The first step in establishing a successful Print on Demand company is determining a niche. Niches are specialized segments of the market for a particular product or service. They’re what help you narrow your focus, find paying customers, make more money, and relate to your audience.
If you need convincing on why this is important, read our “Benefits of finding a niche article” here. For everyone else, let’s get started.
How to find your niche:
Evaluate your passions and life experiences.
The best person to help you decide what to sell is, well, you. Think about your hobbies, passions, and experiences. What would you be excited about focusing on for several years? What do you have a unique perspective on?
While your POD company can focus on nearly any subgroup of people, it’s easier to generate ideas and relate to your customers if you're close to their community.
Find gaps in current products
Another way to find a niche is by evaluating issues or shortcomings in currently available products. If your brand can solve a problem other brands aren’t addressing, customers will flock.
For example, Printed Mint found its niche when our founder, Mary, noticed the lack of branding options available through other Print on Demand companies. Printed Mint focused on providing a ton of customizable packaging options, and wallah! Printed Mint started to thrive.
Once you have an idea of which direction you want to go, it’s time to research your market to see if your niche is a viable option.
Research your market
What are they looking for?
Be cognizant of your specific audience’s needs and wants. For example, if your target market is sisters, make sure you offer women’s cut t-shirts. If you want to sell to environmentalists, maybe sell reusable water bottles.
How can you access them?
Your target audience needs to be accessible. No matter how great your solution is, if you cannot market your product to them, your business will fail. For example, you may want to sell t-shirts to people who don’t use social media, but you can't reach them through Facebook ads. In this case, you either need to change your target audience or your marketing method.
What competition already exists?
A quick Google search will reveal how many other companies are competing for your same share of the market. It’s okay if there are other people competing in your niche— that shows there is money to be made in it. The best niches are large enough to make money, but small enough to target effectively.
Take notes on the competition. How can you improve their methods? In order to find your place in the market, you need to develop a new, interesting take on your products.