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How to Start a Sticker Business in 6 Simple Steps [(2024) Update]

Stickers have been around for many years. The colorful labels have countless uses, with a wide appeal.

People of all ages use them to express themselves or advertise their businesses.

Because of that, there’s a constant demand for these tiny sticky pieces of paper.

That means there are plenty of opportunities for you to enter the industry.

So, if you’re wondering how to start a sticker business, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about the sticker industry.

We’ll also discuss what you should do to hit the ground running and start making money.

How Profitable Is Owning a Sticker Business?

The custom sticker business is a creative market worth an estimated $151.8 million.

That means there are plenty of opportunities in the industry.

Your profit margins will depend on the quality of your stickers and the pricing.

To help you understand this, let’s take a look at an example.

The average sticker sheet costs about $0.50 to produce and sells for around $3.5.

So, per product, you should be able to make $3.

This gives you an 85% profit margin, which is huge for any business.

On top of that, there are few overhead costs.

If you decide on online store distribution, like selling on Etsy, you won’t have to worry about renting out a shop.

That’ll keep your expenses down and your revenue up.

What You’ll Need to Start a Sticker Business [& Associated Costs]

To launch your sticker shop, there are a few expenses you should take into account.

As a new small business owner, it can be tricky to keep track of all costs.

So, this section will help you plan out your budget to make the process a bit simpler.

1. Licenses and Permits

There are a few expenditures you’ll need to make for licenses.

Typically, the proper permits for a sticker company will cost around $100-$300. Although, this can change based on the state and the size of your business.

Plus, registering the agency may run you an extra couple hundred dollars.

2. Labor

To help you organize inventory and keep track of orders, you can hire help. This will increase running costs, but it’ll make managing the business easier.

On average, a minimum-wage worker will increase expenses by $1,160 per month.

3. Products and Inventory

To make a big splash in the sticker market, you’ll need inventory. This will help you attract new customers.

For the first few months, you won’t need that many stickers. You can invest anywhere between $1,000 and $3,000 to stock up on your products.

4. Equipment

Outsourcing the production of stickers can make starting a business less daunting. However, it’ll also increase your expenses.

That’s why you may want to consider investing in a plotter or printer. The initial cost can run you close to $10,000, but you’ll save money in the long run.

5. Marketing

The fastest way to grow your business is to attract new clients. This can be challenging to do without advertising.

So, to ensure your sticker business stands out, you may need to spend around $3,000 on ads.

6. Website

You don’t need a physical store when you first start your sticker company. Although, you’ll need an outlet to distribute your products.

Selling things online is an excellent choice, but it can be expensive. Purchasing your website can cost about $1,000.

6. Insurance

Accidents happen all the time, and they can get quite expensive. So, to protect your bank account and inventory, it’s best to sign up for an insurance plan.

Usually, these shouldn’t cost more than a few hundred dollars.

7. Designing

If you’re designing the stickers on your own, then you’ll need a computer and editing software. Apps like Adobe Illustrator or Canva Pro should do the trick.

For that, you’ll need close to $2,500. Hiring a designer will cost around the same, but it’ll be a recurring expense.

Do I Need a License or Certificates to Start a Sticker Business?

To operate a sticker business legally, you’ll need to apply for a few permits.

Even if you don’t plan on launching a physical store, licenses are still crucial.

That’s because they’ll allow you to officially register your company.

This will make paying taxes and opening up corporate bank accounts much easier.

You may also need permits to be able to ship products across the country.

Depending on what state you live in, the licensing process can slightly change.

For that reason, it’s best to do a little research before applying for a permit.

Why You Should Consider Starting a Sticker Business as a Side Hustle

A sticker business is an excellent option when it comes to a secondary job.

In this section, we’ll cover all the benefits of running the company on the side.

  • Easy Startup: Launching a sticker business should be a walk in the park. You don’t have to invest a lot of capital at the start. Instead, you can grow at your own pace.
  • Low Energy Operation: Running a sticker company doesn’t require much effort. All you have to do is receive the orders and then ship them out.
  • Incredibly Versatile: As a sticker maker, you’re free to choose any designs you like. No matter what niche images you go for, you should be able to find customers.
  • Flexible Time Commitment: Running a sticker business isn’t a nine-to-five job. You’ll need to invest a few hours a day in the company, but you can choose those hours.

