Did you know you can start a print-on-demand business regardless of your experience and area of expertise? Unlike in a traditional business where you have to produce the products, store the products then find a place to sell them, with a print-on-demand business, you print the t-shirts when you get orders, so you don’t have to worry about producing them and not making a sale.
You also don’t worry about storage space for your inventory because you produce nothing unless you have an order.
This business model sounds easy, right? And it is. To enlighten you, here is how to do print on demand t-shirts:
Have a niche
Like in every other area, when you are all over with your t-shirt designs, you are mediocre in your delivery. So, for you to produce exciting designs that will catch people’s attention and drive your business to stardom, have a niche.
Many people have a problem choosing a niche, but it doesn’t have to be the case with you. A great way to find a niche is to do what you love. If you have been printing for a while, you most likely have found that you love doing certain designs than others. To be a success, settle on the designs that you find easy and fun to do.
Some of the niches you can go with are: football, comics, equestrian sports, healthy living, and so on.
After you have settled on a niche, now go online and validate the niche. Is it profitable? Are people searching for designs in the niche? How many people are interested in these designs?
The best place to visit for this information is Google trends. Here you will see the niche’s trajectory. Is the niche stable, going up or down? You will know this from the Google trends graphs. A promising niche should be on an upward or stable trajectory.
Another place to determine the niche’s potential is on the social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Reddit. Your chosen niche stands to be a success if many people have been talking about it for a while.
Don’t proceed with a niche that is on a downward trend or no person is talking about it.
Put together your designs and build your website.
Now that you have settled on a niche with a high success potential, your next move should be to get the designs. You can go about it two ways: build the designs yourself or hire a professional designer to help.
Regardless of how you go, ensure that your designs are high quality and unique. You don’t want to be like every other store on the internet, do you?
If working with a designer, talk it out with him/her and determine whether they have the rights over the designs, so you don’t infringe on them and be slapped with a lawsuit. To protect yourself, sign a contract with the designer detailing all the work agreements.
Once you have settled the design issues, now put together your website. Unlike before when you had to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to create a website, nowadays, you can have a fully functional website for less than $50. All you need to do is to buy a domain, hosting, and choose a website platform.
Three of the best eCommerce platforms you can choose from are Shopify, WordPress, and Bigcommerce.
The cool thing with these platforms is they have easy-to-customize themes you can easily customize by yourself without having to hire a web designer. Go here to learn more about the platforms and see how they compare to each other.
Pick your print on demand company or print the t-shirts yourself
You can create your print-on-demand t-shirts in two ways: you can work with a print-on-demand supplier or print the t-shirts yourself. If you have screen printing machines and experience, you can do it yourself, but if you don’t want to get your hands dirty, use a supplier.
The cool thing with the suppliers is they specialize in printing, so they have high-quality machines that give top-notch designs. The suppliers also have easy-to-use plugins that make it easy to integrate your site with theirs making order handling and tracking easy and seamless.
When choosing a print-on-demand supplier, be on the lookout for things such as shipping costs and customer service. You want a company that is affordable and has excellent customer service.
After settling at a company, order a few samples to feel the company’s work quality.
Although, working with a print-on-demand supplier will shave your profits, you won’t have to deal with fulfillment which can be a pain and expensive, especially when you are new.
If you want to keep all the profits, you should print the t-shirts and do the fulfillment yourself. When fulfilling the orders, ensure you do it right to avoid annoying your customers. To learn more about fulfillment and how to do it like a pro, visit: https://thrivescreenprinting.com/apparel-fulfillment-services/
Promote your store
There is no way people will know your business unless you promote it. After all, there are millions of websites on the internet. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways you can promote your website. If you have money, you can go the paid way and pay for Ads on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
If you don’t have the money, try to drive traffic using Facebook groups and forums. Join the Facebook groups within your niche and be strategic about how you go about the promotion.
The best way to go about it is to be valuable. Contribute to the group by answering as many questions as possible, then occasionally, share the link to your website.
Use the same strategy for the forums. Don’t join these platforms to take. In fact, you will gain more by giving. So give as much valuable information to these forums, then drop a link to your website now and then.
Experiment, analyze, and improve.
Once the ball starts rolling and you start making sales, try out different experiments such as using different colors on your website, running different ads, providing different t-shirt types, redesigning the website, and so on. You should experiment as much as possible and double down on what is working.