Creative side hustles need not be complicated and met with a mountain of upfront costs. If you’re one to be in touch with your artistic nature and are looking for a unique niche for a small business, selling stickers may be your thing. Unlike other side hustles, sticker selling has a relatively low barrier to entry. They are cheap to prepare yet still offer good profit margins. Of course, it comes with a few qualifications. As long as you can draw or produce your own design via software, you should be fine.

But how does one start a sticker business in the Philippines? Is there a market here that makes this side hustle profitable at the least? In this article, we aim to answer the questions below and provide you with everything there is to know when starting a sticker business. Keep chugging along, this may be your big break!

  • Key Steps in Starting Your Own Sticker Business in the Philippines
  • Supplies and Equipment Needed for Sticker Business in the Philippines
  • Where to sell your stickers?

1. Is a Sticker Business Profitable in the Philippines?

Perhaps before we head on and explore the nitty-gritty, it’s best to first answer whether the business model is profitable or not. We get it, and the skepticism is valid. After all, who would want to buy stickers in this economy?

But the truth is that the sticker market is much larger than you give it credit for. For one, stickers and sticker collecting are popular hobbies for many collectors. This is irrespective of their age. Additionally, countless businesses use stickers as a marketing tool in advancing their endeavors. This goes to show that with the right market and advertising, you can get a steady stream of clients and even high-ticket sales. You’ll never really know your true potential unless you give it a go and take the leap. 

2. Key Steps in Starting Your Own Sticker Business in the Philippines

You don’t enter a business blindly. Any endeavor that comes off from a whim is likely to fail in the long run. Intense planning and brainstorming are required to fully lift your business off the ground. Thankfully, I’ve done half of that brainstorming for you and you’ll just assess your situation if the sticker industry is the right fit. If you’re keen to start your own sticker business, here are the key steps you should be aware of.

Choosing a niche

As with any business, niches are important. Your niche ultimately defines your target market, and it’s impossible to target everyone. Moreover, having a niche limits your competition and allows you to dominate a specific field.

So, will you create stickers that cater to kids and their interests? Are you interested in designing stickers for your otakus and weebs? Or will you be that provider of those standardized labels for manufacturers of all sorts? It all depends on you. You could try to capture all of them, but that’s going to take a bit of marketing and advertising (plus costs) to work out.

Know your target audience

I say this all the time and I’ll say it again, creating a business means solving a need. If you have selected your niche, it’s time to know how you’ll approach this target market. Knowing your audience is all about understanding their culture, preferences, movements – basically whatever makes them tick and attacking from those angles. This part will also cover how you’ll approach advertising. Will you be the charming and cheerful sticker business? Or will you maintain the professional persona because your market is other companies?

Preparing a business plan

The next thing you have to consider is preparing your business plan

Wait, what? I thought this is a side hustle, there’s no need for that, right?

Wrong. A business plan is a must-have document for any venture whatsoever. This document will outline every detail of your company including its objectives and how you’ll achieve them. Think of it as a roadmap to explain the marketing, financial, and operation pursuits of your business.

While business plans are helpful in attracting investors, I don’t think you’ll require one in a sticker-selling side hustle. However, to keep you (and your, presumably, executive team) functioning strategically in accordance with your goals and objectives, a business plan is a must.

Creating a brand

After you’ve done all those things, it’s finally time to create your own brand. Your sticker business is just like other businesses in existence, you need a business name and a brand kit. These will be the defining characteristics that set your company apart from the competition.

Here are the three things you should prioritize:

Buying the necessary tools and equipment

There are businesses with little start-up capital, and that certainly applies to setting up a sticker business in the Philippines. 

You have to get a few tools and equipment for this venture so you can’t pursue this business on a zero balance. Don’t worry, the upfront costs are not as heavy as other business models. However, that’s not to say it won’t be heavy to bear for most Filipinos. This is where your business plan comes in, to assess your capability and the feasibility of the business.

For the capital, you will have to prepare around ₱30,000 to ₱40,000 or more. This will cover everything printers, sticker papers, and cutting machines. Expect this cost to be lower when you have one of the many pieces of equipment you’ll require for the biz.

