Print-On-Demand (PoD) is an exciting business model where your artistic visions intersect with your entrepreneurial spirit and could be your next business frontier. According to recent market reports, the global print-on-demand fulfilment services market is predicted to reach USD 15,269.14 mn during 2022-2027, with a CAGR of 24.42%.

With minimal start-up costs, zero inventory hassle, and endless design opportunities, launching a PoD business in 2023 offers a canvas for success. So if you’re an artist, designer, or entrepreneur, the Print-on-Demand business opens a pathway to turn your passion into profit.

In this guide, we will share the ins and outs of starting a successful PoD business with you and cover all the crucial details you need to understand about this business model.


What is a Print-on-Demand Business?

PoD is an eCommerce business model that allows you to sell customised, made-to-order products with your designs or branding. This can range from T-shirts and hoodies to posters, mugs, phone cases, and much more. The key here is that the products are only produced after a customer places an order, eliminating the need for maintaining stock and reducing the risk of unsold inventory.


Advantages and Disadvantages of the PoD Business Model



  • There’s no need for inventory or storage space, making the initial investment relatively low.
  • Since products are only created after a sale, there’s no worry about unsold stock.
  • You have the freedom to experiment with designs and products, enabling you to adapt quickly to market trends.
  • With the supplier handling production and shipping, you have more time to focus on designing and marketing.



  • As the supplier handles production and fulfilment, they take a cut from each sale, leaving you with slimmer profit margins compared to traditional retail models.
  • Since the supplier handles shipping, any delays or errors can reflect negatively on your business, even though it’s out of your control.
  • Depending on the supplier, the quality of products and prints can vary, so it’s crucial to choose a reliable and high-quality supplier.
  • There might be limited opportunities for personalised packaging or branding materials with each order, depending on the supplier.

PoD is not a one-size-fits-all solution. However, if you’re keen on a business model with less risk, low initial investment, and creative freedom, then a Print-on-Demand venture might just be your golden ticket. Let’s understand how you can start a Print-on-Demand business.


How to Start a Print-on-Demand Business in 2023?


1. Picking a Niche

Identifying the right niche is pivotal to your print-on-demand (PoD) venture. Your niche shapes your brand identity and makes it easier to target and engage with potential customers. Profitable niches often align with market trends, customer interests, and your passion.

To find your niche, research market trends, study competitors, and consider your knowledge and interests. Use tools like Google Trends, Keyword Planner, and social media analytics to gather insights and validate your niche.


2. Deciding What to Sell

Choosing the right products is just as crucial as picking a niche. The products you offer must align with your niche and customer needs. Leverage data from customer feedback, competitor analysis, and market trends to decide what to sell. Tools like Google Trends, Amazon’s Best Sellers, and niche-specific forums can provide valuable product insights.


3. Creating Designs

Stellar designs are the heart of any PoD business. They differentiate your products and reflect your brand personality. Decide whether you’ll create designs yourself or hire a professional based on your skill set and budget. Tools like Adobe Illustrator, Canva, or even hiring freelancers from Fiverr can help. Ensure your designs are visually appealing, relatable, and resonate with your target audience.


4. Deciding Where to Sell

A multi-channel sales strategy can maximise the reach and profit of your print-on-demand business. Weigh the pros and cons of selling through your website, social media, or third-party marketplaces like Etsy, eBay, or Amazon. Consider factors like platform fees, customer reach, and control over branding. eCommerce platforms like Shopify or WooCommerce can also help manage your sales across different channels seamlessly.


5. Setting Up a Store

Your online store is your digital storefront, so make it count. Set up your store on a suitable eCommerce platform that aligns with your needs and budget. Prioritise user-friendly design, easy navigation, secure payment methods, and SEO-friendly product descriptions. Shopify, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce are popular platforms offering varied customisation options and PoD integration.


6. Picking Your Supplier

The PoD supplier you choose impacts your product quality, delivery times, and profit margins. Therefore, evaluate suppliers based on their product range, print quality, production times, customer service, and pricing. Some reliable PoD suppliers include Printify, Printful, Gooten, and SPOD. Don’t hesitate to order samples to verify the product’s quality.



