Thinking of starting a t-shirt business? Great!
You may have great ideas for your t-shirts but maybe you have no clue regarding everything else. I felt the same way when I was starting out. So, I did lots of research on the business both online and by talking to people that were already in the business.
Looking back now, I am glad that I didn’t go into the business blindly.
Many entrepreneurs who went into t-shirt printing at around the same time failed soon afterwards but my business prevailed. Why? Insight.
The danger in diving into commercial t-shirt printing without a proper plan is that you set yourself up for failure. It’s like shooting into the dark. So, with this post, I will be giving you valuable tips on how to come up with a great t-shirt printing strategy.
Here’s how to start the business in a way that will be cost effective and at the same time set up for success.
I take it that you have already decided to go into t-shirt printing.
Now, if you haven’t done it yet, now is the time to brainstorm about possible ideas for the t-shirts.
Do you want graphics or texts on the t-shirts? Or, maybe both text and graphic?
Looking to make design t-shirts for men or women? Or, babies maybe? Or, do you want to target people across all age groups and genders?
Do you want to sell color t-shirts or black and white ones or both?
These are some of the questions that you need to have answers for. You can have a friend help you out. Don’t forget to look at consumer trends and go with the most marketable/popular options.
Now that you have great ideas for your t-shirts, now would be a good time to think about your ideal customer. The question to answer here is, “Who do I want to sell my t-shirts to?”
Be very specific when answering this question.
Saying “men between the age of 18 and 55” isn’t answering the question properly.Consider digging deeper and find your ideal niche.
For example, you can target skateboarders, football team fans, grandpas, first-time dads, and so on.
The truth is, the possibilities are limitless. The more specific you get when deciding on your target group, the easier it will be for you to market your t-shirts.
How big do you want your firm to be? Do you want it to be a sole proprietorship, a partnership, an LLC or a corporation?
This depends on your capital and knowledge. If you have limited finances, I suggest taking it slow. Start out as a sole proprietorship. As your sales grow, you can change your structure to a company.
However, if you have a huge capital, you can start a company.
After thinking of the business structure, consult with a local legal practitioner on what documents and licenses you will be needing to ensure that you’re on the right side of the law.
Another factor you might want to consider is the type of sales you’re targeting. Do you want to be a wholesaler, a retailer or both?
When people go into t-shirt printing for the first time, they normally purchase blank t-shirts from manufacturers rather than manufacturing their own.
This way, they are able to provide their customers with a range of colors, styles, and sizes without spending too much money in production.
Look for a good manufacturer and strike a deal with them. Fortunately, you can find many of them online; don’t hesitate to ask for quantity discounts.
Maybe you want to go into t-shirt printing because you love heat pressing or screen-printing and have all the equipment needed to do the job.
Or, maybe you have design skills but don’t want to print the t-shirts. In this case, you can just search the internet for a good t-shirt printer in your area and discuss your needs with them. You will take care of the designs while they will deal with the printing for a charge.
One of them most crucial factors you should consider when determining prices for your t-shirts is the production cost.
Be sure to include costs for:
If you’re selling them through middlemen, you might want to lower the price a bit to accommodate these middlemen’s cut.
The most important thing here is to set a price that covers all the costs and leaves some profit for you. You can look at the pricing policy of similar businesses and draft your prices from there.
Also Recommended: How Much Does a Heat Press Machine Cost?
When I first went into the business, I started out by storing my t-shirts in my garage. Some people store them in their basement, home office or even in the closets they don’t use.
Do you enjoy packing the t-shirts and shipping them to your customers? Operating the business from your home is the perfect way. You can ship them via post.
On the other hand, if you don’t like that or just don’t have the time or adequate storage space at home, you can hire a fulfillment house. It will take charge of the storage, packaging, and delivery for a fee.
If you’re looking to particularly sell the t-shirts directly to the consumer, the very first thing you want to do is set up a business website and social media accounts. You should also make some postcards to market your business.
Ensure your website supports e-commerce so your customers can make payments directly through the website. Also, hire a good photographer to showcase great samples on your site.
Another great way of creating awareness for your business would be target local events like fundraisings and street fairs.
If you’re setting up a wholesale business, focus on stores that sell to your target market. These stores can be boutiques, t-shirt shops, gift shops, and so on.
