5 Printer Businesses You Can Start This Year | Roland DGA
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5 Online Print Businesses You Can Start This Year

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that even with today's economic challenges, new businesses are starting up at a faster rate than ever before. In fact, more than 5.4 million new business applications were filed in 2021, a gain of one million over 2020's record-setting number.

With or without leaving a current job, many people are finding that they can apply their creative skills and increase their earnings by launching a business online. Further, in survey after survey, consumers say they are willing to pay more for unique, authentic products that truly speak to them. With that in mind, many online businesses are using today's advanced printing technologies to create unique, personalized and customized products that customers love.

Here are five ideas for profitable printing-related online businesses you can quickly and easily start from home.

1. Custom Apparel

Have a design in mind? How about a few? By creating custom apparel for a specific audience, you can garner a following and generate big business. Equipped with the right compact apparel printer, you can add text, art, and custom designs to dozens of apparel items.

With easy-to-use desktop printers for apparel and textiles, like the VersaSTUDIO BT-12 and BN-20, creating customized garments and accessories for individuals, as well as groups like sports teams, schools, clubs, and wedding parties, is simple and affordable!

DTG Outrageous Party Bus DTG Baby Clothes

You'll need: A desktop direct-to-garment (DTG) printer to print full-color designs directly onto light-colored apparel, or a desktop printer/cutter and heat press for creating heat transfer designs that can be applied on a variety of apparel materials. Get more ideas here.

  • T-Shirts
  • Tote bags
  • Drawstring backpacks
  • Sweatshirts
  • Hats
  • Aprons
  • Tea towels

You'll need: A desktop direct-to-garment (DTG) printer to print full-color designs directly onto light-colored apparel, or a desktop printer/cutter and heat press for creating heat transfer designs that can be applied on a variety of apparel materials. Get more ideas here.

2. Personalized Gifts

According to Etsy's 2019 Annual Report, “Personalized gifts” was the top search term on its site. With more and more people looking online for products that are uniquely designed to suit the tastes and styles of individual consumers, the time is right to get crafty and uber-creative with customized gifts.

With the latest personalization printers, creating one-of-a-kind gifts featuring vibrant, detailed graphics can be easy and cost-effective. Think: wedding gifts, birthday gifts, anniversaries, graduations, holidays, souvenirs, and more. You can start by offering a general product line and take orders for personalization, or do the customization up front and sell highly unique items - either approach allows for high profit margins. And with so many occasions throughout the year, personalized gifts are always in demand.

Phone Cases Decal Growler Yaguara Malta Soda

Here are some ideas:

  • Home decor
  • Tech accessories
  • Fashion accessories
  • Promotional products
  • Personalized games
  • Flasks and tankards

You'll need: A benchtop UV printer, a direct-to-garment (DTG) printer, or a desktop rotary engraver. Learn more about personalizing gifts here.

3. Personalized Jewelry

Jewelry is a top-selling item on sites like Amazon Handmade and Etsy. With a desktop engraver or a photo impact printer, you can quickly and easily personalize a wide variety of jewelry items. A desktop rotary engraver lets you engrave onto a range of metals, while a photo impact printer imprints photographs, vector graphics and text.

MPX Baby

Here are some unique customized jewelry ideas:

  • Engagement sets
  • Pet and pet owner pendants
  • Friendship bracelets or necklaces
  • Watches
  • Lockets with photos
  • Earrings

You'll need: A desktop rotary engraver or a photo impact printer.

4. Customized Home Décor

Another top-selling category of products, home décor, has plenty of potential for online business success. With a desktop direct-to-garment (DTG) printer, you can print your designs directly on items like pillowcases and towels. A desktop vinyl cutter allows you to create wall graphics and signs, while a printer/cutter adds full color to your graphics. To print on three-dimensional objects like picture frames, candle holders and cutting boards, you'll want to go with a desktop UV printer.

Sweet Dreams Wallfalir Crib Pillowcases

Here are some popular home décor product ideas:

  • Pillowcases
  • Tea towels
  • Fine art
  • Picture frames
  • Wall graphics
  • Decorated vases
  • Candle holders
  • Kitchen and table signs

You'll need: A desktop DTG printer, desktop vinyl cutter, desktop printer/cutter, or benchtop UV printer.

5. Stickers and Decals

These days, stickers are everywhere! They are also among the top-selling items online. Stickers are a perfect way to add personality to a vast array of objects and surfaces including: water bottles, laptops, cars, motorcycles, boats, helmets, windows, and much more. With a desktop printer/cutter, stickers are also easy to produce, and a great way to promote your business.

Honey Jar Skateboards

Here are a few of the many types of stickers you can create:

  • Logo stickers
  • Typographical stickers
  • Emoji stickers
  • Holiday stickers
  • Character stickers
  • Promotional stickers
  • Wall/window decal stickers

You'll need: A compact, full-color desktop printer/cutter. Get more inspiration here.

Ready, Set, Grow!

Opening an online business from home is easier than ever with today's affordable, user-friendly software and devices. Start yours and watch it grow with help from Roland DG's state-of-the-art printing devices. Learn more about building your own online shop and download Roland DGA's free Guide to Building a Customization Business from your Desktop, here.

Ginny Mumm

Ginny Mumm

Ginny Mumm is a freelance writer based in Southern California. She writes frequently about the print industry and CAD/CAM technology. She enjoys outdoor sports, yoga and walking her oversized puppy.