A Step by Step Guide to Starting a T-Shirt Printing Business

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T-Shirts are that regular clothing that almost all of us wear on a daily basis. Whether at bed, during the course of the day at home, venturing out from home, going out to office in a casual attire, or for sports whether on ground or in gym.

There is a huge market out there dealing with T-shirts targeting various groups of people who wear it for different occasions or needs. T-shirt printing business is very lucrative if done in planned way.

In recent while, people have also liked the newly customized T-shirts that come with special prints pertaining to latest trends, fashion statements, punchlines, quotations, internet memes, global movements on certain issues and their names printed on T-shirts with some kind of designs on it.

This recent trend has seen a quantum growth and popularity especially among the youth that likes to sport their views and likes through statements on their Tees. Most of these T-shirts are generally ordered through online platforms that give you the facility of customization allowing you to design and customize your T-shirt.

General trending T-shirts are also in the market available at stores and online platforms. Thus, it can be said that customized and printed tees have become quite popular in the USA and are in demand if offered with the right business plan.

Various Aspects of T-Shirt Printing Business

You need to understand the most important thing no matter how unique plans you have in your mind is the fact that there are many people in this business selling out tees. There are reputed multinational brands, there are companies offering affordable and quality tee, there are also companies offering customized tee.

It won’t be an easy venture for you and therefore every step you take must be thought of in advance and with precision. Since you would be starting as nascent into this business, you are certainly not a brand and therefore you must offer something unique to your customers along with quality products based on which you can build your brand.

The one important aspect in the tee printing business is the importance of a niche which you need to choose wisely as it will be the bedrock of your tee printing business. Do qualitative research on this and venture out in the market to find out what people resonate with. You can base your printing business on this once you crack the code of this business.

The quality aspect of your tee is also very important. People may like your niche but they also want comfortable, flexible and durable clothing which makes their purchase worth. This should also come keeping in mind the pricing of your tee. It should be in a range that is competitive in the market.

Lastly, your tee should also address and target certain sections of people so that it becomes easy for you to reach them with wondering about your probable customers. You can very well target youngsters, avid social media users, Instagram or Twitter users, college students and many more.

Steps to Starting Your T-Shirt Printing Business are as follows:-

#1. Making up your Mind

Make up your mind regarding your objective in this business. What are the areas that you will cover in your business. What kind of products you will offer to your customers. What tools, designs and mechanisms are required to reach the goals that you have laid down. After you define your goals, set up the roadmap for your goal in the most realistic way possible.

How will you achieve your goals? What will be the blueprint for the same? There are various aspects of printing tees like graphics, software, tools for designing and customization, types of printers, platform from where you will interact with your customers, modes of payment and modes of shipping.

All this needs to be planned. We will discuss all these aspects in steps.

#2. Selecting the Niche

This step is usually the most important step as it will give a direction to your business. T-shirt printing business generally pertains to trendy, in fashion, sensational, cool looking and personalized niches. A funny looking meme punchline or style statement would be too broad a category and one needs to get specific over the subject.

One can also take a que from social media analytics, Google searches and the general trends on social media that we see. After you have decided the niche, you can plan and make a blueprint of various designs, patterns, graphics and punchlines that you will print.

It should adorn the tee with proper selection of fonts, graphics, design, etc. 

Personal customization is also a very popular niche where your customers choose the type and design of letters and words they want to print. Some may like to print their names making it a jersey with their favorite number. Some may want to print names or designs for their business. 

Lastly, there is also a window where you can collaborate with businesses or organizations for whom you will print these tees. Like many shopping stores, franchises, schools, colleges and similar institutions have their customized dress or uniform. Partnering with them will help you in getting a big chunk of orders.

#3. Your Target Market

Can be well covered under the previous heading but to get specific, you need to define and target your market that suits your interest based on the resources you have along with the scale of your business.

Are you targeting youngsters, college and school going students, employed people under 40 years of age or something beyond that? For every section and class of people you will have to make a specific strategy. 

If you are targeting kids then your niche should reflect the desires and likes of kids which may reside in cartoons, superheroes, cute phrases, etc. 

Similarly, if your target are students of school or college then your niche should reflect their interests and what is trending on social media. Most of these youngsters who are basically teenagers and 20 someone, are active on social media and actively follow trends. 

