How to start your t-shirt business in 2021: Step by Step Guide
Have you ever thought about starting your cut-through t-shirt business? Or are you looking for some divergent methods that boost your business? Whatsoever your thoughts are, the charm of the t-shirt business remains the same.
Generally speaking, t-shirts are the main items of the fashion closet in every nook and cranny. So, whenever people think of starting a business out of one of their five potential thoughts, t-shirt business first comes into their minds.
Do you know why?
Taking everything into account, the t-shirt printing business seems to be a customer-centric exceptional model. This is a particularly eye-opening model for the younger entrepreneur who wants to earn money by picking up the trending apparel items. They can even start this business with limited infrastructure, resources, and cash.
As the overall custom t-shirt printing industry market is expected to exceed $10 billion by 2025 (credenceresearch.com). The savvy business visionaries like you have sensed the widespread presence of t-shirt business opportunities and start working on forming their t-shirt associations.
For both beginners and experienced e-commerce entrepreneurs, launching their own t-shirt business is considered to be the smart choice. With the customer obsession approach, entrepreneurs can customize t-shirts designs according to their customer’s needs.
In case, if you are planning to start your own online t-shirt business and wanted to be successful in a cruel area of web-based businesses, then you must ensure that your store is different from the crowd.
For this, you need to offer top-notch items and develop your custom e-store fronts. This may seem like a daunting process, especially if it’s your first time starting a web business, but don’t be nervous, we’re here to help.
This ultimate guide to starting your t-shirt business walks you through each progression of the planning cycle, from the initiation of planning to the mass production of shirts. Whether you have little or no experience, before landing in the e-commerce world, this guide is really helpful for you to get detailed information about the business model.
Let’s catch some insights and learn how you start your online t-shirt business.
Step 1: Pick up your niche audience:
Before launching your online shirt business, there is something significant to consider is your niche. With the right niche audience, you can influence your expertise in one area that serves to differentiate your business from the competition.
For instance: Take the example of t-shirt designs. If you spend a lot of money on a wider group of t-shirts prospects, your search strategy will be bounced back, because it wouldn’t reach the right audience due to the overflow of information available on the internet. But if you use the same strategy with focused groups of your interest, you will get phenomenal results. Additionally, niche strategy converts shoppers into repeat buyers.
For this, you just need to track down a little lake in which you can be a hotshot. If you want to be an expert in everything, you would get nothing. But if you pick one of your specialties and focus on that you will surely stand out in the completive market.
How can I find my niche?
- Keyword Research
Knowing which keywords your target audience is using to find information or stuff related to your niche is extremely important. Understanding this puts you in touch with what they like and how they find it, which in turn gives you valuable knowledge to help you grow your niche. Keyword research will give you a lot of useful information about the overall competition you can expect.
- Analyzing the Competition
Finding a profitable niche should include learning about the existing competition. Know who you’re up against before you fully commit. Keyword search results on Google are divided into two categories, paid results and organic results. Among the list of organic results, pay attention to the sites that rank at the top. Use the social listening tools to know your rival moves.
- Researching Current Trends
Spending time on finding current trends can increase your chances of finding a profitable niche. You can explore trends through the following ways:
- Google Trends
Google trends are the obvious choice where you get lots of ideas by entering different keywords and get multiple t-shirt design image searches like Mother’s Day, sports day, and Game of Thrones.
Amazon is the largest e-commerce marketplace, where you can quickly get an idea of how your niche products are selling here. Type a keyword into the Amazon search bar and get a great idea for a successful product.
Etsy is famous for selling unique handcrafted products. Type your appropriate keyword in the search bar, it will display all the results related to your search term.
- Addressing Pain points:
Researching your potential audience’s pain points can be a great way to uncover profitable niches. A pain point is any problem or problem a client has in their life that they urgently want to solve. Problem-solving niches can be extremely lucrative due to high demand and high conversion rates.
Step 2: Design Your T-Shirt
The design of a T-shirt is one of the favorite items for creativity. Whether you’re an illustrator, graphic designer, or typographer, the idea of placing a T-shirt design is very appealing. If you have Adobe Photoshop or a similar program, you have the potential to create great designs yourself.
But what if you can’t know the basics of design?
If you are not confident in your ability to design good products for your online T-shirt business, ask someone for help. Seek help from talented and professional graphic designers that overcome your design-related obstacles.
Find Freelance Designers
There are many freelancing platforms where you can easily find and hire freelancers for your design purposes. These platforms also include comments from other users, so you have a better understanding of the people you will be working with. Some of the most popular sites are Upwork, Freelancer, and Guru.
Hire a designer
Hire some professional designers to meet your design needs. There are several places on the Internet to search for designers. A good opportunity is to use the Meetups option. Here, you’ve got a have a room full of designers. So, Go to Meetup.com and enter “design.” It will provide you with the closest designer.
