? Offer a better service!

High rates are given such as P1.50 for short paper and P2.00 for long ones, customers usually are more likely to go back if you price them at P0.50 centavos to P1.50 maximum.

Optionally, you may try and offer printing services which will increase your perceived value from the customer’s perspective, hence giving you a competitive advantage!

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