Production of melamine, a base chemical commonly combined with plastics, requires use of costly machinery, but companies that print designs on melamine products work with home businesses to fill custom orders. Ambitious home entrepreneurs with significant funds to open a business also have the option of purchasing plastic melamine plate blanks and curing equipment to bake their own designs. This eliminates the need for an outside businesses partner to produce the plates. Whether producing with a partner or working as an independent contractor, starting a home business personalizing melamine plates requires careful planning and innovative plate designs. [
Research the creation of melamine plate transfers by reading literature from companies manufacturing the melamine design oven. Melamine plastic art production requires a basic knowledge of plastics and transfer processes.
Create interesting and sellable designs for your plates or hire a designer to create the images. Hire a designer from a local art school or ask the manufacturing partner for designer suggestions. Request sample designs and call references before deciding on an outside designer. Complete a variety of designs to give customers a choice of styles.
Write business and marketing plans for your company. A comprehensive business plan includes the price of producing your designs, price points for selling the plates and a detailed time line for obtaining your business licenses, securing financing and producing your plates. Include your company's sample designs as part of your business plan. A quality-marketing plan includes your approach to the market and specific ideas for selling your custom-designed plates. [
Obtain financing or locate funding partners. Partners or bank lenders require a detailed business plan and evidence of prior work in freelance marketing, although not necessarily in dinnerware or plastics production. Bring your own financial statements to the finance meeting to show the amount you'll be investing in the business.
Register as a business, obtain a tax identification number and state and local permits and open your business financial bank accounts. If you plan to accept credit cards for personal sales, register for a commercial retail credit account.
Order your equipment and melamine products or locate a subcontractor to produce your designs. Research subcontractors online by searching business sites, such as your state office for business promotion, for companies cooperating with home businesses to produce designs. If you're buying your own equipment, interview manufacturer representatives to review the machines and the cost of the process. Request a test with your personal designs to determine your vendor or machinery selection and draw up a contract for the purchase or sign the subcontractor agreement. Investigate references for companies before signing agreements with subcontractors.
Institute your marketing plan to sell your plates directly to consumers online or in brick-and-mortar retail locations. Hire a web designer and a manufacturer representative to market your wares to local retail establishments. Consult a professional marketing association for a list of professional representatives in your area. Contact a local business college or trade school for a list of web designers to interview for your freelance work.