How To Start Your Print On Demand (POD) Business In 5 Steps
Perhaps you are here to decipher whether POD, aka print on demand, is a real business to start or not.
Well, it is, and trust me; it begs the implementation of effective business strategies, information, ideas, and needless to say "creativity."
Now, as the name "Print on Demand" summons, it's actually all about "what are the targeted niche audience demands."
This act is optimized for distributing personalized items like t-shirt, mugs, leggings, floor rugs, hats, and other stationaries according to the customer demand and manifestation.
Sounds appealing, right?
But, you need to dig this fact into your head that it's a real business.
Hence, if you aren’t taking it seriously, then I can bet that you will end up nowhere.
And as a start-up business, making fumbles persistently will intensify the complexities, and that's probably the last thing you want.
So, in order to start your POD business, there are some strict marketing strategies and designing skills that you need to comprehend!
Let’s see how you can start your POD business from scratch!
What is Print on Demand Business?
So, print on demand is basically setting up a business on Shopify or Teespring or wherever you want the consumers to recognize your business, embrace your designs, relate to your ideas, and finally converting the audience into customers.
Thus, you can build an overwhelming relationship with them, and no wonder the more emotionally invested they are, the more sales you will get.
And to make sure that it happens, you need to choose a top-notch e-commerce platform that harnesses your marketing strategies and allows it to yield the predicted outcomes.
Then you make a design or a PNG file and transfer it on the products such as t-shirts, leggings, home appliances, mugs, etc.
Next, put them on your store so that the customers can glance over your products. Wait! How are you supposed to get people to see your products?
For understating the process, lets look at some of the most renowned PoD companies:
Above mentioned companies maintain their own interactive websites where designers and sellers can upload their designs and clients can choose a product they like.
How Would They Know About Your Store’s Existence?
Well, this is where you have to do some brainstorming or seek the assistance of an expert to gain “maximum traffic’ in your store. And it needs to be "organic traffic."
Because your intention isn’t only allowing people to surf around the store but also conveying the sense of urgency to “buy” the product.
Initially, it can only happen in practical aspects when you get organic traffic or, in other words, "people who actually care, scours and intends to buy."
What happens next when a customer places the order?
Here, all the farther fulfillments will be provided by the supplier. Hence you will need a supplier too.
Lastly, when the product is delivered, you will get the wage of your product!
So, this was, in sum, a brief description of understanding POD.
Starting Your POD Business from Scratch!
There's a linear process to launch your print on demand business. Mostly if you are a newbie, then you'll need a complete step by step guide to streamline your insights and use them pragmatically in your business.
Let’s wade through the steps one by one!
Step 1: Niche Selection
Honestly, with all the online noise out there, your brand can't be something for everyone. Hence, you need to pick a suitable niche that validates the genre of your products and the ideas of your design. Here, you mount real success when your business affiliates with the right product and right audience.
Your focus shouldn’t be on targeting a large number of audience but the right audience who pays interest on your products.
And in order to choose a reliable niche for your store, you have to determine the things you want to create or reconsider your ideas.
Because if your ideas and your products don't bear any relevance, then you are less likely to connect with the audience.
So, if you have a bunch of things whirling around your mind right now, then take a deep breath and start writing down all the ideas you have.
It will help your mind to assess the ideas subconsciously and pinpoint the perks and seat backs of each approach.
You can also narrow down the list by doing some pros and cons test. Whatever seems relatively closer to success or effective, pick it up and contemplate the possible consequences that it might yield in your business.
Once you are done choosing the niche for your business, it either can be comics, healthy living, beauty, or sports, lifestyle, etc. Make sure to be as transparent and accurate as possible because the niche name should be specific enough to lure the right audience in your store.
However, try sticking to an idea where the "out of the league" customers will pay interest too. Hence, it will increase the possibilities to get more sales and extend your audience.
Now let’s presume that you have the niche in hand. So how can you be sure that it’s the ideal one?
Well, there are a few factors that you need to consider before concluding. Let’s check them out!
So that was all you need to do for choosing a competitive niche for your business.
Step 2: Hunt Down The Best Software For Designing
Secondly, you will need an effective software where you will craft your designs. And remember to ensure that it endorses both pixel and vector format.
Besides, there are numerous free apps where you can illustrate your designs in different shapes, fonts, and templates.
However, I suggest not wasting your time in free software because there are very few options for improvising and enhancing your design. It bars your creativity, as well. Hence, choose a premium software in monthly or yearly subscription and design with more freedom and flexibility.
Now while designing there are few things to keep in mind,
Step 3: Host Your POD Website in a High Performing E-commerce
Now when you have your product designs in hand, it’s time to choose a competitive e-commerce platform where you can host your website.
There are plenty of online stores for POD business where you can create your store’s website by associating your brand with Spotify, Printful, Zazzle, Woomart, etc.
It’s crucial to choose the best possible platform with maximum customizable theme options while organizing your store so that you can promptly start your POD business.
The core aspect of connecting with a prominent e-commerce territory is to keep your clients happy and satisfied during and till the end of your career.
