Welcome to Episode 2 of the Riches & Brooks Podcast.
In this episode we talk about a cool opportunity we have come across for making a passive income online.
It involves using a print on demand service called Printful, allowing you to design and sell a variety of products without needing to spend a penny on stock, or ever even touch the products.
If you are looking for a new online business opportunity, take a listen.
Links that we mention:
James: Hello, you are listening to the Riches & Brooks podcast with me James Brooks…
Simone: …and Simone Gobbo.
James: Simone, we’re going to talk today about, I suppose like an opportunity that we’ve seen for people to make some money online. Basically, obviously we’re big fans of WordPress and we use that for 99% of the projects that we work on for clients and WordPress has some very good plug-ins that you can use for it. For example, if making an online store, we use a platform called WooCommerce and a lot of our customers use that and are very happy with it. And I found the other day a cool integration between WooCommerce and a company called Printful.
And basically, they’re an on-demand printing service. I always dream of making money while I sleep basically, that’s the Holy Grail, isn’t it?
James: And so this is basically what I think is a really cool opportunity because essentially, Printful prints — I’m trying to find a list of all the stuff that they print. They print t-shirts and all sorts of clothes, baby clothes, tank tops, etc. They print posters. They print canvass tote bags, mugs, greeting cards and they do that all on-demand. There’s no minimums. You can order just one, if you want. So to me, pairing that with an online WordPress store using WooCommerce is a really powerful opportunity.
So yeah, I just wanted us to have a chat about what that opportunity is, I suppose and the kind of things that people could do with that to make an extra cash online.
Simone: Yeah, it might sound a bit geek conversation about plug-ins or WordPress, but put in simple terms basically it means that you just need to build a simple WordPress website, not expensive, not really hard to maintain because it’s really user-friendly in the backend integrated with the service and you’ve just opened your online shop and that’s it.
James: Yeah, and you don’t need to hold any stock or anything like that. And it’s not scary, we’re not talking about coding and stuff. All of this is done for you, so you download a plug-in basically, a bit of software for your WordPress installation, install it and then you are now connected to this very powerful company who can do all this printing for you.
Simone: Yeah, I always like the idea of having a clothing brand for example, but what’s always stop that is you need to have stock and you need to invest some money to have the stock and do the price and with this it just cuts all the managing thing off basically because you don’t even need to have the stock obviously. You just need the designs and they will print it for you and that’s opened loads of opportunities especially for small, independent clothing brands.
James: Yeah, definitely. I mean, I firstly used to work for probably one of the biggest clothing printing and embroidery companies in the UK so I know how complicated and expensive this can all be. And also, I have launched and failed at launching a clothing brand. In fact, literally two weeks ago my mom finally said I need you to take all of these clothing out of my garage because you moved out several years ago and I’ve still got all of this clothing in my garage. So we ended up donating all these stocks to the local homeless shelter basically.
And that costs hundreds and hundreds of pounds to get that started and I only had two designs because I have to get a load of small, a load of medium, a load of large, it was just a nightmare, so something like this is great and also, I’m pretty sure that they use a method of printing called direct to garment printing. And a few years ago, it wasn’t that good but it’s got better and better over the years, and so now, the quality of the prints that you’re getting from this direct to garment printing machines is actually pretty damn good.
Simone: Yeah, you’re more expert than me in this field. You tried. You walked in this field. I’m just thinking yeah, I said independent clothing brands but thinking about it every business owner can get advantage from this because you can open a merchandise shop really easily because they’re not printing t-shirts only. They’re printing posters, mugs, stickers, and so every company can say, “Okay, I’ve got a brand. I want a shop, a merchandising shop to make some extra cash put under my brand,” and usually you wouldn’t do it because there’s a lot of hassle to be honest. You have to get the designs, do the samples, do the fulfillment. It will be hard, well with this. It’s literally just an integration to you website that probably already has WordPress and maybe already has WooCommerce, so it opens loads of opportunities for every businessman not only some indie, young, creative guy just working his bedroom.
James: Yeah, one thing that really frustrates me, obviously we spent a lot of time online and we were just speaking earlier about how we’re part of a couple of communities on Reddit and one of them is the entrepreneur community and I posted a little blog post on there about this opportunity and there were people on there saying, “Oh, but I’ve got to find a design.” They’re just lazy people and it really frustrates me because I understand that we’re in a time now where I really believe the middle class is dying, not physically, but metaphorically.
Simone: It’s getting harder and harder.
James: Yeah, it’s getting harder and harder to find and hold down a middle class job. There are a lot of people out of work and stuff, but I just see so many opportunities where for free or very little. You can start your own online business and really go for it. It really annoys me when the worst thing someone can say to me is I want to start a business but I don’t have the money to do so because that is just a load of rubbish. I understand that there are some businesses where you are going to need investment or you need some money upfront. But the fact is you can start a business to start making money right now for very little or free and this is just one of many opportunities. It’s brilliant. You can literally start your own online store and not hold any stock. You just got to get the designs together and you can do that yourself. There are ways of sorting designs as well.
