11 Tips to Start a Print-on-Demand Business

Learn how to start a Print on Demand business step-by-step to kickstart your venture, attract customers, and maximize profits.

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7
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Starting any business is always stressful, and beginning a print-on-demand business seems even more overwhelming, especially in the crowded eCommerce space. 

So, if you are considering starting your own POD journey but unsure where to begin, we hear you.

Read on as we share 11 hot tips on how to start your print-on-demand business.

Let’s dive in! 

What Is A Print-On-Demand Business?

Print on demand (POD) is a business model in which you print and produce the products only when a customer orders them.

This allows for more customization and reduces the need for large inventories and warehousing, making the POD a popular choice for custom-printed products such as t-shirts, mugs, posters, and more.

print-on-demand-process

Why Go For Print-On-Demand Business?

Starting a print-on-demand business provides multiple advantages, including:

  • Lower Start-up Costs

Since you don’t have to invest in equipment, inventory, and storage space, starting a POD business is often less expensive than other types of eCommerce stores.

  • Customization Options

Print-on-demand allows you to offer a wide variety of customizable products to the customer’s preferences. 

As a result, this can attract more customers who are looking for unique or personalized items.

  • No Minimum Orders

With print-on-demand, there is no need to order large stock upfront. Instead, you can fulfill orders as they come in, which is less risky and helps to reduce waste.

  • Scalability

As your business grows, you can easily add new designs or products without investing in additional equipment or space. 

Furthermore, this way, you can test new products and designs with minimal risk.

  • Flexibility

Running a POD business allows you to work from anywhere with an internet connection and have a more flexible schedule, as you can manage your business online.

How to Start a Print-On-Demand Business in 11 Steps?

The world of eCommerce and POD can be overwhelming, especially if you’re new to it. 

However, with our simple tips, you can turn your print-on-demand business from an idea into an enterprise.

1. Choose Your Niche

Choosing a niche is an important part of starting a print-on-demand business because it helps you find a gap in the market and focus your marketing efforts.

There are a few practical ways to pick the right niche:

Identify your interests and passions – If you’re unsure about your preferred niche, start with something you’re passionate about.

The more interested and passionate you are about a particular topic, the more likely you are to create designs that will resonate with your target audience.

Research market demand – Once you’ve identified your interests, research the market demand for specific products in your chosen niche.

Thus, look for trends in popular products and designs and identify gaps in the market you can fill with your unique designs.

Consider your target audience – The best way to create products that sell is to identify your target audience and create designs that appeal to them.

To determine your target audience, take their age, gender, occupation, interests and pain points, social media footprint, etc., into consideration.

📌 Note:

Google Trends can be of great assistance in determining the popularity of specific niches or topics related to your print-on-demand business.

Furthermore, it can help you understand seasonal trends in your industry and adjust your product offers accordingly.

Once you’ve entered the search term, you’ll see a graph indicating the trend of interest in your search term over time. 

google-trends

You will also see related query terms and topics, as well as any related news headlines.

The same is true for defining the target audience – You can use Google Trends to identify the age group and location of people most interested in your product.

2. Choose Products to Sell

Ideally, you will sell something you’re passionate about, but it also has to be popular and relevant to your target audience.

Let’s see which products might be great to explore for your POD business:

  • T-shirts,
  • Tanktops,
  • Hoodies and sweatshirts, 
  • Hats and baseball caps, and clothing apparel in general.
  • Pet apparel,
  • Tote bags,
  • Backpacks, 
  • Home deco items,
  • Phone cases, etc.

3. Design Your Product

A great advantage of a POD business is that you don’t have to be a professional designer to create original designs.

This is where mockups come in handy because they enable you to easily and quickly create product designs.

Furthermore, they allow you to visualize a design on a shirt, mug, etc., before you produce it.

💡 ProTip:

With Dynamic Mockups, you can upload multiple designs and color combinations and automatically create all mockup variations.

This way, you don’t have to create all of them manually, which is usually the case with most mockup platforms.

It takes about 10 seconds for 100 mockup variations, which you can customize further.

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4. Test Your Product

Before production, you should test the waters to see how your product will perform. Once you’ve created multiple designs of a single product, you can get audience feedback by:

  • Sharing your designs on social media and other relevant channels or
  • Running and sharing a survey with your email list or social media followers.

Consequently, you can refine your designs to cater to your audience better.

💡 ProTip:

Did you know that Dynamic Mockups enables you to create, let’s say, 20 mockups of a single product and test them to get audience feedback?

Afterward, you can make an informed decision on which variant to produce and publish to your store based on the feedback.

5. Decide Where To Sell Your Products

When it comes to selling your products, the 2 most popular ways are via eCommerce platforms and eCommerce marketplaces.

