As an entrepreneur, you may have a couple of good business ideas you’re already flirting with. It could be monetizing a talent you have, or selling to an expanding market, etc.
If you’re reading this article, you’ve either already started a business, or are considering it. For most entrepreneurs-to-be, the one thing in their way is a lack of confidence. In other words, that confidence only comes with a great business idea that they truly believe in.
If you’re not completely sure of the business idea in your mind, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll analyze the factors that formulate good business ideas. In addition, you’ll find questions to ask in finding the right idea for you with a practical example that checks all the boxes. Let’s get into it.
What constitutes a good business idea?
A successful idea isn’t just a thought, but a real opportunity with an actionable plan. Therefore, it has the potential to gather a growing customer base profitably and it’s ideally scalable as well in the long-term.
The following aspects are essential in determining the right business idea for you:
– Is it based on your strengths?
– Who’s your target audience?
– What’s the level of risk and investment involved?
– How easy is market entry?
1. Is it based on your strengths?
We all have our specialities, interests, strengths, and weaknesses. Successful entrepreneurs know their own precisely. They also have the mental clarity to know what motivates them on their lowest days.
Are you motivated by a specific problem that the masses face? Or a particular pain point? Something you’re passionate about? Or is your goal to produce value for people through well-thought-out business systems? Whatever niche you work in, you should be desperate about seeing people enjoy your products.
Ask yourself these questions:
– Do you have close experience or expertise around your product niche?
– Do you have the right skills that make you fit for executing your business idea?
– Which areas in your business idea demand expertise? Can some of those areas be outsourced reliably?
– Could you create a social media presence to promote your products or build a brand image? It could be social media accounts, a YouTube channel or a blog. Many people begin by building a strong audience which then turns into their loyal buyers.
2. Who’s your target audience?
It’s impossible to develop a thriving business without understanding its market. In short, good business ideas will always have precise answers to questions like:
– What group of people will buy from you without any persuasion?
– Who’s already spending on your product niche?
– What are the main qualities of this demographic?
– What do these people base their purchase decisions on?
– Is the idea flexible enough to target different preferences among niches?
Knowing your audience well makes it remarkably easier to grow your sales. Certainly, you might start with the easiest targets and build your way up. And upon acquiring your first few customers, you gain access to feedback. Consequently, this opens doors for refinement with positive changes and sets you up for more success.
Through flexibility in your idea, you create product designs meeting a variety of preferences among a niche. As a result, more and more people flow into your customer base.
3. What’s the level of risk and investment involved?
The lower the investment required, the lower would be the associated risk. In the same vein, an ideal business idea would feature low risk with high potential rewards. However, remember that some degree of risk is inevitable in any worthwhile idea.
It’s important to keep long-term scalability in mind as well. Usually, ideas involving low risk tend to have a certain growth limit and is an instant turn-off for any visionary. Business ideas boasting a low level of risk are only good if they are scalable in the long-term.
4. How easy is the market entry?
Do you need plenty of resources to set foot into the addressable market? If so, the idea probably isn’t that great.
Good business ideas thrive on their ability to deal with unsolved problems. They find ways to outperform the competition or co-exist with them without spending many resources.
A great example of ease-of-entry would be the online dropshipping model of selling. Speaking of that…
Let’s talk about Printing on Demand
Now that you know what it takes for an idea to be competitive, let’s look at a proven practical example: print-on-demand.
If you’re looking for good business ideas for Shopify to monetize your creativity, printing on demand may check all your boxes.
From posters, mugs, custom t-shirts, to books and backpacks, everything’s your canvas. Simply throw your ideas on one (or all) of the products you make and sell them online. There’s one natural fear attached to this though…
What if I make all these products but no one ends up buying them?
Well, with printing-on-demand, you won’t have to worry about it. In this business model, you dodge all the risks associated with managing inventory.
You never have to manufacture products, hold inventory, or manage shipping. It’s an incredibly easy and accessible gateway to step into e-commerce. Thanks to Shopify, which is the leading platform for online retailers, selling a diverse set of products through dropshipping is simpler than ever.
Moreover, there’s no need to think about the supply and demand balance either. When you’re printing on demand, it’s impossible to over-produce. A unit is only produced once an order is placed for it. In other words, you sell first, produce later.
Why is Shopify the perfect platform for a print-on-demand business?
Under a print-on-demand business model, two aspects hold the highest importance:
· Your presence on the web, which is the only way your customers can interact with you.
· Your print-on-demand service providers, i.e., suppliers.
With Shopify, both of these worries get sorted – and remarkably so.
Shopify is the world’s leading platform for online sellers. From creating designs to building your online store, you name it. Shopify has everything you need to start a business using print-on-demand.
You get to create designs in a user-friendly interface, and easily find reliable print-on-demand suppliers on Shopify.
