Starting a custom sticker business can be a lucrative venture, especially in today’s digital age where online shopping is booming.
With low start-up costs and the ability to reach a wide audience, it’s no wonder that custom sticker businesses are growing in popularity.
In this article, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of starting your own custom sticker business, from choosing a niche to marketing your products.
So let’s dive in!
1. Choose a Niche
When starting a custom sticker business, it’s important to choose a niche that will help you stand out from the competition.
Instead of targeting a broad audience, focus on sub-niches that resonate with specific interests.
For example, instead of creating stickers for all types of pets, you can specialize in dog or cat designs.
You can further differentiate yourself by offering unique styles such as Gothic-themed or cartoon-style pets.
By narrowing down your niche, you can attract a more targeted audience and charge higher prices.
2. Validate Your Designs
Before you start creating and selling your stickers, it’s crucial to validate your design ideas.
Many new sellers make the mistake of throwing up designs without testing their market appeal.
To ensure product-market fit, here are some practical ways to validate your designs:
- Look at online marketplaces: Platforms like Redbubble and Etsy allow you to filter your search by “trending” or “best-selling.” By analyzing the top-selling stickers, you can get an idea of what designs are popular and have a big market potential.
- Use survey platforms: Advanced research tools offered by survey platforms can help you gather feedback from their built-in audiences. You can select your desired audience and see how people feel about your designs.
- Post in groups: Get feedback by posting your designs in relevant Facebook groups, Reddit, or Quora. This will give you insights into what others think about your designs and whether they would be interested in buying them.
- Check for trending designs on eCommerce platforms and social media: If you come across a similar design on a T-shirt or mug that is popular, there’s a good chance that people would also be interested in buying stickers with that design. Look for popular memes or trending stories on social media to identify potential design ideas.
By validating your designs before investing time and resources into producing them, you can ensure that there is a demand for your stickers and increase your chances of success.
3. Choose a Business Model
The next step in starting your custom sticker business is choosing a business model that suits your needs and goals. Here are some options to consider:
- Manufacturing: With this model, you have complete control over the design and printing process. You create the artwork, print, cut, and ship the stickers to the customer. However, this model requires high upfront costs and is labor-intensive.
- Dropshipping: Dropshipping is a great option if you want to start with minimal capital. Instead of holding inventory, you sell your supplier’s designs online. When a customer makes a purchase, you order from the supplier, and they ship the stickers directly to the customer. This model eliminates the need for inventory and upfront costs but may result in less control over quality and shipping.
- Print On Demand (POD): POD gives you more control than dropshipping. You design the stickers and ask a POD service or supplier to print and ship them. This model allows you to focus on marketing while the POD service handles manufacturing and fulfillment.
- Private Label: Private labeling involves having a supplier create stickers under your brand. You handle branding, packaging, and marketing materials. This model requires a higher upfront capital investment but allows for more control over the branding and customer experience.
- Wholesale: Wholesaling involves buying stickers in bulk and shipping them out yourself. While it requires an upfront investment and inventory management, it allows for greater control over the shipping experience and often comes with discounts for buying in bulk.
4. Choose Your Sticker Types
The quality of your stickers is crucial in setting yourself apart from other sellers. Here are some sticker types you may want to consider:
- Vinyl Stickers: Vinyl is a highly durable material that easily sticks to hard surfaces without bubbling.
- Clear Stickers: Clear stickers are perfect for transparent surfaces or packaging, providing a sleek and professional look.
- Kraft Paper Stickers: Stickers printed on brown kraft paper give a natural and crafty appearance, perfect for a vintage or minimalistic aesthetic.
- Metallic Stickers: Metallic stickers printed on a foil backing create a shiny and attention-grabbing surface, adding a touch of luxury to your designs.
- Hologram Stickers: Hologram stickers provide a futuristic and eye-catching look with their metallic spectrum of colors.
5. Create Your Stickers
When it comes to creating your stickers, you have two options: DIY manufacturing or outsourcing to a custom sticker company.
- DIY Sticker Manufacturing: DIY manufacturing involves more labor and upfront costs. You’ll need to choose a paper type like vinyl or kraft paper and a vinyl laminate sheet to cover the paper, which helps extend the life of the stickers. You’ll also need a high-quality inkjet printer and a cutting machine to make precise cuts. While this option gives you more control over the process, it can be expensive and time-consuming.
