The T-shirt is one of the most typical pieces of clothing. Everyone owns at least one, and the value of the global t-shirt market has exceeded $4.3 billion. Surely you've also heard that many people make money producing, selling and designing them. If you're wondering how to start a t-shirt business, you'll find a handful of valuable tips in this article.
Find your audience
It is impossible to pull all the pigs by the tail. Therefore, you should decide on a specific type of clothing. Of course, it's a good idea to try different audiences at first, but at some point you should narrow down your choice to a narrow niche. How to choose the type of prints?
- Run social media surveys
- Ask your friends
- Focus on t-shirts related to your hobby
Take care of quality
Although it may seem otherwise, it is worthwhile to take care of the good quality of your t-shirts, even if they cost more. After a long time everyone will appreciate the value that comes from solid materials and processing. Make t-shirt, not waste!
You should address quality even before you choose a manufacturer. Treat quality as an overriding value in your business.
Pay attention primarily to:
- Printing technology
- Fabric composition
- Place of manufacture
A lot of manufacturers also offer samples that you can order and judge for yourself the quality of what you will soon be selling.
Time for designs
How to start a t-shirt business without designs? Obviously it's impossible, so it's time to create some! If you want to sell products with your own designs, you have several options for sourcing them:
Hire a t-shirt designer
This is a very convenient option, although you have to set yourself up to incur a lot of expenses.
Depending on the contract you sign with a designer, he can come up with designs or merely transfer your ideas to specific images. Hiring a designer is expensive, but you are assured that your t-shirts will look good. You can post an ad on a local announcement portal, on Facebook, or find one among your friends.
T-shirt business requires creativity, and your products must appeal to other people. Don't you think crowdsourcing will work perfectly? In our article, we wrote that it is a cheap and very effective form of process outsourcing in companies. Use this knowledge in your clothing business!
Buy existing designs
If you can't find a designer and don't want to use crowds to make t-shirt designs, you can use ready-made designs that you only have to buy online. Keep in mind, however, that your competitors are probably already using them, so your t-shirts will not be unique.
If you don't know where to find pre-made designs, be sure to check out sites like Designious, Creative Market and GraphicRiver.
If you already have good designs and quality clothing, it's time for your t-shirt business to make money.
Although a large part of the t-shirt business is in stationery stores, our article is about selling online, so we will focus on online stores.
You can sell your t-shirts on big platforms such as eBay or Amazon, but you have to take high commissions into account. If you want to avoid them, you should create your own store and ensure good search engine positioning as soon as possible.
- How much do I need to invest? To be able to develop your business smoothly, you should have $5,000 to start. You can start with smaller amounts, even as low as $1,000, but you will need a lot of luck in the beginning.
- Do I have to register my company? Usually yes, although everything depends on local laws. If you have your own company, you will be perceived more seriously and your business will function better.
- What kind of margins can you expect? About 50% is standard in the industry, but you need to remember to accumulate reserves and reinvest profits, especially at the beginning.
- Is the t-shirt business risky? Not if you know how to start your business. It's a pretty uncertain industry because t-shirts aren't essential goods for people, but from a growth perspective it's really nice.
- What is the best printing technique to start with? Although direct-to-garmet is expensive, the quality of the products is at the best possible level. DTG is rare, but it is definitely worth considering. Screen printing, on the other hand, is the cheapest of the methods, but you have to reckon with the lower quality of t-shirts.
- Is it possible to sell t-shirts part-time? Running your own business is very engaging, but in theory it is only possible to spend 2-3 hours a day on it. If you care about saving time, you should use dropshipping.