The Biggest Mistakes To Avoid When Starting A Print-On- Demand Business

By SiliconIndia   |   Wednesday, 28 March 2018, 12:54 Hrs
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Dream Print on demand business

No matter how hard you try to be perfect at everything, you’re bound to make mistakes at the start of your business journey. That’s how we learn, innovate and improve, so don’t beat yourself up too much.

However, I must say that not all mistakes are created equal. It’s one thing to hurt your sales by writing flat product descriptions, and an entirely another to launch a store without a logo. Some mistakes are so big they threaten to ruin your business before it even gets a chance to flourish.

So read on to learn the biggest mistakes ecommerce entrepreneurs make when kicking off a print-on- demand store and how to avoid them.

#1 Not Doing Your Research

Starting a business can already feel a little overwhelming, so if you try to cover too much ground from day one, you may end up with more stress than profit. Finding a product niche is a critical part of the business research. It will allow you to focus on one core product or product category and funnel all your time, energy and budget into getting that niche store off the ground.

Strong print-on- demand businesses can often credit their success to one of the two factors -- their sales are either driven by their brand identity (and the online community that huddles around it) or by the latest trends. But neither model could survive without a “core offering” -- one or two products that are their best known and usually top selling items. Remember that you can always start with one product and then branch out later on, as you see new opportunities emerging.

Great ideas are difficult to come by. Do your research and keep your eyes and ears open for shifts in supply and demand.

#2 Starting without a solid brand identity

You won’t go far without a solid brand. Although one of the viable business models is to follow trends, what it really means is that you have to be ahead of the curve -- identifying, adopting and harnessing the trends that will explode in the nearest future before they break into the mainstream.

But even in that case, your brand is the one element that can give those trendy products a fresh twist. Let’s say, for example, you have a hunch that water resistant card holders will be a huge hit this spring -- what do you do? You can cook up a bunch of random designs and hope for the general trend to be big enough to uplift your sales. Or you can throw your brand’s weight behind the trendy products and maximize your sales. palace
Build and trademark your brand to safeguard the future success of your business.

#3 Failing to build an eye-candy online store

Once you have your brand identity worked out, you will need to transfer that style and vibe onto your website. The importance of an eye-pleasing website can’t be overstated. Not only does it instill more confidence in modern online shoppers, but, studies show, also directly correlates with decision-making and conversions. Aesthetically pleasing website design drives sales. If you want to see your profits growing steadily over time, invest some cash into your product images, branding and web design.

Even if your print-on- demand store is built on one of the top ecommerce platforms, such as Shopify or WooCommerce, and has a clean and modern look, you still need to work on aligning it with your brand’s colours, fonts, and other design elements.

#4 Overlooking your designs

Doing a sloppy job with design is a costly mistake. If people don’t like the look of your products,they won’t pay for them, simple as that. And on top of that, poor creative decisions can damage your brand irrevocably. If you’re taking this risk, make sure it’s really worth it.

Unless your brand is already strong, you’ll find the design ideation stage a tad tiring. Amazing design ideas don’t just happen, there’s usually a robust iteration process and hours of research involved. Don’t suffer on your own. Team up with a talented designer who can help you push the game up and invest in higher quality, more authentic designs to improve your store’s chances of succeeding.

#5 Not preparing for the holiday season

Not preparing for the holiday season

When the holiday season hits, it will be too late to think about “making the most of it”. For ecommerce entrepreneurs, the winter holiday season starts in July/August. If you want to get your promotional material ready (product images, design collateral, etc) in time for the shopping bonanza, start planning well in advance, thinking about everything from pitching products to relevant magazines, to building your email list and getting your voucher codes sorted.

Don’t let this huge sales opportunity slip through your fingers; as they say, you reap what you sow.

#6 Investing too little in Facebook Ads

When it comes to getting in front of a huge, engaged audience, Facebook is a powerhouse.Although Facebook ads cost real money that your shop might not be earning yet, they have helped many ecommerce brands go from nothing to a profitable business. So, in short, Facebook’s pay-to- play option might be your most promising growth strategy at hand.

What’s great about Facebook marketing is that it gives you high-calibre targeting options. You can target your ads on Facebook based on people’s location, age, gender, languages, and other demographics. You can also include or exclude people from your target audience based on specific criteria and even create “lookalike audiences” that find people on Facebook who are the most similar to the people in the ‘source’ (other page or brand that you want to copy).

Have a look at this article on the latest Facebook marketing tips for detailed advice on how to nail your ecommerce ad campaigns.

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