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T-shirt Business Help

painreceptorspainreceptors subscriber Posts: 1
edited July 2011 in Business Planning
Hi, everyone!
I am a student and I want to start a tshirt business. About 2 years ago, I started out printing out designs, cutting out the stencils, and painting the designs on the shirts. Many people really liked the idea of making my own shirts. I was wondering how I can take this passion to the next level. I want to create a small tshirt business and I`m not quite sure on how to start the business. Can I have some input and ideas on this? I would really appreciate the time and help! Thank you so much.


  • soulfireimgsoulfireimg subscriber Posts: 0
    With the T-shirt biz, you have to have a plan in place first and foremost.
    Beyond the funding (which helps aid the plan), know your market and
    your target buyer. Then create your plan of not only designing/making
    the shirts, but keeping your overall costs down low and the advertising
    efforts way high.

    It goes so far beyond just the design and the t-shirt. That`s actually the
    easy part. The hard part is production and distribution, so keep these
    things in mind:

    - How can you advertise your product effectively? Posters, Shows, Events,
    Parties, Clubs, Friends, Internet?

    - How can you keep your costs down to the bare minimum? Shop around
    for best blank t`s and prices. Shop around for best bulk printing prices
    locally or through the web. Free advertising opportunities. Consignment
    stores. Website E-Commerce (Paypal or merchant account)!?

    - Who`s your "perfect buyer"? Guys, girls, kids? Know that the truth is in
    the numbers. Women comprise approximately 80% of retail clothing
    purchases. Any light bulbs going off yet?

    - How many designs or shirts do you plan on offering? Do you have 1
    design, but 5 different shirt colors? I recommend pick your strongest
    design(s), do a test production and run and see how well it sells. if you
    can create 1 hot seller, then you move on. Don`t over extend yourself
    with multiple designs and shirt colors until you can truly afford to.

    - Are you aware of the components of the product? The blank shirt, the
    image screen, the print ink(s) or textures, the label, the hang tag, etc. It
    all adds up.

    - How much time and funding are you willing to invest? The T-shirt biz
    is filled with indie companies and these small companies normally don`t
    turn a profit until a really big purchase order is made (direct from a
    retailer) or you have a steady purchase base off of your website.

    - Are you willing to put the money you`ve made back into the production?
    That`s what most people dont realize. You have to reinvest over and over
    until you hit the sweet spot turning a profit. (which can take a while)

    The web allows you to be a direct distributor (sell on your own website)
    for your stuff so you can markup the price of a shirt at $12-$15 where
    the cost to make it is at anywhere between $1-4 (depending on your
    production costs). That`s a nice profit. But you have to have invested in a
    well working site and a way to accept online transactions which both cost.

    With a purchase order for a set amount of shirts through a retail store,
    you`ve worked out a deal with a retailer who will likely buy as close to
    production cost as possible. So, you dont` make a huge amount off each
    shirt, but you can make your money in bulk/quantity. The big thing here
    is having money before hand to produce the orderd amount of shirts and
    be able to deliver what was ordered on time and with quality. Retailers
    normally wont pay immediately. They work on a net 30 at minimum, so
    you have to have money prepared for production cost up front.

    My best advice is to scope out your competition, be realistic with what
    you`re willing to invest/risk in both time and money and know who will
    buy your shirts. As well, know that it requires specific tasks like, design,
    branding, sales, distribution, production, promotions. A team definitely
    helps and is necessary. And finally: ADVERTISE, ADVERTISE, ADVERTISE.
    If no one knows about it, no one will buy it.

    soulfireimg2007-3-29 12:55:51
  • robertjrobertj subscriber Posts: 0 Member
    Idea gal,
    I see that you have posted the same message in several places.
    What is your relationship to BusinessMic?
  • alicemenezesalicemenezes subscriber Posts: 0
    Since you've already got the business model in place and got to kick start the business. Since you now have the product generation sorted out, I believe the best way to begin is with friends and family. Word of mouth is the best and first important of marketing. Once it grows, you can move on to a little bigger platform of marketing like internet etc. Post this you would definitely need to get in more labor or automation if you want to take it full fledged. But if you want to pursue it only as a hobby running it small scale is good.
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