People value what they wear. Therefore, starting and running a successful online t-shirt business can be a good way of raking in some extra cash. However, since t-shirt businesses are common, there are a few things that you should know before investing. This article will give you a complete guide to help you start and run a successful online t-shirt business.
In as much as there are several tools for branding, printing, and shipping t-shirts, certain factors have to be in place before you open up an online t-shirt business. This type of business is highly competitive, which means you will need to do everything possible to stay ahead of the competition. Below are some of the things that you need to consider before starting an online t-shirt business:
Identifying Your Audience
To start and run a successful online t-shirt business entails identifying the market gap in a given audience and maximizing on them. Being a jack of all trades may be good, but it’s not the most fabulous idea when starting. The graphic t-shirt industry is crowded, which means that you need to stand out. Ensure, therefore, that you identify a specific group and meet their needs. If you are planning to deal with motivational t-shirts, target a particular audience, say, nurses or doctors.
In case you are wondering how you can identify the perfect audience, here is a heads-up. Make use of analytics tools on different social media platforms and find out popular hobbies from the internet. You can also settle on a group you identify with or believe in their agenda.
Picking The Best Design
Your t-shirt design matters. You are not going to win the heart of prospective customers if you settle on basic designs. Not using a basic design does not mean that you should decide on something sophisticated. Most people shy away from intricate designs. Ensure that the design you settle on resonates with your audience, what they do, or believe in. You should also decide on clear out-standing prints. Make use of transparent backgrounds, which give your t-shirts a beautiful design.
Keep an open mind when figuring out the designs you would like to incorporate in your products. You can try out new things and get more creative, provided that your results resonate with the audience.
Think About The Quality Of Tees You’d Like To Offer
Your focus should not only be on mass production but also on quality. When setting up an online t-shirt business, quality matters. People love quality items, and if you incorporate the best design, they will be willing to spend a fortune on your products. Good quality dictates that your t-shirts should not fade or shrink after a few washing sessions. You should identify the best fabric so that your end product doesn’t rip off after a short time. Finding the best quality might be an expensive venture, but is usually pays off.
Make sure that you invest in the best t-shirt material, printing technique, and the best design.
Building A Brand
You need to give your customers something to identify your products with. A successful online business needs proper branding, which markets and helps you reach newer markets. Isn’t this what you want? A competitive market, such as the t-shirt industry, needs a unique brand. Settle on something that keeps you ahead of the competition. Branding depends on the target audience. Ensure that your customers identify with the way you portray your business.
Stocking Your Business
You have to decide on how you will stock up your business. You can either stock up in bulk when prices are low or run a print on demand service where you only order the t-shirts after an order has been placed. Another way would be a blend of both. Having a ready stock comes in handy if you are targeting physical sales away from the online shop.
A print-on-demand service, on the other hand, saves you from potential losses. Therefore, you should take some time to decide between the two before getting your t-shirt business running. However, print on demand would save you if you are planning on starting small, whether due to financing or if you are still studying the market. If you have money, getting your printer would be a good move.
Now that we have seen some of the questions that you need to ask yourself before setting up your online shop, let us help you answer them.
Identifying Quality T-Shirts
Remember, the quality of your t-shirts matters most if you need to stand out from the rest. When running a t-shirt business, you need quality blank shirts, which you will later print and design. Good quality will see customers promoting you to other prospects. When running an online shop, your main aim is to turn prospects into customers and existing customers into repeat customers.
When assessing quality, therefore, make sure that you look into factors such as sizing, material, fabric, weight, and texture. You can also lookup quality blank shirts on the net. However, make sure that you read reviews and customer feedback. You can also ask for samples if you find yourself at crossroads.
Getting The Best Designs.
It is normal if you cannot think of the best design. It is allowed to borrow ideas from others; just make sure that you do not entirely lift someone’s design. A good alternative would be identifying popular trends and best-seller options. If you can’t still seem to come up with a good design, getting a designer would help. Several graphic designers can help you come up with the perfect designs for your online t-shirt business. You can also use different software to build something once you have an idea of what you want.
Joining a design community would also help you. You are going to meet and share with super talented people, including renowned designers. You can also buy t-shirt designs if you have money. This includes a range of pre-made designs. The only problem is that you will hardly stand out since you won’t be the first one.
Deciding On A T-Shirt Printing Technique
You will need the best t-shirt printing technique before opening a shop. There are three main printing techniques that you can choose depending on your desired goals and results. Let’s take a look at these:
If you need durable and long-lasting results, screen printing is the best approach. However, it is labor-intensive and does not work well with complex designs. It is an excellent method if you are aiming at bulk printing.
The direct-to-garment method is a simple and cheaper approach that you can use for your business. Just like the first approach, it produces quality and long-lasting results. It is the best printing technique, especially if you do not have a lot of money. It is, however, not suitable if you are into large volume production.
Heat transfer is one of the cheapest methods of printing. You, however, need the advanced type if you want to run a business. You should settle on plastisol transfers, which require professional printers and high-quality transfer papers. If you’re going to incorporate more colors on your t-shirts, this is the best approach.
Testing Your Designs
You need to know how your end product looks like. After getting a quality design for your t-shirts, make sure that you try to actualize them. You can either make a physical or digital sample. All in all, this would be a good starting point in building a customer base. Several software programs can help you preview your designs.
Obtaining Feedback From Customers
You should know what people think about your designs before starting production. Knowing what people think will help you establish whether you will have customers or not. There are several means that you can resort to if you want to obtain feedback. I am pretty sure that you have your social media handles. Even without opening your business’ handle, you can post your actualized designs and ask your friends or followers what they think. Look out for constructive criticism. You’ll need such to improve on your products.
You can also ask your friends or family about your designs. Just make sure that they tell you the truth.
Setting Up A T-Shirt Store
After identifying the best design and getting prospect feedback, the last step is to create your online store. You can easily set up your store on online platforms such as eBay, Etsy, & Shopify just to name a few.
Choosing A Print On Demand Company For Your T-Shirt Business
There is multiple Print On Demand sites where you can get your shirts printed and shipped to your customers or shipped to yourself to store as stock. Some of these POD sites are Printful, Cafepress, Spread Shirt, Teespring, Teezilly, & Zazzle.
Starting an online t-shirt business should not be hard. Being successful depends on if you properly plan and invest in the best quality and designs. Also, make sure that you build a brand that your target customers can identify with. In case you are thinking of plying the online t-shirt route, create your shop today. You will succeed provided that you invest in proper branding and commitment.