Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Digital Imaging Service
  • Start-up cost: RM20,000-RM40,000
  • Potential earnings: RM25,000-RM45,000
  • Typical fees:RM15-RM45 per scanned-image product
  • Advertising: Yellow Pages, mall kiosks and other high people-volume locations
  • Qualifications: Training in equipment
  • Equipment needed: Computer with scanner and video imaging capability
  • Staff required: No
  • Handicapped opportunity: Possibly
  • Hidden costs: Insurance, equipment maintenance and upgrades
  • Lowdown: The digital craze is on—and it’s not limited to musical instruments or compact disks. You can cash in on the trend by starting your own digital imaging service. You’ve probably seen such businesses in your local shopping mall or at a community flea market: the proprietor simply takes a video image of a person and places it onto a computer screen for printing on a color printer; the image is then transferred to a product (such as a felt banner, T-shirt, or coffee mug) and a personalized gift has been created. It’s that simple, and the product generally sells itself if positioned in a high-traveled area. You can buy a franchise or start your own version if you are familiar enough with the equipment and can work with product vendors. Expect to market your service aggressively; you’ll need to talk to people and have excellent sales ability to make enough money to cover your expenses (particularly mall rent). Still, it’s a fun method of gift-giving for many consumers—and they will buy if you are visible enough.
  • Start-Up: You’ll need RM20,000-RM40,000 for your equipment and space rental, slightly more if you buy a franchise. Your equipment will include a computer with color printer, video camera, and software that permits image transfer from video to computer screen to printer. Thermal transfer equipment will also be necessary to produce those personalized coffee mugs and T-shirts. On the plus side, you might see as much as RM45,000 for little effort on your part.
  • Bottom-Line Advice: Your business will fluctuate according to season; expect low times in the fall and spring, and festive seasons high (complete with long hours and heavy volume).

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