T-shirt design

How to start an Online T-shirt Business

Wanna start your own t-shirt line??? 

Do you want to start your own online business of T-shirt designing and selling? If yes then you have landed at the right place! 

With the growing business of ecommerce, there are enormous options for starting your own entrepreneurship venture. If you are looking for a business which has low investment relatively and requires less human resource then YESSS!!!  online T-shirt business is something you can think of.

Here, you can check out the blueprint for that…

You are few steps away to build your own online business :

  • Find your Niche – Very essential part of your Business planning. You need to study this T-shirt industry very well as this business is of low investment relatively but has a lot of competition out there in the market. Choose your Niche so that you don’t blow your whole budget. So you need to do a lot of analysis! Understand the market and it’s specific needs.

 Reach out to the target audience so that you can build your business focusing on such targets. For instance, music band lovers, animal lovers, slogans and quotes loving people etc., You can reach out to certain communities and can learn about their culture too, by that you can get some ideas or inspirations for t-shirt design. Instead of creating products blindly you should go for the niche as it will give you a more clear path to walk upon and you will be sorted with everything! 

  • Design – Ahh! With this step you should give your 100% as it will uplift your business among the other competitors. T-shirt design can be both simple as well as complex. It is not like that only complex designs will sell…NO! Even simple designs can be best-selling, so you can work on creating the both.

 If you are good with t-shirt designing then that’s good otherwise you can hire a good designer. You can hire some professionals or you can opt for a freelancer and can crowdsource your design. There are some t-shirt design websites too where you can simply buy the designs.  

  • Make t-shirt Mockups! – This is a way to show your client/customers how the design will be going to look on the t-shirt, so that they can get a better idea. It’s a kind of preview before the printing phase. During this phase the customer can give more feedback and other customization review if he needs some more things to add or remove or to change colors.

 You can either make a sample and take its photograph or you can digitally mock-up the design. You can go for Adobe photoshop t-shirt template (.psd file). You can also generate the mock-up image file online within a few seconds. If you wish you can go for the social platforms and communities where you can ask for review.

  • Resources : Sourcing is as equally important as other steps of the whole process. Do not compromise with the Quality! Quality of design and plain t-shirt material will give you extra boost among other competitors. For a sustainable business you need to thrive extra for the quality as it is something which will not fail you.

 The material of the plain t-shirt on which you will be doing your designing should be good in every standard. It’s softness, fabric, weight, fit, color and sizing should be taken into consideration. The print quality of design should be checked properly for its fadeness, durability and reliability. The design file of the print should not be more than 300 dpi. The Customer appreciates premium quality so Quality should be of top-notch!

Or you can source the blank t-shirt from a local wholesaler. Some top brands of blank t-shirts are: Gildan, Anvil, Next level Apparel, Hanes.

  • Printing : Atlast! Comes this process. You need to be very decisive in this phase. You can choose a particular printing option or you can mix them as per your business operation.

Screen Printing – This gives lasting and durable designs. Production time is also low. It is cost effective too. 

Cons – it is not for designs which have more than five colours. It is not for complex designs.

            Heat Press- In this technique, print the   design on the paper and transfer to the garment and iron it. It requires Transfer paper. It is good for bulky orders and useful for complex designs. 

Cons- it gives low quality outcome and is not durable. Investment is large and requires extra time input. Commercial heat press machines are costly too.

DTG -Direct to Garment… Printing is directly done on the t-shirt. Very long lasting and durable and is for complex designs also. This technique works with accuracy. It is cost effective as it requires no setup costs. It comes with enormous color options.

Cons – Time consuming and is not for bulk orders. So, take lead or extra time from your clients.

So, choose your viable printing option as per your business requirements and operations!

  • Setup or create the online store and sell the product/ Business launching – Create a website to make the brand legit. Make a social media page which is ofcourse free of cost. Use right selling propositions in order to stand out among others.

Manage your own inventory or opt for print on demand service. Own inventory is good for bulk pricing and the profit margin is large in that. However, Print in demand service is less risky. You can choose both also and decide as per the order type.

Some additional ways for your brand building and exposure.

  • Validate your design and take reviews and feedback from various social media platforms, open communities, crowdfunding sites.
  • Evaluate your Niche. Study current trends and analyse popular hobbies and interests.
  • Check your budget allotment and profit margin timely.
  • Marketing is the key! Always update your social media pages. Reach out to your niche audience. Your brand must sound interesting.
  • Provide your customers to create their own design and then make the finished product for them. 
  • Make your business sustainable. 


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