A t-shirt business is one of the best ideas if you are looking to work on the internet. It does not take a lot of resources initially, you can treat it as a side hustle, most of it can be automated, and there are almost no risks involved. Nothing but advantages, correct?
The internet is full of encouraging articles about such an idea. One of the best examples is Printify’s recently published guide on How to start a print on demand business in 2019, covering more complicated parts. In fact, their whole website is one perfect source for print on demand.
Nevertheless, before you move on to more difficult stuff, start from the basics which are covered in this article.
Finding Your Niche
As you can expect, plenty of other t-shirts stores are out there already, making thousands of dollars every month. You need to come up with an idea or two which makes you stand out. Copying established brands will get you nowhere.
Google Trends, social media, Reddit, and the internet, in general, are the perfect way to start. Look at what is coming next. Perhaps a new movie franchise is about to get launched, or a famous writer is about to finish his long-awaited novel? The sooner you jump in on such ideas, the easier it will be to plan your next move.
If you have the skills to draw and edit yourself, that is great. However, very few individuals who are thinking about starting a t-shirt business will be capable of creating designs themselves.
Hiring someone and striking a partnership deal is no problem. You can find plenty of freelancers on sites like Fiverr and UpWork.
There are two ways you can do this. The first one is by purchasing a printing machine yourself and taking care of the whole process. The second method is using a service that will do almost everything for you.
It is hard to find someone who is willing to go with the first option simply because there is too much work and risks involved. And printing equipment costs a lot of money.
Instead, you should look for the best t-shirt dropshipping services.
Dropshipping and the Best Services
Dropshipping has plenty of advantages:
- You don’t have to ship and fulfill orders.
- You don’t have to be in charge of other people.
- You won’t lose money due to unsold merchandise.
- You don’t have to manage or purchase your own inventory.
First of all, you will need to pick print on demand dropshipping services. There are quite a few choices, but Printify is definitely the safest option of them all as it offers automation and can connect you with hundreds of manufacturers worldwide.
As for the e-commerce platform, nothing can hold a candle to Shopify. The platform has a slick UI and integration. It will not take more than a couple of days to master using it.
What Your Website Needs
A website will be the main hub for making money. There are quite a few things that you need to include. Those would be:
- An appropriate theme which is fashionable, unique, perhaps minimalistic.
- Your name and logo to showcase your brand and help visitors recognize you.
- High-quality photos of t-shirts and people wearing them.
- Clear call-to-action button.
- Social media buttons and search bar.
A good website is one which is easy to navigate and welcomes its customers. Creating something like that on the first try is more or less impossible, but as long as you cover the basics and make tweaks along the way, you should be fine.
All the fun starts once the website is up and running and has t-shirts ready to be sold. Your next step is driving traffic and making visitors purchase your merchandise.
There are two types of traffic – organic and non-organic. Organic traffic comes from search engines like Google when someone enters a keyword and gets results. SEO is crucial for any business, and you should consider working on that part quite a lot.
Non-organic traffic comes from sources like social media, forums, etc. It should be a no-brainer that you need to get in as many channels as possible. Diverse traffic means more sales.
The Future of Your Store
Do not sleep on your laurels when things pick up and you start making money. Like any other businesses, t-shirt sales are changing all the time, and you need to keep up with the industry’s trends.
Start growing your email list, try other marketplaces, send out free t-shirt samples to your best customers, ask for feedback and do everything else you can to ensure that your business is thriving, not stagnating.
To sum everything up, an e-commerce venture with t-shirts is definitely one of the most interesting and challenging projects that you can start. However, the feeling you get once it starts to fully operate is fantastic, and every drop of sweat that you have put into this will be well worth it.