Printing.Com, a chain of printing stores and franchises listed on Ofex, is trying to raise £750,000 through an enterprise investment scheme (EIS) to finance the further development of the company.
The company sells a range of business cards, letterheads, invitations, promotional cards and postcards to individuals and companies through its stores, franchises and website. It already has 26 outlets, including 14 stores and 12 franchise operations, with six more franchises recently sold. But, it aims to have a total of 175 outlets by September 2005.
The franchise system was established last October and this enables other printing and graphic design firms to offer Printing.Coms products. These companies are vetted by business development centres and are charged licence fees. They buy their print orders from Printing.Com, but Printing.Com sets out the maximum price the franchise companies can charge their customers.
the company is reliant on computers to provide access to printing facilities and this keeps its overheads down compared to printing chains that use printing machinery. It also means larger orders can be processed more efficiently.
This EIS is likely to appeal to high-net-worth investors looking for capital gains tax deferral and who are also willing to take on high risks associated with developing companies. There is no guarantee that Printing.Com will be able to compete with larger companies within the sector that have more resources at their disposal. There is also the danger that rival businesses could develop printing technologies that eclipse those used by Printing.Com.