How to Start a Hydro Dipping Business

If you love to create amazing pieces of art, but don’t mind them being displayed on everyday items like golf carts or video game controllers, then knowing how to start a hydro dipping business may be for you. Hydro dipping is the process of painting objects that are hard enough to get a base coat of paint to adhere as you’re dipping them. Sometimes called hydrographics, this is the image transfer process that is used to put camo patterns onto products like shotguns or ATVs.

Sound like something that would be a fun business to run? Then here are the steps that you’re going to need to follow in order to achieve your grand opening.

1. You’ll need to create your business identity.

Hydro dipping is a business that you’ll want to have an LLC or incorporate if at all possible. Because you are dipping the products that people are bringing to you into paint that dries as hard as an automotive clearcoat, you’re assuming a lot of liability. By creating an LLC or incorporating, you’ll be able to protect your personal finances should a customer decide to sue you because they’re unhappy with the results.

Here are some other steps you’ll need to take in the creation of your business identity as well:

You’ll need to come up with and then register a business name.
You’ll need something that is short and snappy to be memorable. Then you’ll need to register your business name with your local jurisdiction.

You’ll need to have licenses.
Almost every business needs a license in order to operate legally. You will likely need a retail license and your community may require a city license in order to operate.

You’ll need to establish banking routes.
If you’re planning on accepting credit cards, then you’ll need to create accounts with payment processors. You’ll also need a primary business account for your accounts payable and receivable.

2. Secure your business location.

Because you are using a water transferring process, you’re going to need facilities that are going to be large enough to dip the items that your customers bring to you. That means that part of your commercial location will need to become a “dipping studio” of sorts that is water tight. Not every commercial location will allow these types of modifications to a building if you’re planning on leasing, so take some time to scout locations and find one with a high profile, regular traffic, and will allow you to modify the interior to suit your needs.

3. Find a film supplier.

What you are doing with hydro dipping is applying a film to the object that is being painted. The selected film will be placed into water and it will dissolve. From there, with the right amount of applicator, you’ll be able to apply the pattern of the film onto the object and then allow it to dry with a clear, hard seal. You’ll need to find suppliers for this film, so look at getting one primary supplier and one backup supplier for the materials at minimum.

4. Make sure that you practice.

If you haven’t done any hydro dipping before, then you’ll want to practice on some items to make sure that you get the formula correct. If you have too much applicator in with your water and film, then the images are going to become blurry and run. If you don’t have enough applicator, then the water is going to reach the dipped item before the film and you’ll wind up with a splotchy final product.

5. Make sure that you invest into copyrights.

The films that are purchased from many hydrographics suppliers are actually copyrighted designs. This means that you’ll need to purchase access to the copyright before hydro dipping any items. Suppliers can set whatever price they want for access to their copyright, so the most popular designs tend to have the biggest access prices. This is in addition to the price of the film that is being purchased, so budget accordingly.

Please note: If you use a copyrighted design without paying for access to the copyright, then you will likely be ordered to cease and desist all operations and may be required to pay royalties, the copyright fee, and damages as a judgment order.

6. Make sure that you have stunning signage.

You can market this business virtually anywhere and find success. It’s possible to dip golf clubs, after all, so there will always be a wide range of possibilities. What will make you stand out isn’t your overall marketing efforts, although general marketing work is always important. What you need to have is stunning signage.

When it comes to artwork, people are attracted to first impressions. If your signage is sloppy and looks like it came from a thrift store, then people aren’t going to think that you can hydro dip some amazing graphics. Focus on that first impression with your commercial location and you’ll naturally attract people toward your shop.

7. Find a product that really makes you stand out.

With lots of people doing hydro dipping and DIY kits being sold regularly, to find business success, you’ll need to stand out in some way. That means finding a product that can make you stand up tall above the competition. One solution could be to secure a film that provides glow-in-the-dark hydrographics on virtually any objects. Imagine have a guitar that could glow in the dark – that would be cool for a musician, right? Think outside the box and then look for solutions that fit your ideas.

Hydro dipping provides unique graphic options for people at affordable prices. By knowing how to start a hydro dipping business, you’ll be able to market your talents and skills in a unique way to your community. There’s no better way to try to earn a living than that.