✨eCommerce Platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, or BigCommerce enable you to create your own online store to sell your print-on-demand products. 

Therefore, you can upload your designs and create custom product pages, manage inventory, collect payments, and fulfill orders. 

In addition, there is usually a monthly or transaction fee based on sales.

✨eCommerce Marketplaces like Amazon, Etsy, and eBay offer a wide range of products to a large customer base. 

To sell your POD products, you should create an account, list your products, and upload your designs. 

Once a customer places an order, you receive the payment and send the order details to your print-on-demand service provider for fulfillment. 

Marketplaces usually charge a fee for listing and selling your products on their platform.

Both eCommerce marketplaces and platforms have their own advantages and disadvantages

platform-and-marketplace-pros-cons

6. Set Up Your Online Store

The process of setting up your online store is quite straightforward. 

Most platforms provide pre-built and customizable templates you can edit to match and align with your branding and niche.

7. Choose The POD Provider

When choosing the right print provider for your POD business, you should consider the following factors:

  • Product offers—Some providers focus on specific products, such as clothing apparel, while others offer a wide range of products.
  • Quality – Pay attention to details like color accuracy, print quality, and durability to ensure the product meets your standards.
  • Turnaround time – Look for a print provider that can deliver products quickly, especially if you’re selling time-sensitive items like holiday gifts.
  • Price – Consider the cost of the print provider’s services and how they fit into your budget. Some print providers may offer discounts or lower prices for bulk orders.
  • Integrations – It’s beneficial if the print provider integrates with your eCommerce platform because this allows seamless order fulfillment and inventory management.

8. Set Up The Price

Setting the right price for your print-on-demand products involves several factors you should consider if you want to make it profitable:

Calculate product cost,

Determine your profit margin,

Evaluate market competition,

Consider shipping costs and taxes, and

Adjust prices over time.

Pricing your POD products is a balance between covering your costs, earning a profit, and remaining competitive in the market.

9. Promote Your Store

Marketing and promoting your print-on-demand business is crucial for attracting customers and generating sales. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to do so, including:

🔥 Social media marketing – Establish an online presence and use eye-catching graphics, photos, or videos of your product to showcase it online.

🔥 Paid advertising – Choose a platform that aligns with your marketing goals and target audience, use targeting options to get your ads in front of the right people, and optimize your ads to reduce cost per click and increase conversions.

🔥 Email marketing – Create a newsletter to send to your email list, announcing new products, sales, or promotions.

🔥 Influencer marketing – To reach a wider audience, consider reaching out to your niche influencers and offering them a commission for promoting your products.

🔥 Content marketing – Regularly publish relevant content like blogs, product reviews, tips, etc., to educate and engage your audience. 

🔥 Website optimization – Make sure to use relevant keywords in your content and product descriptions to help the website rank higher in search results and drive traffic.

10. Track Your Performance

Tracking your print-on-demand store’s performance is important to ensure you meet your business goals and make data-driven decisions.

print-on-demand-store-metrics

Therefore, monitor sales, website traffic, customer behavior, and other metrics to gain valuable insights, check your audience’s pulse, and manage inventory. 

11. Provide Excellent Customer Support

Good customer support requires prompt responses to customer inquiries, clear communication, and a willingness to help solve customer problems.

Therefore, it is essential to have channels like email, phone, social media, or live chat available for customers to contact you

Furthermore, providing a detailed FAQ can also help address frequently asked questions and reduce the volume of customer inquiries. 

Exceptional customer service is crucial to foster positive customer relationships with customers, gain loyalty, and drive repeat business.

Wrapping It Up

Starting a print-on-demand business can be a great way to turn your creative ideas into a business and generate revenue with minimal risk and upfront costs.

With the right strategy, you can create unique and personalized products that resonate with your target audience and build a loyal customer base.

And to help you along the way, there is a solution that can automate your print-on-demand process and save your costs and time.

How Can Dynamic Mockups Help Kickstart Your Print-on-Demand Business?

Dynamic Mockups provides tools for companies in the print-on-demand industry to manage their businesses efficiently as they scale.

🔥 Besides enabling you to create designs in bulk, our API automates the creation of mockups using Photoshop templates via our platform and provides high customization.

🔥 To enhance customization even further, Dynamic Mockups equips you with a variety of editing tools, including smart objects, blending modes, print layouts, and more.

🔥 In addition, our Template Library allows you to create real-life mockups, increasing the chance of a product purchase.

Coming Up

With the upcoming Etsy and Shopify integrations and our Design Library to simplify the process of adding designs to Mockups and eliminate the need for re-upload, you’re fully equipped to start your POD business.

Intrigued to find out more?

Start with Dynamic Mockups for free and showcase your eCommerce products professionally.

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