Starting a new business can be very challenging at first. Although, more realistically, creating a new business in any niche is a constant rollercoaster of mixed feelings of challenges and intrigue. One of the most productive niches for entrepreneurs nowadays is the fashion industry. This industry is probably one of the most effective business niches because many customers are willing to purchase fashionable products that resonate with them.
As much as the fashion industry is one of the most productive and attractive industries for entrepreneurs, it is also among the most competitive. This is why many entrepreneurs now go for a more niched business line within the fashion industry, such as the t-shirt business.
How to Get a T-Shirt Business Going?
The thing is that T-shirts have been accepted as one of the most simple yet stylish items in the clothing industry, and they have been a favorite, go-to outfit pick for most fashionable personalities.
However, since the internet keeps growing and humans adapting more and more to it, so too has buyers’ behavior been influenced and how businesses are structured. In traditional times, T-shirts had to be printed and placed in stores or outlets for buyers to come and pick their choice for purchase.
That is not the case now with the introduction and adoption of internet shopping, popularly called e-commerce. The t-shirt business is also not left out in this wave of trends, as the niche has grown to accommodate several entrepreneurs and there have been lots of tshirt business success stories.
Now t-shirt designers do not necessarily need to print their t-shirts before sales are made. Some features are flexible and accommodate t-shirt business entrepreneurs to fully maximize the space while spending less on production costs and rentals such as print on demand services.
Print-on-demand services are services that enable an entrepreneur to print and ship out T-shirt orders to customers automatically once an order has been placed. These services help the business to be more effective since the orders are processed automatically on their behalf.
The online t-shirt business has been gathering a lot of attention due to the profits that can be realized from the business and its flexible nature. According to a report by Insider, the global t-shirt printing business is projected to hit $10 billion by 2025, and this could lead to even more competition in the market for customer attention and sales. But not to worry. In this article, we will do a deep dive into some important t-shirt business tips for entrepreneurs.
Key Metrics to Consider Before Starting a T-Shirt Business
In any business, the goal is to maximize profits, reduce losses and expenses, and expand the brand to reach more customers and increase sales. However, to do this, some key principles or metrics are considered. The same applies to the t-shirt business. To ensure success, there are a few key metrics to take into consideration before starting a t-shirt business. Some of these include:
How much the entrepreneur is willing to spend on the business
Every successful business, whether it be online or traditional, requires sufficient start-up capital to grow and thrive. Starting up a t-shirt business requires some form of financial commitment to grow and scale as it should. This financial commitment can range from a few tens of dollars to well over tens of thousands of dollars. However, the amount spent is largely dependent on the size of the business the entrepreneur is willing to start and the level of growth that is desired.
Since the business is majorly based online, a large part of the capital is kept for the running of ads to properly introduce and position the brand to the market, setting up an e-commerce store and website, such as Shopify, Printful etc. Meanwhile, another part of the money is spent on the materials needed to commence printing and production of the t-shirts once orders are made.
How much time willing to invest into the business
Before starting a t-shirt business, it is important for the business owner to properly decide the amount of time he/she is willing to put into the business. This is to determine if the business is set up as a side business or a full-time business. The more time put into the business, the higher the chances of scaling the business to more customers and bringing in more sales.
Decide on the target audience to produce for.
A metric that should be considered before setting up a t-shirt brand is determining the target audience or buyer persona that the audience would be targeted towards. In the t-shirt business niche, customers are attracted to and tend to buy from brands with which they resonate. It could range from their favorite movie characters, quotes from favorite movie series, anime collections, favorite games, etc.
Therefore, determining the target audience is important even before starting the business in the first place.
Determine how and where the t-shirts are intended to be sold and delivered.
The online t-shirt business can be run using several methods available online. While some entrepreneurs would rather print designs in-store until customers buy them out, other entrepreneurs opt for print-on-demand services, which implies that the different designs are made available on the online store and only printed when a customer has placed an order for them.
Other methods of delivering these products could be dropshipping them to the clients instead or hand delivery, whichever is more suitable.
Benefits associated with the t-shirt business
Flexibility: Running an online t-shirt brand provides flexibility for the business owner, not only because it allows for time but also because the entrepreneur can choose to delve into other business lines within the industry, such as accessories, amongst others. Since the business doesn’t require full-time participation thanks to print-on-demand software, the entrepreneur has the flexibility to try other productive work enterprises.
Work from home: online T-shirt business owners have the luxury of working from the comfort of their homes since most of the business work is done online using the internet and other e-commerce platforms to take orders, ship them as well as deliver them, and record sales data.
It is one of the fastest ways of earning massively from doing business activities right from the comfort of their homes and making sales through several systems set up to ensure brand positioning and sales optimization.
Scalability: Another very attractive feature of running an online t-shirt business brand is that it is easily scalable to reach even a wider audience and rake in more sales and profits for the business. Since the business is run online, there’s a high chance for the business to grow and reach a wider audience as there are billions of people online that can be accessed thanks to the internet.
More reach means more people get to see the brand. Increasing the number of people seeing the brand increases the possibility of more customers that resonate with the brand, which then leads to more sales and revenue for the business brand while increasing the customer base.
Downsides of starting a T-shirt business as a New Entrepreneur
High competition: since there is a huge market for the fashion industry and T-shirts happen to be one of the go-to fashion choices of most individuals, there is also an increase in the number of t-shirt businesses out there. The internet makes it possible for anyone to start a business at a low cost, thereby reducing the entry barrier and leading to more active businesses in the same niche.
New entrepreneurs have to fight and compete aggressively for the attention of their ideal customers as there are a lot of other t-shirt brands out there with amazing designs and aggressive marketing tactics also.
Difficulty in building trust: Business brands often require time and consistent effort to build trust with potential customers. Building trust might take a lot of time to achieve, and in those periods of trust building, sales might be very poor and downright discouraging. Due to these periods of slow sales, most new entrepreneurs are likely to get discouraged and just fall out of business instead.
Constantly sitting in front of a computer: As glamorous as owning an online business and working from home might sound, it can be very discouraging to some people when the negative effects begin to show. One of the negative effects is the issue of constantly sitting in front of a computer screen running and setting up the t-shirt business and maintaining online stores.
Successful online businesses usually require sacrifice on the part of the entrepreneur sitting long hours online on the computer screen designing, publishing, advertising, and creating awareness for the brand and business to reach more customers.
There are so many ways to get into the fashion industry nowadays, and because the niche can be crowded and highly competitive, it is advisable to niche down to a particular sector. The online t-shirt business niche has been on the rise and is projected to hit even higher levels as there is more adoption and an increase in the market valuation of the sector.