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How to Start a Print on Demand Business the Smart Way!

T Shirt Mockup Featuring Jeans And Sneakers

Get Your Print on Demand Business Up & Running

Mockups For Pod Products

It’s no secret that print-on-demand businesses are thriving, and are one of the smartest ways to start a profitable business with little setup costs, so it’s only logical that you’ve been wanting to start your own.

Don’t rush it, though. Take your time to do some research, explore and dive into these resources to help you to set your POD business the right way. Once you’ve read this guide and know which way you’re going to go, it’ll be time to start making a living by selling print-on-demand products!

First, you need to learn about the most popular POD products to decide on which ones you’ll be focusing on. This will allow you to focus your energies on already successful products.

Let’s start with the most popular of them all while we go through a brief history lesson. As a fashion statement piece, the t-shirt has been around since the 1950s, and it hasn’t evolved that much because it is a really simple, basic way to deliver a message through clothing. Moreover, it is quite effective for that.

Trends have come and gone throughout the years and the fashion industry hasn’t been alone in keeping the t-shirt alive and well. People with no design skills or a fashion degree are taking over the creation, print, and distribution of this popular item.

Start with Print on Demand T-Shirts

Exploring a wide range of products to offer can be an overwhelming task, but that’s the first call you’ll have to make. Our advice is to focus your first efforts on t-shirts and apparel. Why? Not only because this is an easy, proven way to work for launching your POD business. It’ll let you learn the basics of running it while you discover all the possibilities with a whole new range of products for the future.

First, let’s talk about the benefits of setting up your business for a specific niche. There are a couple of ways you can set a niche to sell your products.

🔥​ Check everything you need to start a sustainable POD brand 

2. Plan Your Budget Wisely

When adventuring into a new business, chances are money is a bit tight. Thankfully, technology has made our lives easier when it comes to printing and shipping items throughout the world.

Currently, there are plenty of print-on-demand options that not only let you sell your designs in their marketplace, but they let you create shops for free using their platform. Besides, you’ll only need to pay for a Placeit subscription to create your own designs and mockups, and generate pretty much all the graphic content you’ll be needing to promote your business.

If you want to dive into the details to learn how to use your budget in the best way possible, there are many resources within the platforms where you can explore different options to invest your money.

3. The Best Print on Demand Sites

While it’s almost certain that it’s all been done before, you can still improve business models, be creative, and have a fresh take on what running a POD online store means. Being that said, let’s go briefly on a few useful things to learn from other business owners and take a few notes on how to run a print-on-demand site.

First, identify where is your target market and start from there. Look for a marketplace that ships to where your niche is located. Then, pay attention to the kind of designs they promote, there are marketplaces that focus on edgy designs, while others don’t really mind about a style in particular.

Make sure to consciously evaluate your alternatives, and if you have any questions regarding their operation, requirements, fees, or handling, go ahead and ask!

🔥 To help you with this task, we highly recommend doing the test on Which is the  Best Print on Demand Site for You. Read all you need to know about popular POD sites like Printify, Printful, Redbulbble, Spreadshirt, and much more!

4. The Key on How to Make It Profitable

Sure, it all sounds too sweet, but what about the profit? We’re here because we love what we do, but we also want to make it our way of living, right?

When you choose a POD site, you’ll need some clarity in how much you expect to get for every t-shirt or garment you sell, and how many you’ll need to sell in order to keep your business going strong. You know what? There is actually a way to calculate your profit margin! Just make sure you keep your numbers well-organized too if you ever need to adjust them.

Taking the time to set a profit beforehand will save you unnecessary adjustments in the future. Just be sure you’re keeping it real. Yes, POD businesses are profitable, but that doesn’t mean a large fortune is waiting on the other side of the shopping cart. Be patient and be smart with your choices.

💡​Read this How to set up your t-shirt pricing guide to learn more on how to price your products.

5. Shine with These Marketing Best Practices

Setting up your business is just one piece of the puzzle, and let’s say it, marketing plays a big part in the game.

When you’re new at setting a marketing strategy, all the terms can seem overwhelming when you’re not too familiar with them, but it all comes down to make decisions based on good numbers, and a little bit of seller instinct.

So, in order to make it work and actually make money from it, you must know the essential marketing tips for your business.

Getting yourself into the POD world will depend mostly on branding and visual identity that communicates well. Choosing the right name, designing a unique logo with an eye-catching color palette is a major first step when telling the world that your business is right there, ready to fulfill their wants and needs.

6. Learn the Magic of Placeit Mockups

One of the sweetest deals of having you here reading this guide is that you can get first-hand information about our mockups, which are pretty much like magic.

Mockups allow you to place any PNG file into a real-life situation, whether it’s a still picture or a video. Of course, we would love if you see it for yourself, but here’s a rough list of the kind of mockups you can download to give life to printed materials:

So much more!

Getting the perfect photo to display your set of designs can cost hundreds of dollars if you consider a professional photographer’s fee, editing software, models, props, set rentals… And the list can go on and on. Anyway, the magic of this mockup generator is that you only invest a few dollars, and you can stretch that money anyway you want. The possibilities are pretty much endless since Placeit keeps updating its design templates constantly.

On another note, your products will get the great quality visuals they deserve, since the professional team working on mockups is extremely talented and detail-oriented.

Using mockups for your printing business is the best way to save time and money, while you get top professional results to display your products.

7. How to Set Up an Online Store

Once you’ve decided on which path you’re going to take with your POD business, and your creative engines are almost ready to start producing, it’s time to learn to set up an eCommerce store.

This is perhaps the trickiest part of the process, but we’re here to guide you through this. An important issue to address is that you learn the basics of setting your own store, including policies, taxes, and the actual organization, and plan accordingly.

Of course, selling online has a lot of perks compared to selling in an actual store, but there are also hundreds if not thousands of competitors from all around the globe. So, if you’re planning to ship globally within this first chapter of your business, take some time to learn about what this means for your profit, shipping fees, and currency conversion.

On a side note, it is also important that you consider some issues like cultural differences among countries to which you plan on shipping, or to promote certain designs that could be mean a sensitive matter to a religious group, for example.

One Last Piece of Advice

Before you jump to your new endeavor, take your time and be patient, POD businesses are blooming all over the world, and yours will too if you make the right call. When in doubt, you can always come back to our blog to find new content and updated best practices to make your business thrive.

Hopefully, this guide cleared some of your questions to start your adventure. Want some additional content on print-on-demand business? Please feel free to get in touch to let us know what you’d like to see in this blog.

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