Starting a business is something that many people consider, but you need to know how to start one. Failing to properly plan your business could result in it folding after just a short period of time.
A Basic Guide To Starting Your Own T-Shirt Printing Business
If you want to run your own t-shirt printing business, there is a lot of information that you need to know about. You should know about the different ways that you can print t-shirts and all the steps you need to take to start your business right.
Have A Passion For The Business
Before you can look at starting your t-shirt printing business, you need to consider if you are passionate about this. Having your own business is different to working a normal 9 to 5 job. You will have to put in a lot of time and effort which is hard to justify of you are not passionate about what you are doing.
When you consider your passion for the business, you need to consider how determined you are for it to work. Most people will have a hard time getting their business off the ground. If you’re not passionate about it, you will soon move on to something different. Being passionate will ensure that you will likely carry on even when the business is not doing well.
Create A Business Plan
Creating a business plan is something that everyone who is going to be starting a business needs to do. Many new business owners do not consider doing this if they are going to run their business from their home. This is because most people assume business plans are for companies that are looking for exterior funding. This is not the only time that you should have a business plan because these plans will help you stay on track with your business and ensure that you know what you need to do.
There are many points that you need to include in your business plan. The primary points are what the business will be doing and how you are going to make money from this. You should also include how you are going to be funding the business along with detailed information about how the funding will be spent.
The business plan should also include information about how you are going to market your products and the prices you will sell them for. If you ever need to get additional funding for your business, you need to have a business plan that shows you are serious about the company. If a potential investor is not able to get all the information they need about the business from the plan, they are less likely to invest in it.
Know The Printing Methods
When you are creating your business plan, you have to determine how you are going to print your t-shirts. There are a few methods that can be used and you need to have the right equipment for each method. It is also important that you consider the pros and cons of each method in relation to your business.
Transfer paper printing is one of the easiest methods of t-shirt printing, but it is also the more unprofessional. This method will use an ‘iron on transfer‘, which is cheap and easy to make but will require you to hand cut the design out or have a white transfer area. The finish on this method is not as good as other methods, but you do not need any special equipment other than a printer and an iron.
Screen printing is considered one of the best in terms of quality because they offer smooth and vibrant graphics. Screen printing is also cost-effective as you can mass produce a single design with a single stencil, but you do need to print approximately 50 of the same design to make it viable. Small runs or one-off printing will be expensive with this method and there is a fairly large learning curve, but you do have a soft finish and the ability to print multiple colors on any tone shirt.
If you are looking for a newer type of printing, there is direct-to-garment (DTG) printing method. The primary issue with this method is the high initial costs for the equipment that you need. Other issues you could face include the need for a large amount of space and the fact that printing is not as fast as screen printing. The benefits of this method include a professional finish, the ability to use all colors and the ease of one-off design prints.
The last printing method that you should know about is vinyl printing and a heat press. Vinyl printing will not fade or crack and can be done in a small space. This method is also good for any length of print runs and works well for words and small graphics. The problems with this method include the specialized CAD cutting, software and heat presses needed as well as the learning curve. Vinyl printing does not offer the same flexibility that comes with screen prints.
Getting The Equipment
Once you have your business plan ready and you have decided which type of printing you will be doing, you have to get your printing equipment. If you are going to use transfer printing, you will not have to spend too much on equipment and will be able to easily get the tools that you need. However, if you are looking at any other printing method, you need to get the best equipment you can.
Most new t-shirt printing businesses will look at using screen printing. If you choose this method, you have to get a quality printer to make products of high quality. Creating your own printer is possible, but the results will generally be poorer than if you buy one from a reputable source. To find a reputable source for your printer, you should look at online printing communities and the printers that they recommend.
Know Your Marketing And Customer
When you start your business, you need to know what market you want to enter and who your customers are going to be. This will help you design t-shirts that customers will actually want to buy. Knowing your market will also allow you to determine what your competitors are doing. Looking at what other people are doing in the market can help you determine which direction you should take your business.
It is important that you create t-shirts which are unique but also appeal to your potential customers. If you know your potential customers, you could also reach out to them and ask them more about what they would want. You can then incorporate this information into your design process.
Setting Up Your Online Store
Once you have your equipment and your designs, you need to set up an online store. There are a number of different routes that you can take with this and you need to choose one or more that you feel comfortable with. The easiest method to use would be to work through e-commerce websites like Amazon and eBay.
When you use an e-commerce website, you will be able to create an online store that lists all your products without paying for hosting. The e-commerce website will then take a percentage of the sale that is made. This percentage will vary depending on the website and you need to look at the terms before you sign up.
Another option that you need to consider is to set up your own e-commerce site for your products. If you are not comfortable setting up a website, you can hire a freelancer to do this for you. The benefit of your own website is that you do not have to pay a percentage of the sale to anyone, but you do need to have hosting and a domain name.
Market Your Business
Once your online store is up and running, you need to start marketing your business. You should never passively wait for customers to find you and proactively search for potential customers. There are a number of ways that you can market your business and you need to determine which is best for you based on time and budget.
Paid marketing is one of the ways that many stores promote their products. However, you will need to have a marketing budget that allows for testing and for a learning curve. Paid marketing can become very expensive if you do not know what you are doing and if you do not have a plan in place when you start.
Having a social media presence is something that you need to consider when it comes to marketing. Your social media accounts will advertise your products for you. It will also serve as a platform to communicate with your potential customers. When looking at social media, you should also consider working with social influencers. ‘Influencers’ are people who are popular on social media within your niche. They have a huge following of people who will look at your products if the influencer recommends them.
Competitions and giveaways are another great marketing tool that you can use to get your business started. While it might seem strange to give products away when you start, this is a great way for people to hear about your business and spread the word. If you have quality products, the people who win the competition or get free items will recommend you.
Never Give Up…
The last part of starting your own t-shirt business is to never give up. It can be frustrating when you’re working your ass off yet you don’t see results. As with any business, you will face many challenges that will test your patience.
If you are not selling many products, you need to assess why this is and make changes to your business to try and overcome this. Giving up on your business when it gets hard is never the answer and you need to be willing to look at any failures as a chance to learn.
If you are having problems with your business, you should also be willing to look for help and delegate. While there are some people who appear to be able to do everything in their business themselves, you might not be able to. Delegating the parts of your business that you are not confident with will ensure that everything is handled correctly.
There are many steps that go into starting your own t-shirt printing business. You need to have a business plan and choose a method of printing that suits your needs and your budget. You also need to take the time to determine how you will market your business.
“T-Shirts” by NatalieMaynor is licensed under CC BY 2.0
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