You go into print on demand
That's it, you've decided to cross the Rubicon!
You are ready to take the plunge and create your brand, well done. However, the journey has only just begun. We'll try to give you some tips on how to make your Print on Demand adventure as successful as possible.
If you are here, we can imagine that you already have a clear idea of your brand identity. You may even have a name, a logo and visuals.
Study the market!
First of all: you should know one thing, the online t-shirt sector (and by extension sweatshirts, goodies...) is very competitive. For example: TPOP works with several thousand users - and therefore brand creators - on a regular basis. However, a competitive sector does not mean that it is closed, on the contrary, it is up to you to think about the added value of your brand and its identity (an assertive positioning, a strong and readable visual identity, etc.). It is important, before launching yourself, to study the global online T-shirt market and to carry out a market study on the sector that your brand wants to occupy. This study should answer the following questions:
- Is there anyone in this area yet?
- Is there room for you?
- What is the functioning of the companies already in place (economic model, communication, geographical location, customer target...)?
- Who will your products be aimed at?
Remember, your positioning must satisfy two expectations: yours and your customer's.
Or you are an artist (designer, painter, draughtsman, illustrator, photographer, etc.) and you are looking to market your artistic creation: in this case, your artistic approach should be enough to make your brand original.
Either you have no particular creative talent (or you don't think you do) and you are addressing a well identified community. In this case, your positioning must be clear and you must be careful to differentiate yourself from others in some way. Define your brand... and protect it.
A clear, meaningful, emblematic name. A name that pleases you, resembles you and that will also speak to your future clients. This is essential.
Next, you'll need to create your logo and, more generally, focus on your brand's visual identity (fonts, colors, themes...). Note: there are a number of tools available to help you create names and logos, and even if you don't necessarily want "assistance", they can give you some good ideas.
In any case, one thing is imperative: PROTECT YOUR BRAND.
You will have to register your trademark (name, logo) so that it is reserved for you.
What do you need?
Who are you? What are your weaknesses? What are your strengths?
These questions will lead you to the following issues: what are your human and material needs?
As far as material needs are concerned, you have a significant advantage: you use the services of a Print on Demand professional. The advantage of Print on Demand, as we know and repeat, is the absence of stock and major financial investments.
The hardware requirements are therefore limited. Nevertheless, it is advisable to own or acquire a quality computer on which you will need to install image creation and retouching software in order to create your beautiful visuals.
Among the necessary software, we also recommend an office suite as well as accounting and business management software.
In Print on Demand: you can work alone, but... Of course, you can choose to create your brand on your own, and that has its advantages: no accountability, you can steer your own course. There are many tools to help you. However, if nothing obliges you to join forces, it is always useful to have the support of people with different knowledge: financial, accounting, administrative, artistic, communication...
Remember: several opinions are better than one!
A business plan? Is it really useful?
Ah, the famous business plan is often frightening. Don't panic! With Print on Demand, and thanks to the services we offer, it is not necessary. Often, the business plan is a necessary document to convince banks and/or investors. As long as the financial requirements are almost zero, you can do without this step. Having said that, it is always interesting to draw up a provisional budget which will give you an idea of the costs, investments, margins, income, and which will give you an estimate of the turnover and the profits that you will be able to make...
Similarly, you will not necessarily need to look for funding and investors (at least initially) and you should be able to meet the initial costs with your own funds. You should still have a communication plan to spread information about your brand: press, social networks, newsletters, announcements on your website, presence at appropriate events such as trade fairs or demonstrations, etc.
Which legal form?
Creating a brand, even in Print on Demand, requires the creation of a company. Please note: this company may have a name other than that of the brand. If it is a sole proprietorship, for example, your company may bear your name.
The legal form then depends on many things. It will determine the type of taxation and remuneration. In any case, you will have to fulfil a certain number of legal obligations: drafting of articles of association, registration with the Chamber of Commerce, etc. Find out more!
If you are located in France, here are the different possible cases.
First case, your company already exists: in this case, no questions asked, your choice is already made.
In thesecond case, your brand has an associative vocation (it is the brand of a sports club, your brand is at the service of a cause, etc.): you can then create an association under the 1901 Act.
In thethird case, you decide to be the sole owner. There are many different forms of business. Your choice will depend on your business model and your business plan: Micro-entreprise (formerly auto-entreprise), Sole Proprietorship (EI), Limited Liability Sole Proprietorship (EIRL), Limited Liability Sole Proprietorship (EURL), Single Shareholder Simplified Company (SASU).
Of the many forms of company with several partners, Société à responsabilité limitée (SARL) and Société par actions simplifiée (SAS) are certainly the two most suitable for Print on Demand. Our advice?
Again, it all depends on you, your situation and the impetus you want to give your brand. If you want to give it a try, to see if the market is receptive to your products, a micro-business is ideal. No sales, no costs and you can set up your business in just a few minutes.
If you consider your brand as a side activity to another salaried job, you can choose the micro-enterprise or sole proprietorship regime. This gives you some freedom to see how your brand develops. If there are several of you, the SAS form seems to us the most suitable. Creating your brand is a truly wonderful adventure, but it is the entry into the sacred world of entrepreneurship with its obligations, its constraints, its necessities and all its riches.
But above all, it will be made up of unique moments (your first sale, the launch of your website...), beautiful encounters (with our team in particular :-) ) and great challenges.