Also, ensuring that your products surpass other trending products and drive all the divided attention in your store is essential. Hence, enrolling in a platform where you are more likely to gain a significant portion of clients who value, assess, inspire, and build companionship with you is what you will need in the long run.
Now, what happens when you end up choosing a platform?
Luckily, it gracefully looks after your store in terms of communication, printing, production, delivery, profit margins, etc.
Therefore, the more effective platform you choose, the process becomes more palpable, lucrative, and easy to resolve when needs be. Plus, the pathway of operating your business remains as smooth as possible.
On the flip side, there are few things to keep in mind,
Step 4: Choose a Selling Process
Then you have to decide your selling criteria, which you want to apply for selling your designs.
Now here are two procedures to choose from; the first one is to create an account of your store in a marketplace where the specific platform will look after all the manufacturing process, order taking, controlling accounts, delivering the product, etc.
Here you will be contributing as an independent designer solely.
Irrespective of the fact that the store does most of the labor for you, you will be the one in charge to upload the designs and wait till it makes sales.
Secondly, you can establish the presence of your own store in various high performing e-commerce platforms such as BigCommerce, ShopBase, Etsy, Printify, Shopify, etc.
Here you need to sign up for your business account in any of the e-commerce marketplaces to directly affiliate your store to an established print provider to once-over your uploaded designs. It also helps you to take orders in bulk, depending on how much production you want and where you want to embed your design.
Once the designs are printed on the products, the next and final step is to trade the products to your clients.
Step 5: Plant SEO Strategies
The next thing you will be doing is search engine optimization, which allows you to bring organic traffic to your store and validates its existence on the first page of the search engine when relevant keywords are searched in the search bar.
So here, your work is to craft quality content with a set of reasonable keywords that most people are using to scour that particular product. And make sure sprinkling keywords that make sense or directly relate to the type of product you are willing to provide.
However, for executing credible SEO strategies, you can hire an SEO expert who surely has all the expertise to insert the appropriate SEO technique for your page.
If you aren’t willing to invest in a professional, then you need to do some online free courses on search engine optimization.
Besides, you can do “keyword research” to perceive the process of all the necessary attributes for driving immense traffic to your page and making sales to the targeted audience through proper optimization of your website.
So here you go!
You have everything ready for giving a kickstart to your POD business. Get your designs, upload them on your store or an e-commerce platform, optimize your website for maximum traffic, and promote your products by following these steps,
Once you are done with all the outlined process, you are good to go! Just have patience, learn the practice of acceptance for any possible outcomes, and remain as consistent as possible.
What Are The Best Print on Demand Products to Sell?
We have analyzed all the different niches and all the different POD suppliers and see which types of products are most popular in general.
As per our findings here are the top 10 best POD products to sell on the different platform.
Well, before starting your pod business, take enough time to find a good supplier who offers a wide variety of products. For future reference you can make a bookmark list from the above products. Good Luck !
7 Proven Tips for Your POD Business
So here I have lined up eight proven tips of all time for your print on demand business. I hope these will help your business to take off in a jiffy! Check them out!
## Create Urgency
You can put scarcity in some of your products so that the customers will feel the rush of getting it as a limited edition, and by this, you will get more sales in a short period of time.
## Set a Competitive Price
When setting your profit margins, make sure you are pricing the products with a competitive value, which seems appropriate to the customers as well as reasonable than other providers.
## Be Unique with Your Designs
Create exceptional designs for your t-shirt with a tinge of traditional vibe or put your designs to somewhere no one ever thought of. This will help you to set the price independently because only you will know how much you need to invest to craft the product.
And as there isn’t any similar product like yours, the customers will be left with never-ending assumptions of the accurate price. Hence, you will be the one to decide the revenue as well as change them according to your convenience.
## Promoting via Influencers
Send your products to social media influencers or bloggers who have a large audience or a fan following. Ask them to review your product and let their audience know about it. It will bring more customers to your business.
## Limited yet Moderate Color Options
Keep the color choosing option limited yet enough. Because too much availability conveys nothing but more confusion for making a decision.
## Announce Weekly Discounts
Offer weekly sales on your products as well as announce free giveaways for adding members to your page or inviting other friends.
## Add Testimonials
Use customer reviews as testimonials.
Hence, the audience can yield faith in your business and believe that you aren't only here to brag and make sales without providing any value but to help them getting authentic, reliable, and reasonable products.
Keep the testimonials or assessments of your products on top of your business page or website so that the customer sees it every time they step into your store.
Pros and Cons of POD
Let’s see the pros and cons of print on demand business!
- You don’t need to stress over inventory managements
- Availability of customization
- Affordable start-up investment
- Easy set-up process
- Risk-free as you don't need to make significant investments frequently but momentarily
- No restrictions while making designs or crafting what you are good at
- Not an overnight get-rich-scheme
- The profit margin is relatively lower than other drop shipping businesses
- Less variation while choosing product types
While other e-commerce business mediums ask for huge monetary investment, hard work, and time, POD ensures making sales without any hurdles, inventory management, and risk of failure.
So, if you are looking for a start-up business where you don't need to put a large amount of money and drain all your energy due to so many responsibilities, then print on demand is one of those e-commerce business models to bring noticeable success.