There is nothing more satisfying than taking a passion and turning it into a business. Believe it or not, but setting up your own home-based t-shirt business does not even have to cost you much in the way of initial costs.
And the process is truly simple and straightforward, which means that you will be able to start selling your own unique custom t-shirts in no time at all.
Here are some steps and tips that will help you get started with your new business venture.
Finding your market is the first step. Identify a group of people which you think will resonate with your T-shirt design and buy it.
- Take stock of the competition
Chances are high that the niche you’ve identified already has a chain of vendors keeping it well-dressed. Observe their products and their prices and delineate what makes yours more distinctive. Also note what qualities of the product draws consumers towards it.
- Start the business
It’s time to start your brand!
Figure out a trendy name for your business.
Comply with your local authorities’ requirements, obtain all necessary permits and clearances, and register the business.
Determine your business’ structure (sole proprietorship, partnership etc.) and draw a suitable organization chart. For a home-based business, a sole proprietorship is best.
- Design and manufacture the T-shirt
Now we get to the (relatively) fun bit: the designing!
Pick a design which best suits your niche. Remember, it should be more appealing than the competition and should draw consumers towards it. Get creative!
Once the design is complete, figure out the manufacturing process. You could outsource it to a third-party or manufacture the tees yourself using a printing machine.
If you wish to do it all yourself from home, you will need to invest in the following pieces of equipment:
- You will need to cut your graphic design onto some heat transfer vinyl. It is important to invest in the best vinyl for shirts to ensure that the design is durable and long-lasting.
- You will need a special machine to cut your vinyl. The best machine to cut vinyl which largely depends on your volume run. If you are starting small, you could easily get away with purchasing a cheaper machine such as a Cricut Explore Air 2. We highly recommend grabbing some value with an Explore Air 2 bundle deal.
- Lastly, you will need a high-quality heat press machine. You can find some recommendations of the best heat press machine for small business here.
At this stage, decide which fabric you wish to use. Avoid cheap-feeling fabrics like polyester as these can damage your brand’s reputation in the long run. Also, ensure that your heat transfer vinyl matches the type of fabric that you will be printing on, make sure you research vinyl cutting machines.
- Set up supply and promotion channels
It’s time to figure out the logistics of the business.
Find services which will promote your product and act as resellers. Since fashion and technology go hand-in-hand, it’s best to find a website that supports small-time designers.
These websites are established in the public domain and act as promoters as well. Etsy is a great place to start, but you might like to brainstorm ways in which to expand beyond this.
- Price the product
There’s a reason why pricing has been included after the aforementioned points.
Your pricing should be high enough to cover costs yet be low enough to ensure it’s competitive. Costs can be set once all the requirements are met, hence, it’s wise to price your product at the end.
- Sustain the business
Congratulations! You have your own home-based T-shirt business.
In order to keep it running, it’s crucial to assess its profitability. It’s never a bad idea to pore over your financials and make changes where necessary.
As with any home-based venture, starting your T-shirt business is tricky and requires lots of hard work. Not to mention the risks involved. However, with a little care and caution, it can be extremely rewarding and your first step towards gratifying financial freedom.
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Newly middle-aged wife of 1, Mom of 3, Grandma of 2. A professional blogger who has lived in 3 places since losing her home to a house fire in October 2018 with her husband. Becky appreciates being self-employed which has allowed her to work from 'anywhere'. Life is better when you can laugh. As you can tell by her Facebook page where she keeps the humor memes going daily. Becky looks forward to the upcoming new year. It will be fun to see what 2020 holds.