T-shirts aren’t just a wardrobe staple, but clothes that help us reflect our personalities. They keep us cool, comfortable and make us look dapper on any occasion.
Because of their excellent comfort offering, they have become popular choices for business owners as well. For those who want to start a low or zero investment business, t-shirts provide the best possibilities.
Be reminded that the popularity of t-shirts has fueled the competition as well. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start. All you have to do is build your brand for a specific audience and then create t-shirts considering their interests. That’s the best way to succeed online.
Here, we are going to discuss six steps on how to start an online t-shirt business. Keep reading —
1. Choose a niche
You hear this term used around a lot. And yes, it’s more important to choose your niche. It’s a crucial factor in building your successful t-shirt brand and even stands out. Catering to the needs of a specific audience is also the best way to beat your competitors.
Generally, focusing on broad categories of tees such as — funny slogan t-shirts — isn’t going to work. It already has hundreds of businesses trying their luck. You need to tighten it up and focus on a more specific option. For example, funny slogan t-shirts for nurses & doctors or even dog lovers.
Here is how you can find a specific niche for your custom tshirt business —
- Leverage the Audience Insight tool of Facebook to analyze the size of your niche on this platform
- Go through Wikipedia list of popular hobbies for inspiration
- Think of your interest or communities because trusting your guts is always successful
Once you find the right niche for yourself, starting your t-shirt business won’t be hard.
2. Create unique, out-of-the-box designs
Customers love to buy t-shirts that have unique designs. After all, who would like to get a duplicate design somewhere else! Your design doesn’t have to be complex to stand out but simple. There are so many graphical t-shirts out there that are pretty simple and have beautiful designs. But make sure the design you choose resonates with your audience.
To make sure your design should have good print quality, keep the file at least 300 pixels per inch (PPI or DPI). Keep the background transparent and big enough to cover up the exact print area of the t-shirt. Just be reminded that the specifications may vary depending on the printing techniques and printer.
3. Maintain the quality
The next important thing that you should consider seriously is the quality. You can disappoint them once, but you will see them running to your competitor next time. Quality is what binds them and keeps them loyal to your brand.
A design or pattern that is poorly printed, cracks after a wash, and shrinks won’t get you any returning customers. Instead, you’ll lose your valuable customers.
It may prove to be a little costlier to create high-quality t-shirts. But it can attract higher prices as well. Pay close attention to black t-shirt material, preparation of the printing file, and printing techniques.
4. Build brand interest
Brands that are exciting and successful in the t-shirt industry should keep in mind that their brands aren’t just a name but a promise that will reflect their niche, quality, and design. They should think about this before starting any marketing activity. In today’s highly competitive industry, building a unique and likable brand is of utmost importance.
When customers are bombarded with multiple choices, it becomes really crucial for an online t-shirt business to create a distinctive experience and capture their attention.
If your business belongs to a specific niche that exemplifies a certain lifestyle, incorporate it into your marketing strategies. Also, include it on your website and talk to the customers about it. It could be anything such as streetwear of a specific type, anime t-shirts, and more.
5. Take inventory seriously
In an online shirt printing business, most people use any of these strategies — they buy and hold old stocks, leverage bulk-pricing and local printers, and use print-on-demand services. Most business owners choose print-on-demand services to avoid inventory management and shipping. They partner with a third-party company that prints and delivers the products. You can use this service or pick a combination of any two services.
Holding the inventory lets you sell in-person. It also improves your profit margins. The print-on-demand option involves no risks! Go through pros and cons before choosing any of these options. If you are confused, always go with print-on-demand as it’s a low-investment option and gives you wings to get your online business dreams higher.
If you have a budget set aside for the business, you can buy a printer and take charge of the operations.
But as we mentioned earlier, quality is what differentiates you from others. It’s the most crucial factor to succeed. So, educate yourself first and then choose your materials wisely. You may get tempted to earn higher profit margins by minimizing the quality. But it won’t work out in the long run.
Always choose t-shirt materials considering the size, softness, fabric, and weight.
6. Hire a professional designer
Once you have considered all above factors, it’s time to think of the designing part. Are you going to create the designs? If yes, you may use online tools like a t-shirt maker or software like Adobe Photoshop, etc.
But if you’re unaware of the designing part, you need to take a professional’s help. There are various marketplaces like Designhill, Behance, Dribbble, etc., that let you access their global community of designers. Visit these platforms and search for the designs you’ve been looking for. Shortlist designers, message them and filter them based on their work.
Get designs and create mockups on actual t-shirts. If you find it quite interesting, go ahead, hire the designer!
Consider all these steps to get your online custom t-shirts business off the ground.