How to Make Money With a Laser Engraver
Laser engraving is a fun and nice way to start up your own business or even a side hustle to make some extra cash.
From tombstones to trophies and a variety of other products, you'll be surprised by the various laser engraved things people want. The market is huge and it can fetch you really cool money.
You can make around $13 to $15 per hour on average. In a year, that amounts to around $27,000 to $32,000. Your location, your dedication, and the size of your business are all factors that contribute to how much money you make with a laser engraver. There are really no limits to how much you can make as long as you put in the required effort.
However, just like in other businesses, you'll need to employ various marketing strategies, promotion tips, and offer satisfactory customer services in order to excel in this business. This article runs through the various ways you can make money from the laser engraving business and what you'll need to start. There are several ways to make money from laser engraving. Let's get started.
- Offering Laser Engraving Services
You have the skill and you can decide to monetize it by rendering services to people. You can design items originally owned by the customer with a laser engraver. For example, customers might require your services to laser engrave a gift item they picked, or a football team can employ your services in engraving a trophy. All you'll need to do is get the word out that you offer laser engraving services. Your family and friends can be a start.
You can charge customers per letter, simple design, or simply charge per minute, say around $1 to $2 per minute. As a business-minded person, you aim to cover costs and make profits in the process. Set your prices at making around 30-50% profit per engraving project. This may not be possible for smaller projects though.
- Working with a Laser Engraving Company
This is easier for those who may not have the resources to start up by themselves.
The industry of laser engraving is constantly growing and as such, job opportunities are available to those looking. You can apply for jobs with an already established laser engraving company and make money for each job you do. This can serve as a great side hustle and fetch you a decent amount of money. You'll be getting paid to do what you love while everyone else is looking for a job.
Asides from not having resources to start, working with companies might be a great way to learn much more about laser engraving. You can learn more on the job and become much better at it. This gives you an edge when you eventually decide to start up one of your own. Laser engraving companies also occasionally employ the services of software developers, laser repairmen, laser instructors, and so on. If you have knowledge about any, that can also be some more money. However, you might be able to learn a thing or two about any of those with the company.
- Renting your Laser Engraver to Others
This is a stress-free way of making money from a laser engraver. Also, renting your laser engraver to others will fetch you some money which can accumulate over time and provide the money you used to purchase it in the first place. This can really help in paying off the cost of the purchase. You can easily charge around $30 to $50 per hour.
You can source for people in the laser engraving business and align yourself with them so that whenever a colleague faces issues with his/her engraver, you'll be available to lend yours at a fee so that they don't fall behind schedule.
- Organize Engraving Workshops, Classes, and Seminars
The news about laser engraving being a lucrative business is getting to everyone and of course, people would want to learn the basics. Some others might just want to improve their skills. Organizing classes, seminars, or workshops at a fee is another bright way of monetizing this skill.
You can decide to have the classes online or have people come to a certain location. You need to make some considerations before starting. For example, where do you host these people? If you're having them over, you'll have to find a convenient place. If it's online, you'll need to pick a convenient platform for this.
Then you can decide if you want to teach basics or have an advanced class. That will determine the kind of people who'll want to enroll in the class. And of course, you'll need to draft a lesson plan, set time for the classes, and proceed to get the word out.
If you're going to host engraving classes, you must be knowledgeable about it and enthusiastic about passing the knowledge.
Another brilliant idea would be reaching out to institutions like universities, colleges, then art supply stores and art centers and teach them the interesting and creative things they can do with a laser engraver and how it can fetch them money. When they know what they can do with it, they might be interested in learning how to use it and that's where you come in again by teaching at a fee this time around.
- Selling Engraved Products
This involves sourcing for items yourself, engraving these items, and putting them up for sale. There are so many profitable items to make with a laser engraver. We'll look at some of them later.
The profit margin in selling finished products is much higher compared to just offering laser engraving services. These finished products can be sold in physical shops, or online. You can put your products up on Etsy, create your own website, use social media, sell at craft fairs, open a shop or reach out to other local shops to work a deal.
The following are some profitable items you can make with a laser engraver:
Jewelry is always considered a nice gift. However, engraved jewelry comes across as an even more thoughtful gift. Giving a piece of personalized jewelry is a way of showing love because engraved items have a personal feel to them that lives a long-lasting impression. It is thus most often in demand, therefore selling personalized pieces of jewelry like rings and necklaces is highly profitable.
Laser engraver works well on leather surfaces, just like wood and metal. A wallet is a piece of accessory that you can find with so many people. An engraved wallet, much like any engraved item, has a personal feel. Hence it makes a good gift for other people and even yourself. So, it's bound to sell and yield profits.
Plaques are used for home and office addresses, to commemorate events, or even for remembering a loved one. That is a huge market right there which means money for you.
- Personalized Wood Cutting Board
You can make around $30-50 for selling a personalized wood cutting board online. They make great gifts for many occasions like weddings.
- Engraved Mason Jars
Mason jars are very easy to make with a laser engraver and are one of the most profitable things to make. They are great as centerpieces or for wedding favors.
- Personalized Tumblers
Personalized tumblers are very popular. Producing them for sale is very profitable.
- Baby Milestone Cards
They are quite easy to make. You don't need expensive materials to make them either and you can sell a set of 12 discs for around $20. These cards are mostly used for taking pictures of babies for record's sake.
Engraved cufflinks are one of the most profitable items you can make. It adds charm and style to the wearer and makes for thoughtful gifts.
Engraved clocks are other items that are very profitable. You can make simple designs to beautify the clocks or make alterations to create a theme. For instance, using Roman numerals to design an old-school clock theme or any other idea you come up with.
Personalized cutleries add a warm and personal feel to a house and also make great gifts. These items can undoubtedly yield high profits.
There are so many items that you can make with a laser engraver that'll yield high profits. You just have to look around you and get more ideas.
What You'll Need to Start a Laser Engraving Business
If you intend to start a laser engraving business from scratch, you'll need some supplies:
- Laser engraving machine,
- Laser engraving software, and
- Some promotional and marketing materials.
Depending on how you hope to sell, you may need a website. The laser engraving machine costs around $200-1000 depending on the type. The software ranges from $0-200. So, you can set your mind to spending around $500 for a full business setup. With the ideas on how to make money from laser engraving shared above, you'll be able to make the money back in no time.
Conclusion The laser engraving business is a very lucrative business. So many laser engraved items are in high demand and that can be good news to anyone looking at starting the business or simply doing it as a side hustle. However, you must note that making the items is only one part of it, and to be successful, you'll need to invest in marketing.