How to Start a Print-on-Demand Business?

If you think to convert your creativity into a profitable business at home, then print-on-demand business is the cheapest way to start as a newbie or a veteran. 

The print-on-demand model is based on – you sell products, and a third party vendor manages inventory, shipping, and fulfilment for you.

If you want to put your creativity, physical products are considered a great way of monetizing your imagination, whether you are a designer, artist, authors, or entrepreneur. You can quickly put your creativity on posters or books to backpacks on t-shirts and rapidly sell them online. However, if you want to go the conventional way, you could discover a lot of product backlogs.

There are ways to prevent that, with print-on-demand services being one of them. 

You work directly with the supplier in print-on-demand and allow customers to customize any e-commerce merchandise they want to purchase. For inculcating product personalization facility, you need Imprintnext product design software. Once the demand is produced, there is the versatility to sell the goods. This allows consumers to choose their personalized product design.

The great thing about this business model is that everything from printing to your supplier’s distribution of products is done. Also, it simplifies the full order cycle and increases business performance.

How to Start a Print-on-Demand Business?

Print-on-demand services can be started quickly. Before the print-on-demand service began, we listed some tips to consider: 

1. Do Niche Research

Service ensures that there is a good collection of clients you will sell too before beginning the print-on-demand. You don’t have to target everybody, ensuring you get the most out of the sale only targeting the specified audience.

Do Niche Research
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Finding your niche and defining your target audience is crucial before you open your shop. You have to find out what goods you want to sell, whom to sell them, and whether to deal or go international within your city/country. You can start by listing all of the ideas in your mind, even if you don’t have a clear vision.

Choosing products that appeal to your primary customers and have a wider reach is essential; otherwise, you will find it hard to grow your business in the future. However, being vigilant about targeting and knowing your audience is a great way to develop yourself and acquire clients organically.

This doesn’t mean that a perfect match has to be sought. You will stick with it if you are passionate about some aspect of running the business. If you don’t care about the issue, you might not find the drive to persevere inside.

2. Choose a Product targeting the Niche audience

After selecting the niche audience, it’s time for the items to be determined. Will you sell personalized t-shirts, magazines, customized accessories or smartphone covers? 

Before deciding on your product line to know what is in demand, you can do some research. You can also find out what is happening on e-commerce websites in the best selling list.

3. Test Whether the Idea is Working

You should do a test run of it and realize that individuals like your business idea. There are a few ways to make sure that the concept is validated by individuals. 

3. Test Whether the Idea is Working
  • Share your designs and your private network on online forums. 
  • On different social media sites, you can also share designs. The best way to get a reality check is through the internet.
  • You may also make mockups that give you a rough picture of how the item looks.

4. Search the right e-commerce Marketplace

Now is the time to start, once you have determined your target audience and the product. If you set up an online marketplace, then you need to guarantee a reliable online platform. The website’s design is essential for that since the first look of your product is the website.

All vital information such as the return page, shipping information, payment information, contact details, and more should be included on the website.

5. Set up your e-commerce store

Now that you’ve worked out your niche and products getting your store up and running is the next step. Pick a hassle-free e-commerce platform for this, which helps you to quickly set up your store. You should have a domain, web hosting, a website creator, and e-commerce features for the platform you want.

Shopify, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce are some of the most popular platforms. These have easy-to-customize store themes that allow you to quickly set up your store. To get your store up and running, it will take a few days. As you will have to set up business pages for add-t-cart, shipping information and payment.

The use of a website like RedBubble or Etsy is another way to go about it. RedBubble is designed for online stores to sell custom products and is actually a platform for print-on-demand. In the meantime, Etsy can be combined with different POD services like Printful.

6. Choose your Print-on-demand Supplier

When you have opened your shop, you will need to find a reputable POD supplier to print your designs and send them to customers based on the service you have used. It is necessary to consider shipping costs, customer service, and product variants when selecting a supplier.

Choose your Print-on-demand Supplier
Source: GIPHY

Several other providers, other than Printful, have plugins that connect directly with some popular e-commerce platforms. For example, Printify, Gooten, and Inkthreadable will integrate with Shopify now. 

Order some samples of your goods to check for any defects once you have chosen a supplier. Link your interests to the store after your supplier is finalized, and you are all set for sales.

7. Marketing campaigns to promote your Brand

Now you have your online store. It is time to drive traffic to your website that makes sales. How are your customers going to buy products if nobody knows about your store? 

Thus, it is crucial to have the right digital marketing strategy for your e-commerce store.

Source : Giphy

7.1. Social Media Marketing

Gone are the days when people market their products/brands/shops with reaching the door to door with banners and leaflets.

As per the survey conducted by Statista, visitors spend 144 minutes on an average per day in social media. 

Therefore, social media is the most significant visitor hub where you can reach a large audience to publicize your online store digitally.

One of the easiest means to reach your audience and engage is by setting up business accounts in all major social media channels like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

7.2. Search Engine Optimization

In addition to social media, it is essential to drive traffic/visitors to your website organically from Google. And that is possible through search engine optimization.

High-quality content is the success strategy of search engine optimization. It is sufficient for bloggers but not only the requirement if you are running an e-commerce store.

You need to start with paid ads such as Google ads, Facebook ads that require little training or know-how about high search volume keywords to target the right audience. 

The critical thing to remember is that it’s good to keep trying out different marketing strategies to find out what works best for your store.


Print-on-demand business is a great way to test your business ideas. Since it does not require you to make considerable investments in procurement or deal with inventory management, product packaging or shipping. 

POD is a great option to peek inside the e-commerce business without any hassle with limited risk and fewer complications. If you have creative ideas, all you need is a laptop and an internet connection.

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Kevin Cook

Kevin Cook

Kevin Cook is an eCommerce specialist for Online T-Shirt Design Software at ImprintNext, who has vast experience in web-to-print technology. He offers valuable tips and solutions about ImprintNext Product Design software and other app extensions.

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