Are you thinking of a t-shirt business? You have ideas on design and knowledge about different types of t-shirt printing. But you don’t have that much investment capacity for opening a retail store? If yes, then initiating an online t-shirt business is just perfect for you. In this article, you will learn the steps to follow to start an online t-shirt business with limited capital investment.
The t-shirt is well-known casual wear worldwide. It is popular among men, women, and kids also. Yes, there are a lot of t-shirt brands in the market. People always look for beautiful designs, cherishable brands, and quality products. That’s enough.
In starting an online t-shirt business, you will definitely need to have an eCommerce site where your clients will buy your t-shirts. With Shopify, you can start your own online t-shirt business by creating a fully functioning eCommerce store with very little capital.
Table of Contents
Here are the 5 Steps to Start a T-Shirt Business
1. Create a T-shirt Business Plan
Before starting, it is advised to do in-depth market research. Unique and attractive design are the two major factors. Plan according to your investment capacity. Identify your niche audience. Choosing and creating a specific niche audience is the key factor in getting success.
Most of the people who are buying graphic tees are generally looking for design, graphics, and slogans that connect with them and reflect their opinions and personality. Pay attention to the design part. A strong, trustworthy, and memorable brand plays an important role in the t-shirt industry. Put extra emphasis on creating a brand.
The Major fixed-cost investment is the machine. The primary working capital cost is blank t-shirts. Search well for a good quality blank t-shirt. Talk to the vendors according to your required procurement frequency.
2. Make your T-Shirt Business Legally-Compliant
It is essential to register and buy appropriate licenses and permits to start and run an online t-shirt company. There are different business formations under which you can register your company. Select the one that fits you most.
In addition, talk to a lawyer and buy the required licenses and permits. For example, GST registration is mandatory to run a t-shirt company in the country at present.
3. Buy Machines for T-Shirt Business
Three types of machines are generally used in t-shirt printing. These are screen printing, heat press, and digital printing. All have their own advantages and disadvantages.
The screen printing machine is perfect for quantity printing. It is an old technique. It can produce a durable and long-lasting print. You can give discounts to your customers for volume purchases. However, it is labor-intensive and demands an upfront high capital investment. It can only print simple images with two to three colors.
A heat press is also called the heat transfer method. It is also an old technique. The machine cost is very high. Heat transfers can produce full-color images onto t-shirts relatively easily and quickly.
Digital printing offers full-color images with accuracy. It produces the best print quality of the three machines. It operates just like an ink-jet printer. This method has an unlimited color option. This is great for small orders or one-offs. It demands a very small capital investment. However, it is not cost-effective for large production requirements.
4. Hire Manpower
The most important person in the T-Shirt Design business is the designer. Hire a designer carefully. The trend is the last word in t-shirt designing. There are a wide variety of tools and marketplaces you can use to find a suitable graphic designer to help you with your designs.
There are also a lot of designer communities. You can post your message about the style and design you are looking for. They will respond to you if they’re available for freelance projects. you can try Dribble and Behance and Upwork. You can also purchase pre-made designs. Remember, if you plan to sell your t-shirts, you’ll need to purchase a commercial license.
5. Setting Up
Once you have some final designs, your next step will be to get some mockup images of them on actual t-shirts. Your customers will want to actually see what the final design will look like printed on a shirt. There are a few options you can get images of your final designs on t-shirts including ordering samples. You can use Product Photography and T-shirt Templates Online. Both are free tools provided by Shopify. You can create a 100% digital mockup from here.
if you want to create an online store for your products, we will recommend Shopify. You will find a lot of t-shirt print-on-demand drop shippers that directly integrate with your Shopify store, allowing you to get up and running in no time.
They will print and ship your t-shirts to your customers on your behalf every time you receive an order, automatically. The most interesting thing is, no design or coding experience is required in starting an online t-shirt business with Shopify.