6 Steps To Start A Mug Designing Business

By | April 25, 2022

The business of promotional products or the products that have custom designs printed on them is much in demand. Coffee mug printing is one of the most profitable businesses anyone can start these days. We can challenge you that it will be difficult to find a person who doesn’t consume at least one cup of beverage in a day. 

Having said that, when the mugs get beautiful designs printed, like an image, a beautiful quote, or just any other element, it is liked more. The demand for mugs today is perennial, and the idea of starting a mug printing business is worth it. Not surprisingly, 64% of Americans currently consume coffee almost daily, which means you will get a good response. 

Though, one of the challenges that budding entrepreneurs may face is to get more and more people to buy mugs from them. This is because mugs are everywhere — online and in retail stores. 

Our comprehensive guide on starting a successful mug printing business will help our readers stand out in this competitive market. 

Let’s get started! 

  • Decide Whether You Will Do It Part-Time or Full-Time

Before getting started with capital investment and a dedicated location for your business, you need to decide how you will operate it. For some, it will be a fun side hustle; for others, it will be bread and butter. Even if you plan to start it full-time, we recommend starting part-time first. 

If you gain momentum in the business and think that it is enough to support you financially, go ahead and be bold. You can also decide to put everything into the business and achieve your dreams. Though, the decision is to be made before you initiate. 

  • Consider Profitability

You should consider the profitability rate you can achieve by starting your mug printing business. For example, you received an order from a company that wants you to print 500 mugs, and you estimated that you could earn a profit of about $1.50 per mug. Assuming that you can produce 60 mugs in an hour, you will earn a profit of around $90 every hour. If we take out labor charges of 10% and other operational and miscellaneous costs of 10% from the profit earned, you will earn almost $66 per hour. 

This was a nominal order that we discussed; you can get bigger orders as well, and this way, you can make more money by getting your employees to work more. You can process any order you get, which is the tricky part of getting orders. 

  • Picking The Type Of Mug

There are several different kinds of mugs available on the market. You can choose to work on them all or print only selective choices, and we will discuss some options available to help you decide better. You also have to choose a custom mug design tool that can work on different mugs. 

  1. Ceramic Mug: Ceramic mugs can easily resist high temperatures and are easy to clean. Since the material can retain heat easily, it is the best choice for tea, coffee, hot chocolate, etc. 
  2. Coffee Mug: Coffee mug is the most demanded and prominent choice in the mug printing industry. Hence, you should consider this one without a second thought.
  3. Transparent Mug: This kind of mug is usually made of glass, and the choice is highly innovative to be used for all hot and cold beverages. Also, any design put on the transparent surface looks quite enticing.

As per your investment and target audience, you can decide to keep two or more variants. 

  • Business Location

One of the key considerations that you need to have is business licences, legal permits, and other permissions. You need to have such aspects to make sure things go smoothly. If you want to set up your shop, you will need to acquire permits from local and state authorities. If you will set up machines, ensure that they are licensed to avoid hassles of any kind at a later stage. Location of your business matters as well, and hence, research. 

Research in the sense that you need to know the competition in your locality. You need to know if there are other companies in the same business in your area. 

  • Marketing Your Business

In today’s world, without proper marketing techniques, your business will not survive in the market. You need to invest a lot of time and energy to start marketing and keep it going. You can either go for online sales or can also supply your products to local shops at wholesale. Tying up with different eCommerce websites like eBay, Amazon, Flipkart, etc., is also a good idea to sell your products online. This way, you will not have to worry about shipping your product.

To market your products online, you can hire marketers who can do the job for you. They help businesses achieve sales. You can market your business to people aged 18 years or above. According to Statistica, over 33% of coffee drinkers started before they were 17. 


  • Think About Product Packaging

You need to make sure that your consumers recall your brand when they think of buying a mug and that your product and packaging get engraved in their minds. You will hence have to consider packaging as well. Wrapping your pieces with bubble wrap and storing them in a small, cute cardboard box will be good. Furthermore, you need to ensure that it doesn’t get damaged in transit, so think accordingly. 

Make the best use of your imagination, and come up with attractive designs for your mug packaging so that your consumers feel good about ordering from you. 


No matter what business you are in, you need to target the right audience. To start a mug printing business, you need to get the basics right and a web-to-print software that can handle all the highs your business goes to! If you have a creative flair, starting a mug printing business is just the right step you can take. 

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