A T shirt is not just another piece of casual wear, but it’s a kind of clothing that reflects your identity, personality, and interests. T shirts have become so popular now, that almost every upcoming entrepreneur thinks, “how to start a Tshirt business”.
Doesn’t matter whether you are planning to start your main business or pursue it just as a side hustle, an online T shirt business can fit the bill for both options. Moreover, since the investment required to start a Tshirt business is really low, the competition you would be facing will be rather high.
And that is why we will tell you all about how to start a Tshirt business from home here. Despite the competition, if you come up with unique designs, target the right audience, build your brand, and so on, you could end up turning your tshirt business into a highly successful venture.
#1 Find a Niche & Create Your Tshirt Printing Business Plan
The first step in “how to start a Tshirt business” is finding a niche. There are millions of tshirt designs out there, and if you try to print anything and everything, your brand will just drown in the crowd.
If you want your tshirts to stand out, you will need to find a specific niche you want to cater to. You can also include your personal interest areas to help find a niche.
For instance, if you are into pop culture or are a fan of witty statements, you can revolve your tshirt designs around them. And automatically you will be targeting a niche, as the people who have similar interests will get attracted towards such tshirts. Since designing tshirts is a very creative job, the more you involve your personal interests, the better will your tshirts be.
Besides, you would also need a T shirt printing business plan before you go ahead. Starting any business might be a little overwhelming, and if you plan things in advance, they can help you tackle many issues that pop up in the process.
#2 Build Your Online Store
The next thing you would need to start an online tshirt business is your online store. Having a professional website creates a sense of authenticity in the minds of your potential customers and gives them the trust they need to buy from you.
Your eCommerce store will play an important role in creating your brand’s identity and telling your customers what your tshirts are all about. You will also need to choose a platform that lets you integrate your store with print on demand services, as this is the best business model to start a tshirt business from home.
Additionally, integration with social media channels like Instagram and Facebook, and sales channels like eBay and Amazon, is a plus. There are various platforms that can help you build your online store, and one of them is Shopify, with the help of which you can start your Shopify T shirt business, and integrate it with some of the best print on demand services.
#3 Integrate With A Print On Demand Service
Print on demand is a business model where you can sell custom printed products without going through the hassle of printing, managing, fulfilling, or shipping your products yourself.
All you need to do is partner up with a print on demand service, and they will take care of it. You need to integrate it into your eCommerce store, where you will showcase your products and their designs, take the orders and payments, and then let your print on demand service do the rest.
If you have a Shopify Tshirt business, then you can easily integrate it with such services like Printify and Printful, which also have mockup generators. These tools allow you to place your designs on the tshirts virtually, and get an idea how they will look on models. You can also use these product images to showcase exactly what your customers are planning to buy from your store, and how they will look on them.
If you have been wondering how to start a Tshirt business from home, this model is the best for you. Because you won’t need to worry about buying plain tshirts, getting them printed, managing the inventory, and shipping it to your customers.
You can run your online tshirt business right from the comfort of your home, and focus on the designs and building your brand. And as this model cuts down the huge initial investment that you would require otherwise, you can start Tshirt business with very little money.
#4 Create Stunning Designs
Go for simple designs but trendy ones, that tell a store, convey a message or display your personality to attract people. Brainstorm ideas related to your niche, and once you have a few designs on paper, get ready to create them on drawing apps.
Canva and Procreate are great apps to create designs on phones and tabs, and for PCs, you can use Adobe Photoshop or Corel Draw. If you are full of creativity and have an artist inside you, this is the time to bring it out.
But you need not worry if you are not an artist yourself. You can always work with professional graphic designers to design your tshirts by giving an image to your thoughts. And if you don’t know any, you can find someone through amazing platforms like Fiverr, Upwork, Behance, Dribbble, and so on.
Before you go ahead with them, make sure to run a small test with your friends and family, so that you know which ones the audience seems to like the best. Once ready, you can even upload these images on your print on demand service platforms, and that’s it.
#5 Pick A Printing Technique
Even if you are starting an online Tshirt business, you will need to learn about the various printing techniques out there, and pick the right one for your tshirts. Here they are:
- Heat transfer – This is a great option for entrepreneurs who want to print their designs themselves, and the most common heat transfer is Plastisol Transfer. In this method, the design is printed on high-quality release paper with a professional printer and then printed on the Tshirt with the help of a heat press.