Here’s how easy it is…
In the sequel to this article, we’ll discuss in-depth how to set up a print on demand store on Shopify. However, let’s quickly go over the main steps:
Step 1: Setup Shopify
This includes signing up on the website and availing the 14-day free trial they offer. Here, you pick a theme, change colours, and select a logo according to your preferences. You also set up key pages for your business such as terms and conditions, about us, etc.
Enable Shopify payments in settings and voila, you’re ready for step #2.
Step 2: Add print-on-demand providers
The next step is to pick your providers, who will be responsible for producing, holding, and shipping your products. Ideally, you should go with suppliers situated close to your target market (for faster shipping).
Here are some of the most popular print-on-demand service providers. They have their own apps in the Shopify App Store as well.
- Printify (US/UK Based)
- Printful (US Based)
- Print Aura (US Based)
- Gooten (US Based)
- Pixels (US, UK, CA, EU, AUS Based)
Step 3: Product design
Product design is the sole identity of a print on demand business on Shopify. Here are three options to find designs:
- You create them yourself. Being Photoshop/Illustrator savvy helps.
- Pay a professional designer and explain your preferences.
- Buy ready-made designs through platforms like Etsy and Fiverr.
Step 4: Setup products
We recommend initially starting with 5-10 products. What these products will depend on the provider you choose, and the market you’re targeting. Focus on marketing your limited line of products until you get a feel of how things work. From there, expand your offerings and scale sustainably with time.
From this point on, it’s time for launch! Start with a test-order of your own to make sure the system works well.
If all’s well, it’s time to start thinking about your first-ever marketing campaign. Create an online presence on social media, promote your products – you’re the CEO now!
How does “printing on demand” work?
How can a business run where you never make, hold, or ship your own products? Great question.
Under a print-on-demand business model, you customize white-label products in collaboration with a supplier. You throw your designs on them and market them under your brand name. Customers place orders, and deliveries are made to them subsequently.
Throughout this process, you never buy or hold any inventory in bulk. You only pay for it once you’ve sold it already.
In many print-on-demand businesses, most of the hassle is managed by suppliers. Once an order is placed through your online platform, printing, and shipping the product is the supplier’s job.
Printing on Demand – Pros and Cons
All good business ideas for Shopify have perks and limitations of their own. The same goes for printing on demand!
Printing on demand websites build businesses based on a dropshipping business model. You make sales, while the products are held, handled, and shipped by a supplier. It’s one of the easiest models to start an online store, but it has its pros and cons.
· No shipping worries
Timely fulfilment of orders is a constant headache for traditional sellers. However, shipping and fulfilment aren’t even in your hands in this case. Once the sale is made, your only responsibility is customer service.
· Low risk
You have complete freedom to test out ideas without investing money in them. You never hold your inventory, and adding or removing products is clicks away.
· Low investment
You don’t have to purchase your inventory to start things off. You only pay for the products you’ve already sold. Not many business ideas allow such an easy market entry.
· Quick production
Once the design is ready, it takes minutes to produce a model product and put it up for sale.
· Variety has no limits
In dropshipping, there aren’t any storage limitations. On top of that, if you’re printing on demand, there aren’t any upfront costs. Nothing is stopping you from providing your customers with greater choice.
· Easily outsourced
The only major part in your hands is design, and even that can be outsourced to experts easily.
· Lower profit margins
Buying in bulk lowers your cost per item. Though, there’s no bulk-buying in dropshipping, costing more per unit. Printing products on demand may thus yield lower profit percentages. But, much of it depends on your pricing decisions and marketing.
· Limited Customization
While you may have great designs in your head, bringing them to life falls upon your vendor. Your customization options are limited by the printing techniques of your vendors, and the availability of sizes or product types.
· Little to no control over shipping
Shipping costs vary for different products and can be complex under this model. If you take the ‘unboxing experience’ seriously as a seller, you sadly have very little say in that department.
No business idea is free of limitations, and the same is true for printing on demand. However, it’s clear to see that its pros far outweigh the cons. After all, there’s a reason why it’s one of the most successful business genres on Shopify.
Print-on-demand services can be useful for…
Now that you’ve weighed the pros and cons of printing on demand, let’s look at what it’s good for.
· Sell to a pre-built audience
If you happen to be a blogger, vlogger, or social media influencer of any sort, it’s possible to monetize your audience. For instance, countless YouTubers are printing their merch on demand under the dropshipping model. This way, they get to continue making content and not worry about order fulfilment.
· Test business ideas
Have good business ideas for Shopify with a new product line under your own brand name? Test them out risk-free with print-on-demand, without ever purchasing inventory.
· Create niche merch and apparel
By printing on demand, you can create original products based on a particular niche. For instance, products like mugs, t-shirts, phone covers with certain themes. You could make goods themed around gaming, food, or pop-culture references, etc.
Countless considerations go into building the foundation of your business, but it all begins with an idea – a vision. Base your search for good business ideas on the key questions we’ve highlighted. Compare it to the practical example we’ve presented, and see if it hits the mark. Finally, no matter what idea you choose to work on, what makes it successful will always be the motivation and passion behind it. All the best!