10 Tips for starting a T-Shirt business

A lot has changed in the world of t-shirt branding.

However, certain fundamental principles remain unchanged.

For example, selling t-shirts with the sole USP of quality no longer works now-a-day whereas sourcing the best quality t-shirts from the reputed t-shirt manufacturer for your brand is still an important piece to the puzzle.

Beyond selling more number of t-shirts, branding reveal a lot more about your company growth. Now-a-days, it seems that everybody is selling t-shirts. But not all are successful.

In this article, I want to show you the 10 most important tips for launching your t-shirt business.

1. Do Your Research:

Like starting a business in any industry, you need to know the basics first. Make sure you’re knowledgeable about the clothing industry before you dive in. Get an understanding of how the t-shirt business works. Perform industry analysis, Competitor analysis, and SWOT analysis. Read about how other brands became successful and model a similar strategy. Find the opportunity and create a strategy to make a strong footprint.

2. Plan Everything:

Before you get started, have a clear idea of what you are going to do. Try to decide things like what kind of t-shirts you will be selling, who your target audience is, whether your t shirts will be available only online or if you’ll eventually be aiming to sell in stores. Design a marketing strategy that involves both free and paid advertising methods to expose your brand to your target market. Compose a practical business plan to use as a guideline for operating. For starters, identify your brand’s values, mission, objectives strategies, goals, and long-term vision.

3. Know Your Competition:

You should always be familiar with the other clothing labels you’ll be competing with. If you’re starting a label based on comic t-shirts, you should watch what all the other funny t-shirt labels are doing. Keep track of things like their design variety, pricing and promotion, because it may spur some new ideas for your own business strategy. This can be done easily nowadays by reading the blogs of competitor brands and subscribing to their newsletters to keep tabs on what they’re up to. This knowledge can help you keep up.

4. Create Products People Would Actually Buy:

Find what kind of t-shirts customers truly like and create great quality t-shirts. Conduct surveys and get honest opinions from people who are within your target audience. Also get the quality feedback before you start selling it to a large audience.

5. Know the Finances:

Once you know what you plan on doing, get an idea of how much everything is going to cost you. When you start producing and selling t-shirts, keep track of all of your expenses. Get screen printing quotes from several printers and compare prices to get the best deal, without sacrificing quality. Add to the cost for labeling, hang tagging, bagging, or whatever other finishing options you might use. Don’t forget the cost of shipping envelopes, boxes, and product storage.Don’t be fooled by the hundreds of new t-shirt startups you see these days; starting a t-shirt business isn’t cheap. A lot of the costs involved should also help you decide how much you should charge for your clothing.

6. Come Up With a Promotion Strategy:

You may have the best quality t-shirt ever but if you don’t tell the world about it, it will sit on the shelves collecting all the dust. Listen, only know about your business (as you created it). No one will come to you and ask what you are offering. You have to tell them what you offer and why it is so special. Create a clear plan.

While starting your t-shirt business online, your strategy can include PPC ads, Search Engine Optimization, Content Marketing, press releases, blogs, and social networking. You can even give away promotional t-shirts with your logo for free (often times, recycled cotton helps you with promotions as it is low in manufacturing cost). If you are targeting the local market, then guerrilla marketing will also boost your sales. Find your promotion strategy.

7. Find Manufacturing Partner:

You might start your business on your own, but you should find manufacturing partners who will help you by manufacturing the premium quality t-shirts at a reasonable price. You concentrate on marketing your t-shirts to the maximum number of people while your manufacturing partner offers you the best t-shirts to meet your expectations. The success of your brand depends on the wavelength between you and your manufacturing partner.

India is one of the leaders in t-shirt manufacturing as the manufacturing cost is really low compared to other countries. Companies like Varthagam International is manufacturing the best quality t-shirts at an affordable price helping new startup brands grow in this competitive market.

8. Set Business Goals:

How many t-shirts do you plan on selling this year? How about this month or this week? A lot of people new to the business have no idea, or just don’t care. Then there’s the group of people who are too scared to set a goal out of fear that they won’t reach it. A successful business sets goals so it has something to aim for.

Set a goal and believe in your ability to reach it. As the law of attraction goes: If you know you’re going to reach it, you’re going to reach it. If you decide from this day forward that you will sell 10 t-shirts every week, and you strongly believe in your business, you’ll do everything you can to figure out a way to get those tees moving. If you don’t set a goal, well of course you’ll be stuck with a box of t-shirts you were too scared to sell.

9. Don’t Quit Because You’re Not Seeing Sales on First Day:

Getting the first real customer is a significant milestone for every entrepreneur. But sealing the deal on your first sale takes time and focus. No business gets its first sale on its first sale. The winners never quit and quitters never win. Read informative, motivational books to keep your spirits up. Frequently visit other brands’ websites and blogs, and see how much fun they’re having to remind yourself of where you want to be in a few years and how bad you really want it. Just gang on and work on your strategy. You will get sales sooner.

10. Have Fun:

Enjoy your business! Try to make a happier environment and have fun at work. Try to implement playing Saturdays and conduct friendly competitions to increase productivity. After all, this is your business. If you are not happy with (in) it, who else will be.
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