Technology and the e-commerce market have come a long way over the years. More and more people are coming up to open their online stores that are not only successful but also turning out to be a billion-dollar industry.
As per the recent survey, the t-shirt printing industry market size is known to be valued at around USD 3.64 billion in 2020. However, the reports also suggest that this will only continue to grow at a rapid pace of 9.7% at a compound annual growth rate. You can easily look forward to the t-shirt business booming to a USD 10 Billion in a few years. We cannot deny that t-shirts are a piece of clothing that is worn by all genders. No matter what age you are, t-shirts tend to stick as a means of staple clothing.
Hence, if you are looking to start a successful online t-shirt business and have an idea about the theme of the prints, we have curated a guide that will only be helpful in every step of the way to get what you’ve been looking for.
It might seem a little too easy but it surely is not. You will be required to show your dedication and consistency through which your result will be determined in this business.
How to Start a Successful Online T-shirt Business in 2021
Here we are with every step you might have to take while trying to start an online t-shirt business. Well, the most important aspect here is planning and consistency. We are aware of the fact that it is a competitive market and your idea needs to stand out if you have made this business successful.
1. Decide your Niche/Idea
No business opportunity or work is successful unless you have your idea planned out or at least have a hold of it. Well, for a t-shirt business, you need to decide on a specific niche. Like we said the market is pretty competitive, so you need something trending or at least something easy to work on along with being unique.
The most important part of searching for the right niche here is proper research. Pick your pen and paper and start researching different online t-shirt brands and stores that have opened recently. Write them down and check out their content and how they have been working on their brand to make it bigger than any normal online store.
Moreover, there are endless opportunities coming your way since the t-shirt business is here to stay. People are always looking for any kind of t-shirt that might look good on them. Hence, you can simply choose one niche and do your research to get started with building a store.
2. Create Some Designs and Creative
Next step, you need to start making impressive designs or creative designs for your t-shirts. It is one of the most important parts since these designs will attract users to buy the product. It needs to be top-notch or else repetitive content on the market will not catch the eye of the buyers whatsoever. If you are not a creative person or have any designs to work on, you can even choose to learn them from multiple sources.
Or else, a lot of people simply love having a short or relatable quote on their t-shirts and it always works no matter where you are. Above all, in the end, if nothing goes in our favor, you can still choose to hire other freelancers from different platforms to do the same.
Once you are done with those designs, you can take the expert opinion on that matter so that there is a scope for improvement. For this, use your social media or post on Reddit for anonymous feedback that will be hopeful in the long run.
3. Set the Quality of your Product
Once you have created your design or have at least created a plan around it, you need to think of quality products now. Here our product is a T-shirt. If any of the customers complain about torn, worn-out, or even misfit clothing, your business will only suffer loss. Hence proper planning towards getting the right quality t-shirt in the market is more than necessary.
The overall cost of getting quality products can be a little high in the beginning but the better the quality, the more customers we will be able to reach and ultimately it will all fall into line. For this, you can get connected to your local stores and have a chat with them regarding such high-quality t-shirts that you can get.
4. Keep a check on Printing
Next, we have the process of getting these designs to be printed on the T-shirts. You will come across multiple local stores that sell t-shirts. You can ask them about different local printing machines you can find. After your research, you can visit these stores and choose the best one amongst them.
One thing that might work for you in the best possible manner is by giving bulk orders to the printing business person. You can easily save a few bucks on each t-shirt thus making each clothing a lot more feasible than before. However, the only thing to keep in mind here is that all the prints on the T-shirt need to be of the best quality.
5. Set a Price
Once your design, t-shirt quality, and printing quality are in alignment, we can then focus on the price of each product. It depends on multiple factors including all the resources we have used to make it happen. Moreover, we want the t-shirts to be affordable to the general people hence the price factor needs to be determined accordingly.
Make sure to set the price so that you have at least a 50% profit margin on each t-shirt. If the overall cost of making the t-shirt had cost you say $10-$15, the right price here to be set up should be around at least $30 for each piece. This way you can easily earn a good profit and the price seems reasonable as well. There might be times where you may need to add the delivery charge so make sure the cost-cutting is done properly. And this has not brought you into a substantial loss that you have forgotten to calculate.
