9 Steps To Start A Print-On-Demand Business

So, you know how the internet is amazing and allows us to make money and run successful businesses from anywhere? Well, print-on-demand is just one of the many opportunities that have come about because of all the cool digital tech out there. 

Basically, as long as you’re creative and motivated to turn that creativity into cash, you can start a print-on-demand biz right now. 

No need to worry about making or transporting physical products or any of that tedious stuff. Just create a product, have it printed on demand, and sell it online. Easy peasy! 

In that light, let’s examine POD’s business model. You’ll learn about its advantages, disadvantages, and, most importantly, how to get started with print-on-demand.

Let’s begin with the 9-step plan for starting a print-on-demand business.

How to Start a Print-On-Demand Business?

Thinking about starting your own eCommerce business? Well, have you considered using print-on-demand (POD)? It’s a pretty sweet deal. You can sell customized products without having to fork out a ton of cash upfront. Plus, it’ll make your business stand out from the competition.

Now, I know starting a new business can be intimidating, but if you’re motivated and willing to put in the time and effort, you can totally make a print-on-demand biz work for you. Just check out this guide for all the deets on how to get started. 

1. Choose a Niche

So, when it comes to marketing, finding a niche can be a great way to stand out and make some serious profits. Think about it like this, instead of trying to be all things to all people, you focus on a specific group of people who are super interested in one specific thing.

Now, when it comes to picking a niche, it can be tough to decide. But, a good place to start is to think about what you’re passionate about. It could be anything, like working out, going camping, cat videos, or true crime. Whatever it is, there’s probably a market for it.

The tricky part can be finding a niche that’s actually profitable. So, where should you look? Well, you can start by checking out what’s already selling well. Just do a quick Google search and see what pops up. You might even find some niche ideas that are just starting to take off.

Another good tool to use is Google Trends. It can help you compare different products and see which one is gaining popularity. Plus, it shows you data from all over the world, so you can see what’s trending in different countries.

Finally, you can use tools like Google’s Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, or Semrush to see what people are searching for. This can give you some good ideas of what kind of products or services to offer.

Overall, the key is to focus on a specific group of people and a specific interest. If you try to sell to everyone, it’s just not gonna happen. But if you hone in on a specific niche, the possibilities are endless.

2. Decide What to Sell

POD is a great way to get your creative juices flowing and make some extra cash by selling unique items. 

With print-on-demand, you can print and sell just about anything you can dream up, like t-shirts, sweatshirts, tote bags, and even custom thermos holders. 

And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even sell things like Bluetooth speakers, yoga mats, and customized backpacks.

But before you start whipping up designs and listing them on the web, it’s important to think about your target market. 

Without a target audience in mind, your goods might not stand out from the rest of the crowd. So make sure that the items you’re selling are something that your target audience wants, and that they’re a good fit for them.

To help you figure out what kinds of items are popular and in demand, check out online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy. You can search each one individually for ideas, or see what’s hot right now. 

3. Create Designs

So, you’re interested in getting into print on demand and creating designs, but you’re not sure if you need to be a professional designer. Good news: you don’t! While original artwork is a must for print on demand, you don’t need to have fancy design experience to come up with your own concepts.

To make some cash with your designs, it’s all about doing your research and scoping out your social networks, both online and offline, to find inspiration. Check out websites like Designious, Pinterest, and Dribbble for ideas. Just remember, use other’s designs as inspiration, not as something to pass off as your own.

Now, if you don’t want to take on the design work yourself, you can always hire a pro. But before you start searching for someone, make sure you know exactly what you need. Websites like Fiverr, 99designs, and Upwork are all great places to find freelance designers.

But here’s a key tip: even if you think you have a brilliant design, it may not be a hit with your target audience. That’s why it’s so important to test your designs before launching. Social media, online forums, or your personal network are all great ways to get feedback and validate your ideas.

4. Decide Where to Sell

When it comes to print-on-demand, you have a few options for selling your stuff – you can go the route of an online marketplace, or set up your own online store. But what’s the difference between the two? Let’s break it down.

eCommerce Marketplace

An eCommerce marketplace is like a big online bazaar. It’s a place where lots of different sellers can list their products for sale, all in one central spot. Examples include

These marketplaces are usually pretty easy to get started on, and you can reach a ton of potential buyers without spending a dime on advertising. The downside is that you don’t have as much control over how your store looks, or how it’s branded. Plus, it can be pretty competitive.

eCommerce platform

On the other hand, an eCommerce platform is like having your own website. Examples include

You can create a unique storefront for your stuff, and customize it to your heart’s content. You can add new products, run sales, and all that jazz. The downside? These systems can be a bit pricey to set up and customize, and you’ll need to advertise to bring people to your site.

At the end of the day, it’s all about finding the best fit for your business. Both options have pros and cons, so think about what you need and what you have to work with before making a decision.

5. Create a Store

So you’ve done your research and picked the perfect sales platform for your biz. Now it’s time to get your online shop up and running!

Don’t worry, it’s not as intimidating as it may seem at first. Depending on the platform you’re using, setting up your shop can be a breeze. Most of the time, you’ll have access to templates that have already been created for you, so all you have to do is make ’em your own.