The first stores you should be focusing on are the ones in your local area. Visit them and strike deals with them. Don’t forget to take a few business cards and samples with you.
Just having a website doesn’t mean that people will start flocking in there. You have got to work with an SEO expert to optimize that site in a way that people can find it easily.
Do backlinking with relevant sites. If you spot a blog or forum that is relevant to your business, take part in the discussions and throw something about your site in there. Do this intelligently and in a way that is helpful to the audience without appearing salesy.
Wear your design t-shirts as frequently as possible. This is one of the best ways of giving them some exposure. Tell the people in your circle (friends, family, colleagues) about your new business and ask them to pass the message to the people in their circles.
Did you find this information helpful? Why not share it with the people in your circle? Feel free to leave a comment.
Today, I will show you the best method of making vinyl decals at home. You can use these for sticking stuff onto. For instance, you can use the vinyl decals for masking during painting.
They’re also quite handy for t-shirt printing using the heat transfer method.
Frustrated with the high costs of online decals? This guide is for you.
Are you a DIY fanatic? This is for you too.
Let’s get down to it, shall we?
The Ingredients you’ll need:
Something else you might need is a little patience and dedication to the job.
Here are the steps to follow:
Use photoshop or any good photo editor to create a cool design and print it out.
After printing the design, consider holding it up to the material you’re looking to stick it onto. This helps ensure you have the appropriate size with a great placing.
Doing a multiple-layer design? You might want to consider printing 2 of the same image. You can also print each layer separately, but then, it will feel like you’re screen-printing.
Cut out a piece of the colored vinyl. Let it be about a ½ inch larger than your design.
Is your vinyl too curly? Try taping it to your cutting surface. But, if it’s not too curly, there’s no need to tape it down as that allows you to manipulate the project more during the cutting process.
Is there a huge empty space in the design? Cut it out and tape the edges.
As you begin cutting, the paper might move a lot but if you have many anchor points, you won’t face this problem. However, don’t use too much tape as that might make it more difficult to remove the tape once you’re done.
This part might be a little tedious. It’s okay to take a break once in a while during the cutting process.
Contrary to what most of us imagine, the smaller decals are the ones that are harder to cut, and they take more time than the larger ones. That’s because they have a higher degree of fine details and the working space is too squeezed.
This part normally presents a daunting task for most people because they don’t know what parts to pick out and what parts to leave.
If you made your cuts right, the process will be seamless. Just pick an outside piece or a negative space to start off from, and the rest will fall into place.
Use the tweezers to pick out the design. The corners provide you with the easiest parts to grab from.
After picking your design, it’s time to make rectifications. Line up the straight lines and trim the edges.
To avoid distortion, it’s important that you ensure the vinyl decal is level when you’re applying the tape.
Begin at one end and roll down the tape slowly. Use your fingers to trail the tape to ensure that there aren’t any bubbles or creases.
Once the tape is in place, trim it to around a ½ inch from the decal and leave one of the ends overlapping. This makes taking the backing off easy.
The first thing you’ve got to do is clean the surface you’re putting it to.
Now, place the template and secure the side with the overlapped tape. You can use a pencil to mark the opposite side as a guide.
Ensure the tap overlay is big enough to hold the template in place so it doesn’t move too much when taking the backing off.
As soon as the template is in the right spot on the surface, take off the backing. Make sure it comes out evenly to minimize the creation of bubbles. When removing the backing, press the decal firmly to ensure it’s properly.
Rub the decal all over, ensuring that every piece is well covered.
Take off the tape, peeling it at angle of 180°. Smaller pieces of the design might stick to the tape. Bigger pieces, on the other hand, might present a bubbling problem. To deal with this problem, try spraying a mild soap solution on the surface before you apply the decal.
The trick makes it easy to brush out bubbles and make placement adjustments.
Are there some stubborn creases? Just slice them and let them overlap one another to make the decal level.
Now, rub the decal for the last time to ensure each piece is in place.
And, you’re all done!
That, my friends, is how you make decals easily at home. By following these easy steps, you no longer have to waste cash buying online vinyl decals. This can be very helpful if you’re looking to minimize your heat pressing costs and maximize your profits.
Remember that the cutting process is the most important of them all. You need to ensure those cuts are straight and in line with the design. Getting the right depth might not be very straightforward at first but with time, you will get it.
