A print on demand business could become your ticket to financial independence. Many people are unhappy with their current job and would love for an opportunity to create a different source of income.
Thankfully, the ecommerce industry continues to grow. In fact, it is expected to reach about 4.5 trillion dollars worldwide by the end of 2021. And this trend is unlikely to stop, especially now after more and more people have become used to shopping online because of the pandemic.
Of available online store products, custom merchandise is one of the most optimal choices because of no upfront costs, its rising popularity, and plenty to choose from, particularly if you cooperate with a reliable supplier.
With all that said, it is important to understand that starting a POD business is not that simple. You will need to invest time, and even then, without some luck, you may find it difficult to find success.
Nevertheless, you will not know whether you can make money from print on demand unless you try. If you are looking for a helping hand that could guide you, this article is the right place to look for that help. The steps below will give you an idea of what you need to do to start this business.
Step #1 – Pick a Niche
Picking a niche is one of the most difficult things you will need to take care of if you want to succeed. It may seem like a simple matter on the surface, but the reality is quite different.
Ideally, you should go with something that you find enjoyable. It is easier to have motivation when you are working on something you are passionate about. At the same time, your interests may not translate into a profitable idea. Finding a compromise and focusing on making money is also a possible approach.
Your odds of making it increase when you aim to work in a narrow market. For example, if you want to create t-shirts with silly pet pictures, targeting multiple species of animals simultaneously would put you in a tough position.
Instead, pick a narrow niche, like baby huskies, and go with that. Also, be sure to research the competition, so you know who you are fighting against.
Step #2 – Consider Getting a Partner
Running a print on demand store alone can prove difficult. Turning it into a joint venture would probably be wise, especially if you lack the necessary graphic design skills, though
a freelancer could cover that part.
At least two people working on a project would mean that one person can focus on promotion while another would be in charge of maintaining the website and adding new products to the store.
Step #3 – Check With the Laws
Check with the local authorities to find out what taxes you need to pay. Once you start making profits, do not expect to avoid taxation. Sure, there might be some loopholes, and some people do not bother paying their taxes, but risking your work for that can backfire, leaving you with nothing. So, instead of trying to get out of paying taxes, follow the law and give yourself peace of mind.
Step #4 – Add Products and Start Promoting
Once you have a website up and running, you can start adding products and promoting the site. There are multiple ways to advertise it, and it usually comes down to personal preference as well as available resources.
As a rule of thumb, contemporary digital marketing revolves around search engine optimization, influencer marketing, social media, pay-per-click, and email marketing.
If you have time, try different methods to find out which of them bring the best result. And do not be afraid to test. It is difficult to create a solid marketing strategy when you lack the necessary data about promotional methods.
Step #5 – Establish Yourself as an Authority
When the business picks up, you can look to take the next step and work toward making yourself one of the industry’s authorities. It will take a while before you can take that step, but keep an eye on the business and take action once it is generating enough traffic and sales.
Focus on customer service and cooperation with other brands. Look for opportunities for publishing sponsored content. The goal is to let more people know that your business is booming and that they should pick your store instead of the competition.
Step #6 – Scale the Business
Scaling the business goes hand in hand with establishing yourself as an authority. You may enter a stagnation period when the numbers stop growing.
When that time comes, introduce new products and rethink your design strategy. Hire new designers that can bring fresh ideas. In addition, do not rely on just one product category.
If you have been selling only t-shirts until now, consider adding hoodies, mugs, phone cases, face masks, and other merchandise.