5 Steps to Starting your Own T-Shirt Business

Congrats on taking the next step in starting your own t-shirt business! Most people will have an idea and never act on it because it’s too big of an undertaking. However, ecommerce can be really easy! If you are determined to succeed, you’ll be on your way in no time. Starting an ecommerce site does not need to be complicated nor expensive. Here are our tips on launching yours in the most efficient and economical way!

  1. Choose the Product You Want to Sell

    The first thing you’ll want to do is identify what type of products you want to sell. Hopefully, you already have an idea which is what sparked your interest in selling online! If you are interested in selling apparel, you will want to make sure to pick products with reliable stock. If you plan on using Air Waves OnDemand to fulfill and send your products, you’ll be given a catalog of products that are reliable, high-quality, and the right blend of fabric for our printers. You’ll then have to decide what type of designs you want sell. We recommend ordering some test samples to ensure the print quality is up to your standards as you go to sell.

  2. Research and Plan

    Next, you’ll want to research competitors to get an idea of what they are doing and understand what value you provide over them. While looking at other competitors, you’ll be able to see where they are lacking and use that to your advantage.Once you have a good understanding of who you’ll be competing against, you’ll need to write a business plan. This business plan will set a good foundation on ensuring your ideas are brought to life. It will help you prioritize and reach new customers.

  3. Set Up Your Store

    Here’s the fun part! It’s time to name your business and create a logo. This step is important and can be challenging. You want to make sure both assets are memorable and not taken yet. We recommend taking time to jot ideas down and then doing research to ensure they are all available to use. Once you have your list cleaned, it may be time to pull in close friends and family to see what resonates with them. It’s always nice to get a fresh perspective on something you’ve been working so hard on. Once you have your website domain, it’s time to start designing. Shopify offers hundreds of free and paid templates that are catered to your industry. They also have many app integrations if you’re interested in coding your own site. Air Waves OnDemand is an app on Shopify that will be directly tied to your store and manage the inventory, printing, and shipping of your items. By using this service, you will save time and money. This is a great tool to get your business up and running in no time. You’ll be able to set your own margins and only pay for products that are purchased. It’s a win-win for all!

  4. Create a Launch Plan

    Now that everything is in place, you’ll need to make a plan on when and how you will launch it. If you already have a large fan base or audience, you probably won’t need to put too much money behind your launch. You’ll still want to make a lasting impression though and create excitement and interest. If you are starting off with no fans, you may need to look into so paid advertising options to simply get your name out. You should also utilize your friends and family as well as their network. Simply sharing a post on social media or talking to friends at work, can go a long way. It’s also worth getting on TikTok to attempt to make viral content. Make sure you do your research (aka endless hours of scrolling) to ensure you’re using the platform the right way. Reaching out to micro-influencers is also a good way to promote your brand. If you are low on money, look for influencers who are just starting out. You may even know some from school, work, or mutual friends that will cut you a deal for your launch.

  5. Launch & Continue to Market Your Store

    Congrats, it’s launch time! Once you have officially launched your store, pour yourself a drink and then keep working! You’ll need to continue your marketing efforts in order to drive sales and see results. Create a marketing calendar to keep yourself on track and have a plan on when you want to launch new products or push a promotion. Stay organized and have a solid grasp on what’s coming up next. More than likely, your products won’t sell yourself so be sure to stay on top of things!