It’s all about practice.
Did you find this guide helpful? Why not share it with those you know can benefit from the knowledge you’ve gained here?
Feel free to leave a comment.
Placing various designs on a t-shirt, spices up its plain, ordinary looks and transforms it into a unique, fashionable garment. This is something those t-shirt lovers are increasingly looking for these days, and it’s what makes t-shirt printing more lucrative than ever before.
Therefore, if you’re planning on starting a t-shirt printing business, don’t let any doubts hold you back. However, there are so many methods of printing t-shirts.
Therefore, when getting into the business, you might get confused regarding what method to use. You don’t want to use a method that doesn’t fit your or your customers’ needs.
That is why I have composed this guide. In a few moments, you will discover the most common t-shirt printing methods. I will break things down for you so you can easily understand these methods. I will include their pros and cons and help you figure out what method suits you.
By the time you’re done reading this post, you will have a vivid idea of what different t-shirt printing methods entail and know which one to use for your business.
I thought we should start with the oldest and most common method.
Though invented in the ancient times, screen printing is still one of the most preferred methods, as it helps create vibrant, smooth and soft designs that last long. Of course, it has advanced over the years.
As a matter of fact, you can count on this method for all your needs, including placing text and graphic designs, and working on huge orders.
With this method, you normally have to create a template (also known as a stencil), which is held in place by a nylon mesh screen.
You then have to spread the ink all over the screen using a squeegee. In the final steps, you need to take the screen off the design, then cure and dry the design.
Looking to go large scale? Screen printing is an ideal option. But, if you’re looking to do small-scale printing, this method will not be very viable.
That’s because it needs you to create a different screen for each color, and that’s not very fast or cost-efficient for small orders.
Ever seen a t-shirt with printings all over it? They most probably used the sublimation method to place those printings.
Sublimation is best suited for doing over sized printings. If you’re looking to transform the entire t-shirt into a piece of art, sublimation is the way to go.
With this method, you can do a galaxy print or place repeated patterns on the t-shirt.
However, sublimation works properly on 100% polyester t-shirts only.
DTG is a relatively new t-shirt printing technique. It entails printing on the t-shirt directly rather than creating a template and then transferring the design to the t-shirt.
Got no clue as to how it works? Picture a huge flatbed printer where you can feed a t-shirt on a conveyer belt and get it printed.
To do DTG printing, you’ll need to get a DTG printer. The printer is quite costly, and thus the method is not very viable for small-scale printing.
However, if you’re planning to print lots of t-shirts quickly, DTG makes the perfect method for you.
DTG’s printings are of excellent quality (but of lesser quality than those of screen printing). With DTG, you’ll have a soft printing, and you can do many colors.
The method works best when printing on white apparels. It works on dark ones too but in a pretty challenging process that requires mastering.
With this method, you cutspecial, soft vinyl professionally with the CAD cutter and a software program. Then, you print the vinyl onto the t-shirts through heat pressing.
Looking to do large orders with different types of fabric? CAD cut vinyl printing will definitely come in handy.
The method allows you to layer the vinyl and thus makes printing different colors possible.
The best thing about this method is that it delivers vibrant designs.
It’s well suited for slogans, text, and small graphics. However, unlike sublimation printing, CAD cut vinyl printing is not suitable for over sized printings.
The transfer paper method entails permanent transfer of an image from one surface to another.
First, you print an image on a transfer paper. Then, you use a good heat press machine to transfer that image to the t-shirt.
Originally, it was employed in decorating ceramics but today, the transfer paper method is used in printing on t-shirts and other apparels.
Unlike most other methods, the technique utilizes pressure and heat to set the design on the shirt.
As you have discovered, there are many techniques you can use to print t-shirts. Also, as illustrated above, each of these techniques comes with its unique advantages and drawbacks.
Here’s what you need to do: assess your t-shirt printing needs. Do you want to go into small-scale or large-scale printing? Do you have the time to learn a complicated method that might turn out pretty rewarding? Do you have the cash to invest in an expensive printing machine?
Those are some of the questions you need to answer.
For instance, with a huge capital and the intention of going into large-scale printing, I would go for DTG. However, with limited capital and the intention of going into small-scale printing, I would go for the transfer paper method, which uses heat pressing.