Why You Should Start A Print on Demand Business
There are many business opportunities out there for entrepreneurs. The internet is full of ideas on how people can start and run successful businesses. One of the rising online businesses that has been growing in the last couple of years is the print on demand (POD) business. Let’s look at what print-on-demand is and why it is a good business for any entrepreneur
What is print on demand?
Print on demand is exactly that, the printing of an item to order. A print-to-order business does not have to order stock hoping that it would sell. The company simple prints and fulfils orders whenever they are placed. This means you pay when you get an order and your customer pays you. You don’t have to keep stock or have an actual printing machine. The most important thing that you need to start is a computer and internet access.
For a while, print on demand was associated with the world of self-publishing. However over the last couple of years, there has been a rise in demand for print-on-demand in the world of fashion and custom merchandise. People go online to do most of their buying these days which means that online businesses are doing much better than their brick-and-mortar counterparts. A lot of entrepreneurs and hobbyists are drawn to the print-on-demand business model because of its low barriers to entry and because they can begin to see the revenue stream within a few hours.
Why print on demand?
Let’s run a scenario:
Imagine, if you will, that you are a painter or a graphic designer and you sold your work online. You could be selling books or archival art prints of your work. Conventionally, you could personally print out an order on your own printer or you could let a print-on-demand company fulfil the order for you.
Doing it yourself means you would have to invest in costly professional equipment. You would have inventory that you need space for and not only will you be doing the physical work of printing, you would have to take care of the shipping process too. Print-on-demand does away with all that. When someone buys a copy of your book or print, from a print-on-demand service like Amazon or some other printer they take care of the printing and the shipping of the order. This frees up cash for businesses because someone else is doing the heavy lifting for you and also because you won’t have cash tied up in unsold inventory. This is why a lot of companies are choosing POD.
Besides freeing up cash large companies have realized the importance of branding. Printed merchandise gives customers a physical experience of their favorite brand emblazoned on a T-shirt or a coffee mug. Print-on-demand can provide alternative revenue streams for businesses.
For example, a local gym could offer print on demand merchandise for its customers to get branded merchandise like t-shirts or sports bags that they can use or wear whether they are working out or not. This in itself can expand brand awareness and boost business. They can do this without the added costs of keeping inventory or managing logistics or shipping.
More than just about starting an online T-shirt printing business
There are hundreds of sites dedicated to how one can start their own online T-shirt printing business using the print-on-demand model. It goes beyond that. Whilst the T-shirt business is the fastest and most lucrative. A of people aren’t sure of how the whole thing works. If you are a designer and you are into t-shirts then sure. This is a great way to start or build your brand, but you don’t have to. You could offer printing services to other companies, even designers themselves, without ever setting your own feet in a printing shop, let alone handle the merchandise itself.
The process is simple. You could open your own online store offering customized printing services. T-shirts are easier. Your clients can upload designs of what they want printed and place the order with you. Your print on demand service will then produce the order according to your specific order. If your online store is connected to a print on demand service provider, your orders can be processed automatically and your goods can be produced and shipped directly by the POD service provider. The trick is to get a reputable service provider that will guarantee you the quality that your customers expect. So, what would you be doing instead? You will be focusing on your business, improving it and helping it grow bigger.