Are you like many monument retailers who feel like you “just can’t right now”? Although purchasing a laser engraving machine is quite a commitment, the payoff and ROI can be huge if you are willing to put the machine to work for you. In this article, we’re addressing the most common concerns monument retailers have when considering adding a laser etching/engraving machine to their business.
- “I don’t sell enough laser etchings to justify buying a laser machine.”
Are you promoting laser etchings? Many monument retailers admit they are not promoting laser etchings as much as they should be. Why aren’t they promoting them? After all, that is where the profit is! Here’s a few reasons:
- They do their own sandblasting in house and focus on promoting that service.
- They don’t own a laser machine.
We all know that you won’t sell what you don’t promote! Laser etchings are the hottest market trend in the monument industry – anything can be lasered on granite: portraits, family photos, photos of their homes, cars, art, signatures, hand prints, footprints, poems, verses, songs, graphics, emblems…the list goes on. Unlike sandblasting, there are no size limitations for text and other artwork. Monument retailers have been promoting the personalization a hand etched monuments for years, so promoting customized laser engravings should come naturally. Laser etchings provide more profit than a hand etching, and you can charge less than hand etching.
AP Lazer machine’s price point is such that, even if you sell just one or two laser etching in a month, you will make a profit on your machine.
- “I don’t have time to learn how to run the machine.”
On average, a monument layout can be completed in about 30 minutes. More detailed scenes and multiple photo layouts will take a bit more time, but the profits are also increased. Our open architecture and EZ Leveling System make set up easy for the operator to get the monument set up beneath the laser head. Upon completion of our training program, you will be able to handle engraving a handful of jobs a month. As you grow into completing two or more jobs a week, it becomes cost-effective to hire a graphic designer. The designer can complete all layouts, run the machine and create additional advertising materials to promote your new service. Talk about a win-win!
- “A Laser machine costs too much.” The average cost of our largest model, the AP Lazer SN4836 is less than $4 per hour in an 8 hour day over the life of the machine. That factors in machine cost, maintenance, space, and electricity. A laser machine is the lowest cost and most efficient piece of equipment you can purchase for finishing monuments. The labor, maintenance, and consumables cost (stencil, sand, glue, etc.) for sandblasting is much higher than the tools and materials you need to offer laser engravings. When compared to hand etchings, laser engravings are a more cost effective solution, since they are finished much faster. Unlike hand etching, once artwork is created, you can use it again and again.
- “I don’t have the money to pay for it.” Cash flow is always a huge concern for any business. What many don’t realize is that the AP Lazer machine will actually generate positive cash flow for you. We have a finance-to-own program available making it possible to keep cash in hand and credit with your bank. The jobs you are completing will pay for your machine, plus, you will have extra cash to help pay for other expenses. Financing is a smart way to get the machine in your hands and start making profit right away.
- “There is no money in other markets/no diversification.” The monument market is a small market, as people buy a monument once or twice in their lifetimes. To top it off, as the cremation rate rises, funeral homes and cemeteries are diversifying into your market! When your overhead is paid by your current monument sales, diversifying is a low risk move in the right direction. One monument company began offering personalized gifts, awards and trophies. After only 4 years they are generating over $300,000 in yearly revenue. The personalization business is a recurring business, and your customers will come back often.The market and revenue is there for the taking and you only need the tools to get into it. Check out 20 unique things you can do with a laser engraving machine.
Stop dragging your feet and start making money!
A Laser machine is a great way to increase your sales and profit now, and plan for the future with diversification. If you wait any longer, you are going to miss out on the marketing and leadership advantage and your competitor is going to beat you to the punch.
This is an investment you can’t afford not to make.