How to Start a Sticker Business in 6 Simple Steps

With the basic costs and licensing needs out of the way, we can move on to launching the business.

In this section, we’ll take you on a step-by-step journey to find out how to start a sticker company.

Step 1: Investigate the Sticker Market

Before you jump into a new venture, there are a few considerations you’ll need to make.

That includes deciding on a business model and structure.

This process can be a bit challenging if you’re new to the sticker industry.

So, you’ll need to do a little digging around.

The most effective market research is investigating your competition, like Sticker Ninja.

Take a look at the businesses around you and the services they provide.

Take notes on the price ranges and the products they offer.

Then, try to find any gaps in their inventory.

Market research can be tedious when you first start, but you’ll collect invaluable data.

This should help you come up with a successful business model.

Step 2: Create a Sticker Business Plan

Most people think that running a sticker business is a walk in the park.

While the operation is simple, there are many details that go into keeping the company afloat.

That includes tracking orders, managing clients, and communicating with suppliers.

So, to ensure that you stay on top of your game, you’ll need a guideline.

A business plan is an ideal way to create a template for your sticker agency.

It’ll allow you to structure your venture with minimal effort.

Step 3: Register and Apply for Licenses and Permits

Once you create a plan, it’s time to apply for your business license.

This process will be a bit different depending on where you live.

It can take up to 18 months for you to get your permits.

So, be patient and take your time filling in the forms to avoid having to repeat the paperwork.

Step 4: Workshop Your Designs

With your licenses in hand, you can move on to perfecting your products.

The first part of that process is figuring out what type of stickers you want to sell.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Planner stickers
  • Clear stickers
  • Holographic stickers
  • Paper stickers
  • Cut stickers
  • Bumper sticker
  • Physical stickers
  • Digital stickers
  • Customized stickers
  • Printable vinyl
  • Logo sticker
  • Roll labels
  • Custom shapes

You can even sell items like sticker paper and sticker markers. Then, you can begin the process of choosing your designs.

At this stage, it may also be a good idea to workshop a few logos.

Doing that while you’re designing the stickers should help you figure out your branding.

Step 5: Choose a Distribution Method

To keep costs low, most sticker businesses operate online.

There are countless platforms you can rely on to sell and ship products.

For example, Etsy and Amazon Handmade are two of the largest online retailers.

Step 6: Marketing Your Stickers

Increasing sales is always tricky at the start of any venture.

That’s why marketing is such a crucial part of running new businesses.

There are many creative ways to get your name out there.

You can try social media campaigns or even advertising on vehicles.

Things to Consider When Building a Sticker Business

Other than expenses and business plans, there are a few other factors to consider.

Here’s what you’ll need to take into account when starting a new sticker business.

Can You Run a Sticker Business by Yourself?

As we mentioned, a lot of work goes into running this type of company.

Aside from creating stickers that sell, you’ll need to contact customers and vendors.

It’s possible to complete all the necessary tasks on your own, but it’ll be difficult.

On top of that, it’ll make expanding the scope of production almost impossible.

Design Turnover

When you run a sticker business, you’ll need to constantly switch out your designs.

This should help attract new clients and keep your existing customers interested.

You can hold on to a signature sticker design, but keep in mind that sales will fluctuate.

Inspiration: Sticker Business Ideas

With a sticker business, there are plenty of opportunities to increase your profits.

Here are a couple of ideas you can try out.

  • Home Decor Vinyl Stickers: These are large stickers with strong adhesives. Once the designs are ready, you won’t have to do much to keep selling these products. That means it’s an example of passive income ideas.
  • Gender Reveal Stickers: Use color-changing stickers to make baby showers more exciting.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Sell Stickers on WhatsApp?

Yes, you can create stickers and sell the unique designs on WhatsApp.

The process takes a bit of time, but you’ll reach thousands of potential customers.

Are Stickers in High Demand?

The demand for stickers can shift a bit, but it’s usually high.

People all across the globe use these colorful products since they’re easy to produce and ship.

Similar Businesses to Consider Starting

Here are a few businesses that are similar to sticker companies.

Wrapping Up

Figuring out how to start a sticker business can be tricky.

This guide should help you find out your initial costs and operational needs.

That should make it easier for you to launch a company and hit the ground running.

Did our guide help you with your sticker agency? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to share the article.

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