Thinking of starting a print on demand business? That’s great! A lot of people have had tremendous success in this type of business and you can too. To be sure you start on the right foot, here are 7 things you should know before starting a print on demand business.
1. All your work is digital
You only need to worry about your digital presence and correspondence with your customers. All the physical aspects of owning a business will be handled by the print on demand supplier. That means you create a website, showcase your products and receive the orders, but your print on demand supplier will execute those orders, print your product, package it and ship it out. In some cases, you can get a plugin for your website that will send the orders right to the print on demand supplier so the transactions can happen even faster.
This also means you don’t need to have a huge warehouse or inventory of things to start your business. You actually just need a computer, an idea, and the zest to do the work to get your designs and products visible on the internet. Not needing a huge space to store your products really gives you an advantage because it takes so much trouble out of your daily work as an entrepreneur. At first, you don’t even necessarily need office space. You can have one if you want to or if you start hiring people who help you with the digital work and communications with customers and you want them to be in one place. If you can’t pick the right print on demand supplier, we suggest checking out Printseekers.com. Their product offer is quite cost-effective and they ship worldwide. For more information check their website.
2. You might need to register a business to sell online
Oh, the legal stuff, always so fun. There are different ways how to be an entrepreneur these days. Some types of services can be done by being a self-employed individual, some require registering a company. When you start a print on demand business you need to figure out the legal situation in your country or state and get to know what are actions you need to take.
Definitely make sure you consult with specialists – lawyers, accountants, other business owners. They will give you the best advice and will know the topical information in your region. Legal documents and processes are very important so don’t take it lightly. You can also talk to your print on demand supplier and ask what are their requirements for a partnership.
3. You will need to find a print on demand partner
Speaking of print on demand supplier – you will need to find one. Nowadays there are several companies that offer this kind of services, you just have to make sure to choose the right one for you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and talk directly to their spokesperson regarding partnerships. And don’t forget to check their references – both as a print on demand service for one-time customers (what do people say about their product and its quality?) as well as print on demand supplier.
- 99,78 % of their order are kept by customers. It means their return rate is smaller than 1%.
- 96,56% of their partners keep working with them after their first order. It means only less than 4% drop out and they might have different reasons, for example, deciding that this business model is for them after all.
- On average, after working with Printseekers their partners’ revenue increases by 40%. That almost double the money!
- 98,72% of customers’ orders are received within one week in perfect condition. That means that only a little bit more than 1% of orders have a problem, BUT it doesn’t mean that it isn’t resolved as soon as possible.
4. You don’t need huge investments but you will need a marketing budget
When starting a print on demand business you don’t need huge investments because you don’t have to stock up on the actual product before the sales even start to come in. Regarding the actual product, you will need to buy it only when an order comes in. And that means a money guarantee.
However, you will need a marketing and digital tool budget. You will need to set up a website, maybe hire a designer to create your designs and a photographer to make beautiful pictures for the website. You will also need to work on your social media presence and potentially have Facebook Ads and Google Ads budget to get your product in front of customers. But it is still much less budget than if you needed to sustain a warehouse and had to buy all inventory.
5. At first you don’t have to have a lot of products and designs
Don’t be a perfectionist. Perfectionists tend to not finish what they start as it is so important to them to get it perfect. The truth is, you will not get it perfect. You cannot figure out in your own head what exactly will people like. You can have a hunch and work on it and that is great! But when you have a working prototype of a design – let customers decide what they like. You might be surprised.
That is also true for product types. You don’t have to have a lot of product types. Start with a few and see what customers like, what they don’t. Don’t be afraid to ask for their insights and reviews. Even if all of the reviews don’t come in positive, you will know what to work on and that will make you a better entrepreneur, a better business owner, and a better print on demand e-commerce shop owner.
6. You can customize everything! Including the tags and shipping package
Your customers don’t have to know that you run a print on demand business. You can let them think that you are printing all of this in your own facilities. How? A lot of print on demand suppliers let you customize everything – including the tags that are in the clothing (they can have your shop name there!) and the packaging. A lot of times you can choose how you want your product to be packaged, what it should say (besides of address) etc. Take advantage of that!
7. You will need to adjust your products and strategies until you find the ones that sell the best
Aaa, a business owner’s job is never done. You might start with one strategy and one product or design type and after a year or two end up selling totally different things with a totally different design. But that’s good! You followed your businessman’s inside feeling.
The truth is you need a strategy but you also need to be flexible to change it along the way. That is much harder than it sounds because it is so painful to let go of an idea especially if you have worked very hard on it. But to succeed in business sometimes it is necessary.
Just don’t stop there! Keep exploring, keep finding ideas, keep following a hunch. In time you will develop a real dog’s nose for the right things for your business.
Print on demand business is ready for you! Find a suitable print on demand supplier, create a website and start selling the designs you have dreamed of. It will take time and hard work but you will succeed. We believe in you!