How To Start a Print-On-Demand Business and Make Money

How To Start a Print-On-Demand Business and Make Money

How To Start a Print-On-Demand Business and Make Money


Print-on-demand services offer an easier way to bypass the time, investment, and risk associated with managing inventory, helping you create custom products at a fraction of the cost of manufacturing them on your own.

With print-on-demand, you don’t pay for the cost of the product until after you’ve sold it. There is no need to buy in bulk or hold any inventory yourself, leading to much money being wasted.

Plus with print-on-demand services, everything after the sale, from digital printing to order fulfilment and shipping, is handled by your supplier.

A major additional benefit of print-on-demand is. that once you’ve set everything up, it takes only a few clicks to fulfil an order after you’ve made a sale

Do you want to start a clothing business with little to no risk? This article has been created to help you get started.

What is Print-on-Demand?

A print-on-demand business allows anyone to work with a supplier of white-label products in form of clothing to customize those products and sell them via a website on a per-order basis under your brand and with your designs.

Why Should I start a Print-on-Demand Business?

Starting a print-on-demand is a great way to start an eCommerce business without having to bear too many risks and store inventory.

You don’t have to invest in inventory upfront and hope it works out. Suppliers handle inventory, storage, and fulfilment, plus printing and production.

You only pay for what you sell. Kind of like dropshipping, but for a custom product designed by you.

There are several reasons why a print-on-demand business might be a good fit for you. Here are some of them.

1. Low startup costs.

Print-on-demand as a business can be started with little or no money You could sell on an existing marketplace without spending any money at all to get started, or you can decide to set up your website for promotional purposes also.

2. You dont have to store inventory.

Another reason why starting a print-on-demand business is amazing is the fact that you dont have to pay for inventory.

Selling physical products typically requires you to buy inventory of the products you intend to sell. Paying for inventory also creates cash flow challenges as you want to grow and add more products.

These challenges are eliminated with the print-on-demand business model.

3. Print-on-Demand is easy to scale.

Maybe you decided to launch a new clothing line buckled with new designs, starting a print-on-demand business can be scaled no matter what. As your sales increase, you can simply add more designs and offer more products.

There’s no need to invest in a larger inventory or production facilities because all will be carried out by the print-on-demand service.

4. You can work from anywhere.

Running a Print-on-demand business does not require you to be in a particular, your interactions are going to be made online using a service made by the Print-on-demand supplier.

Since you can run your POD business from anywhere in the world, it’s a great option if you want to be location-independent. You can run your business while travelling or living in another country.

5. Print-on-Demand business can be run either part-time or full-time.

Print-on-demand businesses can be run part-time or full-time, depending on your goals. All you need do is interact with the supplier’s websites and that settles it. If you’re looking for a side hustle to supplement your income, this is a great option.

6. Creative work can be outsourced.

Maybe you dont want to implement the graphical work yourself, such can be outsourced – Print-on-demand businesses typically involve some design or creativity to create the products you’ll be selling.

However, you don’t have to do the graphic design work yourself. If you want to sell t-shirts or other print-on-demand products, you could hire a designer to do the work for you.

7. You Get to build Passive income.

A successful print-on-demand business generates passive income, as you could create the next trendy design that would attract Millions of buyers across the world.

The products that you design today will (hopefully) continue to generate sales for months and even years to come.

How do I start a Print-on-Demand Business and Make Money?

The print-on-demand industry grew by 12% from 2017 to 2020. While other industries stumbled during the pandemic, print-on-demand grew massively because of several reasons.

one of which includes the growing demand for personalized and one-of-a-kind products and the shift from traditional retail to eCommerce.

1. Understand how Print-on-demand works.

The first thing needed to be settled before starting a print-on-demand business is to understand how it works.

Print-on-demand is a type of dropshipping model, however, the process is different from traditional dropshipping methods.

Print-on-demand allows you to add your label or customized design to an array of products but ensures you only have to purchase a product when a customer has placed an order.

The print-on-demand process is simple, and this is how they are listed.

  • Set up your online store on your own or the print-on-demand providers’ platform.
  • Choose a print-on-demand supplier and connect this to your online store.
  • List the products you wish to sell on your online store.
  • A customer visits your eCommerce site and places an order.
  • This order is automatically passed to your chosen print-on-demand supplier.
  • Your supplier prints the specified design onto the chosen product.
  • The order is packaged and shipped directly to the customer by your print-on-demand supplier.
  • Profit is split between the print-on-demand supplier and your business.

2. Build an audience.

Building relationships is an essential part of marketing your business. Running a successful print-on-demand business requires you to build a relationship with your audience.

Many business owners leverage tools like social media to gain a following, share their experiences, and generate warm leads for their products or services.

Social media followers are just one example of a rented or borrowed audience. With a borrowed audience, businesses use a platform to communicate with their followers.

However, if that platform disables your account or experiences downtime, users instantly lose contact with their followers.

Since platforms evolve and change all the time, a borrowed audience is always at risk, so business owners need to rely less on borrowed audiences and more on their audience.

3. Decide what to sell.

The next step to take to bring your Print-on-demand business into reality is to decide what to sell.

Most Print-on-demand businesses are centred around the sales of shirts, but other things can be customized too.

