Whether you’re just planning to start your own business or you’ve already taken the plunge, chances are you’re looking for ways to scale it a few months or years down the line. After all, why start a business if you’re not aiming to make it as big and successful as possible?
In fact, according to StartBlox, 84% of small business owners are optimistic when it comes to the future of their ventures and the majority are anticipating growth in the following year. This is despite the figures that show that only 50% of small businesses make it to their fifth year, as reported by the US Small Business Administration (SBA).
And whether you’re part of this 84% or you simply want to increase your chances of success, learning how to scale your business is essential. This is where print on demand (POD) comes in.
But how exactly can POD help you take your business to the next level and is it really good for scaling? Let’s take a closer look.
What Does Scaling a Business Actually Mean?
First things first, let’s define what we mean by scaling a business. According to Score.org, scaling your business equates to “setting the stage to enable and support growth in your company”. It’s establishing the foundation for your business to grow in a sustainable way, without jeopardizing quality or putting too much strain on your current resources.
Growing Vs. Scaling Your Business
While it’s common to use these terms interchangeably, there is a difference between growing and scaling your business. Growing your business involves significantly increasing your resources such as equipment and manpower to potentially boost sales. Scaling your business, on the other hand, is about finding ways to increase your revenues without making dramatic changes to your current expenses and resources (Whatman, 2021).
Scaling means increasing efficiency and effectiveness, rather than just growing for the sake of it. After all, if you’re not careful, growing your business too quickly can actually lead to cash flow problems and even cause your business to fail.
Benefits POD Offers for Business Scaling
Now that we’ve gotten more clarity on what business scaling actually entails, it’s time to see how POD can help.
You Get To Avoid Waste From Unsold Inventory and Have Near-Immediate Releases of New Products
Apart from wasted resources, unsold inventory can actually be quite costly for businesses. This is because the longer products sit on shelves, the more they depreciate in value. In fact, according to Zoho, carrying costs, which include storage and insurance, make up around 15% to 30% of a business’ inventory value.
POD essentially helps businesses avoid these costs by only printing products once they’ve been ordered. This means that you can easily launch new collections and product variations without having to worry about unsold inventory. In addition, you can quickly respond to customer demand and release new products as soon as they’re requested.
Logistics Are Taken Care Of
Without a POD partner or a print and fulfillment service provider, you can’t expand to new markets or increase your product offerings with no additional strain on your resources.
This is because as your business grows, you’ll have to start dealing with more and more logistics such as printing, packaging, and shipping. And if you’re not careful, managing all of these logistics can quickly become overwhelming and start eating into your profits.
However, with POD, you can outsource all of these logistics to a reliable print and fulfillment service provider. This way, you can focus on running your business and leave the fulfillment to them.
What’s more, using a POD service can actually save you money in the long run as they usually have access to bulk printing discounts that you might not be able to get as a small business.
How To Successfully Scale a Print on Demand Business
Still having cold feet about scaling your business with POD? Worry no more, we’re here to give you a few tips on how to make it work.
Outsource Design Tasks
As your business starts to scale, you’ll quickly realize that you can’t do everything on your own and that you need to start delegating tasks.
One of the best ways to do this is to outsource your design tasks. This way, you can focus on the core aspects of your business while leaving the design work to someone else.
There are a few different ways you can outsource your design tasks. You can look for freelancers on sites like Fiverr and 99designs. These freelancing platforms cater to designers from different parts of the world and you’re sure to find someone who fits your budget and preferences.
Invest in Advertising
Connecting with your target audience is essential if you want to scale your business. And one of the best ways to do this is through advertising.
Now, we’re not saying that you need to break the bank with your advertising campaigns. However, you should be prepared to invest some money in order to reach a wider audience.
One great way to get started with advertising is to use Facebook ads. Facebook has over 2 billion active users and you’re sure to reach your desired audience as long as you create targeted campaigns.
Use Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of easiest and most cost-effective ways to connect with your target audience and promote your products. According to the reports of The Direct Marketing Association (DMA), for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect to make an average return worth $42.
Not only is email marketing one of the most effective ways to reach your target audience, but it’s also one of the most affordable. In fact, you can start building your email list and sending out campaigns without spending a dime.
One great way to do this is to offer something for free in exchange for your visitors’ email addresses. For example, you can offer a discount on their first purchase or a free ebook.
Utilize Automation Services
As you get more and more orders, fulfilling them all can quickly become a daunting task. Thankfully, there are a number of integrations to marketplaces like Shopify and Etsy that can help you streamline your fulfillment process and make it more efficient.
One great option for automating tasks is FlyingUpload. It offers a number of features that can help you further grow your brand. Some of these include niche analysis, keyword finder, market research, and so much more!
Ready To Take Your Business To The Next Level?
Scaling your business can be quite intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. With POD, you can focus on your business’ finances and future success without having to worry about the manufacturing and logistics part. All you need is to find a print-on-demand partner you can trust, like Awkward Styles, to help you take your business to the next level.
With our extensive product catalog, free mockup generator, e-commerce integrations, and low shipping prices, we can help you get your business to where you want it to be in no time. Contact us today and let’s get started!
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