So you’re thinking of becoming an entrepreneur, are you? If you’re not sure where to start with your new custom print shirt business idea, you’ve got a few things to consider. Follow these easy steps and suggestions and your new custom print shirt business will be off and running quickly.
Research the market. Your best chance at starting a successful custom print shirt business is to find a uniquely-themed t-shirt. Find a style or shirt idea that would be popular, but hasn't hit the mainstream yet. You can ask friends and family about ideas you have for t-shirts, and get their feedback on whether they think your shirt idea would be popular. Political shirts, puns on well-known phrases, or adult-sized versions of childhood TV show shirts have all been successful custom t-shirt ventures in the past.
Get the right equipment. When you start out, you probably won't have much cash flow. The least equipment you'll need to start with is an ink-jet printer and an iron. Of course, you'll need lots of pain t-shirts too, and it's good to offer a variety of styles of shirt as well (long sleeved, short sleeves, v-neck, etc.). Later on, you'll want to invest in custom print shirt software for your computer, so you can streamline your designs. A heat press is definitely a necessity if you plan on mass producing your shirts in the long run.
Find a space to work from. Lots of custom print shirt businesses start in garages or basements. Don't be ashamed if yours does too. It's actually a smart way to ensure that your business has potential before investing in a building or rental space to work from. Just make sure that you have a dedicated space and an address that your customers can reach you at. (You'll need this for tax purposes as well, once you register your business.)
Market your ideas. You're not going to sell too many custom t-shirts if no one knows you have them for sale. You need to invest a little time and money in marketing your new business. Word of mouth is likely the cheapest approach at first. But to be sure, you'll likely want to put up a sign at your place of business. Take out an ad in the local paper and consider distributing flyers to local clubs or teams that may have an interest in purchasing custom shirts.
Sell, sell, sell. The final step in starting a custom print shirt business is to get your product out there. You can likely sell a few shirts on EBay without much trouble. But consider local artisan markets and street fairs where crowds flow frequently. These usually have a fee to set up a booth, but the costs are minimal when you consider your profit potential. Explore all avenues of selling your custom print t-shirts, and you'll soon discover which approach gains you the best profits.
With a little time and effort, you will be able to start your own custom print shirt business. Time and money that is properly invested now should grant you great returns as your business continues to grow and prosper; continuing education classes in business will help you keep an edge in this competitive field. Good luck!