P.S. We’ll talk about the supplies in a jiffy.

Designing and printing your stickers

Finally, once everything is in place, it’s time to finally produce your stickers. Either you produce sticker sets that your audience likes, wait for clients to reach out or message businesses that you can produce their stickers for them.

3. Supplies and Equipment Needed for Sticker Business in the Philippines

Okay, here we go. Here is the list of general supplies you’ll need when running a sticker business in the Philippines.

  • Sticker paper 

The most commonly used materials for stickers are:

  • Paper
  • Polyester
  • Vinyl

Paper stickers are the cheapest of the bunch and are commonly used for labeling things. Unfortunately, given their materials, they are not weatherproof and are very much susceptible to wear and tear.

Polyester stickers are much more durable than paper. They are also weatherproof which means you can use them both inside and out without worry. Aside from labeling, polyester makes great decorative pieces as well.

Vinyl stickers are the highest class of stickers available. Weatherproof, long-lasting, and flexible are some of the few descriptions that appropriately describe vinyl stickers. They are the best ones to use for sticker business. However, you may use either one of the three depending on the client’s need.

There is a new class of stickers that most businesses like using called iron-on or t-shirt paper. Using it allows you to transfer the contents of the stickers into another fabric using an iron. This is a perfect offering you could sell to businesses.

  • Printer

Unless you already have the right printer for the job, you have to invest in one. But what exactly is the right printer? Stickers are simple, normally a sticker design will require a four-color inkjet printer with at least 1200 dpi resolution. That means that the printer shouldn’t be too heavy a burden for you. Let me break that down for you:

  • Inkjet means dropping ink into a piece of paper.
  • DPI refers to the number of dots printed per inch of paper (naturally, higher DPI means better quality).

If your stickers require more tonal variation, that’s when you look for printers that can hold around six cartridges. Otherwise, four is generally enough. Of course, superior quality sticker prints mean looking for superior quality printers. This could cost you around ₱3,000 to ₱10,000 depending on the class.

  • Cutting Machine

You certainly don’t want to cut stickers on your own. This will take up much of your time rendering you unable to work on other operational functions. Getting a cutting machine will incredibly help in your sticker business. 

Cutting machines can cut all kinds of shapes or designs you make that would be a bit complex for you to cut by hand. This device makes the job incredibly easier and saves you time. Most DIYers and sticker businesses have this tool at their disposal. A popular cutting machine is that from Cricut. You can get this device from around ₱13,000 to ₱20,000 depending on the kind. A worthy investment, if you ask me.

  • Packaging

How do you want to send your stickers to your customers? Do you just drop them inside the parcel packaging or do you create a mini-box that could give your items a cute presentation? That all depends on your preferences. Of course, there are other materials you may need like cutting tools, but that depends on how you want to operate. The above, no less, are the things you’ll normally need for a sticker business.

4. Where to Sell Your Stickers in the Philippines

Look, a stall won’t be much help if you’re running a sticker business. Why? Because with that setup, you’re limiting your operation to the people within your locality. Plus, getting a place will only add an extra load of expenses over your back.

The best solution is to keep your business online. You can try Etsy or social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok are the best places to sell and promote your business. Create attraction pieces or promotional posts, or run ads, and then your sticker store is on its way to success. I may be getting ahead of myself, but you do get the point. Happy sticking!

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How to Start a Sticker Business in the Philippines

By Ameena Rey-Franc

Recognized as one of the Top Finance Blogs in the PH. Ameena Rey-Franc (founder of TTP) is a former Banker and BS Accountancy graduate turned Blogger, Keynote Speaker, and entrepreneur. Currently an RFP delegate, she is also the Author of a book about Financial Resilience and has held seminars for reputable companies like GrabFoodPH, Pru Life UK, VISA, JPMorgan Chase& Co., Paypal, Fundline, Moneymax, and many more. The Thrifty Pinay's mission is to empower women to LEARN, EARN, and be FINANCIALLY-INDEPENDENT no matter what life stage they are in.