In today’s world, there are more options than ever before to create new lines of revenue in a business. Print-on-demand is a great option for a business to start selling products without having the upfront investment or the inventory to begin.
Most business owners know the benefit of creating additional revenue streams and creating products that help with branding. Print-on-demand is one of the best ways to get started and give your customers something to buy. You could get a store up and running within hours if you were ready to launch right away, which we’ll cover down below.
If you’ve been looking for a way to expand your business, sell products, or create items for the purpose of branding, print-on-demand might be exactly what you need. This article will outline what it is and how it works so you can figure out if it’s a good fit for your business.
What is print-on-demand?
“Print-on-demand” is a pretty straight-forward concept: things are printed and created as soon as there is a demand for them (aka as soon as someone buys them). As soon as a customer orders an item, it’s printed or packaged and sent to them right away.
Compared to selling your own products, print-on-demand often doesn’t have minimums and only creates as many as are sold at any given time. This can help business owners start to sell things without having the inventory on hand or having somewhere to store it.
Whether you have an established business, side hustle, or just a creative idea, understanding how print-on-demand works can help you make extra money without as much work.
Why print-on-demand is growing in popularity
In the past, if you wanted to sell a product, you had to jump through a laundry list of hoops. You had to find manufacturers and suppliers, have the upfront cost to buy a shipment worth, negotiate to get the right price and materials, have it all shipped to you and hope that enough people bought your product to justify the amount you had to invest into your products.
Print-on-demand cuts out all of that legwork and instead puts you in a position to open up shop in a matter of hours. The supplier takes care of shipping, managing inventory, and everything else that goes into getting the products out. Additionally, inventory is always in stock if you choose to work with a print-on-demand supplier.
While the profit margins aren’t always high, it’s a nice side revenue for a lot of businesses to explore.
What print-on-demand includes
While it’s easy to imagine print-on-demand including things like clothing or merchandise, but it can also include books and marketing materials. We’ll be covering all the different ways you can use print-on-demand for your business, but know that it covers a wide range of products.
Thanks to the internet, there are a ton of print-on-demand options for businesses to start selling their products. The best part is, most of these companies offer their services to everywhere in the world so you can sell your products worldwide.
In the past, if you had a store you could only sell to your community or have to take care of the shipping all on your own. With this option, you simply create the design/graphic and let the print-on-demand company take care of the rest.
With print-on-demand, you’re able to sell as many or as few products as you choose to. There’s no limit when it comes to getting your store and products up and running.
Why entrepreneurs should take advantage of print-on-demand
The biggest reason entrepreneurs should take advantage of print-on-demand is because the low barrier to start. Most business owners are always looking for ways to increase their revenue and learning how to do it in a cost-effective way will benefit your bottom line.
Out of all the ways to make money, most entrepreneurs are looking for more passive forms of income. Passive income frees up your time to focus on your business.
While print-on-demand is not completely passive, it is a lot more hands-off than something like providing a service or hosting webinars. Plus, it gives your customers additional ways to support your company and build brand loyalty with them.
The last thing you want as an entrepreneur is to have excess inventory or sell something that your customer’s don’t actually want, like this influencer with 2 million followers who couldn’t even sell a few shirts. Print-on-demand allows you to test the waters without losing anything out of pocket. If your customers don’t buy these products, then it’s no hit to your budget.
Watch this video and learn how some companies are making $10,000 a month with print-on-demand: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PqkmmS-Wqw
How to get started with print-on-demand
Typically, print-on-demand businesses fall under the umbrella of dropshipping, but you also have the option to work directly with a supplier and sell your own branded gear. Thanks to someone else dealing with shipping your products, you’re able to be more hands-off with a print-on-demand product and instead can focus more of your time on your business.
There are a few simple things you’ll need before you can get your store up and running to start selling.
If you choose to do your own designs, you’ll need to create those and then figure out what you want to sell. Some of the most popular items include clothing, bags, and hats. However, they can include almost anything that can be printed on.
If you want to go the dropshipping route, you’ll need to pick a niche
Options to sell using print-on-demand
The first step before you sign up for a print-on-demand service is to decide what you want to sell. If you’re not sure, we’ll list some possible ideas so you can start brainstorming.
- Tank tops
- Polo shirts
- Infant / kid clothes
- Dog / pet clothes
- Phone cases
- Phone cases
- Bath towels
- Beach towels
- Coffee mugs
Almost anything else you can find in a store you could find as a print-on-demand option. If you’re struggling to come up with ideas, simply ask your audience what they would be happy to buy. They might even come up with ideas you never thought of selling.
Setting up your store
Thanks to ecommerce websites like Shopify, you can get your business up and running within an hour. Shopify also has other ecommerce options, like being able to keep up to date with suppliers on inventory levels, so you don’t have to manually do it all yourself and keep up to date with every aspect of it. That way, you can save time and make money all at once.
Pitfalls to watch out for
Due to print-on-demand being such a hands-off business, it doesn’t give you as much control as dealing with the products themselves.
You’ll want to make sure you’re working with a reputable company you can trust because the last thing you need is angry customers who haven’t received their products.
On top of that, you’ll want to keep an eye on quality control. Trusting another business to match the same level of quality you provide for your customers can be a struggle.
Overall, print-on-demand is a great option for any business that has a low budget to start with. You can get your store up and running right away after you decide what you want to sell and create a few designs to go on your products.