With the worldwide print on demand market size being expected to hit $39.40 billion by the year 2030, it’s quite clear that the industry is on an upward trend. In fact, it’s among the few ones that experienced positive growth even during the COVID-19 pandemic.
And if you’ve been working on your print on demand business as a side-hustle for a while now, there’s a good chance you’re considering taking it full-time.
But, just like any other business decision, this can be a bit tricky to navigate. There are quite a few things you need to take into account before making the switch, plus, a few key steps you need to follow in order to make a successful transition.
To make things less stressful (and help you avoid any common mistakes), we’ve put together a quick guide on how to turn your POD side-hustle into a full-time gig. Let’s dive right in!
Why Make It a Full Time Income Stream?
We get you. Turning a side-hustle into a full time income stream can be a big, even life-changing decision. So, if you’re still on the fence about whether you should or shouldn’t do it, here are a few things to help you make up your mind:
You Get More Time to Grow Your Brand
If you’ve started your POD business as a passion project or a way to express your creativity, then chances are you want to see it grow as well.
And while it’s possible to do that with a side-hustle, the reality is that you’ll always be limited in terms of time and resources. Once you make the switch to a full-time business, however, you’ll have a lot more breathing room to grow your brand the way you want to.
You Can Potentially Make More Money
Of course, once your brand is growing, you’ll also have the opportunity to make more sales and generate more revenue. And since you’ll be dedicating more time to your business, it’s only natural that you’ll also be able to make more money with it.
You Are Your Own Boss
It’s your business, your rules, and of course, your way of doing things. As a full-time business owner, you’ll be in charge of every single decision, from product development to marketing and sales. You’ll also have the final say on how you want to run things, which can be quite empowering. Not to mention, you get to do all these at your own pace, without someone breathing down your neck.
And while being your own boss means also having tons of responsibilities, it’s definitely a perk worth considering especially if you’re the type who wants more control over their career.
What to Consider Before Making the Jump
Of course, shifting to a full-time business is not a decision to be taken lightly. There are quite a few things you need to take into account before making the switch, from your current financial situation to whether you have the time and energy to commit to a full-time business.
Thus, the decision making process entails asking yourself the tough questions, such as:
Can You Handle the Financial Risk?
If you’re currently working full-time and are thinking of quitting your day job to focus on your POD business, then you need to make sure you have enough saved up to cover your living expenses for at least six months. This is important because you’ll need time to get your business up and running, and generate enough revenue to sustain yourself.
It’s also worth noting that, as a full-time business owner, your income will be less predictable than it is when you’re working a 9-to-5 job. Therefore you need to make sure you have enough savings to cover any lean months.
Are You Ready to Work Long Hours During the Start-Up Phase?
If your POD business has been up for a while and is already generating some revenue, then you might think that making the switch to a full-time business will mean working fewer hours.
Well, that’s not always the case.
As you start to scale your business for higher profits and bigger growth, you’ll likely find yourself working even longer hours than you are now. The good news, however, is that once you get past the start-up phase, you’ll have the opportunity to delegate some of your work and finally have a bit more free time.
Furthermore, having a fulfillment partner like Awkward Styles you know you can count on will make a big difference as well.
Do You Have a Support System in Place?
Apart from your actual business partners or team members, it’s also important to have a supportive network of family and friends who will be there for you during the ups and downs of business ownership.
This is important because, as a full-time business owner, you’ll be dealing with a lot of stress and challenges, and it helps to have people you can rely on for emotional support.
Moreover, having a supportive network also means having access to valuable resources, such as advice, connections, and even funding.
Do You Have What it Takes to Market Your Brand to More People?
You can’t turn your current POD business into a full time gig and market it to the same people. If you want to scale your business and make more money, you’ll need to reach a larger audience.
And that means marketing your brand to more people, which can be quite challenging and time-consuming.
So, before making the switch to a full time business, ask yourself if you’re willing to level up your strategies, whether that means learning more about online marketing or reaching out to influencers in your niche.
Steps You Can Take to Make the Switch
If you’ve asked yourself all the tough questions and you’re confident that making the switch to a full-time business is the right move for you, congrats! It’s now time to take action.
These are the things you can do to make a smooth transition:
Reevaluate Your Personal Expenses
Yes, not your current business’ expenses, but your personal ones. As mentioned, running a full-time business is a big financial risk, so you need to make sure your personal finances are in order before making the switch.
If your current day job just barely covers your expenses, then you may not be in a good position to quit and start your own business. This means that you may have to cut back on some of your expenses or look for side-hustles you can do along with working on your POD business.
If you think you have enough saved up and your current job gives you some wiggle room with your budget, then take a close look at your current expenses and figure out what you can live without. This will help free up some cash flow, which you’ll need when starting your own business.