7. Setting a Price

Pricing plays a significant role in your business’s profitability and competitive positioning. Create a pricing strategy considering your costs, competitors’ prices, and your target audience’s willingness to pay. Don’t forget to account for discounts, taxes, and shipping costs. Tools like Profit Margin Calculators can assist in this process.


8. Checking the Quality of Your Products

Product quality can make or break your PoD business. It affects customer satisfaction, repeat purchases, and brand reputation. Inspect the quality of your products by ordering samples and proactively addressing any issues with your supplier. Stay open to customer feedback and be ready to make improvements as necessary.


9. Marketing Your Products

Effective marketing drives traffic builds brand awareness, and increases sales. Implement a diverse marketing strategy that includes SEO, social media, email, and content marketing. Tools like Google Analytics, MailChimp, and Buffer can enhance your marketing efforts.


10. Monitoring Your Digital Store’s Performance

Regularly monitoring your store’s performance enables optimisation and growth. Therefore, always keep track of key metrics like site traffic, conversion rates, average order value, and customer acquisition cost. Utilise tools like Google Analytics, SEMrush, or the in-built analytics of your eCommerce platform to track these metrics and make data-driven decisions.



As we dock at the end of this guide, starting a Print-On-Demand (PoD) is undoubtedly captivating. However, entering the $4.90 billion industry may seem challenging, but with the steps outlined in this guide, you are well-equipped to carve out your slice of the market.

You must remember that a Print-On-Demand business is a business of creativity and commercial strategy. Therefore, stay agile, keep an eye on emerging trends, and, most importantly, never stop improving. The market is continually evolving, and so should your business.





Is print-on-demand worth it in 2023?

Yes, print-on-demand is definitely worth considering in 2023, especially for those looking to enter the eCommerce business with minimal upfront investment. Home decor items, in particular, are an excellent choice due to their timeless appeal and constant demand. As people continually strive to keep their homes refreshed and aesthetically pleasing, print-on-demand home decor items offer a lucrative business opportunity.


Can you make a living doing print-on-demand?

Absolutely, you can make a substantial living starting a print-on-demand (PoD) business. This business model has proven beneficial for many artists and designers due to its low, upfront costs and minimal risks. Many have turned their PoD stores into profitable full-time businesses, while others successfully run them as lucrative side hustles.


How do I become a successful print-on-demand business?

Here are some of the best print-on-demand tips to help you out.

  • Order Samples: Ensure your product’s quality by ordering samples. This helps you experience your product firsthand, validate its quality, and utilise them for product photography.
  • Strategize Shipping: Be transparent about shipping times, including printing time. Try to absorb shipping costs into the retail price to encourage more sales.
  • Use Mockups: Utilise print-on-demand tools to create compelling mockups of your products, helping customers visualise the final product.
  • Identify your Niche: Have a clear understanding of your target audience to optimise customer acquisition costs and boost profitability.
  • Create your Online Store: Build your own branded online store for greater control over the customer experience and to lower fees compared to marketplaces.
  • Grow an Audience: Establish a strong social media presence and email marketing strategy to engage and grow your audience.


How do I find print-on-demand trends?

To find print-on-demand trends, leverage social media platforms. Facebook ads, for instance, can be a valuable source of inspiration as many sellers promote their unique designs and products there. Exploring trending hashtags on Twitter and Instagram or popular pins on Pinterest can also provide insight into current market trends. Moreover, engage with online communities or forums relevant to your niche, like Reddit or niche-specific Facebook groups.


How do I find print clients?

To find print clients, consider the following methods:

Trade Shows: Attend trade shows relevant to the print-on-demand industry where you can connect directly with potential clients.

Networking: Meeting potential clients face-to-face for discussions can lead to stronger business relationships.

Email Marketing: Create an email list and share information about your print-on-demand store to a wider audience.

Client Referrals: Leverage satisfied customers to gain referrals. Offer incentives for every successful referral to encourage this process.


What is the average monthly income for print-on-demand?

On average, individuals doing print-on-demand business earn around $4,639 per month. This figure can scale up to $8,000 for top earners who successfully manage larger operations, while those at the lower end of the spectrum, possibly just starting or operating smaller businesses, earn around $2,708 per month.

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