How to start selling promotional products

How to start selling promotional products.

Selling promotional products is a great business idea! The industry is relatively stable and worth a whopping $25 billion world wide. Almost everyone needs or consumes promotional products so there’s so much opportunity for growth and success.

Unfortunately, the appeal that brought you here is felt by many, so there is some bad news. With such high opportunities and low barriers of entry, the industry is highly competitive. There’s strong downward pricing pressure and it can be hard to get customers to choose you over your competitors.

Don’t be disheartened though, it’s still very possible to do well in the industry. The average revenue for promotional products business ranges between $100 000 – $ 1000 000 with hundreds earning in well into 7 figure revenue.

After speaking to hundreds of promotional product distributors / decorators, we’ve created this guide to give you the resources you need to not only stay a few steps ahead of your competition, but thrive.

How to start selling promotional products | Hoops

Identify a specific target market or niche to start selling your promotional products.

You’ve probably heard this many times by now, but what does it actually mean in terms of your new promotional products business?

In such a highly competitive industry, it’s going to be difficult to find uncharted territory to claim.

70% of the promo businesses we chatted with said that they got started targeting one specific market (a niche). From that, they were able to grow their budget for marketing and slowly expand out and take over additional markets, one at a time.

So what does this mean for you?

Pick a market that you’re passionate about and put 100% into it. By starting off with a market that you’re interested in, you’ll have a higher drive to work hard and you’ll really hustle for that success you’re chasing.

For example if you’re passionate about music, you may start off reaching out to local bands and helping them grow their following with your products. You’ll love what you’re doing and be able to establish your business in the market.

We found that businesses that took this approach had a higher rate of long term success than those who targeted all markets from day 1.

How to start selling promotional products

Identify your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Selling your USP is what will skyrocket your new promo business to success. There are only a handful of quality suppliers in the industry which means most of your competition is likely selling the exact same products as you. It’s extremely challenging for a start-up to outsell the big guys by only marketing the products you have on offer. So instead, try this:

Instead of identifying what your competition is doing right and following suit, identify what they are doing poorly and use this to your advantage. Make this your strength and sell it to death!

Need an example? Maybe your strongest local competitor takes 4 weeks to have an order out the door. If that’s the case, make your USP the fact you despatch orders within 1 week. Don’t be shy about it either, shout it from the roof tops and let everyone know that you do it better.

How to start selling promotional products | Hoops

Choose how you’ll decorate your products. Start selling promotional products

The good thing about starting a promotional products business is that there’s many decoration options available to suit startups.

Producing In-house


  • Full control over the decoration
  • Higher quality assurance
  • Control over dispatch


  • More expensive to start as you need to buy / lease the required equiptment
  • Have to handle inventory
  • May need more staff

Outsourcing Decorations


  • Lower start-up costs
  • Can offer more decoration methods
  • Don’t need to handle as much inventory
  • Require less staff


  • Loss of control
  • Profit share
  • lack of flexibility


Hybrid businesses utilise a mixture of both in-house production and outsourcing. This is the most common business structure in the promo industry as it gives you the flexibility to take advantage of the benefits of both structures.

How to start selling promotional products | Hoops

Implement good systems from day 1

As a start-up, you’re in the best position to set yourself up for success. Our advice; take the time and invest in good software now. There’s nothing worse than getting 5 years down the track and having to clean up an array of disorganisation and chaos. 

We recommend using a system such as Hoops to save you time, reach more customers and convert more sales.

Here’s the top 3 benefits of using Hoops:

1. No catalog management or going to supplier websites for pricing. All major promotional product suppliers are pre-loaded in Hoops.

2. Faster quoting. Create accurate quotes with all decorations in under 1 minute, including quotes for multiple options (Hoops solves the annoying ‘can you give me a quote for 50, 500, and 5000’ customer request).

3. Simple job management. Online proofing, artwork & task delegation, purchase orders and more. Your entire team is always on the same page and you better satisfy your customers with Hoops. 

When you use Hoops, you convert more sales, better satisfy your customers and give you business a platform to grow.

Try Hoops for free 👉 Click here

Is Hoops the best software to Help you start selling promotional products?

Find out by booking a 10-minute discovery call with us.

On average Hoops saves users 30 hours per week in admin time and grow their profits by 30% within the first 6 months.

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