In simple words, if you have a t-shirt design idea but can’t create it directly, then don’t worry about your designing skills. Consider the following options, where the designers will be ready to help you with different versions of the design, and ultimately in the pool of designs, you can choose what you like.
Step 3: Mockup your t-shirts
The next step after finishing the design of the clothing line to create a mockup of the T-shirt. If you’re looking for a smart way to promote your designs then the T-shirt mockup allows you to present your design professionally.
You might be wondering how exactly a mockup of a T-shirt is performed here. Well, there are several ways you can achieve these. Photoshop pros know how to incorporate external images into your photos and how to make them appear as realistic as possible.
One of the most common types of mockup files is the Adobe Photoshop shirt template. A quick preview of how your design will print on a T-shirt. Most Photoshop templates contain multiple layers that allow you to change the color of the shirt or apply your design by melting it into the folds, folds, and outlines of the shirt.
If you’re not a Photoshop expert, you can take an alternative approach using the online mock generator tool. Here are a few other resources that help you to find the best mockup file for your T-shirt project is: Glorify app, Printed mint, Printful, Placeit, and Custom Ink. Through these means, you can get images of your final designs on t-shirts and create your 100% free digital mock-up.
Step 4: Test Your T-Shirt Designs
Validating your designs is essential for your business success. If you blindly assume that your design idea will be popular, you risk spending a lot of time, money, and other resources to launch it. Companies often skip this step because they are eager to launch their products. They will not create a business model and will continue their business journey without a roadmap.
T-shirt business is a highly competitive business model. If you want to stand out in this competition, you must test your designs before the final go-ahead. Design testing allows you to refine your product concept, product design, logo, fonts, and textures, and so on by getting feedback directly from your target market.
Some of the most popular platforms where you can experiment with your design ideas include:
Social networks like Facebook, Instagram, Pin Interest, etc., where you simply post your designs and ask the target group about their opinions.
Community forums: like Reddit, where you get honest feedback on your designs before launching.
Print on demand. E-commerce platforms like Shopify and Magneto validate your business idea in a few seconds.
Until you test your design idea, you don’t know who will find it useful. Without this information, your marketing can fall on deaf ears and leaving you blank that how far your product idea will go, even if it’s a great idea.
Step 5: Choose your business model
Managing your inventory is a challenging aspect of your business, especially in the field of e-commerce. Today’s consumers are used to receive things the next day. It doesn’t matter how often and how long the increase in demand affects your business.
If your order fulfillment process is inefficient, it will hurt your business results. To win customer’s hearts, an efficient order fulfillment process is the key to gain a competitive edge in this fast-paced environment.
There are several best practices to keep in mind that can help you streamline your order fulfillment process. To do this, you need to develop effective strategies to successfully expand your operations. Fortunately, through different supply chain approaches, you can improve your order fulfillment process.
There are 2 main fulfillment models:
Internal order fulfillment
In the internal order fulfillment model, a company uses its employees to manage the fulfillment process. Employees handle all steps of the compliance process, including on-site product storage and transportation at company-controlled locations. Internal compliance is very suitable for mature companies that want end-to-end control of their entire operations. Some home-based startups are beginning to use internal fulfillment as a low-cost option, especially those with smaller orders. As the initial space grows, many people turn to hybrid or outsourced fulfillment models.
Dropshipping is similar to outsourcing, except that there is no inventory to manage. Retailers will not keep the products they sell in inventory. On the contrary, when goods are sold, retailers will buy from third-party suppliers. The supplier can be a manufacturer or a company that purchases products from the manufacturer to sell to the shipper. The supplier processes all orders and sends them to the customer. You only pay for the products you sell. E-commerce retailers and start-ups often use this option.
If you want to gain a competitive advantage, it is important to meet customer expectations for fast delivery and return services for optimizing your order fulfillment process.
Step: 06 select the right t-shirt supplier
If you own an online t-shirt business store, you will be particularly mindful of how challenging it will manage all on your own. Various entrepreneurs who set up online business stores have zero knowledge of how digital offerings works, which leaves them in a predicament and even their best products are presumably not going well. That is why the need for the right supplier pops up because they comprehend what ticks and what ought to be taken out.
An e-commerce advisor makes methodologies and a guide that will control your business on its excursion to progress. Not only this, they will take a look at your present item offerings and suggest any upgrades that you should make. They may even assist you with building up altogether new items that would profit your online t-shirt business and extend its crowd.
Furthermore, the right business partners will provide an external viewpoint on your business, including new viable options for business improvement. They can make a guide to acquire new options or take considerations that will assist you with improving both your online business store and your general business.
