Fortunately, with the advance of technology and increasing presence in the online marketplace, selling and doing business has become that much easier. If you’re worried about the upfront investment costs- just laugh those fears away! A T-shirt store can be opened with a rather small capital without the fear of failure to contend with. T-shirts are in vogue and will continue to be so, but there’s some work to be done too- as explained below.
What do you need to do?
1. Know your audience
The T-shirts that you design may be intended for a bigger and more general audience, but it pays to focus on designing them with certain groups in mind. Children might like cartoon characters on their T-shirts; college going teens would like funny words printed on them, while people who are adventurous or sporty may like pictures depending on their forte. Given the competition in the T-shirt industry, it pays to do a little research and homework, before deciding your target audience. You need to identify who’s interested in your T-shirts and focus on that category of people. Knowing your target audience helps to cater to specific tastes.
2. Design the T-Shirts
Graphics are important- most people love T-shirts with logos, designs, sayings or patterns. Take a look at our Product Design Tool. This is a simple and effective tool that allows your customers to personalize their design. It can take care of almost all that you’ll need to do as far as design is concerned. It even allows the design to be saved for future use.
If you are the DIY type you can try using the CorelDraw Graphics suite, which is regarded as the most popular software for graphics designing. If not, you can find online freelance designers on sites such as Fiverr, Dribble, or Behance. Their charges are pretty low too- ranging from $5 to $20.
3. Choice methods of T-Shirt Printing
Sprucing up your T-shirt with a printed design adds vibrancy to the attire and you can either do them yourself with a printing machine or rely on the manufacturer to print the design that you want. It helps to know the different methods and what would be your best bet- given your business strategy.
- Screen printing: This is generally preferred by many because of the quality of design, the soft finish and variety in color. However, if you’re just starting in the business, it may not be the thing for you, for it’s a viable option only for a big project with mass production.
- Heat Transfer: The heat transfer printingis a process of printing by using heat combined with pressure. The design is prepared, either on vinyl or digitally onto heat transfer paper and then heat-pressed onto the T-shirt. However, this type of image does not last as long as that done by screen printing.
- Direct to Garment (DTG) Technique: As the title suggests, the design is printed onto the T-shirt directly. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? The shirt is fed into the printer and voilà! The design is printed on the shirt. The catch, however, is that a DTG printer is very expensive and it’s not a very good option if you’re starting slow.
4. Print-on-Demand T-Shirt Services
If you want to focus only on creating ideas for your T-shirts or market your brand, then Print-on-Demand T-shirt services are just the thing for you. Zazzle, CafePress, and Society6 are on-demand, white-label solutions that help you turn your ideas into saleable products and the best part is that they will be marketed under your own brand. These companies will take care of all the logistics for you and even sell them on an e-commerce platform. Everything except the designing is taken care of by them. You can relax and focus on just creating designs.
5. Designing a Website
With online shopping being the current craze and it’s showing no signs of abating, it is great to have an online portal that can sell your T-shirts. Your website is an entry point for your buyers and if designed well, can attract many visitors. If you can’t design the website yourself, get it done by a web designer. Online e-commerce platforms such as Magento- the market leader among e-commerce platforms is a great option. The basic Community version is free and small businesses will find it sufficient for their needs. Our product design tool integrates seamlessly with Magento and is probably the only tool you’ll need!
6. Marketing Your T-shirt Business
Social media is a powerful marketing channel, especially for small businesses working on shoe-string budgets. You can increase sales, increase your outreach and reach thousands of people in a few minutes. Used well, social media is a guarantor for success. Leverage your local community to make a first impact before thinking big. Email marketing, too, is an effective way to reach out to your target audience. Offer discounts- people still love those- it’s a great way to advertise and promote your products at the same time.
Read more: Online Marketing Strategies to Increase Sales for Printing Shop
At first the going may be tough, but once you get your feet in, there’s no going back. However hard it is, work your way through- your persistence will pay off. After all, T-shirts are being worn day in and day out by millions across the world- so design well and work hard- the rest will automatically follow!