How to Start a T-Shirt Business (June 2023)
There are many ways to start a business, giving you creative outlets. You can make T-shirts with your own artwork, words, or other printed material. This is a great way to express your creativity and earn money. You can make a small profit from each T-shirt you sell. This can be a great way to earn extra income.
This guide will show you how to start your own t-shirt company. We’ll show you how to start your side hustle or full-time t-shirt business in just a few steps.
Select a niche to start your online t-shirt business
An online clothing business can stand out by creating a niche. This will allow you to attract the right audience and not blow your budget.
Although the term “niche” is often used, it is important to know which one to use when trying to start an online t-shirt company. A successful online t-shirt company model requires you to be unique. One way to do this is to target a specific audience or group.
You must create a plan before you start selling T-shirts. These seven steps will help you create a plan for your business. Don’t worry if some details are not clear. To ensure that everything runs smoothly, you just need to know where you are going.
First, choose a name for the business. You can use your business name or something else to guide you in creating a logo and other branding assets.
After you have chosen a name, you can register your domain to link your website with your brand. Shopify or Etsy are two popular ways to sell T-shirts online. However, if you’re looking to create your own website, it is important to get started quickly to ensure your website is ready for launch with your products.
Register your T-Shirt Business
You can register your business as either a sole proprietorship or an LLC. An LLC can give your business additional tax benefits. Your EIN will allow you to purchase blank T-shirts at no cost. This is in addition to your personal SSN.
Registering with your state can cost you anywhere from $50-100. It is important to familiarize yourself with the requirements of your state for small businesses so that you can ensure everything is in order.
You can hire an LLC to handle the setting up of your business. This service will save you time and allow you to concentrate on the creative aspects.
Find the Proper Sources, Materials, and Printing Options
Finding suppliers is the next step in how to start an internet t-shirt company. There are many options for t-shirts and different print jobs. Quality is key to your brand’s success. We have already mentioned this, so ensure you are educated and carefully select your blank shirts.
Opening a shirt shop online might make it tempting to compromise quality to make more profit. However, you should consider the impact of quality on a customer’s decision whether to purchase again from you or share your brand.
The quality of a t-shirt depends on many factors such as fit, size, material, softness, and weight. T-Shirt Magazine’s review on the top blank t-shirts to print is a great place to start.
Type of Equipment to Use
You can print T-shirts in various ways for people with different skills and knowledge.
If you are a committed worker with materials, you can buy screen printing equipment for your office or home. You have a lot of control over the quality and design of the shirts. If you love creating social media content, you will enjoy watching your creations unfold on Instagram and TikTok. These machines are expensive upfront, but you will make more profit if you only maintain them.
You can also find local businesses that offer screen printing services. You’d need to pay these vendors out of your budget. You can also use a local service or a company far away but who you have good relationships, to keep an eye on quality control.
Printful vs. Printify vs. Teespring
Get familiar with the largest print-on-demand companies.
If you need to start immediately, there are reliable print-on-demand options. Printful and Printify offer fast turnaround times, and you can sell as many products and as many products as you want without having to pay for any unsold product. These products have lower profit margins due to the high cost of individual printing.
Create Unique Designs
You need to create designs consistent with your brand’s goals before printing. You will need to ensure your designs are saved in the right digital format (usually.eps vector files) so that they can be used by your chosen printing company. You might want to test print your intricate designs to make sure they print on the shirt. Many tutorials for Adobe Photoshop and Canva will help you create designs if you’re just starting with the design.
You can also commission the work of thousands of talented artists through sites like Fiverr, Upwork and Creative Market. You can buy the work of an artist when you find them. However, a profit-sharing arrangement might be more beneficial if you are already in a good working relationship and wish to keep working together.
You can find inspiration for new designs by looking at the sales figures of T-shirts on Etsy and Jungle Scout, which shows how many units a product sold on Amazon. A Google Trends search for various slogans you’d like to use on your shirts will show you the most popular and likely to sell.
After you have your designs created, customers will be curious to see the T-shirts on real people. Placeit is a simple service that allows you to upload photos of blank T-shirt products, and you can place your designs. Stock photo packages containing photos of people wearing blank T-shirts can be found. You can also use Photoshop to create your own designs.
If you have the connections and time, you might be able to hire a local photographer to get models for dynamic action shots. It all depends on how many shirts your company produces.
Choose Your Sales Channels
Once you are ready to sell, it is time to pick a channel. Online marketplaces or your website are both options.
You will need to create an account and establish your store if you are a third-party seller. Redbubble, Zazzle, and Etsy are well-known for selling a lot and getting a lot of customers. You can also sell via Amazon and social media.
You should compare the costs of these services before you make a decision. This will help you determine the most cost-effective and sustainable long-term service.
Get a Business Website
You need a website for your T-shirt business, even if you sell on a third-party platform. These are the top e-commerce platforms to help you build an online store.
- Shopify: Strong sales reporting capabilities, the ability to customize storefronts with design templates
- Wix: Free plans, simple user interface
- Woocommerce: E-commerce for WordPress at the lowest price
If you are printing your T-shirts on-demand, all these services can be combined with a print service. These services make it simple to promote your products in any way you like. They can also ship merchandise directly to customers so that you can concentrate on the creative aspect of the business.
Although it can be hard to market a new business, many low-cost methods exist. You can target a niche by looking into subreddits or Facebook groups that allow you to post your T-shirts and increase interest.
You could also reach out to micro-influencers to see if they have high conversion rates. Small businesses just starting are likely to be supported by influential people.
Which is better, Printful or Printify?
It all depends on the metric that you are trying to save money. Printful has higher production costs than Printify. Printful, however, has lower international shipping rates.
How can you make Instagram posts that are shoppable?
Shoppable posts can be created by tagging the product the same way you would tag someone. First, create your Instagram shop. Once set up, you can tap products in your photos to link to a product listing.
What is the average profit margin for a T-shirt?
The majority of sellers aim to make a profit of 50%. If your shirt costs $10 + printing, your shirt might be sold for $20. You might be able to offer to ship free of charge if you have a higher profit margin.
To start a T-shirt company, do I need a business plan?
Although you don’t necessarily need a business plan to start a T-shirt business, it is a good idea. A strong business plan will allow you to stay true and focused on your original vision.
You can plan for the future by planning your goals, suppliers, and general growth strategy.
Brian Wilson is the content manager and founder of LLC Radar.
Brian grew up in North Texas, just outside of Dallas, and has a bachelor’s degree in business journalism from Southern Methodist University. Since graduating from SMU, Brian has gained over 10 years of experience in business writing for several online publications.
Brian resides in Plano, Texas and he can be reached by email: email@example.com