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3 Considerations Before Buying a Screen Printing Business

Posted On: / By: Brian Knoderer
Buying A Business

Running a screen printing business can be a profitable endeavor. A lack of major players in the industry and relatively low entry costs create an attractive opportunity. As you consider buying a screen printing business, use this information to determine if it’s right for you.

3 Questions to Address Before Purchasing a Screen Printing Business for Sale

The screen print industry has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. The cancellation of large conferences, concerts, and sporting events that generally make up a large portion of the demand led to an 18.0% decrease in revenue in 2020. However, with brighter days on the horizon, you may be the right buyer to purchase an existing print shop and bring it back to life. Having a better understanding of the industry will help you set your own screen printing business up for success. Understand the following before putting in an offer.

Who Should Consider Purchasing a Screen Printing Business?

Running a successful screen printing business takes more than an understanding of design and t-shirt printing. To keep cash flow steady, business owners need to understand printing operations and marketing, customer service, financials, sales, and managing employees.

What are the Benefits of Buying an Existing Print Shop vs. a Startup?

close up of worker printing on a hat in a screen printing business

Starting your own screen print or embroidery business gives you the flexibility to form your business however you’d like. However, this comes with a multitude of potential missteps. From purchasing screen printing equipment to setting a business model, networking with local businesses, and building clientele, there are numerous issues to resolve as you get things running.

Purchasing an existing screen printing shop allows you to bypass many of the challenges of a startup. As the new owner, you’ll have a recognized business name and proven model, printing machines, trained employees, and an existing customer base to hit the ground running.

What Should You Look for When Assessing a Screen Printing Shop?

As you start to browse screen printing businesses for sale, you’ll want to find a print shop that sets itself apart. The following qualities can help you determine if a printing company is likely to be successful.

  • Location: While print shops can vary from a home-based business to a storefront, it’s important to have a community nearby. Whether or not the sale comes with real estate, you’ll want to be reasonably close to a metropolitan city or suburbs to encourage both repeat and new business.
  • Variety in Customer Base: From recreational sports leagues, high schools, and local businesses, a differentiated customer base is crucial to maintaining cash flow and promoting referrals year-round. Well established print shops will often have designs on file for small businesses in the area, allowing for quick turnarounds.
  • High-Quality Screen Printing Equipment: While some small screen printing businesses may offer squeegee silk screen work by hand, it’s best to look at businesses with an automatic press. This saves you time, money, and training while ensuring the shop can quickly turn out jobs.
  • Promotional Products: While custom t-shirts are a given, many print shops offer a variety of products to become a one-stop-shop for promotional materials. Determine if you want to offer posters, banners, signs, or other products in addition to screen printing.

With these factors in mind, you can purchase a screen printing business with confidence. For expert help, considering turning to the trusted professionals at Sunbelt Business Brokers. As the world’s largest business brokerage firm, we have the global experience and local expertise to help you find an opportunity that fits you. Get in contact with your local Sunbelt office today to get started!


Brian Knoderer is the President of Sunbelt Business Brokers. He has over 20 years of experience as a business owner and managing business transactions. As a seasoned intermediary, Brian has successfully represented companies in a broad range of industries helping business owners achieve their desired exit strategy or growth initiative.

Brian is also co-owner of Sunbelt Indiana and Managing Director of MMI Capital Partners, a franchisor focused investment banking firm.

Previously Brian was involved in several entrepreneurial ventures as well as having held corporate roles in Franchise Development for Prime Hospitality and Choice Hotels.

Brian is a graduate of Ball State University with a degree in Management Information Systems and earned his MBA from Butler University. He has received the Certified Merger & Acquisition Advisor (CM&AA) designation, holds both the Series 7 – General Security License and the Series 63 – Uniform Securities Licenses, and is a licensed Real Estate Broker. He has been affiliated with several organizations including the Entrepreneur Organization, a Member of the International Business Brokers Association, Venture Club, and a Board Member of The Entrepreneur Institute.

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