Brush Your Ideas

Stick It Right: Things to Know Before Starting a Sticker Making Business

sticker design software
June 12 2020
This is John Fischer, founder of StickerGiant with Saul the Sticker Ball -- a 232 pound largest ball entirely made of stickers lying around the office of his company. It holds a Guinness World Record for being the largest ball of its kind.
 
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<p><span style=Behind this record, lies a successful enterprise Sticker Giant. It provides services for some 30,000 companies including Apple, Google, and NASA. Last year this company of 32 employees in total generated $8 million with 30% of annual growth.

Looks pretty profitable right?

So, how can you also achieve such milestones for your sticker business? Or are you just getting started in this industry?

Well, then read on because you will get all the answers you are seeking:

Keep the Purpose Alive

For anyone in the Sticker making business, it is important to understand that Stickers are not just for fun, they are also important for companies to label products or act as promotional items. Hence, if you see, the opportunity market is pretty wide. When Fischer decided to get serious about the business, in 2006, he pivoted his online store into a custom printing company to offer decals and labels for various organizations and products.

“Once an online sticker retailer, after pivoting to custom printing in 2008 finally opened up the business to a slew of new B2B clients. Now the whole retail part of the company is gone,” says Fischer.

Mission Matters

Did you decide to delve into the sticker making business based on a friend’s suggestion? Or was it always on your mind? Would you be pursuing it part time or work full-time towards growing it? You must have clear answers to the above questions before you start your sticker business. Although sticker business sounds fun, there are several nuances you might have to look into including selling, distribution, marketing, profitability etc.

For example, two entrepreneurs, fond of ocean lifestyle, had a tattoo of “Salt Life” engraved on their necks. They gradually became popular and created sticker and t-shirt merchandise out of it. The brand went on to become huge with more than 600 retailers worldwide. Which proves that if you have the willingness to grow your business and make it big, you definitely can.

Fischer from StickerGiant says “The idea behind StickerGiant was the ‘Amazon of stickers.’ To turn that concept a reality, he decided to source stickers from all over the internet and sell them on his site. However, after coming across the untapped potential of Custom Sticker Printing, he partnered up with drop-ship printers, brought printing equipment, built a team and after a lot of smart work, they reached the $3 million milestones.

Type of Stickers you could offer

As the next step, you must have clarity as to what kind of stickers you are willing to sell. Do you want to go with the regular ones available in the market? Or do you want to design unique ones? You can also provide your customers with sticker making software and let them create stickers on their own. Some start with the vinyl sticker business and provide vinyl decal designs to their customers.

Here are the top 5 kinds of popular stickers:

Logo Stickers:

Turn the logo into a custom sticker to make a lasting impression of the brand. These can be handed over to customers as giveaways or can be stuck over things like cars, laptops, etc. for promotion. You can cut even the most intricate patterns and internal cuts on vinyl material in any shape and size.

Clear Stickers:

Water and oil resistant stickers are widely used to promote business, window signage, or big events. Mostly printed on premium weatherproof vinyl, clear stickers can be die cut in any shape and can be UV coated to give more abrasion resistance.

Die Cut Stickers:

These are precisely cut to the shape of your design and can be adhered to any smooth surface, indoors or outside. You can offer them in any size, shape and quantity. Die cut stickers are scratch, moisture, and sunlight resistant. The stickers offer endless customization possibilities, thereby you can include them in your offerings as they are suitable for business promotions as well as for personal branding.

Photo Stickers:

Customers can turn their favorite photos into stickers and use them for promotional activities. Most photo stickers are made with vinyl material and can be pasted on mugs, wine bottles, lockers, laptops, the fridge, envelopes for invitations, etc. Additionally, they stick strong but remove clean, hence, can be one of the points to attract your customers.

Bumper Stickers:

These are used to convey a message to a large number of people. Made of waterproof vinyl, every bumper sticker can be printed in full. 

Also, you must decide what is the kind of audience you want to sell stickers to. You can choose to sell them to both; other businesses as well as individuals. The best way of making profits is to enable businesses to create customized sticker sheets and sell them at wholesale prices. If the buyers find your work consistent, they are sure to come back to you.

Buy Equipment or Outsource Printing

Well, it is always possible to buy some papers and print die cut labels using a basic printer. However, if you want better quality stickers, it is advisable to create a sticker design studio that sells durable and superior quality stickers. To make your online studio unique and stand out from competitors, you must consider integrating a sticker making software to your website. Make sure that it is compatible with your website platform.

Thereafter, you would need to invest into a digital print and cut printer which might cost you a certain thousand dollars. You would also need to invest into special stationery, protective sprays and colors. If you find it difficult to cope with large scale production, you can choose to outsource printing to another company. But before doing so, it is advisable to check out some of their prototypes and digitally printed samples. The quality and style of the production will give you more idea as to whether or not you want to outsource.

Reaching the Target Audience

There are several ways in which you can let the customers know about an upcoming market place for stickers. Apart from the search engine optimization activities to boost your website rankings, you can organize trade shows or create small retail outlets. As there are several businesses that are into selling customized stickers online, you can conduct some research and find out how you can stand out and be different in order to connect with your target audience. 

During the initial days of your business, you can also consider creating a cost-effective sticker product and give it away for free. If people like the kind of message your stickers give or the graphics of the sticker, they are sure to approach you. Thereafter, you can know about their requirements and provide them with some samples.  It is sure to get you more and better business.

How do I Ensure Success of My Sticker Business?

It’s a tricky question. Majorly, because it is hard to define success in a sticker making business. Some customers might order 500 stickers for a small event and others might order thousands of them on a regular basis. In the year 2007, someone named Elliott Nachwalter designed a sticker that displayed ‘1.20.09’. – Last day of president’s Bush’s reign in the White House. It started selling like hot cakes and he made $1 million out of these stickers.

Fischer’s strategy for snagging new customers is based on word of mouth and collecting customer feedback. “If we can keep our (net promoter) scores really high and acquire customers at a fast pace, it leads to growth,” he says. “It all feeds itself—if you produce a good product and you take care of people, then they recommend you to their friends.”

So, you never know what might click. Sometimes, you might have to work on instincts. Be as creative as you can and keep enhancing your business and products as and when you grow. Research online, seek advice of experts and friends, learn more about the sticker making business, find out how designers make them. You are sure to get better results.

Stickers are a lot of fun when it comes to making money. But, you must know the right way to go about it. We hope this article will help you fulfill your dreams well!

Editor's note: This blog has been updated with the latest data and facts on 15/06/2020.

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Prachi Shah

Prachi Shah has years of experience in content editing, SEO writing, copywriting, and branding. Owing to the unfathomable love for prints and being a Grammar Nazi, her content never fails to be on point and result-oriented. When she is not working with her words, she immerses herself in singing.