A print-on-demand business could be your ticket to financial independence. If you are looking for an idea to create a source of income on the internet, take advantage of the fact that custom backpacks, t-shirts, hoodies, face masks, and other types of merchandise are growing in popularity.
Of course, it is not that simple. If you want to really succeed instead of abandoning the project before it brings any money, prepare to put in a lot of work. And to help you with the venture, we have a few great tips that should come in quite handy.
Pick a Narrow Niche
Before you jump right in and start spending money on developing a website and creating designs, take some time and research the market. See what other print-on-demand stores are selling and whether your original idea means going up against a lot of competition.
As a newcomer, you will likely struggle to promote the business and get ahead of others or at least reach a point where you can still compete.
The narrower your niche, the higher the odds of succeeding. Of course, you do not want to go super-specific and end up with the idea that attracts no interest.
Take animals, for example. There are plenty of people who love cats and dogs, right? Well, your designs could be wacky pictures of cute dogs. But why not go even further and create designs where those cute dogs wear winter clothes and have a silly slogan next to them. And picking a particular breed like huskies or bulldogs narrows the niche even more.
Create an LLC For Your POD Business
Another important step in creating a successful POD business is incorporating your legal entity. The most popular option in USA is LLC (a limited liability company).
You can form a company and file all the paperwork yourself, of course. But it takes time and knowledge. However, if you want to complete all the legal stuff promptly and with no hassle we actually recommend using an LLC creation service.
For example, we can truly recommend Zenbusiness, as they get superb customer reviews. If you want to know more, you can read an extensive Zenbusiness review here on llcguys.
Optimize Store for Smartphones and Tablets
Almost 79% of mobile device users have made a purchase online using their devices in the first six months of 2018. The number has grown a bit since then. And when you consider that roughly 50 percent of all internet traffic comes from smartphones and tablets, failing to optimize your online store for these devices would be a big waste.
Thankfully, there are web design themes that are mobile-friendly, so the optimization process should not be that difficult.
Sometime down the line, you may want to think about developing an application. It would make shopping on mobile devices even easier.
Hire a Freelance Graphic Designer
Even if you possess graphic design skills, hiring a designer is still a good idea. You may run out of ideas yourself and enter a stagnation period. To thrive, a POD business new products, and if you cannot provide customers with new merchandise, expect to see drops in sales.
If you cannot design merchandise yourself, then hiring another person is pretty much the only choice you have (after all, learning a new craft from scratch would take a long time).
Overall, having a second person working on a print-on-demand project is beneficial. In this case, a freelancer would be in charge of coming up with interesting merchandise ideas and adding new products to the store.
Meanwhile, you would have more time to advertise the business and drive traffic to the website.
Advertise Store on Multiple Channels
Speaking of advertising your business, let’s discuss some of the most important elements that you need to implement into your marketing strategy.
First of all, think about the demographics of your niche. Is it the younger or older generation that is more likely to purchase your merchandise? For older people, methods like email marketing and social media ads could prove to be an effective strategy.
Meanwhile, if you are aiming to target millennials, then promoting on platforms like TikTok could be the right approach.
At the same time, some digital marketing methods are universal and would be effective regardless of what your demographics are.
Influencer marketing is one of the best examples. Having a celebrity give you a shoutout on their social media channel is likely to bring attention.
Social media giveaways are also quite effective given how many people like to participate in contests that give away free merchandise. And if liking and sharing a post are all it takes to enter, there is no telling just how many people will join.
Finally, you have search engine optimization. Organic traffic is worth more than random website visitors from unknown sources. Even though SEO needs time to show results, you should still invest some resources into it.
Add New Products Consistently
The last piece of advice about developing your print-on-demand business is to add new products regularly. You need to keep the website fresh with new merchandise.
Whenever there is a new idea from your or a graphic designer, discuss it and figure out if it is possible to create a catchy design that will sell.
Also, consider holiday seasons. When it is around Christmas time, you could introduce some winter-themed designs.