This week, I want to talk about something that almost every business can do to bring in a little extra money each month with no extra work once it’s set up. One thing I'm passionate about is that every brick-and-mortar store should have a way to make money online. For example, restaurants could sell branded t-shirts, or stores that sell lotions and soaps could offer refills through online orders to customers that love their products. An easy model that any business can follow is “print-on-demand.”
Thoughts on PODs
- Print-on-demand (POD) is a drop shipping service that allows you to design graphics (for example, your logo), choose items to brand with the graphics, and then make those items available in an online store that you set up for your business. This is all done virtually, with no stock needed. You can set it up so that customers can order the items from your own website. Once it’s all set up, anyone can purchase items from your store with your graphics on them. Then, the items get shipped right to the customer in your name. It will look as though the items come directly from you.
- How the process works: You pick the products that you want available in your store, such as t-shirts, hoodies, mugs, or bags. Next, choose the graphics that get printed on them. Once you’ve chosen your items, you then get to mark up the price of the products by a percentage or by a dollar amount. The print-on-demand site that you choose can do the whole process for you. You can even process the order through their site. Since it’s all single products made to order, you don’t have to have a large amount of stock in order to sell promotional materials.
- Most POD companies offer white label shipping. This means that they make the product in your name, and then they send it out in your name. As far as the customers are concerned, you created and sent the product yourself. PODs also offer relatively quick delivery times. You can set your own profit margins, and, of course, there are no minimum order requirements on any of the POD services.
- PODs that I like a lot. Printify works well with many existing websites. You can also do a Merch account with Amazon, but you have to get approved for that and sometimes it’s difficult to get approval. Printful is another good one with lots of products to choose from. If you have a Shopify site, then Merchify is one that you can use. You just install the software, design your items, and they're published right there on your Shopify site.
Market Your Store and Make Money at the Same Time!
Take a look at some of the print-on-demand options out there, and discover a new way to bring in passive income for your business. For inspiration, check out one of our client’s sites: Backroad Atlas uses print-on-demand software to produce branded merchandise for her brick-and-mortar store. Utilizing print-on-demand could be more than just a profit engine to bring in a few extra dollars for your store. It could also be a way to market your store and generate brand awareness in your area.
You can...do it!
You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.