How to build Print On Demand Business From Nothing

Over the past few years, POD, or print on demand business solutions have become increasingly popular among business owners looking for an easier way to get online. With POD solutions, you can earn a handsome income while showcasing your creative nature.

Although there is always an option in art to dual set up your own shops and create your own masterpieces from scratch, this is often too expensive for many beginners. That’s where print on demand services, or “POD” solutions come in handy.

Much like a dropshipping company, a print on demand business has many of the headaches of running a venture for a third party. With the right digital printing support, and a unique product catalog, you can build a compelling brand.

If you’re looking to create a startup company that sells many different products, or you’re a graphic designer looking to add your custom designs to items, POD might be for you.


What is print on demand?

Print on Demand is a process similar to dropshipping, which involves working hand-in-hand with a supplier of white-label products. Your supplier not only gives you a wide range of potential products to choose from for your store, but they also allow you to “print” those items and customize them with a range of other methods.

For example, with Print On Demand, you can add a custom piece of art to a T-shirt, blanket, baseball cap, or anything else entirely. With print on demand, otherwise known as “POD”, you can produce a range of high-quality products with unique features, so you’re not just selling the same items as all others. Huh. This gives you an edge over other sellers in the dropshipping market.

Similar to dropshipping, you don’t pay the cost of the product until you’ve actually made the sale. You don’t need to buy custom products in bulk or keep an inventory yourself. This means entrepreneurs can keep the initial cost of running their business as low as possible.

What’s more, with POD, you can also access its dropshipping services to handle everything from after sales, order fulfillment, and packaging, to shipping the item to your customer. However, if anything goes wrong with an order, you may be responsible for liaising with your print provider on behalf of customers.

The POD industry has grown by about 12% over the past four years and has seen a massive 45% increase in POD store owners. Sales since the pandemic. For those with a creative mindset, print-on-demand services provide a great way to create your own custom products and bypass the time, investment, and various risks associated with shipping.

Where did print on demand come from?

The art of printing and customizing textiles is nothing new – it has been around for many centuries. In fact, there are a few examples of printing techniques that existed before the year 220. 12. In the th century, Europe began to discover the benefits of printing custom demands on the material.

Of course, print on demand as a solution for startup companies is a very new concept. Since the 1960s, as new methods of printing for customer orders have become faster and more affordable, printing solutions have become more available to the general public.

Today, there are many ways for graphic designers or artists to add their designs to various products without having to spend on complicated equipment. For example, there are specialist machines for everything from screen printing to direct-to-garment printing or digital printing.

You can add your own designs to quality products by using machines that can handle the embroidery on your behalf, or experiment with things like carving if you’re working with tougher materials. As new printing options emerge, print-on-demand solution startups are growing every day.

How does print on demand work?

The print on demand industry is rapidly growing to become one of the most reliable ways for creative professionals to start their own businesses. You can design everything from backpacks, or your own t-shirt business, without spending on professional machines or experts to design your stuff.

The print on demand industry is rapidly growing to become one of the most reliable ways for creative professionals to start their own businesses. You can design everything from backpacks, or your own t-shirt business, without spending on professional machines or experts to design your stuff.

With minimal upfront cost, you can add your own designs to many great products.

A print on demand service is part of a strategy to go to market where creative divisions work with suppliers to create and customize dual white-label products. This can include anything from hoodies to stickers, custom T-shirts, and more.

This means that unlike creating a store on Etsy, eBay, or Amazon, you only pay for the product after it’s sold. There’s no need to bulk-buy your inventory and store it yourself with a POD service.

Print on demand products is heavily managed by the supplier. Once you’ve earned your purchase, it only takes a few clicks to complete the order and send it to your chosen customer. With Print on Demand Services, you can:

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Develop your audience for your artwork. If you are an artist, designer, or even an online influencer, you can use this service to create amazing products.
Print individual items with ease: You can print anything you like with the POD service, or even use the solution to create items for your team members.
Test Your Business Idea: If you have a desire to start your own fashion or art business, a print on demand service gives you a chance to validate your plan before spending too much money.

POD Process

The process of availing a print on demand solution is usually very straightforward. First, you have to decide what products you want to sell and where you want to sell them. For example, with POD, you can connect to an online marketplace, such as Redbubble, where you can create your own POD products and list them with many other artists.

A marketplace allows you to reach a wider range of potential customers, but you won’t have the same branding that you get with building your own ecommerce store. If you want to build your website to sell merch and other product designs, you need to choose a store building tool that can integrate with a POD solution.

Offerings such as Shopify, Bigcommerce and WooCommerce are usually a good bet when you want to integrate a POD fulfillment process directly from your store. Once you have your store or market, you will need to:

Design your POD products: You can also create your own designs using your own artistic skills, use designs already available from a POD vendor, or consider working with freelancers. There are tons of designers out there who can offer affordable designs for your website made especially for you.
Find a POD Service: POD services are state-of-the-art solutions that allow you to connect with POD manufacturers and retailers. These tools can provide you with a range of products to choose from to add to your product design. You can also use the mock-up generator to see what your items are going to look like.

Create mock-ups: Creating your mock-ups allows you to create a series of beautiful product images to show to your target audience, either through your website or the market you want to access. In most cases you will have to advertise your designs yourself, just like you would with an online business.
Choose Pricing: In most cases you will be responsible for choosing the price of your product. Depending on how much you’ll need to pay to make a new product with your printing services, you need to consider the profit margin available. When POD companies offer a range of products, the price you pay for each product may vary.

Accept customer orders: Your customers should be able to place orders for your phone cases, hoodies and other on-demand printing products on your website. If you have your integrated POD solution, the order will go directly to the print provider so they can start working on the order. If you are using a Marketplace, the order goes to the Printing Partner associated with that Marketplace.
Once you have accepted your customer’s orders, the task of preparing and fulfilling those orders is delegated to your POD solution provider. You don’t need to build or package anything yourself. Instead, the provider handles everything from printing your new solution to making sure it gets to your customers in the packaging you choose.

You must have seen around you and on social media that different words are written on people’s T-shirts, different tag lines are written, and there are different dialogues.

Print on demand pros and cons

Using POD as the root of your eCommerce business can be a powerful way to build opportunities based on the popular dropshipping mode. When all of your items are managed by a third party, you can increase your profit margin and reduce your overall cost.

Print on Demand is also one of the most accessible ways for small companies to start an online store. However, it is not going to be the right solution for everyone. Here are some pros and cons to consider.


Create new products quickly and increase your profit potential
Spend less time on order fulfillment and more time on product development
Less investment means less risk and more opportunities
no list headache to worry about
Endless opportunities to grow with additional products
Access everything from online mockups to suppliers
Freedom to focus on what you do best, and let someone else handle the rest
Access the best printing technology to improve the quality of your items


Some customization limitations such as you not making the products yourself
Cost per item may be higher depending on what you buy
less control over shipping
Limited product types based on your POD provid