The growth of ecommerce has given incentive to a lot of potential entrepreneurs. People are eager to try their luck in starting a business. And as there are a lot of variations, you have a plethora of choices.
However, it seems that one business model is gaining a lot of momentum in particular. The popularity of print on demand is there because of the number of people who are interested in custom-made merchandise.
Mugs, t-shirts, hoodies, calendars, key chains, and other products can be used as a novelty or a gift. Brands are also including such products as an extra for their customers. Brand awareness and advertising help with scaling a business.
However, even if you know the basic principle of how print on demand dropshipping works, expecting to make money off of it immediately would not be that wise.
There are quite a few items to cross off of the list of things you need to do before you start the venture. Look at the steps below and follow them. Once you are clear, feel free to proceed with the next stage.
Step #1 – Research Market
Market research should always be one of the priorities. Even if you have a general idea of what you want to do, expecting things to work out on their own is not something you should consider.
The competition might be too tough. Entering an oversaturated market, especially when you have very little or no experience, is more than likely to end up as a waste of resources.
Of course, finding a niche that has no competition is more or less impossible. It is just that the odds of success are higher if you have fewer competitors. Also, do not forget about finding whether there would be demand for your designs as well.
Step #2 – Find Reliable Supplier
It is possible to take care of everything in print on demand business model. Product manufacturing, shipping, inventory, and other processes are manageable, but they can become too much. Not to mention all the necessary investments.
On the other hand, if you were to pick the dropshipping model, you would be a middleman. And there would be more time to focus on marketing and other matters. Provided that you find a reliable merchandise supplier.
Step #3 – Check International Selling Options
International clientele might not be on the list of your priorities, but if you have considerations of scaling the business in the future, it is worth looking into this stuff early. Especially if you are looking to increase productivity later.
A supplier that provides international shipping options receives an extra point automatically as well. After all, not everyone can offer such a perk.
Step #4 – Take Care of Legal Matters
Every country has different laws. It is important to make sure that all the legal matters are taken care of before you proceed. You do not want to find yourself in a situation where there are legal problems after you are already operating and making money.
Step #5 – Avoid Copyrights
Similar to legal matters, copyrights are also one of those aspects that can turn into a real hindrance. While there is an argument to be made that everyone copies everyone, your designs should still stand out in a way that you will not get any blame for copyright infringement.
Step #6 – Decide on the Product
It is no secret that most people pick t-shirts as their go-to product. They seem to be the most popular kind of merchandise. After all, most people wear t-shirts.
Nevertheless, since this is an option for most, you may want to consider taking a different route. There are products like mugs, hoodies, calendars, key chains, or phone cases.
Limiting yourself to just a single item is not necessary, but it is easier to optimize everything and run the store at first. You can look to scale later.
The bottom line is that you need to put some more thought into picking the product you want to start with. Do not rush these things.
Step #7 – Look at Potential Marketing Channels
See where you would potentially market your business. Search engine optimization and pay-per-click marketing are clear choices. Social media should be as well, but there are some types of designs that might be banned on certain platforms.
Forums and the likes of Reddit and Quora could also be decent for the sake of variety. The more resources you dedicate to marketing, the more you will gain.
Step #8 – Get Honest Feedback
Honest feedback from people you trust is a good way to broaden your horizons. Even if you put yourself in the shoes of a customer, it does not necessarily guarantee that you will look at everything from an unbiased perspective.
On the other hand, hearing opinions from people with no bias will help you see a bigger picture and determine the areas in which you are lacking.