- Screen printing – When the same design needs to be printed on a large quantity of Tshirts, this method is preferable. Stencil-like mesh screens are used to paint the designs on the Tshirts layer by layer, where each layer is of a single color. For various colors, multiple layers can be added, but since that can be quite labor-intensive, it would raise your costs as well.
- DTG – DTG or direct to garment is the most popular method for printing designs on Tshirts at present, which uses an inkjet printer. This method uses the same process for both small and large quantities of Tshirts and is ideal for detailed and complex designs.
- All over print (Sublimated) – To create a unique design, you might want to print all over your Tshirts, even outside the seams and this method allows you to do that. But keep in mind that you won’t get this option with all print of demand services.
- Embroidery – Sometimes embroidery is what you need to make your designs stand out. Even though it will limit you with color and sizes, it just might be what your design needs. Print of demand services like Printify and Printful offer embroidery options as well.
#6 Choose The Right Material
Choosing the right material for your Tshirts is just as important as picking the right technique for printing. The material and how well the design is printed are both going to define the quality of your Tshirts together, and no one would want to buy a low-quality Tshirt from you.
A great way to pick the right material is by sampling your Tshirts. You can do that in both cases, whether using print on demand or sourcing your own Tshirts. You can compare the samples to see which one you would like for your customers and go with that.
Another great way is to test them out. Use it yourself, and ask your friends and family to use it as well. You can see how the final print is looking, how comfortable it is to wear, does it shrink or change after a wash, and so on.
#7 Market Your Online Tshirt Business
One of the most important steps of every business is to market it. If you don’t get it out there in front of people, then who is going to buy from you, right?
And since your question is “how to start a Tshirt business from home”, you need to find ways to market it from home itself. You need to create a well-planned digital marketing strategy that will help you promote your business in 360 degrees.
We already told you above that you would need to have a website to act as a storefront for your online Tshirt business. Now your marketing would start from there itself.
You need to focus on how you can get your website in front of people. The best way to do that is to optimize it for search engines. You need to fill your website with relevant keywords, so that whenever someone searches for T shirts like yours, Google will show them your website.
You can even start blog writing on relevant topics, like how to wear Tshirts to parties, what kinds of Tshirts are trending, and even broader topics like fashion trends in general. These will help you in incorporating more trending keywords, that will again help you reach your customers through SEO.
Social media is another great platform where you can promote your Tshirts. Having an account on popular social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and more, is a must. They will help you in reaching a different set of audience. If you’re using a link-in-bio tool to create a master link for your social media bios, consider getting a free branded link from Linklab that auto-fowards to it. It’ll help in turning a generic and uninspiring link-in-bio to a branded asset that can increase recall for your brand.
Besides just creating and posting content on social media, you can also tie up with fashion influencers who are popular in your country or state. When they vouch for your T shirts, their followers are sure to follow. Influencer marketing is one of the most effective ways to promote products, especially in the fashion industry.
That is because people want to look like celebrities and famous influencers out there, and the best way to do that is to dress as they do. And all it costs you is a reasonable amount or barter for a couple of Tshirts of yours.
Email marketing is another great mode where all you need to do is build an email subscriber list, and send them emails from time to time. These emails could be about new launches, special offers, custom designs, or anything else you want.
The idea is to keep reminding your potential audience about your brand and your super cool Tshirts. And you can always use email marketing tools to automate the process and save yourself from the manual hassle.
While email marketing seems like a very formal and traditional form of digital marketing, it’s not completely ineffective. In fact, the good part about using it is that it can help you attract the kind of audience that you won’t get through the other modes mentioned above.
For instance, there are people who find social media to be a waste of time, but never forget to check their emails. On the contrary, there are also people who might find going through their emails boring, but don’t mind spending hours on their social media handles every day.
And that is why we suggest that you go for a 360-degree digital marketing strategy, so that you tap every kind of audience that is there, and get the most out of your efforts.
With this article, we wanted to help every budding entrepreneur wondering, “how to start a Tshirt business from home”. Even if you already have a business, and want to start an online Tshirt business on the side, this article would have helped in understanding how to go about it. If you’re for a catchy name for your tshirt business, try Namify’s Tshirt Business Name Generator.
Even though it might seem overwhelming at first, if you start with good planning, and tread carefully step by step like we mentioned above, in no time you will have a successful T Shirt business of your own. So don’t waste any more time, and go sell your Tshirts!