According to Credence Research, the custom t-shirt market is expected to reach at least 10 billion dollars in value by 2025.
Considering the number, it is quite clear that print on demand and custom merchandise one can create with it is a solid business idea.
It is also worth noting that while print on demand t shirts are the most popular type of merchandise, it is only one category that you can create and sell.
Custom mugs, hoodies, pillows, face masks, stickers, and sneakers are other examples of possible products.
Right now, there are many content creators, from Twitch TV streamers to YouTubers, who are offering their fans custom merchandise. In exchange for a piece of memorabilia, content creators get compensated for their work.
Of course, if you are not someone who has an established audience, it does not mean that you cannot benefit from print on demand, particularly when it is such a low-risk venture.
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What Makes Print on Demand Low Risk?
If you compare print on demand with other forms of online stores, it becomes clear that POD is not as risky.
The business model does not involve heavy investments. You do not have to worry about returns, refunds, product fulfillment, warehousing, or manufacturing.
No, by adopting the model, you will have to focus on customer service. Creating designs is another important aspect, and finding reliable graphic designers or learning the craft yourself can be a challenge, but it is still nothing compared to running a traditional online store or starting one from scratch.
The best print on demand services also have the no minimum order policy. You do not have to commit to a specific number of products. If you want to try and see if you can sell 10 or 20 t shirts and determine whether your idea is good, do it and not worry about having to order 100 or 1000 units to get started.
Who Can Make Money With Print on Demand?
We already mentioned that various content creators are profiting from print on demand, but what about the rest?
Even if you have no prior experience, you can still create a source of income. Virtually, everyone can start a business so long as they have some money to invest in a website.
Coming back to the designs again, free mock up generators are a good way to get started, but you can also learn the basics of the graphic design yourself or look for a potential partner for the business.
There are many graphic designers who would be more than happy to join an opportunity to make money, and print on demand offers that.
If you have someone who can dedicate themselves to coming up with product design ideas, it will leave more time to focus on marketing. A win-win situation.
3 Tips for a Print on Demand Business Newbies
Before you commit to the idea of starting a POD business, you should take note of certain aspects that go into it, particularly when you have no prior experience running a similar venture.
Research your audience
Make sure that you thoroughly research the market beforehand. Otherwise, you risk wasting valuable resources.
Just because you think that your design idea is good, it does not mean that it will translate into profits.
Check Google Trends and other available channels and consider whether there is an audience for your idea.
Researching the competition is also necessary as it will give you a better understanding of what you are up against. Little to no competition can be a good thing because it might mean that there is still room left in the market.
Also, when you are picking a niche idea for your designs, try to narrow it down to increase the odds of success.
Try different advertising channels
Do not expect to attract customers without proper marketing campaigns. Even if you have a limited budget, you can still utilize available channels.
There are social media groups and online forums, such as Reddit, that let you post product pages and advertise them for free.
Sure, if you have some money for sponsored promotions, those are effective as well. Collaborating with influencers, for instance, is a good investment, even if influencers do not have that many followers. It is all about engagement, and if they have an audience that is active and relevant to your niche, you can expect a positive impact on your business.
Scale the business by adding new products and designs
Once things pick up, you can consider how to scale the business so that it does not stagnate. Try to reinvest the money you make and add new products. Perhaps you can hire an extra designer or two and increase the design variety that customers can choose from?
The goal is to scale the venture so that it continues to thrive and bring you profit, which will hopefully set you up for financial independence in the future.