A print-on-demand business is a good business to start because there’s no need for you to hold stock in inventory or to ship orders. You only pay for a product once you sell it. All you need to do is create a design for the product, and a print-on-demand service takes care of the rest. Here’s how to get a print-on-demand business started.
What is a print-on-demand business?
Let’s answer to the question what a print-on-demand business is and how you can benefit from it. A print-on-demand business allows you to sell products featuring your own designs. You create the design for a product like a t-shirt, upload it, and when a customer orders it, a third-party print-on-demand company fulfills the order for you. It handles all the details once the sale has taken place, from printing to shipping. Your responsibility is to keep designing and marketing products.
1. Decide what to sell
Many people are very successful in selling t-shirts, but there are many different types of products you can sell, from blankets and mugs to caps and phone cases. It is worth finding out what types of products you are allowed to promote on social media sites. You can also find out if your products are acceptable under the terms and conditions of the marketplace where you want to set up shop.
2. Define your niche
It is important to find a niche or sub-category of people with a specific interest. For instance, many people are interested in clothing, but only a specific group of people are interested in children’s clothing. Even fewer people are interested in children’s clothing for girls. The more specifically you can define your niche, the better your chance is of standing out from the competition. If you can tap into a very specific audience others aren’t targeting, your chances of selling go up.
3. Design your products
Your product designs are very important, and looking at other people’s successful designs is a great way to see what works well. Etsy is an online marketplace where you do this. Look at the first page of the search results when you type the word t-shirt into the search bar, and you will find the best-selling t-shirts. Don’t copy other people’s ideas but get inspiration from them and add your own creative flair. Using tools like Canva enables you to easily create your own designs.
4. Create your online store
You can create an online store on a number of different platforms, such as Etsy. Etsy makes it easy to set up your store and has its own search engine that drives traffic to your store. You don’t have to worry about many aspects of running your own business, as Etsy handles technical aspects for you, like checking out and making payments. However, you do have to follow the rules and pay monthly subscription and transaction fees.
5. Choose a print-on-demand company
If you have your own store, partnering up with a print-on-demand company can take a big burden off your shoulders because you can rely on it to handle the printing, fulfillment and delivery for you. When choosing a print-on-demand company, you need to look at the product range and types of services it offers. Check out its reviews, pricing model, handling of returns and shipping policies.
6. Upload your products
When you have chosen a print-on-demand company, you can upload your artwork to the company’s website, where it is placed on a blank product like a mug or t-shirt. Use a mockup generator and then push a digital copy of the product to your store. Once you upload your product, ordering samples helps you to verify the quality. When a customer buys a product from you, the company charges you for the base price of the item, printing the design on it and shipping it to the customer.
7. Market your products
Margins for print-on-demand aren’t that high, so it is better not to start off using paid advertising. It is better to find ways to build up your audience, such as writing blogs about your products or creating videos about them and starting a YouTube channel. When you have a following, it becomes much easier to market your products.
by Smridhi Malhotra, premium blogger, top-rated native content expert, B2B, Google wizard.