You’ve been scouring Instagram or YouTube and watching and liking every sticker video and piece of content that you can come across. You've got the business idea, and now all you want to do know everything you need to get started. Well, you’ve come to the right place. Think you’ve got a knack at making stickers? We’ll guide you on how you can make your own stickers and start a sticker business.
1.What Kind of Stickers Will You Make?
The first thing you have to do is determine what type of stickers you want to make. There are many different types of stickers on the market. To have an edge, your product needs to be unique in its own way. Unique doesn’t necessarily mean that they should be new and out of this world; it just means they should offer something different from what the rest are offering. This is your magical touch. This is where custom stickers come in. You also need to determine the type of sticker designs you’ll be making. Will they be planner stickers, a bumper sticker, or kiss cut stickers? Whatever it is, you need to know what area you will focus on so that you can carve out a niche for yourself. For example, if you like planner stickers, you can decide to venture into the vinyl sticker business.
2.The Materials You Will Need
a) The Type of Paper Used
There are four types of paper that you can use to make your own stickers.
Matte Sticker Paper
Ideal for light use labeling or decorative stickers. The downside is that it absorbs a lot of ink during the printing process and leaves the image looking faded and sometimes pixelated.
Clear & Opaque (White) Glossy Sticker Paper
One of the best papers for printing stickers as it prints the exact design, true to its color. The paper does not absorb the ink hence leaving your stickers looking fresh and vibrant. For the most part, glossy paper is water-resistant; however you do still need to be careful. The downside of clear sticky paper is that you see what’s underneath, which might not be ideal for every design. It comes in two forms:
i) Opaque (White) Glossy Sticker Paper
This is ideal for making high-quality professional stickers. When using it, you have to keep in that all your stickers will have a white background in between the elements.
So this should be something to think about while designing.
ii) Clear glossy sticker paper
It allows you to layer your stickers since it doesn’t have the white background. Clear sticker paper is best for labels on clear glass objects etc. The downside is that you will see what is underneath a clear sticker.
Vinyl Sticker Paper
If you're looking to print high-quality stickers, this is the best paper to have. Vinyl paper is thick and extremely high quality. Some examples of products made from this paper are bumper stickers.
b) Type of Printer
Once you have your paper, you’ll need a printer to print those stickers. You have two options; you can either get a printer or have someone print the stickers for you. If you want to print the stickers on your own, you need a laser jet printer or inkjet printer. You can't use a regular printer. It’s important to note that both printers require their own type of sticker paper specific to the printer brand. One of the features to consider when thinking of buying a printer is the cost of ink. Is the ink affordable or pricey? Is the software easy to use? Can the printer print to the border of the paper?
If you don’t have a printer at home, you can take your sticker design files and your choice of sticker paper to a FedEx/Kinkos, Office Depot, or UPS Store and have them do the printing for you. There’s also the option of sending the files online and picking up the stickers. However, it is important to call in advance and find out the type of printers they have to carry with you the appropriate sticker paper.
c) Cutting Machine
You’ve printed out your stickers, and it’s time to cut them. There’s the option of manually cutting them, but this will take a lot of time, and there’s the risk of making lots of mistakes. You can alternatively use a machine, and the two commonly used are Cricut and Silhouette Cameo. These are commonly used by those who want to print vinyl stickers. When looking for a cutting machine, you should consider how user-friendly the software is and if there is a free option that you can try out to print and cut stickers. Both Cricut and Silhouette have free options, so you can test out which one works best for you. Its also key to look into the size options (the cutting area) and see if it fits your needs.
3. Selling Your Stickers Online
a) Setting Up Your Shop
Now that you have your stickers, you need a place to sell them. Your first thought might be a website, but ideally, you want to be selling stickers on a marketplace like eBay or Etsy.
Your Website is a great place for your audience to get to know you, but sites like Etsy are ideal for housing your sticker store.
Branding is key. For a business to thrive, it should stand out from the rest, and that’s where branding comes in. Your branding will be what will draw people’s attention, so take time and try to give it all you’ve got. This is where you develop your business name, logo, colors, tagline, and design. Remember, consistency in branding is very important. What makes custom stickers stand out is the branding.
Freebies are your way of encouraging your customers to come back. You shouldn’t look at them as a loss but as “thank you for allowing me to serve you.” Whenever a customer buys your custom stickers and receives a freebie, they’ll take it very positively while that could be your opportunity to test out something new. Freebies can be anything really; they could be sticker sheets, a link to a calendar, a bookmark.
d) Pricing, Shipping, and Packaging
When thinking of pricing, some of the factors to consider is the cost of production, packaging, and shipping. In terms of packaging, there are plenty of options. The main aim is to ensure that the stickers arrive safely. Some consider hard mailers, while others choose bubble mail. As for shipping, you’ll need to consider if you want to send your packages with tracking or without, and this should be included in your policies. You’ll also want to think about if you want to include the costs to your mailer. Lastly, you’ll want to look into international fees if you consider expanding your sticker business internationally.
It's extremely important to keep your customers informed. This is where they’ll learn more about your refund policy when they can expect your stickers, sustainability policies, data policies, etc. When writing your policies, make sure not to copy from someone else’s; you can draw inspiration but don’t copy word for word. Find a way to make it your own.