It seems nowadays everybody’s selling t-shirts and, if you haven’t started already, you might be next. Before you jump into the t-shirt business you might wanna take a few pointers, and we’ve got you covered. Here’s a guide on how to start a t-shirt business, divided into the 10 most important aspects.
1. Do your research
Make sure you’re knowledgeable about the clothing industry before you dive in. Get an understanding of how the business works. Read about how other brands became successful, and model a similar strategy.
2. Plan everything
Before you get started, have a clear idea of what you plan on doing. Try to decide things like what kind of t-shirts you plan on selling, who your target market is, whether your t-shirts will be available online only or if you’ll eventually be aiming to sell in stores. Plan a marketing strategy that involves both free and paid advertising methods of getting your brand in front of your target market. Compose a practical business plan to use as a guideline for operating. For starters, identify your brand’s values, mission, objectives, strategies, goals, and long term vision.
3. Know your competition
You should always know what other clothing labels you’ll be competing with. If you’re starting a label based on humorous t-shirts you should watch what all the other funny t-shirt labels are doing. Keep track of things like their design variety, pricing, and promotion, because it may spur some new ideas for your own business strategy. This can be done easily nowadays by reading the blogs of competitor brands and signing up to their newsletters to keep tabs on what they’re up to. This knowledge can help you keep up.
4. Create products you believe your audience would buy
It seems this step should be obvious, but you’d be surprised at some of the t-shirts you can find these days. Test the quality of your t-shirts by getting honest opinions from others, preferably people who are within your target audience.
5. Know the finances of starting a business
Once you know what you plan on doing, get an idea of how much everything is gonna cost you. When you start producing and selling t-shirts, keep track of all of your expenses. Get screen printing quotes from several printers and compare prices to get the best deal, without sacrificing quality. Add in the cost for labeling, hang tagging, bagging, or whatever other finishing options you might use. Don’t forget the shipping envelopes, boxes, and product storage. Don’t be fooled by the hundreds of new t-shirt start-ups you see these days; starting a t-shirt business isn’t cheap. A lot of this should also help you decide how much you should charge for your clothing.