It is not only limited to t-shirts, hoodies, or coffee mugs. As popular as these items are, today you can customize and sell them.

4. Create Designs.

Print-on-demand relies heavily on unique designs, artistic skills are not a prerequisite for success. You don’t have to be an experienced designer to come up with design ideas. Anyone can do it.

Doing your research and extracting the best ideas from the internet and your social network is a key step in creating a profitable design.

You can draw inspiration from your brand, or trends across the internet and many more. Research should be a starting point to create your original designs. Never steal someone else design you find somewhere or claim the work as your own.

If you don’t want to spend your time creating designs, you can always hire a professional designer. One place to get started is Fiverr.

I wrote a comprehensive guide on how to utilize Fiverr as a means to grow your business. Check out the link to the article to learn more.

5. Set up an Online store.

Becoming successful in your Print-on-demand business requires that your business is built around tech.

Owning an eCommerce website is an essential business tool when it comes to scaling your Print-on-demand business.

Whether you have a new business that you want to launch online or a traditional shop that you’re looking to expand, an online store is now one of the most important elements for many companies.

I wrote a comprehensive guide on how you can build your eCommerce websites courtesy of the use of website builders. Check out the link to the article below to learn more.

6. Choose Your Print-on-Demand company.

Print-on-demand (or POD) companies are businesses that provide a complete eCommerce fulfilment solution—this includes sourcing and storing products, printing products and packaging materials, and shipping orders to customers.

Print-on-demand companies are independent middlemen between you and your end customers.

To help you out, we put together a quick overview of some of the most print-on-demand sites that cover a variety of scenarios.

I will try to review them as much as possible, make sure to check them out yourself.

1. Printful.

Printful is a popular choice among print-on-demand sites because of its wide selection of high-quality products and brands (Gildan, American Apparel, etc.), easy-to-use mockup generators, and options for adding your branding to the unboxing experience.

For apparel products, in particular, Printful offers several printing techniques you’ll want to be aware of.

While the base costs may be higher, this lets you create a more premium product that could sell for more.

You should also be mindful of how additional customizations affect the price. Printing on the sleeve or inside label, for example, will usually mean paying a nominal fee on top of the base cost.

Besides apparel, Printful also offers mugs, bedding, pillows, framed posters, beach towels, aprons, and more.


2. Lulu Direct

Lulu Direct is its print-on-demand offering and lets you choose from a wide selection of book sizes, binding types, and page/print quality to build your book product.

While there is no built-in editor to design your book, Lulu Xpress does offer downloadable templates to get you started.

It even has a transparent pricing calculator to help you cost out your project, including various shipping options.


3. Printify.

Printify is another print-on-demand service that features the usual selection of t-shirts and hoodies.

While Printify is free to use, a premium subscription is available that gives you 20% off of all products for $29 a month, which is a solid option if you’re looking to scale up later and improve your profit margins.


7. Promote Your Print-on-demand Business.

The most important purpose that a promotion serves is that it sets a business apart from its competitors. You have to stay ahead of your competitors for customers to keep doing business with you.

Promotions also allow you to make use of your available data and create more useful data from it.

Promotion is also applicable when it comes to your Print-on-demand business also, you should invest heavily in promotion for your print-on-demand business.

1. Start a YouTube Channel.

YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world. That means that your potential customers are out there searching on YouTube for ways to fix their problems — problems that your business solves.

By using YouTube, you’re allowing your customers to find you, get to know your brand, and eventually subscribe to your business.

Think of YouTube search engine optimization (SEO) similar to how you would think of Google SEO.

If you optimize your channel for SEO, you will land higher up on the results when someone is searching for a video.

Once you build a genuine audience via YouTube, you can promote your Print-on-demand business with it.

I wrote a comprehensive guide on this blog on how to start a YouTube channel and make money. Check out the link to the article below to learn more.

2. Grow an audience on Facebook.

Facebook offers advertisers one of the largest user bases. As of July 2020, according to Statista, Facebook had more than 2.6 billion users worldwide.

That is more than any other social media platform and second to perhaps only Google’s search users.

Have you heard that Facebook advertising is only for B2C businesses? Prepare to be surprised at how B2B businesses can also run successful campaigns on Facebook.

The audience on Facebook spans many demographics. No matter to whom your business caters, you should be able to find your desired audience profile on Facebook.

Marketing your Print-on-demand business on Facebook is a good idea because it has a huge ROI when you can build a huge audience on Facebook.

I wrote a comprehensive guide in this blog on how to utilize your Facebook account to grow your business. Check out the link to the article to learn more.

3. Do not negelect Twitter.

Growing a well-targeted Twitter following can boost your business, there are tons of great ways to increase the number of Twitter followers. One of the best ways is just to be more active on Twitter.

Follow other users posting similar content, then engage with them regularly. Also, make sure to post niche-based content, and as your followers increase, you’ll also get more engagement and clicks through to your website.

I wrote a comprehensive guide on how you can grow your business on Twitter. Check out the link to the article to learn more.

What do you think?

Written by Udemezue John

Hello, I'm Udemezue John, a web developer and digital marketer with a passion for financial literacy.

I have always been drawn to the intersection of technology and business, and I believe that the internet offers endless opportunities for entrepreneurs and individuals alike to improve their financial well-being.

You can connect with me on Twitter


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