How to Start a T-Shirt Business – Part One – Getting Started

Selling T-Shirts has become big business and it's a growing industry on the internet where there are already thousands of shops and websites where you can purchase almost any design or T-Shirt style imaginable. Thanks to the many T-Shirt companies that now print and create the T-Shirts for you, with no risk involved, many people have been able to start their own T-Shirt business without having to invest any money. This however, has turned the T-Shirt business online into a fierce, competitive battle against all T-Shirt shop/website owners.

There are now millions of T-Shirt websites online for customers to choose from and this is why starting your own online T-Shirt business can be stressful, disappointing, and very difficult to attract customers and make the sales that you are expecting. Now, I'm not saying it's impossible, I'm just saying it's going to take a lot of time, effort, and maybe even some money for you to get started and get customers visiting your shop/website.

There are many things you need to consider when starting your own online T-Shirt business. Simply creating a design, putting it on a blank T-Shirt, and expecting it to be a big seller isn't going to do the trick and bring you many sales, unless of course, you are a very lucky person, whom I can assure you, there aren't very many of them around. If you want to start a T-Shirt business just to make easy money fast like many other schemes on the internet claim, then you're looking at the wrong business. There is no such thing as easily making money fast and you're always going to have to put in the effort to get the results you are looking for, especially for a T-Shirt business.

Now, I'm not trying to scare you from owning your own T-Shirt business, as there are many successful individuals who have started their business in the T-Shirt industry and are doing very well. I just want to give you the facts of reality so that you're not disappointed when your business isn't doing as well as you thought it would. You may succeed at one aspect of the business, but fail in another, or you just might be that person who is successful at all the aspects of the business, which will obviously make your business a success. Either way, you're still going to have to spend the time and work very hard to achieve success.

Below I've listed some of the things you need to consider before you setup or start your own T-Shirt business:

Business Goals

Before you start your own T-Shirt business, you need to think of your business goals. These goals should be realistic and they should point you in the direction you would like your business to go and what you hope to accomplish. An example of a goal would be to have 100 visitors visiting your shop/website a day or to create two new designs a week and put them up on your website. Whatever the goals may be that you have set for yourself, you then need to strive for them and once you have accomplished your goals, then you know you're on the right track.

Passion

You have to have an interest in what you are doing or you're not going to enjoy spending the time and effort your business requires. Everybody has a passion in one thing or another whether it is creating the designs, promoting, or any other aspect of the business, but you should have an interest in it. If you're not passionate about a certain subject, then you need to think of another theme that you would be more interested in doing. Remember, you are going to spend a lot of time on the subject/theme that you choose, so if you aren't passionate about it, then you're going to get bored very fast and it's not going to be enjoyable.

Subject/Theme

This is very important in the T-Shirt industry as some subjects/themes do much better than others and receive more customers, but like all styles, they come and go. It's possible to have a general subject/theme, but it makes it harder for you to market/promote your shop/website. I suggest choosing just one subject/theme to begin with as you can start adding other subjects/themes later when you are established. You should by all means choose a subject/theme that you are knowledgeable about and have a passion for, like I mentioned under the passion paragraph.

Target Audience

Who are you targeting? Will you be targeting a certain age group, occupation, style, general public, etc. Finding out who your primary target audience will be or is, will help you with marketing/promotion. This will also help you with creating and designing your T-Shirts and shop/website to suit your target audience. Once again you can choose to go for a general audience, but this will only make it harder for you to market/promote your shop/website.

Research

You need to always do your research and find out what's new, what's not, what's in style, what kind of designs people are looking for, etc. You also need to keep up-to-date with your subject/theme as some change on a regular basis (Example: Politics). Keeping informed and up-to-date will give you the leading edge over your competitors, bring back customers time after time, and most importantly it will make sales.

Third Party shops Vs. Your Own Website

Should I invest in my own website or use a third party website to host my T-Shirt designs? If you are thinking about doing every aspect of the T-Shirt business yourself (including making the T-Shirts), then I suggest you invest in a website (not a free website hosting service), but first try out a third party website that makes the T-Shirts for you (no risk involved or investment needed) to see if you can make your business a success. Once you're confident in your business, then you can upgrade to making and owning your own website.

