When you have pushed your way to the 500 Tier or beyond, managing your Account can become a burden. Uploading every single day will wear you out quick.
This becomes especially evident when you are expanding to different Print on Demand Platforms and do not have a streamlined process in place.
Many people say that outsourcing is the key, and it does help. But without a system in place to guide the Freelancer you hire, you will be frustrated with all the time you will have to put in to train them.
A couple of uploads a day can be managed by yourself without too much structure in your process. But if you really want to scale your daily output, and grow your income without going insane…
You Need To Create Systems
Without systems in place and repeatable processes, you will spend a lot of time spinning your wheels and not going anywhere.
You will get overwhelmed and spent more time trying to get organised and not focusing on creating new listings.
Don’t worry if you have no idea of what kind of systems I am talking about. I’m going to help you figure it all out.
Warning: There is a fair amount of work involved up front!
But once all your systems are in place you will save a lot of time in the long run.
Having a system in place will also make the outsourcing process (if you want to go that route) very organic because you can hand them your processes and they can execute them for you.
If you not at the stage yet, that you think outsourcing is necessary for you, don’t leave me just yet.
Having a solid structure just for your one-man-army Merch business is still a great time saver.
I recommend implementing these systems
- A Solid Foundation to Save & Track your Designs and Listing Content
- A system for Finding Design Concepts (Ideas)
- A system for Creating Designs
- A system for Creating Content (Title, Bullet points, etc.)
- A system for Listing and Uploading
Let’s get started
In my opinion, any serious POD Seller needs to record and track all their Designs, Source files and listing Content
Without this Foundation, any systems you build are useless. This does not just function as a backup.
Building your Foundation also sets you up so you can start and diversify into other POD platforms with ease.
There are 2 main components to take care off to build your foundation
Let’s take a look
The Design Master List
This Document is the Foundation of my POD Business.
Here all designs will be recorded, linked and tracked.
Listing Content that will be recorded:
- Bullet Points
- Brand Name (optional)
- Keywords or Tags (Optional)
I used Google Sheets to create my “Design Master List”. With the Design Master List Template (Its Free) You can create your own Design master List
To get it for free Sign-up and get the Merch Action Toolkit that Includes the Design Master List
- Make a Copy of the Design Master List Template.
- Customise it to your needs (Add or Delete Columns)
- Add one Designs complete listing info (just to build some momentum)
There is one more main component to take care off to complete the foundation
Storing your Design Files
Design Files are:
- The Source file of a design (PSD,AI, ect.)
- The Upload file (PNG)
Google Drive For desktop is the easiest way to do this. That way you have a Local and cloud back-up.
If you create all your designs yourself just always save everything in the google drive folder on your computer from now on
as a added bonus you will always have a back-up now.
If you outsource the Design making process: Just create a Folder for your designer to upload to in Google drive and give them access to that folder by Sharing it.
Don’t overthink it, start now!
- Install Google drive for desktop https://www.google.com/drive/download/
- Create a Folder in google drive called “Designs
- If you create new designs just save them into the designs folder from now and you are golden.
You can add a link to the PNG to the Design Master List. So that all Listing data is now Available to you in the Master Design List
That is the main reason use google drive, the link is also in the sheet so you don’t have to look up the PNG design when you will upload. It’s all right there.
As a bonus: From now on every design has a local copy and an offsite backup on Google Drive.
Bonus Action Steps
- In the “Designs” Folder Create a Folder called “00-Archive” (we add the 00 so it will always be at the top)
- Copy all your Current designs into the “00-Archive” folder
By Moving all your current design files to the google drive Folder everything will be automatically Uploaded to Google Drive.
Now the Foundation has been laid out.
In the next Post of this series, we will look at how to Build A system for Finding new Design Concepts.