How To Start An Online T-Shirt Business: Everything You Need To Know

How To Start An Online T-Shirt Business: Everything You Need To Know

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T-shirts are one of the most common outfits that are worn everywhere around the globe. Therefore, starting an online T-shirt business has become a lucrative business proposition for beginner and veteran entrepreneurs alike. The easy availability of plain t-shirts, higher profit margins for printed t-shirts, and less investment in t-shirt printing are some of the primary reasons for this. 

The global custom t-shirt printing business is set to cross $3000 million by 2025. The availability of online platforms that showcase printed t-shirts from local vendors will undoubtedly contribute to this growing market. Big players in the industry are earning huge profits by selling different types of t-shirts. However, even smaller businesses can explore this market, giving them tough competition. This article will discuss how budding entrepreneurs can start an online t-shirt business that sustains and generates surplus revenue! 

A step-by-step guide for beginners 

Beginners who want to explore the benefits of evolving fashion trends in the market can step into the online t-shirt printing business. These days, a significant chunk of the global population is interested in trying out new buying platforms. 

There has been a massive increase in the number of platforms that accept custom t-shirt designs. Netizens are always keen on trying new designs and patterns regarding apparel and clothing. As any pattern or design can be printed on a plain t-shirt, such online businesses are receiving a massive response from them. However, starting a business is never that easy. One must be ready to put in all the efforts to make a successful business venture. Here are the steps that aspiring t-shirt designers and startups can follow to start a t-shirt printing business:

t-shirt printing

Step 1: Selecting a niche

Online brands are successful mainly because they can identify their niche accurately. Unlike traditional businesses, they offer something unique to individuals who don’t fear experimenting and trying new ideas. 

Similarly, individuals looking to start an online t-shirt printing business should carve out a target niche audience. For instance, they can specialize in offering t-shirts with slogans. 

Though the concept of T-shirts with slogans looks like a limited niche, it can offer endless opportunities if appropriately explored. For example, slogans could relate pet owners to their pets through slogans. Also, t-shirts with slogans for couples, friends, hobbies, etc., could help them expand their business further. 

Finding a niche is important because it would be hard to stand out among the hundreds of competitors in the market who offer almost the same kind of t-shirts. 

Step 2: Finding suitable material and printing resources

Suppliers are like the backbone of any business. Without a solid foundation, it would be practically impossible to grow any empire. Therefore, intelligent entrepreneurs should find suppliers who offer the best quality materials at the least possible prices. 

They could find manufacturers who provide plain T-shirts of different colors. Or else, if they have the necessary expertise, they must find the ones who offer high-quality cotton at reasonable prices. 

They would also need to find dyes, t-shirt printing machines, and other equipment at economical rates. If they are short on budget, they can also rent the printing machines and technologies required to print t-shirts. 

When the final product has fine quality, they would be able to sell the t-shirts at a higher price. However, they must keep their costs competitive if they have to find a large audience. Therefore, budding entrepreneurs must know how to balance quality and price. 

Step 3: Create unique designs 

Before creating unique designs, one needs to look at the trending strategies in the market. It inspires the designers to create something unique without wavering from the commercial aspects of design. 

Hiring graphic designers that have powerful imaginary and creative skills is a good move if the entrepreneurs are not into creating designers by themselves. 

The key would be to deliver powerful ideas and slogans that are unique and inspirational. However, too many motivational quotes can also bore the audience. Therefore, it is wise to include witty lines trending in the market. 

Using Google trends to find the latest t-shirt designs millennials search for on the internet might also help. The entrepreneurs can also scroll through the pages of popular clothing brands to get new ideas and concepts. 

If they cannot find professional graphic designers, they can search for them on design communities like Dribbble, Behance, or Upwork. Purchasing spectacular t-shirt designs premade by professional designers can also be a good idea to save time and resources. 

Step 4: Mocking up the designs

Once some t-shirt designs are finalized, they must be mocked up on t-shirts using a designing tool or software. It would give the designers an idea of how good or bad they look on the t-shirts. After analyzing all the mock-up t-shirt designs, the entrepreneurs can choose the best ones to help their t-shirt printing business grow.

They can also check the various colors on which the designs go well. White and black are the most preferred colors when designing printed t-shirts. However, a good design can complement several colors and vice versa. Therefore, the entrepreneurs must sit with their marketing and design team to finalize the list of colors, designs, and combinations. 

Step 5: Validating the designs

Startups must never print a thousand shirts at once. Initially, only a handful of t-shirts should be printed. After that, these T-shirts should be circulated through their inner circles. Then, once their friends, relatives, and acquaintances are happy with the design, they can move forward and print a thousand t-shirts! 

However, entrepreneurs might not always be keen on getting validation from people they know well. In this case, they can take feedback from social media channels like Reddit, Instagram, or Facebook communities. 

Graphic designers usually tend to test their latest designs on crowdfunding platforms. Entrepreneurs can use these platforms to get validation for their designs. At the same time, they can also use these platforms to raise funds they need to scale up their business! 

Step 6: Using technology

Using t-shirt printing machines that employ the latest laser printing techniques to print t-shirts can reduce efforts and generate perfect results. Most of the initial investment is required to purchase the printing machines. Generally, one must buy one or two devices first and invest in more machines as the business grows. 

Step 7: Developing a website 

Once everything is ready, the entrepreneurs can focus on getting a brand new website to sell their t-shirts online. Again, professional help is essential at this stage, as the website must look aesthetic. At the same time, it must be fully functional and smooth enough to provide a great experience to the users. 

Designing an e-commerce store is not a joke. The website’s design should be dynamic to allow you to make changes and add new products as per the requirements. 

Shopping platforms like Shopify could be used to set up an online store without any technical expertise.


These were some of the best ideas and steps to start an online t-shirt business. Entrepreneurs or startup companies usually have difficulty finding the right suppliers and vendors. However, they can use platforms like Fashinza to connect with all the suppliers, fabric manufacturers, designers, and other stakeholders in the market. Visit Fashinza today and get connected with professionals in the fashion industry!

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