Go Back to Your POD Business’ Goals
When you first started your POD business, you probably had a lot of goals in mind. But as time went on and you got caught up in the day-to-day operations, some of those goals may have fallen by the wayside.
Now that you’re considering making the switch to a full-time business, it’s time to go back to your original goals and see which ones you can still achieve and which ones you can let go of.
Moreover, you should also set new objectives for your business, ones that are more aligned with what you want to achieve as now, a full-time business owner.
Study Your Current Figures
After taking a close look at your personal finances and business goals, it’s time to see how your POD business is currently performing. This means taking a close look at your sales figures, profit margins, online reach, and other relevant data.
This information will give you a good idea of whether or not your POD business is ready to make the switch to a full time gig. If your sales are good and you’re consistently making a profit, then you’re probably in a good position to make the switch.
If your business is struggling, however, then you may want to reconsider your decision or take some time to shore up your finances and operations before taking the plunge.
Identify Your Weak Points and the Areas Where You Need to Improve
As you evaluate your current performance, examine closely the different facets of your business and take note of the areas where you need to make improvements. For example, maybe your online reach isn’t as strong as it could be or you’re not making enough profit from each sale.
Making a list of the areas you need to work on will help you create a plan of action for when you do make the switch to a full time business. This would also allow you to determine if you’ll be
needing to outsource some tasks or hire additional help, which can further increase your expenses.
Leverage Your Current Strengths & Resources
Of course, your strengths and existing resources are just as important as your weaknesses. When making the switch to a full-time business, you should also leverage what’s currently working well for you.
For example, if you have certain designs or collections that have been selling well, then focus on promoting and expanding those. You can also use your existing customer base to drive sales and reach new audiences through word-of-mouth marketing.
Moreover, if you have any existing relationships with suppliers or other businesses, see how you can use those to your advantage. These could prove to be valuable resources as you make the transition to a full-time business.
Start Planning Your Exit
If you have a fulltime job, then you’ll need to start planning your exit strategy. This includes giving notice to your employer, tying up loose ends at work, and making sure you have a solid plan for your POD business before making the switch. While this may be a no-brainer, it’s easy to overlook the details when you’re caught up in the excitement of starting your own business.
Ideally, you should give yourself at least 2-4 months to plan your exit strategy and make sure everything is in order before making the switch. This will help ensure a smooth transition for both you and your business.
Level Up Your Marketing Strategy
As mentioned, turning your POD side-hustle into a full time gig entails taking your marketing efforts up a notch. If you want your business to thrive, you need to make sure people are aware of your brand and what you have to offer.
Study your current marketing channels and see which ones are working and which ones aren’t. Then, focus on strengthening your existing marketing efforts and explore new channels that could help you reach a wider audience.
For example, if you were solely focused on Facebook ads before, then you might want to start experimenting with TikTok or Pinterest. Or, build up your email list and start sending out regular newsletters. The key is to mix things up and keep your marketing fresh so you can reach as many people as possible.
Start Diversifying Your Product Catalog and Income Streams
This is where the actual work of turning your side-hustle into a full time business begins. If you want to make a sustainable living from your POD business, then you need to start diversifying your product catalog and income streams.
In terms of product diversification, this means offering a wider range of products that cater to different niches and customer groups. This would help reduce your dependency on any one product or type of customer, which can be risky for your business.
As for diversifying your income streams, this could involve selling products through different channels or partnering with other businesses to help promote your products.
Diversifying your income streams may also mean exploring different online opportunities while promoting your brand. For example, you can set up a YouTube channel or a separate website where you can publish content and generate leads for your business. Not only can this help attract potential customers, but you can also monetize your content to generate additional revenue for your business once you’ve built up a following.
Track Your Progress and Adjust Your Strategy
Finally, it’s important to track your progress and adjust your strategy as needed. Your first month of transition may not be perfect, and that’s okay. Just make sure you’re keeping tabs on your progress and making changes to your plan as needed.
Also, continue to reassess your goals and objectives to make sure they’re realistic. After all, your business will likely look different after a few months of being operational than it does in the beginning. By regularly evaluating your progress, you can make sure you’re on track to achieve your long-term goals.
Here’s to a Fun, Fulfilling, and Successful Full Time POD Income Stream!
And there you have it! These tips should help set you on the right path to turning your POD side-hustle into a full time business. Just keep in mind that no matter how prepared you are, there will always be some level of risk involved.
But if you’re passionate about your business and willing to put in the work, then there’s no reason why you can’t achieve success. So go out there and level up your POD game!
For more e-commerce and print on demand tips, be sure to check out our blog. We post new articles every week to help you grow your business and reach your goals.
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