Desktop Publishing (sometimes referred to as DTP), has made it possible for almost anyone with a computer and laser printer to start a quick and easy home based business. Full and part time home-workers are designing and producing printed materials such as fliers, business letterhead, brochures, business cards, envelopes, training manuals, annual reports, catalogues, newsletters and many other commercial products.
KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES:
DTP requires skills and knowledge in a variety of areas including design, computers, papers, business documents, writing and editing skills and familiarity with at least one popular desktop publishing software program. (Most home based publishers use Corel or Pagemaker, however hundreds of easy to learn programs are currently on the market. Check with your local office supply store.) It will also help if you are experienced with scanners and laser printers.
Organizations of all types, including large and small private companies, government agencies and non-profit groups, all need the services of a desktop publisher, so business is easy to attract! The best way to win customers is by using your expert DTP skills to develop your own creative business documents and distributing them to potential customers. You will need a brochure, business letter, business cards, a price sheet and other professional documents, including a portfolio of your work.
START UP COSTS:
You must have a computer and a high resolution laser printer! You must also purchase a desktop publishing and word processing program, if you do not already have them. It will also be a good idea to have a scanner, fax machine and office telephone with a hold or mute feature. Some desktop publishers also have a good quality color printer on hand for special requests and orders.
Your hourly rate will vary depending on the value of the product that you offer and the type of businesses that you market to. Most earn between $35 and $75 per hour, however the majority of DTP jobs are priced by the product, not by the hour. Some home business owners charge by the page with typical prices ranging from $8 to $25 per page for black and white documents. (Color documents should be priced at a higher rate!) If you are located within or near a major metropolitan area, you should be able to earn $50 per hour and up. The average full time, home-based desktop publishing service earns between $35,000 and $50,000 per year.
Assuming that you already know how to operate a computer and are familiar with at least one desktop publishing software program, you should start immediately marketing your services. Distribute your sales literature to print shops, small offices and your local chamber of commerce. Consider placing an ad in the Yellow Pages. Another excellent method of finding customers is by contacting employers that have placed “help wanted” ads in the classifieds for overflow clerical staff.
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