The Low-Risk Way to Start a Profitable Print On Demand Business

The Low-Risk Way to Start a Profitable Print On Demand Business

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. What is print on demand?
  3. Pros and Cons of Print on Demand
  4. Getting Started with Print on Demand
    • Choosing a Print on Demand Service
    • Diving into the Details
  5. Working with Designers
    • Outsourcing Design Work
    • Providing Clear Instructions
    • Print File Specifications
  6. Expert Tips for Success
    • Ordering Samples
    • Setting Expectations with Shipping
    • Using Mock-up Pictures
    • Niche Marketing
  7. Graduating from Print on Demand
    • Holding your own Inventory
  8. Conclusion

Print on Demand: A Low-Risk Way to Start a Profitable Business

If you've ever wanted to start a business but were hesitant to invest in inventory, print on demand might be the solution for you. With print on demand, you can create and sell customized products without the need for upfront inventory. Whether you're an artist, writer, designer, or entrepreneur, print on demand offers a simple and lucrative way to monetize your creativity.


In today's digital age, starting an online business has never been easier. One of the most popular business models is print on demand, which allows you to create and sell customized products without the need for inventory. In this article, we'll explore the world of print on demand, discuss its pros and cons, and provide expert tips for running a successful business. So, let's dive in and discover how print on demand can be the perfect opportunity for you to turn your creative ideas into a profitable venture.

What is print on demand?

Print on demand is a process where you work with a supplier to customize white-label products. Instead of buying and holding inventory, you can sell products on a preorder basis under your own brand. This means that you don't have to pay for the product until you've actually sold it, eliminating the need for upfront investment and minimizing the risk of holding unsold inventory. Print on demand services handle everything from printing to shipping, allowing you to focus on customer service and marketing.

Pros of Print on Demand

  • Low upfront costs: With print on demand, you don't need to invest a significant amount of money in inventory, making it a low-risk business venture.
  • Flexibility: Print on demand allows you to add or remove products, test new ideas, and pivot your approach easily. This flexibility makes it ideal for entrepreneurs who want to try different strategies without committing to large quantities of inventory.
  • Quick setup: Once you have your designs ready, creating and launching products can be done in a matter of minutes. This enables you to start selling and generating revenue quickly.

Cons of Print on Demand

  • Higher cost per item: The cost per item in print on demand is generally higher compared to buying in bulk. This can affect your profit margins and require selling a higher volume of products to make a significant profit.
  • Limited customization options: The level of customization available for products can vary depending on the vendor and printing techniques. Some products may have limitations in terms of color options, size variations, or additional customization features.
  • Less control over shipping: When using print on demand services, you have less control over shipping costs and options. Additionally, creating a standout unboxing experience might be challenging due to limited customization options.

Getting Started with Print on Demand

Now that you understand the basics of print on demand, let's explore how you can get started with this business model. The first step is to choose a print on demand service that aligns with your needs and preferences. There are several popular services available, each offering unique features and product options. It's important to evaluate factors such as base costs, shipping times, customization options, and integration capabilities with your chosen e-commerce platform.

Once you have selected a print on demand service, it's time to dive into the details. Familiarize yourself with their platform, product catalog, and the process of creating and launching products. Some services may provide online design tools or integrations with popular graphic design software to make the customization process easier. Take advantage of these resources to bring your creative visions to life.

Working with Designers

If you're not a designer yourself, you can still create amazing designs for your print on demand products by outsourcing design work. Websites like Behance, 99 designs, or other freelance platforms can connect you with talented designers who can bring your ideas to life. When working with designers, it's crucial to provide clear instructions and communicate your brand's aesthetic. Share details about your target audience, the purpose of the design, and any specific guidelines or examples that can help the designer understand your vision.

Remember to specify that the designs are for printing and provide the necessary specifications, such as resolution and transparency. Designers with experience in print on demand will know how to prepare the artwork files correctly, ensuring optimal results when the designs are printed on products. It's also essential to establish a clear scope of the project, including the number of revisions and any additional deliverables.

Expert Tips for Success

To make your print on demand business thrive, here are some expert tips to keep in mind:

  1. Order samples: Before sending your products to customers, order samples to ensure the quality meets your expectations. This allows you to check the overall look, feel, and printing quality of your products. It's also helpful for taking your own product photos for marketing purposes.

  2. Set clear expectations with shipping: Be transparent about your shipping times and costs. Inform customers about the estimated production time and add it to the shipping time to provide an accurate estimate. Absorb shipping costs into your retail price or use free shipping as a sales incentive.

  3. Use mock-up pictures: Create compelling mock-up pictures that showcase your products. These pictures can be used for marketing purposes, helping customers visualize how your products will look in real life. There are various tools and templates available online to create professional-looking mock-ups.

  4. Niche marketing: Target a specific audience with your marketing efforts to increase your chances of success. Niching down allows you to create products that resonate with a particular group of people, making your marketing efforts more effective and cost-efficient.

Graduating from Print on Demand

While print on demand offers a hassle-free way to start an e-commerce business, it's not the only option. As your business grows and generates a meaningful number of sales, you might consider transitioning to holding your own inventory. This allows for greater control over the production process, higher profit margins, and more customization options. Graduating from print on demand is a natural step for entrepreneurs looking to scale their business and take full control of their product offering.


Print on demand is an accessible and low-risk way to start a profitable online business. With the ability to create and sell customized products without holding inventory, print on demand offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to monetize their creativity and turn their ideas into successful ventures. By choosing the right print on demand service, working with talented designers, and implementing effective marketing strategies, you can build a thriving business with minimal upfront investment. So why wait? Start exploring the world of print on demand today and bring your creative ideas to life.

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