6. Set up Your Business/Brand Name
While opening an online store, you need to have a proper name as well as that will be the face of your brand. There are multiple ways you can choose to set up an online store. Either go with the method we have mentioned here. Or else you can use Print on Demand or Dropshipping business.
Not only is t-shirt designing and printing important, but also have a brand name that will speak for itself is the need of the hour. Having a presence online apart from simply building the store is yet another important factor. Based on your niche, select the right brand name and maybe get a domain or trademark for the same.
7. Choose your Inventory
You can call it inventory or you can go with the right business model. All the steps we have mentioned where you need to set a price and find the printing machine with quality t-shirts is a great way to do everything from scratch. However, not everyone has access to all these resources. This is where the concept of Dropshipping steps in.
With Dropshipping you can set up an online store on Shopify, choose a certain range of products that you will be selling, and then list them on your site that will operate as your brand or business. Here you do not need any sort of effort or even care about the printing machines, t-shirts, etc. Simply create the store and list the products.
Also, we have something similar here to Dropshipping. You might have heard about the Print-on-Demand service. Here platforms such as Redbubble allow you to create an account and add your designs to it. Those designs will automatically be applied to the products you want to sell and they are displayed on their site with a specific designated price.
These are some of the various business models you can choose to look at. Dropshipping or even Print-on-Demand business does not cost a lot and anyone can get started with it.
8. Create an Online Presence
The last part here and rather the most important part is creating an online presence for your brand, designs, products, and the store. The more people you can reach, the more sales you can get. Whether you have created your own store from scratch or used dropshipping and Print on Demand as your business model, all of these require some online presence that will reach the right audience
One of our favorite platforms that have thousands of profiles on it that sell t-shirts is Instagram. You can create a page, add your design’s image, add the product image you are selling, and keep posting consistently with a relevant hashtag. Within days you might be able to get some traction.
Also, based on our niche, it is important that you do market research as well and what are people looking for and what works the best for them. You can sell a corporate-based t-shirt to any teenager looking for casual ones. Hence research is important to create an online presence.
Why do you Need to Start an Online T-Shirt Business?
We have everything we need to know about starting an online t-shirt business. But why do you need to get on with this business and why so many are looking forward to getting on board with this.
1. Popular and Growing
There is no doubt that we see teenagers or people of any age group wearing some of the coolest t-shirt designs there are. From simple solid colors to the printed t-shirt of a popular meme, marvel characters, movies, tv-series, etc. As we are more and more towards digitalization, the demand for such t-shirts is only growing.
In fact, you will come across multiple startups that are distributing their customized t-shirts to their employees that only leads to more reach among the wider audience. You can easily give your friends, relatives, or anyone a bunch of t-shirts of their favorite character. All of these have led to huge demand and people have stepped up to meet this demand.
2. Easy to Make Extra Money
With platforms such as Printful and Redbubble, anyone can create a store on their platform with zero investment and choose to sell t-shirts worldwide. You simply need to add a design that can be easily made on Canva. No matter if you have a job or are simply a student, selling a t-shirt can be a great way to earn some extra money as a side hustle.
All you need is a plan and read your audience. Understand what people love the most to wear, create designs, and you are done. If everything works out well, you can easily earn thousands of dollars with a few hours of work each day.
3. Low Cost and Low-Risk Opportunity
Well, if you go by the method as we have mentioned where you need not spend single money, there is no better option than to start a t-shirt business. You need to get on board in this industry since we are looking to see it boom within a few years. The reason being the investment cost is pretty low for anyone as well as the risk is pretty low as well.
If you are looking to start everything from scratch and work on your own such as setting up an inventory, shipping, setting price, and all the other processes, this might get a little hectic and require investment. But when we talk about Print-on-Demand platforms you are not required to spend a single penny.
Here we are with all you need to know about opening up an online t-shirt business. It is not the easiest process, to begin with, but also it entirely depends on the business model you are going with. If it involves working on everything by yourself, then it will require a significant amount of time to set everything up.
Similarly, with Shopify and Print-on-Demand the process hardly takes a day to set up everything. Make sure that the key is to reach the right audience and a large number of people. You can also choose to spend money on ads that will surely bring you more traffic and increase your online presence. Furthermore, if you feel stuck, let us know in the comment section below.