Have you dreamt of starting a T-shirt business but don’t know how? This quick step-by-step guide will teach you how to do just that and from the comfort of your own home.
Step 1: Find a print on demand service
Before we get into what a print-on-demand service is, let’s break down the basics. A print-on-demand model for a T-shirt business essentially means you hold no inventory and don’t create any physical products until someone places an order.
This model works for several reasons—you do not need a huge capital to start, you do not need to stock inventory, and you do not have to worry if products don’t sell.
We will discuss the benefits of the print-on-demand model towards the end but for now, what you need to know is that a print-on-demand service helps you take orders and fulfill them while you are only responsible for the creative decisions.
There are several services that you can try but make sure to check if they are operational in your country or the country that your target audience resides in. You can make your own shirt with Printify.com that is available globally and has a wide range of customizations built-in to the platform.
Step 2: Design your t-shirts
Once you figure out which service provider you will use for your business, it is time to think about the creative decisions. What do you want to do differently with your T-shirts? It is important to have a memorable and unique product since you are in a red ocean. A red ocean is a market segment or industry that is saturated.
Since you will have a lot of competitors, your designs will have to be disruptive. You can also be disruptive in your marketing strategy, which we will get to next but for now, think about your designs carefully.
If you are not good with creative assets, you can also hire a designer. Have them create assets and make sure that you have an agreement with them so that you can use their designs for your T-shirts without worrying about a copyright claim later.
If you plan on designing yourself, look at what your competitors are doing, find trending products, and base your designs on that.
Step 3: Create a marketing strategy
A business without a marketing plan is a hobby. If you want to acquire customers that are beyond just friends and family, you need to have a solid marketing strategy.
Be very specific about the goals and targets you set. Say you set a revenue goal of $1000 the first month and ramp it up slowly. Or, you want to sell to X customers the first month and lower your customer acquisition cost.
Your pricing is a key aspect of your marketing. Price too low, and you won’t make a profit. If the price is too high, you won’t be able to keep up with the competition.
The other aspect you have to keep in mind is your distribution strategy. How are you going to tell people about your business? Social media is a good tool for eCommerce in general and small businesses.
Make sure you are active on the platform that your target audience uses. For instance, if you are targeting millennials and Gen Z, you should be on TikTok and Instagram. If your target audience is older, you may want to try Facebook instead.
Once you start making a profit, you should think about leveraging social media ads as well. Facebook has introduced Shops on WhatsApp, and Instagram now has Reel ads.
Step 4: Execute the strategy
Once you cement your strategy, focus on execution. Create mockups of your design for social media or a website (if you have one). Add the integration from Printify or any other print-on-demand service you choose to your website so that it can take orders automatically.
Experiment with designs and release some limited stocks to create FOMO (fear of missing out). You may even want to think about partnering up with some niche influencers or college athletes to promote your store. In the initial months, you will have to constantly experiment and refine your strategy in accordance with the results.
Also Read: How To Improve Your Amazon Store Reputation?
Benefits of choosing a print on demand service
When we first introduced the print-on-demand model, you may have been confused. You can buy plain T-shirts and DIY the screen printing method, but there are a few problems with that. One is that it requires a lot of effort, and your designs may not look consistent.
Printing your own shirts means you also have to invest in the raw material and ship the orders yourself.
A print-on-demand service frees you up to do more of what you need to grow – marketing and design. From manufacturing to delivery, the print-on-demand service takes care of everything in between.