- Outsource to a Custom Sticker Company: If you’re looking for a more convenient and efficient option, outsourcing to a custom sticker company is recommended. Companies like The/Studio allow you to wholesale custom stickers. Simply choose your sticker type, shape, material, and design, upload your artwork, and place your order. This way, you can focus on other aspects of your business while professionals handle the printing and cutting process.
6. Choose Where to Sell Your Stickers
Once you’ve decided on the types of stickers and how to make them, it’s time to choose where to sell them. Here are some of the available options:
- Your Website: Creating a dedicated eCommerce website using platforms like Shopify or BigCommerce allows you to have full control over your brand and customer experience. These platforms offer website templates and plug-and-play features, making it easy to upload your product listings and design your store. Additionally, they offer apps that can enhance your store’s functionality, such as bulk order discounts and email sign-up buttons.
- Your Brick-and-Mortar Store: If you already have a physical store, adding custom stickers to your product line can be a great way to increase sales. Displaying stickers near the register can catch the attention of customers and increase the order value. Clothing retail stores, toy shops, and art boutiques are just a few examples of businesses that can benefit from selling custom stickers. Make sure to choose designs that align with the overall theme of your store.
- Online Marketplaces: Online marketplaces like Etsy are a great option for beginners with a limited budget. These platforms already have a large audience, so you don’t need to spend a lot on advertising. Etsy alone has 81.9 million active buyers, giving you access to a loyal customer base. To succeed on these platforms, optimize your listings with keywords, persuasive product descriptions, and eye-catching designs.
- Print On Demand Companies: Print on demand (POD) companies like Redbubble and Printful allow you to upload your designs and have them printed on a variety of products, including stickers. With Redbubble, the manufacturing and fulfillment process is handled by the company, making it a passive income stream for you. Printful, on the other hand, requires you to acquire customers through advertising or social media, but they handle the printing and shipping of your stickers.
7. Price Your Stickers
Pricing your stickers is a crucial step in ensuring a healthy profit margin while remaining competitive in the market.
Ideally, you should price your stickers three to four times the cost.
For example, if your sticker costs $0.58 to produce and ship, you should charge at least $1.74 to $2.32 for a single sticker.
Selling stickers in packs can make your pricing more lucrative.
For instance, a five-pack of stickers priced at $10 can result in a profit of $6.55 per order.
8. Create a Marketing Plan
Marketing is essential for scaling your sticker business.
Your marketing plan will depend on your budget and where you’re selling your stickers.
If you’re selling on online marketplaces like Redbubble or Etsy, you may not need to do much promotion unless you choose to run ads.
However, if you’re selling on your own website, you’ll need to drive traffic to your site.
Search engine optimization (SEO) and ad campaigns are effective ways to market your stickers.
You can create free guides that help people learn about stickers to rank higher on Google searches.
Additionally, you can pay influencers to promote your stickers to their audience or run Facebook carousel ads to showcase your designs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a Sticker Making Business Profitable?
Yes, selling stickers can be a profitable business model with low start-up costs and a considerable upside.
The stickers market was worth $151.8 million in 2021 and is projected to grow to $191.1 million by 2028.
With low production costs, you can achieve profit margins of up to 80%.
How Much Does It Cost To Start a Small Sticker Business?
Starting a small sticker business can cost anywhere from $100 to $1,000.
If you choose to produce the stickers yourself, you’ll need to invest in equipment and supplies such as a specialized inkjet or laser sticker printer, ink, a cutting machine, vinyl sticker paper, and packing and postage supplies.
However, if you outsource the design and printing, the start-up costs are significantly lower, and it saves you time while ensuring professional-looking stickers.
What Supplies Are Needed To Start a Sticker Business?
To start a sticker business, you’ll need the following supplies:
- Specialized inkjet or laser sticker printer
- Cutting machine
- Vinyl sticker paper
- Packing and postage supplies
- Dedicated eCommerce platform like Shopify or BigCommerce (if selling online)
Fortunately, if you choose to dropship your stickers, you won’t need to invest in a large inventory or supplies.
Starting a custom sticker business is an accessible venture that anyone can pursue.
Even if you don’t have design skills, you can easily collaborate with a designer and printing company to bring your ideas to life.
If you’re looking for a reliable brand to offer printable sticker sticker paper, printable vinyl, and more, Royal Elements is your one stop shop for every crafting material you need to bring your beautiful designs to life.
All you have to do is dream it up and print it out.