What is Print on Demand? An Entrepreneur's Guide to Income Generation

Last Updated:
October 25, 2022
Author:
Kimmy

What is Print on Demand? An Entrepreneur's Guide to Income Generation

As an artist, designer, or entrepreneur, physical products are a great way to monetize your creativity. However, storing various physical products can be risky and complicated. Issues include having an excess inventory of a product that doesn’t sell and paying for storage options. Luckily there is another option for creative – print on demand.

Over the past few years, the print on demand industry has grown by 12% and continues to grow. In fact, it is estimated to reach 6.17 billion dollars this year. These services let business owners produce unique products without risk and with low investment. Below is an overview of how print on demand services work and how to use them.

What is Print on Demand?

Print on demand is where you, the creative or business owner works with a supplier of white-label products to produce unique items. This allows you to customize almost anything from baseball hats and t-shirts to tote bags and mugs with your own designs.

How Does it Work?

With print on demand services, you don’t need to pre-purchase large amounts of inventory. Instead, as you sell a product, you order it from your white-label supplier. This creates a very low level of risk for you as the business owner. Better yet, the white-label supplier handles most of the process for you. This includes;

  • The printing of the product
  • Order fulfillment
  • Shipping to the customer

All you need to do is find your supplier, create a website, design your products, create product listings and then market them.

What Can You Do With Print on Demand Services?

Print on demand services offer various benefits and can be a great way to test products or new designs with no risk. Other ways to use these services include;

  • Monetizing an Audience – you can offer custom merchandise with your brand logo, or catchphrase to sell to your online followers. This is often a popular option for influencers on social media.
  • Creating Specific Niche Products – these could be products that only appeal to a smaller group of customers, or for a specific event.
  • One-Off or Small Batch Runs – this is a great option for exclusive products, or to build hype for a limited edition item.
  • Testing Designs with Your Audience – As you don’t pay for goods upfront, you can easily test a variety of designs with your audience. Then, just keep an eye out on what designs are most popular to help guide future designs.

Pros of Print on Demand

Create New Products Quickly

Once you finish a design, you can have it up on your website, on a variety of products in just a few minutes.

No Shipping Complications

As the white label company handles order fulfillment and shipping, you have more time to focus on customer service.

Low Investment, Low Risk

As you don’t physically carry inventory and do not need to order in bulk the risk of going into business is very low. It’s also much easier to pivot when changes happen within the industry or to capitalize on trends.

Cons of Print on Demand

Lower Profit Margins

As you are not buying in bulk, your costs per item will be higher. Thus, the profit margin is smaller as you must price items competitively.

Less Control

Offering personalized notes and other details is not possible with these services. Additionally, you have little to no control over shipping costs and processing times.

Creating your own business has never been easier, and print on demand services make it practically risk-free. So, if you are creative and looking to get into business, utilize these services and promote yourself and your brand using social media. Soon, people from around the globe may be buying your artwork on a range of items.

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