Print On Demand (POD) is a highly sought after printing process for publishers and sellers of customizable merchandise alike. For publishers, print on demand takes the price and some of the long-winded negotiation out of the traditional printing models, instead allowing for bulk orders to be placed quickly and efficiently. For sellers of customizable items, like t-shirts, mugs and any branded items, print on demand automates what was previously an expensive and time consuming process.
Here’s how to make your print on demand business successful in 2022.
Identify Your Niche
The Print On Demand publishing sector covers a huge range of services, from companies like Printforce who offer POD for scholarly journals and magazines, to companies that offer POD but outsource their printing to a commercial printing service. Which services are you going to offer? You might have your own printing service you use as part of your in-house business, or provide services to clients that need to Print On Demand. Establish your niche and USP in this incredibly varied market. What items are you going to print? Which clients are you going to cater to?
Get A Decent Commercial Printer
The success of your Print On Demand business is down to your printers. If you can’t print to the quality and volume your clients expect, how are you going to be successful? Kodak commercial printers are an excellent range, with a huge choice of printers designed to handle fast speeds, large volumes and different materials types like signage, packaging and standard printing. There are also models that offer monochrome or four-color printing options. Invest in a decent printer as one of the first major investments in your business.
Recognise Personalization Is Popular
Personalization is gaining increased popularity in the Print On Demand sector. The aim is to give the consumer control of what they design, and for your clients to use you to make that dream possible if you are a commercial printer. Invest in the technology to allow for personalization in designs and adapt your workflows to print customizable designs for every print run.
The carbon footprint of your business is a key factor in whether a client will choose you or not. Try to run a yearly audit of your carbon emissions, energy uses and carbon generated per print job. A tool like a carbon calculator can help your business calculate its carbon costs. Once you’ve got a good overview of your carbon emissions, try to reduce the avoidable energy wastage, and see how much you can reduce your carbon footprint by. Once you’re confident you can reduce it, seek out certifications so you can highlight your low carbon emissions to your clients.
Have A Well-Honed Marketing Strategy
There are many marketing strategies that fail to attract the right leads and don’t convert your click throughs into profit. As margins can be very important with POD services, you need your marketing to be a valuable investment that works for you. Focus on creating valuable content on your website, which adds value for your customers and attracts them to your site.
How To Handle Work As A POD Business Without Printing Services
If you are a designer handling POD services, you’ll also need to make sure you partner with a reputable business partner. This will be the printer that handles the printing, delivery and fulfilment of orders. 50% of your business will rely on them successfully achieving high-quality prints and sending them to the customers on time. Make sure that you carefully review the samples of potential suppliers.
Make Sure You Have A Clear Returns Policy
Between working with a designer, a printer, and potentially an ecommerce business, your returns policies can be tricky to negotiate. Make sure you have a clear idea of what the returns policy would look like between the various businesses and make sure it is clear for your customers as well. Returns and complaints are an inevitable part of business life, so making this as clear as possible is only going to help you reduce escalated issues in future.
Print On Demand covers a huge range of business types, including designers that outsource their POD to a supplier, and physical printing companies that need commercial printers to fulfill client demands. Establish what your business USP and niche is, what printers you need, and work to facilitate personalization whenever possible. Whatever your POD business format, sustainability, marketing strategy and clear returns policies will help keep your customers coming and make your POD business a success in 2022.