What to think about when: Selling T-Shirts

Is starting a t-shirt business a good idea?

The short answer is yes. Creating custom t-shirts has become an increasingly popular idea for creatives to show off their designs and as an affordable way to start their own clothing business. Not only are t-shirts cheap to buy, with a great space to place a cool design, it’s also something pretty much every consumer wears. They can be a sustainable product and a great promo idea.

That doesn’t mean it’s easy to achieve success while selling custom shirts. In order to create a booming start-up by designing t-shirts, you must decide who you’re going to sell to, how to print, and how you will distribute this cool product. In this article, we will do exactly that. We’re going to tell you what you need to think about before you commit to starting your own t-shirt business. 

Who should I try and sell my t-shirts to?

That’s a good question. While t-shirts are as mainstream as they get, in order to make your’s standout, you should try and make them unique, and fit a certain category. There are three main sectors you should consider when designing and promoting your new startup. 
If you have a passion for design, that’s great. You can try and design cool prints to suit a sector of the consumer market. A good place to start is if you have a hobby or interest which you could incorporate into the design of your shirt. If you’re passionate about something, chances are someone else will be too. This can be a great place to start as you build up experience and see what’s popular. 
While designing t-shirts for the general public can deliver start-up success, going into more niche fields can help set you apart from the competition. Using t-shirts as cool promo products is a great way to achieve profitability from selling these items. By discovering companies that may want to market their company, or their products, through t-shirts should be an option you really consider. 

Another top tip if it’s business shirts you’re looking to sell, is finding companies that may want custom-designed tees for their staff. Companies are increasingly using this idea to help create a united team, especially in the customer service industry. Help these companies with a design, and delivering these custom products can help your new company be really popular within the business community. 

Sounds great! What material is best?

Cotton is always a popular choice and can make your business be one that becomes recognized for its high-quality design. To really stand out, you can use recycled and/or environmentally friendly materials. Not only does this help protect mother nature, but can help portray your company in a positive light - something that can be really useful when consumers decide whether to pick your company or a competitor. 

At Purpose Printery, we pride ourselves on doing our bit to help protect the environment as well as supporting the local community. That’s why lots of our products are made using recycled materials. That includes our t-shirt range. Take our, 'Allmade' Unisex Tri-Blend Tee’. They are made with up to six recycled plastic water bottles. How cool is that?! 


Custom T-shirtThink of the possibilities… the 'Allmade' Unisex Tri-Blend Tee’ is perfect for your design and the environment.

How should I print my designs?

It can be tempting to go to a traditional printing company. This is where you are often encouraged to buy in bulk, with a discount applied for doing so. This is a good option if you have a big, guaranteed order you need to ship. 
Another way is to print on demand (POD). This is great for businesses striving for start-up success. Instead of printing in vast quantities (which can cause waste and logistical nightmares), POD will only print what’s ordered. This can be a great way to test what products are popular without having to risk buying large quantities of your design. By delivering straight to the consumer, warehouse costs are also minimal. For more information on how POD can be the tool you need to achieve start-up success, we recommend reading this article

Old Printer

Print on demand makes traditional printing methods seem a bit old fashioned.


Okay, I have my designed t-shirts. How do I distribute them?

This depends on who you are selling to. If you are selling direct to the consumer, Shopify and Etsy are great avenues to explore as you get started. They are a great way to interact with your customers and see what custom prints are popular. Because these options don’t require a physical store, costs can be kept low. By using Purpose Printery’s POD system in conjunction with these stores, your customers can order your products and they will be shipped directly to them. It really is the easiest way to achieve startup success as a new business. 
If you are looking at supplying businesses with custom shirts, you can try and promote your start-up at business fairs and events. A great way to attract customers is to use an event banner to signal your professionalism and to tell everyone: this is the store you need to visit! 

Purpose Printery makes some truly awesome banners, including the Deluxe Retractable Banner Stand. This can be the perfect solution for your business. It’s easily portable so you can travel and promote your business easily and effectively. 

Retractable Banner

Roll up, roll up, Purpose Printery’s Deluxe Retractable Banner Stand is here

I’ll take ten! Anything else I need to know? 

Just remember to fully research and be aware of all risks when starting your business. Fully plan your idea and see which sector is best to achieve start-up success by selling your custom tees. 
We hope that you have discovered some cool promo products while reading this article. To see Purpose Printery’s full range of products visit here. If there’s anything else you need support with or any further questions, we’ll be delighted to help. 

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