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7 Things Every Print On Demand Business Owner Needs To Know

Print on Demand Business.

If you’re someone who dreams about starting your own online business but don’t have much money or experience, print-on-demand could be your ticket to becoming an entrepreneur without taking on a ton of risk or inventory costs. However, don’t let the low barriers to entry fool you. Print-on-demand is still a real business, so treat it according and with the right prep work and know-how, you can set yourself up for print-on-demand greatness. Your odds of succeeding at POD are low if you do not approach it as one, as you will probably make a lot of mistakes along the road. Therefore, here you will find 7 crucial steps every new print on demand business owner needs to know before starting.

Too Many Options To Choose From

Let me give you an example that will help facilitate your understanding of the first thing you need to know and I am sure everyone has been through the same experience. Have you ever been to a restaurant and took a long time to order because the menu just has too many options to choose from?

This is called analysis paralysis, which is that feeling you get when struggling to make a decision, or take action, because there are too many options or too much information in front of you. Therefore, here is the first tip that we have today, only add a maximum of 5 color variants to your product.

Offering customers variations of your product, like different colors or sizes, is always a powerful method that encourages customers to spend more money and that increases your profits on each order. However, too many colors or designs to choose from can leave customers feeling overwhelmed and this feeling could even lead them to leave your site and not buy anything at all. Also, you need to keep in mind one important thing, which is that not every design looks good on every color, especially when it comes to t-shirts. On top of that, it has been shown that darker shades, like gray or black, typically perform better in sales than lighter shades, so you can start off with these two colors and work your way around the remaining three colors.

Examine Your Print Provider Options Before Scaling

This is extremely important if you want to scale your business and make it international, which is you need to check your print provider options like Printful, Printify, Gelato, and so on. One of the big misconceptions people have, when working with print on demand fulfillment services like Printify, is that when you order a product through their service, they manufacture and fulfill your orders. However, this is not true, as the way it works is that these services work with several third-party suppliers, and they are the ones that fulfill your orders.

Also, all of these suppliers are based in different countries, have different pricing, available colors, and production times, so print on demand fulfillment services usually assign your orders to the supplier closest to your customer’s physical location. However, if you are going to use Printify, keep in mind that it doesn’t automatically choose a supplier to fulfill your customers’ orders, so you have to do it manually and it is crucial that you pick a third-party supplier that is best suited to fulfill your orders, because you don’t want to choose a U.S. supplier for a French customer.

Likewise, you don’t want to pick a supplier with the longest production time, since you want to reduce your delivery time as much as possible as fast deliveries will help scale your business, and provide a positive experience for your customers overall.

Credit Cards Are Essential

You only need to pay for an order after it is placed and your customer has paid. So, when you are using a platform like Printify and your customer places an order for a t-shirt in your store, Printify will, by default, scan your store once a day for any customer orders that need to be fulfilled and it will find that t-shirt order.

Once Printify finds the order, it will charge the credit card you have saved on your Printify account, so you won’t have to wait for the money you receive from your customers to arrive first before fulfilling the orders. This is extremely important, because customers’ payments could take several days to arrive in your bank account, and if you decide to use PayPal, it could take up to 21 days to receive your money and this time period varies depending on the country you live in.

However, with a credit card, you normally have 4-5 weeks to pay off the balance before any interest is added and you will definitely receive your payment way before that happens, which is why they’re the best option for this type of business.

Avoid Copyrights & Trademarked Phrases

Certainly, when you are browsing for designs online, you may have spotted a design that you want to sell in your own store, but first, you need to find out if the design is copyrighted or not, so it doesn’t get removed from your store. Keep in mind that any piece of artwork is subject to copyright the moment it is created. This means that you can’t duplicate the same design and sell it in your store. However, you can work your way around by creating your own version of the design, which is 100% legal.

While the content may have the same words as the original design, you can change the way it looks, as it is the visual appearance of the artwork that is copyrighted and not the content itself. So, as long as you redesign something using your own style, then it is absolutely legal to sell it in your store.

In contrast, what about trademarked phrases? You can avoid selling words and phrases that are trademarked by doing simple research, as each country has its own trademark search engine, so all you need to do is type in the phrase you have in mind. Also, keep in mind that unlike copyrights that most countries have agreed to protect by default, a trademark must be filed in every country. So, if a trademark is filed in Germany, doesn’t mean that it will be applied in the U.S..

Lifestyle Images for Your Products

Using lifestyle photos, rather than general mock-ups on a white background, is a powerful way to attract more customers, increase engagement, and boost your sales. Also, they are great for helping shoppers envision themselves wearing your t-shirts or using your products.

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to personally take photos of yourself in t-shirts and upload them, and this is thanks to an amazing service called Placeit, which allows you to take artwork designs and place them onto lifestyle images that feature real-life models. They have lifestyle photos for a variety of products such as t-shirts, hoodies, mugs, tote bags, and even pillows. All for a subscription of just $9.99 a month.

Marketing is King

This is by far the most important part of your print on demand business, as it is the main vehicle that drives sales into your store. It’s common knowledge that you could advertise on Facebook Ads or Google Ads, but no one will tell you that you need to make sure that what you are selling is acceptable under their advertising policy.

You don’t want to go through the hassle of building a print on demand store, only to find out that your products do not meet Facebook’s standards. So, check these advertisers’ business help centers, and read their standards, terms, and conditions very well before you decide to spend money on ads.

Secondly, branding is extremely important and it is not just your logo. It is how customers view your company through their experiences with it, and what pops into their head when they hear your brand’s name. Studies show that 90% of purchases are made subconsciously, which is why choosing the right name, logo, color palette, and so on is extremely important.

Another key factor in marketing is the use of social media, as 70% of people are more likely to purchase from your store if you respond to their queries on social media and people are also more likely to buy from a brand they follow on social media. So, make sure you work on improving your social media presence to gain more followers who could be potential customers.

Now, the last marketing tip I have for you is that you need to optimize your website because people who are dissatisfied with their website visit will likely go somewhere else to shop. So, you need to work on enhancing things like the overall speed of your website’s loading time, because no one will stay on a website that takes ages to load.

Get Honest Feedback

It’s very difficult to step back and be objective about things that we create as we tend to overestimate our abilities, and we are likely to see things from a biased point of view. Therefore, it’s important to seek other people’s opinions and this can be done easily by asking your friends and family members to give you their honest opinion on how your store looks or the products you’re selling without bias. This way, you’ll know what a person who has no interest in the business thinks, and be able to enhance your business based on their opinions.

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, you have to do your research, make smart decisions, and execute on a solid business plan. With some passion and persistence, you can build a brand and store that stands out from the competition.

The world of print-on-demand is wide open for aspiring entrepreneurs like you. So, start brainstorming product ideas, put these steps into action, and get ready to start fulfilling orders and improving your customers’ experience.


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