Worst case scenario, you go and shutterstock, find some cool photos. That’s very in fashion right now. You’re wearing a t-shirt, it’s a white t-shirt with a beach photo on it and it’s simple but it’s so in fashion at the moment. A shutterstock image costs about 7 pounds, that’s you spend on a couple of coffees in the week, so that’s an option. Also, there are some amazing designers and illustrators online that you can hire for cheap, elance.com, freelancer, oDesk, you can find people who are really talented, who are actually happy to do some stuff for an affordable price.
Simone: Or you can install an illustrator program or software and learn how to do graphic design. You learn a skill while you’re starting your business.
Simone: It’s a small investment. It’s not cheap cloud. It’s not Adobe cloud. It’s not cheap.
James: No, I think we pay anywhere between 20 and 40 pounds per month but I don’t know if you have to sign up for a contract necessarily. Also, if you are looking to learn about Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop or something like that, I highly recommend linda.com. Great training there. We always use it. If we have interns in or whatever, we always set them up with a linda.com account and say, “Hey, train to your heart’s content.” I just did a course on Illustrator recently.
Simone: Yeah, I’m doing it as well. I started doing it.
James: Oh really? And it’s brilliant. It gets you up to speed very quickly.
Simone: Yeah, not only you’re starting a new business to learn new skills and as we’re talking, it’s all valuable skills that you’ll love business and entrepreneur because at that point, you are an entrepreneur. You’re not just playing around on the internet. You could be making good money if you’re talented. There’s money to be made. I’m a massive fan of this clothing brands by following Instagram for example, best way to market if you want something that is. And does really call it to staff either and I suppose, I’m pretty sure that there are really talented people that has been stopped now from all the process that you have to go to open a clothing company, and this solves it.
James: Yeah, I’ll tell you what it is interesting that you mentioned Instagram because I follow a lot of people who do really nice photography or are into calligraphy. I follow a lot of calligraphers and this would be great for someone, let’s say calligrapher because some of these guys are literally turning out cool pieces every single day. They challenge themselves. I’m going to create a nice typography piece every single day and they usually use really cool quotes and stuff. Well, I would want that on a t-shirt. I would want a poster of that to put up in my office and just think literally every time you create that bit of art, you can say right, this is available as a poster.
And then you can maybe start in promoting some scarcity techniques as well. This is today’s poster, you got 24 hours to buy this, get a counter clock on your website and it ticks down and then after that that’s it, that’s a limited edition.
Simone: Yeah, definitely. Instagram, in my opinion, is one of the next big platforms online for marketing. It’s already a massive marketing platform. They’re opening for ads, visual ads. They’re the best ads that you can put out, good content. You can really smash it on the Instagram, my favorite brand, Benny Gold, check it out on Instagram, great clothing, shoes and hats and all the things that you can think and this guy is brilliant, made a massive business, massive lines using Instagram basically; just posting your stuff like cool pictures and that’s what you can do.
You can open easily a shop, promote it on Instagram. Instagram is still free. You can find loads of free apps to manage Instagram accounts, just learn a little bit of marketing, learn a bit of design if you want to do your designs. And while you’re building your business, you’re making money and learning skills, so to say. It’s a whole around thing.
James: Definitely. And this is still something that can be done on the side as well. I read a lot of financial independence blogs and stuff like that, Mr. Money Mustache is one of them also, who’s the other guy? Jay Money, what’s his blog called?
Simone: Can’t remember the name.
James: He’s going to hate me for this. I’ve got to remember this now. Jay Money, come on look it up for me. Anyway, we’ll find out in a second. Completely lost my train of thought, Budgets Are Sexy, that’s it; great blog. Anyway, what this guy is talking a lot about is having a side hussle, a side job to bring in extra cash and this is like the perfect side hussle really. If you’ve got some hours and evenings and stuff, cancel your Netflix account, stop watching crap on Sky and start a side business where you have to hold no stock, you just have to be creative, market it well and literally, you could make money while sleeping.
Simone: Yeah, definitely. It really appeals to me because it’s like I’m a developer. Basically, I’m a developer, not very creative job all day and this is like the perfect creative outlet just to — okay, let’s put on the side the code for a moment. Let’s discuss the design. We usually do this every day and it’s perfect. It’s perfect. It’s a creative thing that allowed everyone especially if you got a dull, boring job.
James: Yeah, yeah, I think everyone needs a creative outlet and if you can make some cash from it then that is even better.
James: So there we go. That is Printful and WooCommerce, WordPress. We will put links in the show notes that will be on the blog which is in richesandbrooks.com and if you have any questions, then please feel free to leave a comment on the blog which is in richesandbrooks.com and we will happily reply to you. So if you got some questions about how to set this up or how it works, we will happily answer any of those questions. So yeah, I think that is this episode done and dusted. So guys, thank you so much for listening. Remember that you can subscribe to us on iTunes and anywhere else you can get a podcast.
James: Yeah, SoundCloud account or you can indeed subscribe to the RSS Feed on our blog as well if you’re using Feedly or something like that and we will see you next time.