Start small and go big
Step by Step Guide
1. Choose a niche
Many entrepreneurs who decide to make the plunge into the world of custom printed t-shirts choose to go the introductory route and sell plain tees, but when you’re just getting started in this business it may make sense to go with a niche that will help your online shirt selling business stand out and better attract the right target audience without blowing your budget.
Unless you have a smaller budget or just aren’t interested in growing your online shirt business, having a niche is critical. It will help you stand out from competitors and attract the type of customers that you want.
The best niches for a custom printed t-shirt shop are something that interests you and something that people are searching for. Custom printed t-shirts are a great way to market your company and spread brand awareness, even if you’re on a budget. By choosing the right type of printing for your shirts, you can ensure that the shirts are more durable and will last longer.
2. Source quality material and t-shirt printing options
The next step of how to start an online t-shirt business is to find suppliers. When it comes to customization of clothing and apparel, there’s no better industry than printing. While many companies outsource their screen printing needs, the results can vary greatly in quality, time involved and cost. A solid starting point is to make your own t-shirts for sale at home. Once you narrow down your choices, it’s strongly recommended to order samples so you can make an informed final decision. Furthermore, shirt printing is a great business opportunity, but it’s important to choose the right blank t-shirt. T-Shirt Magazine highlights some of the best blank t-shirts for digital printing and screenprinting.
The important part in how to start an online t-shirt business is to choose the best shirts for your brand. The shirt quality is one aspect you will want to take into consideration. Depending on what you are looking for and how much profit margin your brand needs, there are different shirt qualities you should consider. Each shirt material is unique, so it’s important to do the research and find a supplier that meets the standards of your brand.
3. Create your own t-shirt designs
Custom printed T-shirts are a great idea for a business. With online stores popping up every day, there’s a need for an easy way for people to get custom T-shirts in a short period of time. It’s much easier to market great products, so try to nail this part. Be creative. Don’t be afraid of thinking outside the box. Try out various T-shirt design ideas that relate to your brand, and see which ones fit best with your audience.
Make your own t-shirts and remember special moments with every wear. Custom printed t-shirts allow you to change up your wardrobe, no matter the season. Choose from a variety of designs and styles, in all shapes, sizes, and colors.
4. Mock up your t-shirts
You can easily create your own mockup files with this Photoshop template. Save time and money by spending a few minutes on your computer instead of paying for costly samples and photos. This PSD file is fully customizable, with multiple layers that let you change the color of the shirt, add your designs, and experiment with different positions until you find the perfect shot. With a digital mockup template, you can easily show your customers how the designs will look on their shirts, complete with the color and style of shirt they want to wear it on.
5. Validate your designs
T-shirts are some of the most versatile items you can sell in an online store and one of the most popular products to test during a validation process. But there’s a lot to consider before launching your business, such as quality and price—especially if you want to create custom t-shirt designs rather than relying on pre-existing print-on-demand designs. Creating custom t-shirts online is a popular and well-known business idea. To ensure you are creating the right design, though, you need to first validate your idea by setting up an online store and then using print on demand to start selling.
With the growth of online communities, like Facebook and Instagram, it’s easy to test the sales potential of your new clothing designs. Post a few photos of your designs in well-trafficked groups to see if people are interested in buying your shirts. Print on demand services like Printful can help you avoid high inventory costs by allowing customers to buy what they want!
6. Set up your online store
Start your own t-shirt business with Shopify and Printful. Printful integrates directly with your Shopify store, allowing you to seamlessly take orders and print & ship your shirts directly to your customers without ever keeping any inventory or handling any shipping.