Startup Costs: $10,000 - $50,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Franchises Available? Yes
Online Operation? No
In spite of the increasing popularity of digital imaging, print or negative photography will be around for many years to come. A good income can still be earned by starting and operating a one-hour photo lab. Of course the resourceful entrepreneur will also provide customers with digital imaging services in addition to traditional film development services. Like any retail business, location will be a major consideration. Good operating locations for a one-hour photo lab include stand-alone kiosks in malls, small storefronts in strip plazas, and kiosks within existing retail stores such as grocery stores and pharmacies. One-hour photo lab equipment is easy to operate and most distributors of this equipment will include some training when new or used photo lab equipment is purchased. The title of the business suggests that all film developing is completed in one hour or less. However, this is inaccurate as it is best to give customers film development options. The faster they want their film developed the higher the costs. There are also incentives that you can offer to secure new and repeat business such as two prints for the price of one, a free roll of film with each three rolls developed, and a free 8-inch by 10-inch blowup of one picture per roll of film developed. Also to increase revenues, be sure to establish drop-off and pick-up satellite locations. Satellite locations simply mean that customers can drop off their film at various locations throughout the community and pick up their photos at a later date. You simply drive to these location daily and pick up the film to be developed and drop it off the next day when you return to pick up film again.