The other target market as mentioned earlier is group of people, businesses, institutions like school, colleges, super markets, franchise business and brands. They also require customized tees that reflect the brand of their business along with specific logo and name of the person wearing it.

#4. Design Matters

Design on your tees matters. Just with a punchline, name, number or logo won’t be enough. You must draft some designs for your tees that reflect your brand’s standard, that looks elegant, cool, classic and trendy.

You need to hire people who are good at design. Deliberate on strategies regarding your design with them and reflect on it. Since you must have decided over your niche, you can make your designs keeping your target market in mind. 

Based on the age, occupation, class of people, usage type, you will have to design your tees. Would be better if you take help of professional designers. Your designs don’t need to be complex or very classy but it should have a standard and simplicity which makes your tee an everyday wear.

On your digital interface platform, you can offer options of designing and selecting different sets of designs which will be customised by your customers using online tools for design. 

#5. Quality does Matter

Whether you are selling your tees at cheap rates or moderate rates, quality does matter. Especially when your customer is purchasing a customized tee from you, it is obvious that it will be close to their heart. Thus, it also means that they will wear it regularly and would expect that the tee remains perfect for a good period of time.

Ensure that the quality of the textile you are using to weave your tee has a standard which gives comfort, is flexible and stretchable along with durability. You tee shouldn’t get stretched or shrunk after one wash and usage. 

Also care about the printing, designing and material used for printing. There shouldn’t be cracks in the pattern nor should the color of the tee fade. At least everything should remain intact for a year.

The only thing that will be challenging for you while mulling over the quality of tee is the pricing. Quality of cloth, standard of design and printing impacts the pricing as you will have to pay more for procuring base tees, printers, and printing material along with designs. 

#6. The Printing and the Printers

Quality printing is a must for your T-shirt printing business as it is the center point of your tee business. A quality print is one whose design remains intact without any crack, fade or swell in the print. 

Standard printing applied on cloth is a bit expensive and will require you to spend a bit more amount of your profit since you will price your product at a decent rate.

There are various methods of t-shirt printing which can be summed as following:

  1. Screen Printing
  2. Heat Transfer Printing
  3. Direct to Garment Printing

Screen Printing:

Screen printing is an old and very trusted method of printing for long lasting prints that are durable. It is a labor-intensive printing which can be profitable when printed at large scale. It also becomes a bit complex when one has to print using various colors. The print from this method is simple and cannot be used for complex printings.

Heat Transfer Method:

Through this method, you can easily print designs on the tees by sharing the design from your computer to your printer. It is a good choice for specific designs and demands on an order-to-order basis. Easy and efficient prints using your computer. 

This heat transfer method is good to print different colors with ease and less time consumption. Another aspect of this printing is the low standard and durability of prints on tees that don’t stand for longer time.

There is a quality issue along with the heavy cost and maintenance of printing machines with involvement of labor during the whole process thus consuming time overall.

Direct to Garment:

It is similar to your home printers using similar mechanisms to print tees with the same level of quality and accuracy like an inkjet printer. It is also good while printing colored prints with less time consumption and higher accuracy with higher sustainability and quality.

It is at par with screen printing and even better than heat transfer as it gives quality prints. Unlike screen printers, there is almost no setup cost involved in this with full accuracy, color options and efficiency. 

The big disadvantage with this is that you cannot print tees at a bigger volume and in quick time. It is better for small volumes and specific designs.

The Interface Platform:

In order to connect with the audience, you need your own interface platform like your website or app. You can very well avail your products on e-com stores but for customized tees you need your own website.

Your website should be dynamic with various tools equipped for designing. It should more or less function like an e-com website from where people can order tees directly. For this you will also need to set up a payment gateway and method.

Lastly, you will also be required to ship the orders placed. This is not a tough task as you can contact your local courier company. If you have specified the number of shipments then there are various plans for this reducing your shipment cost.

Conclusion:

In order to build your tee printing business, you need to play smart. In a limited amount of capital investment, you can manage to make returns by tapping on the potential opportunities. 

Use the power of social media to engage with customers, you can advertise your business on social media platforms in a limited budget. To end this article, the final word should be thorough planning with smart play. It is not that hard!

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