Furthermore, if you go for a dropshipping model then Printful, Printify, Print Aura Teespring, Gotten, and Lulu xPress are the best option for you and if you chose own fulfillment model then Gildan and Alstyle is the perfect choice for you.
So, if you heed that your firm will grow, you will presumably require the services of the right suppliers.
Step 07: Deciding your e-commerce platforms:
When you plan to start your business online, one of the most important decisions you will make is choosing an e-commerce platform that ensures scalability and long-term growth. An e-commerce platform is a software application that enables online businesses to manage their websites, marketing, sales, and operations. Whether you are expanding a physical store or looking for an enterprise solution, your e-commerce software will have a major impact on the profitability and stability of your business.
So, once you clearly know what you need and how much you are willing to spend, you can start your hunt with different platforms which fulfill your standards. To facilitate this step, the most common business e-commerce solutions are listed below.
In self-hosting platforms, you will run your website on your servers and will have full control over the management and maintenance. This means that if you want to update your main website code, you can do it yourself, without depending on another company or web host to process your request. You can do just about anything on your site if you run it on your machine, which makes auto-nesting an attractive option for many people.
Examples of self-hosted platforms are WordPress, Magento, and Prestashop.
If you are not much interested in self-hosted solutions, you can choose to host an e-commerce platform, where you allow your provider to host your store for you. Hosting solutions are a blessing for non-technical users because the provider is solely responsible for all the server maintenance and software updates.
Examples of hosted platforms are Shopify, BigCommerce, and 3dcart.
However, if your products come in different sizes and variations, you will need to use powerful hosting solutions like Shopify, BigCommerce, Volusion, and 3dcart. If you are looking for something open-source and self-hosted, WooCommerce may be a good option.
When considering your options, you need to ensure that you are thinking about the long-term effects and then focus on other aspects which save your time and add more value to your business.
Step: 8 Set up your e-commerce platform
You can set up your online store in a few basic steps, where your start by registering your domain name, designing a website, linking the shopping cart, and secure payment alternatives for customers.
To initiate this, various Print-on-demand platforms are available that allow you to give your shoppers the option of browsing, selecting, and purchasing the inventory items.
These platforms include Printful, SPOD, Printify, Teelaunch, Redbubble, and Gooten, where you can create your account free of cost account and start selling online. The biggest advantage of these platforms is that when customers buy items, these platforms allow them to manufacture them automatically which saves your time and money by simplifying the process of selling customized products.
Over and above, to start receiving your orders immediately, you can integrate these platforms directly with your Shopify, Etsy, WooCommercend PrestaShop, Magento, and OpenCartstores. Each time you receive an order; these services will print the T-shirts on your behalf and ship them to your customers.
To cut short, to choose any platform you need to think about your cost, features, and usability. Because it acts as the backbone of your e-commerce business and helps you to run and manage your operations effectively.
Step: 9 Establish Your Online Presence
In this web-centric world, your online visibility impacts your business bottom line. The online presence involves your corporate website, social media accounts, and pages incorporate directories like Yelp and Google My Business. Your online presence also includes images of your business, blog posts that you have written, videos that you’ve created, and much more. In short, each mention of your business name will enhance your online presence.
You can also enhance your online presence through the following ways:
Social media presence:
Establish your social media presence, which helps reduce your marketing costs, build stronger consumer engagement, and increase your brand awareness and loyalty.
Develop your SEO strategy:
SEO strategy is the process of organizing website content by a theme to increase the likelihood of appearing in search results. Essentially, this is the process you follow to maximize your chances of getting organic traffic from search engines.
Participate in the community
Interact with your potential customers through community forums, where people gather to discuss news, trends, and lots of other information. Community forums include Blogs, Reddit groups, Facebook groups, and other online places where your ideal potential customers are, and you can also be there too.
Jot down this pro tip: “Join these forums and start your conversation slowly. Don’t be pushy, that seems like selling spam”. Over time, your reputation will get higher and higher. People will know that you are a trusted source. At this point, you can direct them to your website, blog, or Facebook page for more information.
The t-shirt business is undoubtedly a successful business model where you get the chance of expressing your inspirations and creativity. No matter what niche you choose to serve, you just have to find out the most cost-effective ways to print t-shirts and deliver them to your customers.
Due to the fierce competition, launching your own e-commerce business is exciting and challenging. For this, you need a little extra planning and skills to make a profit from this business model.
More than that to stay ahead in the competition you need to convert your all business constraints into business opportunities. With unique design concepts and suitable sourcing partners, you can take your business to a new level.
To sum up: “Entrepreneurs, convert your constraints and limitations into an advantage with the Print-on-demand service providers”.
We hope that after this resource summary, you will get a clearer road map on how to design a T-shirt business and if you wanted to take advantage of this hyped product and are looking for a POD service provider who fulfills your tailor t-shirts need then reach us at: firstname.lastname@example.org