There are many online third party websites available on the Internet that you can choose from that will create and ship the T-Shirts to your customers (risk free with no money invested) and therefore, save you the hassle of actually having to deal with the customer aspect of your T-Shirt business. There are as many cons as there are pros when using a third party service. Some of the cons are: You don't get your own website and you are in some way connected to them, you don't make as much profit (you have to pay them to do all the work, like printing the T-Shirts and shipping), and they make all the rules (Example: not providing you with the E-mail address of your customers or refusing any designs that you create). When you sign up with one of these third party services, you are actually working for them and that includes promoting their site. The customers that purchase your T-Shirts are actually their customers meaning they have full control and every time you make a sale, they make a profit. In other words, these third parties depend on your success and if your business goes under, theirs doesn't because there'll always be someone else to take your place.

Marketing/Promoting

This will be your biggest enemy in the T-Shirt business and many businesses fail because of this. I suggest you do your research on the web for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and about how the basic search engines works, as there is a lot of information about them. Do not just resort to search engines as being your source for traffic as there are many other websites that can help bring in quality targeted traffic to your website like T-Shirt ranking sites (Example: www.T-ShirtShowdown.com).

The major search engines (Example: Google) are complicated in how they work and many people have been trying to figure out how they work for years. The search engines change their algorithms on how pages are ranked every once in a while so you're better off not focusing your attention on just getting to the top in the search engines.

If you do manage to make it to the top and are very successful, then your marketing/promotion shouldn't stop there. You have to always be marketing/promoting your site one way or another because it won't take long before someone else over takes you, simply because links can die and you need incoming links from other websites to get traffic.

T-Shirt Ranking Websites

Do ranking sites work? Yes, ranking websites are a great way to market/promote your T-Shirt designs and shops/websites. Many people don't want to waste their time searching all over the web trying to locate websites that sell specific designs that they are looking for. This is where T-Shirt ranking websites come in handy and allow customers to view thousands of different T-Shirt designs and styles from many different websites. Ranking sites are a great way of bringing many unique and different T-Shirt websites/designs together and help to bring the buyers to the sellers. www.T-ShirtShowdown.com is a great example and offers many different categories to choose from including: Animal, Artistic, Attitude, Automobile, Biker, Computer, Floral, Funny, Holiday, Kids, Logo, Misc., Movie, Music, Novelty, Occupation, Offensive, Patriotic, Pets, Political, Religious, Sports, Unusual, Vintage, and Western.

Many T-Shirt business owners think that they can just upload their T-Shirt designs to a ranking website and expect to receive sales. This is a myth and it's not true. Ranking sites, like www.T-ShirtShowdown.com, bring high quality targeted traffic to your website, but it's your T-Shirt designs in the end that have to convince the customer to buy/purchase the product. T-Shirt ranking websites only make it easier for you to market/promote your site/designs and to get the high quality targeted traffic that every business wants.

The next article in this two-part series outlines some advice, problems, and solutions from other T-Shirt businesses that they encountered when they were starting their own T-Shirt business.

Article: How To Start A T-Shirt Business, Part Two - Case Studies For Success

The Author:

http://www.T-ShirtShowdown.com - The Ultimate T-Shirt Website On The Internet. You can Rank, Vote, Comment, E-mail, Visit T-Shirt Websites, Auction, Bid, Sell, Buy, Promote/Market T-Shirts and more.

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Article Source: www.isnare.com

3 Responses

  1. Gerry

    This is fantastic article. Thank you for sharing information. I would like to share one more thing to start t-shirt business online. T-shirt design tool can help you sell custom t-shirt online easily and effectively. http://www.idesignibuy.com/t-shirt.php

  2. jane bunek

    Great article. I agree that design is more important than uploading your shirts onto another platform. One problem with building your business on another person’s platform, is what happens if there is a problem with their business, their payment model etc? Your main source of revenue is gone. We decided to build Organic Traffic to our site. The traffic and platforms are controlled as much as possible as they are branded to us, and our website is owned by us so we have total control over that. Hope people reading this take the time to build their brand and not simply just upload and hope that they make money. Keep working hard and developing great designs.

  3. july

    Really great tips, but also you will need a very good Marketing Research Tool for the T-Shirt Business, I think I found an excellent software here: http://bit.ly/Start-TShirt-Business

Leave a Reply to jane bunek