How To Begin Planning For A T-Shirt Business

With a constantly changing economy, it is easy to question its stability. Many people seek financial security in creative ways, using their talents and skills to bring about a secure means for support. If you are thinking of going into business with a marketable product that you can produce yourself, it is important to plan everything out. A lot of time and investment can go into a business and you want it to be a success. One idea that has shown great interest is a t-shirt business. Designing and printing t-shirts might seem fairly simple. But going into business is more than having a fantastic idea with creative designs. In order to have a successful t-shirt business you should have an effective plan or else your dreams might dissipate quickly. To keep you on the right track, the following are some tips to help get you started:

Research Your Target Demographic

Knowing who your target market is can be critical to the success of your business. You need to know who you will be designing your t-shirts for and where you will be selling them. There are many individuals, or groups of customers you can target your products towards. You might choose to focus on one type of audience, or offer options available for every group. The following are some suggestions:

  • Children
  • Teenagers
  • Adults
  • Girls/Women
  • Boys/Men
  • Athletic Teams
  • Religious Groups
  • School Groups
  • Various Animal Lovers (Cats, Horses, Dogs, etc.)
  • Hobbyists
  • Political Parties
  • People Who Like Catchy Phrases & Miscellaneous Designs

Perhaps you can think of many other marketable targets and add them to your list. It is important to create designs specific for each group, because not everyone likes the same messages and pictures. Study out what works best for the individuals or groups you will be designing for, to see what might be popular with them at this particular time. Knowing who you are selling to will help you to determine where you will be selling your t-shirts. Selling online is a popular and effective way to sell your products. It is an option that offers accessibility to a huge customer pool that extends around the world. You may also choose to sell your t-shirts at local events, boutiques, and seminars that relate to your target market. For instance, if you design western-themed horse t-shirts, you might want to sell your shirts at rodeos and state fairs. Another option is to open your own shop. Just keep in mind what might be the most popular for your target demographic and what your financial capability is.

Locate A Good T-Shirt Vendor

Having a quality t-shirt vendor will give your business a high-standard backing. Make sure their products are priced right, to allow you to obtain a nice profit. The shirt manufacturer should have good customer service and be easily accessible so that you will be able to properly communicate your needs and produce your t-shirts in a timely manner. You might want to consider the location of the warehouse, if it will affect your production.


Whether you will be printing your t-shirts with a heat press or using ink, you will need to invest in the right equipment for your business. Study out what exactly you will need, according to which direction you go. Check the cost of each method, and the level of difficulty it will require then select the option that will work best for you.

Find Your Niche

Learn about your competition and decide how you can set yourself apart. Having a unique product or design may attract customers and keep them coming back. Be creative, but keep within the style or preference of your target market. Keep your ideas fresh, relevant and popular.

Design Away

Let your creative juices go to town. Keep your eyes and ears open for what your target audience believes is popular or exciting. Check out various sites online to see what is “in”. Experiment with your designs and messages and try them out on a few sampling customers. You may even take your newest designs to local events and test them out there. Keep track of what people like and why. Don’t forget to design your own company logo.


Without advertisement, it is difficult for anyone to buy your product because they don’t know it exists. It is important to spread the word through blog press releases, websites, social networking, online ads, mailers, or hand-delivered flyers. Some school districts have an advertising program that will partner with your business to deliver your advertisement to the schools in their district. Perhaps you might give away some of your t-shirts with your logo on them for free, to advertise. Keep your budget in mind, and plan out a good strategy to bring in customers.

Make A Business Plan

Write a business plan to outline your company goals, purpose and strategy on how you will accomplish everything. Make a commitment to yourself, and set a timeline to keep you on track. Starting a t-shirt business takes a great deal of work. You may discover that running a business is harder than working for an employer. But your hard work can eventually pay off and your efforts may result in rewarding dividends. Running your own business also takes a great deal of patience. You should remember that it takes time for businesses to establish and grow. Having a good plan will make a difference and greatly increase your odds of success. You can have confidence to move forward so that your dreams can become what you envision.