Now, there are a few pages you’ll need to create in order to get your shop fully up and running:

  • Your shop’s homepage
  • A contact page
  • A page with all your shipping details
  • A page with all your payment information
  • An “About Us” page, and any other pages you think are important.

Yeah, it might take a little bit of time to set all of this up, but trust me, it’s worth it in the end. After all, having all the right pages in place is essential to the success of your print-on-demand business!

It’s best to start with Shopify if you are a beginner. Shopify is super easy to use and the admin interface is sleek and user-friendly. Plus, all the features are logically organized so you won’t be struggling to find what you need. And if you do need help, they’ve got plenty of documentation and video guides on their website to guide you through the process.

Learn more about how to create a Shopify store

6. Pick Your Supplier

Starting a print-on-demand business can be a bit tricky without a solid supplier to handle all the incoming orders. But no worries, there are plenty of options out there to choose from. Let’s take a look at some of the best platforms for your business:


This is one of the most popular print-on-demand platforms out there. They offer a wide variety of products and ensure that everything is top-notch quality.

When it comes to pricing, PrintBase keeps it simple. Each item has a base price and any extras are just added to your account. So if you sell something for $15 and it costs $5 (base price), you’ll make a cool $10. They don’t offer free shipping, but the shipping service is pretty solid.


This platform lets you create custom products to sell. They take care of printing, fulfillment, delivery, and customer service. And the best part? You don’t have to hit a certain sales target to make money. If something sells, you’ll get the cash once the order is fulfilled and shipped. Each product has a different printable area where you can put your design. Keep in mind, there’s a limit to the printable area, so don’t go overboard with your designs.

Teespring charges you a fixed price per item and you get to choose the selling price. And all profits are yours to keep after the base price is taken out. They also have different shipping fees for customers in the US, Canada, and other countries. Plus, some products offer rush shipping for an extra fee.


This platform offers a lot of the same features as other print-on-demand sites, but they also let you create your own store with a custom domain name. Their pricing is based on a base price and a minimum retailer price. Shipping costs vary depending on the destination and the number of products.


This platform is all about transparency. They handle all the heavy lifting – printing, inventory, and shipping – so you don’t have to. You can even integrate Printify with some of the most popular eCommerce marketplaces. And the best part? Signing up and using the platform is completely free. You only pay for a product after you’ve sold it.

Just about all orders are shipped within 2-7 business days from when the order was placed. Shipping rates may vary depending on the product type, the print provider, and where it’s being delivered.

Overall, you have plenty of options when it comes to print-on-demand platforms. Pick one that fits your needs and budget.

7. Set a Price

Print on Demand is pretty cool because it lets you play around with your prices to make sure you’re getting the profit margin you want. But, when you’re setting your prices, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First off, check out what similar products are going for on the market. Do some research and see what the current trends are. Compare prices with other similar items so you have an idea of what’s reasonable.

Next, think about where most of your customers are located. If you can find a local print shop, it can save you some dough on shipping and wait times for your prints.

Also, decide if you wanna include shipping costs in the price of your products or not. Including shipping can be a good way to get people to buy, but keep in mind that you’ll need to increase the price a bit to cover those costs.

At the end of the day, pricing your goods appropriately is key to making sure your biz is successful.

8. Check the Quality of Your Products

If you’re planning to start a print-on-demand biz, it’s important to make sure your products are up to snuff. Trust me, if your stuff doesn’t do what it’s supposed to, you’re not gonna make many sales.

The first and most crucial step to ensure your customers are getting the quality they expect is to choose a trusted print service provider.

And, if you want your online store to have a good reputation, make sure to order samples. This way, you can check out the final product and make sure the print quality, design, and colors are all on point.

9. Promote Your Products

If you’re looking to get your business off the ground quickly, incorporating some simple print-on-demand marketing methods can be a game-changer. Your main goal is to stand out, drive traffic to your website, give people reasons to buy from you, and turn those website visitors into paying customers. Here are a few ideas to help you out:

Social Media Marketing: Having a presence on social media is a no-brainer. It makes it easy to connect with your target audience. Don’t forget to keep things fresh by regularly posting news and updates, interacting with others, and leaving nice comments on other accounts. Social networks can be a powerful tool to grow your business.

Influencer Marketing: This is a great way to reach a wider audience. Partner up with influencers who can promote your products and you’ll instantly gain the trust of their followers.

Content Marketing: A popular strategy among entrepreneurs. If you consistently publish valuable content like blog posts, articles, and product reviews, you’ll establish trust and authority in your niche. Learn more about how to start a blog

Don’t forget to have fun and be creative with your approach. 

Final Thoughts

Starting a print-on-demand business can be a really profitable and easy way to make some extra cash. The key to success is just knowing what steps to take and when to take them.

Here’s the deal: when done right, a print-on-demand business can be a real money maker. And, it’s no wonder why so many entrepreneurs, artists, and content creators love this eCommerce business model.

It’s flexible, easy to set up, and can be scaled to fit your needs – whether you’re just starting out or looking to grow your current business.

If you need more guidance, sign up for my online business coaching.  

Interested in receiving one-on-one mentorship for building an online business? Join my online business coaching program.

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