Many business ideas don’t come to life because the people who have them don’t have the skills or money to get them going. T-shirts, in particular, are a great example of a product that can be sold in many different ways, depending on events, people, beliefs, and campaigns.
If you want to start a business from home, selling T-shirts online could be a good choice. Today, more people wear T-shirts than any other type of clothing. You will have access to a lot of useful resources that won’t break your tight budget. You also have the chance to reach customers from all over the world.
In this article, we’ll tell you what you need to know to start an online T-shirt business on the cheap.
Choose a place to sell
You need to pick a platform to run your webstore on. Did you know that you can sell your stock of T-shirts or any other products without keeping any inventory or paying the costs that come with it? How? Dropshipping is the way to do it.
In dropshipping, you work with a supplier who sends you T-shirts to sell on your online store. When a customer orders a T-shirt, the dropshipping supplier will print the shirts and send them right to the customer.
You will need to choose a platform for selling that lets you dropship so you can cut down on inventory costs and focus on making money. Before you choose a dropshipping supplier, you will also need to think about a few things.
What do these things mean?
- The T-shirt options that the seller has
- The price per unit
- Cost of making copies
- Costs of shipping
- T-shirt quality
- Print quality
Because of these things, you have a lot of options. There are different levels of quality for T-shirts, and this is the thing that has the most effect on price.
What kind of platforms should I think about?
Shopify is a popular and easy-to-use platform for selling that supports dropshipping. You have access to a lot of integrations that can help your online store do different things better. You can add a dropshipping provider of your choice to your Shopify store to show and ship products.
But before you set up your store, you should finish the design process and this tutorial. When you’re done with the design process, you’ll be able to show off great designs that you’re sure of.
Printful is a company that lets you sell T-shirts through Shopify. It also comes as an app. It has a lot of T-shirts and other clothes to choose from. As your business grows, you might decide to sell bags and canvas prints, which will help you reach a wider range of customers.
When you join Printful, you know you’ll get good T-shirts.
TeeSpring is a platform that helps people set up their own stores and dropship products. This means that you can only use their products and platform. You won’t have the chance to give your store a name. Some ways to change things can’t be used either.
The platform also makes it hard to analyze data, which makes it hard to plan your digital marketing path.
Teechip is a website where you can upload designs to put on T-shirts. It is a print-on-demand service that includes tools for shipping and payment. It also has a wide range of items that can be printed on demand. Your designs can be put on mugs, hoods, books, and other things.
Pick A Niche
You need to choose a small part of the market to fill. The niche is who you want to reach. If you know who your market is, you have a better chance of beating your competitors in the market. You’ll be able to place your brand in a smart way.
But you need to do a lot of research to find a niche that your products can easily and effectively target. Your niche will depend on things like population, culture, religion, events, and so on. Your ads will be more targeted, and your products will reach the people you want them to faster.
Your Facebook ads will work better if they are aimed at a certain group of customers.
Work on the process of designing.
You should follow two rules when making the designs for your T-shirts. They are being simple and being different. Some people like designs with a lot of detail, but most people want designs that say something. Most complicated designs are hard to understand.
How Do You Come Up With Simple And Unique Designs?
Don’t copy designs that are already on the market, because that could be against the law. This is also true for logos and catchphrases you want to use as part of your brand. Your idea for a design may be new, but you should look into what your competitors are doing and see how your designs might be similar.
You shouldn’t copy designs because it lowers the value of your work. Customers will come back to your business more than once if you have unique designs. Think about how you use text and colors. They will help your design send a message that your audience will understand.
Text can be the only thing on a T-shirt design. You can also base the design of your T-shirts on a color scheme. One good example is using different flag color schemes at global sports events like the Olympics or the World Cup of football.
After coming up with a unique design, it’s also important to protect it legally as intellectual property.
Use the steps below to come up with simple, one-of-a-kind designs:
The first step is to look into it. You need to know what your audience cares about, what makes them laugh, what they’re happy about, or even what problems they’re having. Look up what’s going on in the world around your audience as part of your research. You will get ideas for your designs from the research.
Look up places where designers get ideas
You can get ideas from other designs without copying them. You could look at designs on other platforms and look for market trends that could affect your creativity and designs.
You can look for fashionable designs on websites like:
- Redbubble Popular
- Snorg Bestsellers
- T-shirt campaigns on Kickstarter
- Skreened trending Shirts.
- Zazzle Bestsellers and Zazzle popular
The pages above should help you find different niches you could go after. You can also use Google’s “hot search” or “trends” tools. The software can give you ideas because it shows you which products people are interested in.
Finding Graphic Designers
Don’t you know how to make graphics? There’s nothing to worry about. You can bring your idea to life by hiring a graphic designer. For as little as $5, you can find designers. There are a lot of design groups online.
Dribble is a game that shows this. You just think about what you want on your T-shirt and send a message to the designers you want to hire. You can also try out Behance. It is a place where a lot of good designers work.
- Freelancer networks can be used to find designers.
Freelance networks are places where you can find people with any kind of skill, from graphic designers to writers. You may have heard of online freelance networks like Upwork, Fivver, Guru, or others. These platforms make sure that you and your designer can do business without any risks.
You can get help with design for as little as $3, depending on what you need. You just need to post a description of the job on the platform, and designers will get in touch. You will look at their applications to find out who has the skills and price that you need.
There is a rating system on these platforms, such as “beginner level,” “intermediate level,” and “expert level.” If your work needs to be designed by a professional, you can hire a designer at the expert level. Beginner or intermediate designers can help you get started with simple designs.
Create A Mock or test design.
You can also use software to make mock-ups or tests of your T-shirt designs. The test design shows how the finished product will look when it’s all printed. On your store’s product images, you can use test or mock designs.
When making a test design, you can do one of two things:
- A physical mockup design can be made. This is where you put on a T-shirt with your design on it. You can post pictures of yourself online that were taken by a friend or a professional photographer.
- T-shirt templates can be used to make a digital mark design.
How to make digital mock-up designs and what to use
If you don’t have much money, you can use Adobe’s free trial. You just sign up for a free trial, make an account, and search for T-shirt templates. You can add your own design and change the colors by using the multilayers. This software also takes into account how the shape of the T-shirt will affect your design.
Shopify’s T-shirt MockUp Generator
You don’t have to pay to use this mockup generator from Shopify. It has a lot of different features and effects that you can use on your T-shirt template.
Creative Market is a place to buy and sell designs, and you can use it to make test designs for your T-shirt. You can download its templates and use them to make your own designs. Some of its templates, though, cost money. Your Shopping store can add different T-shirt design templates with mockups to your store.
Validate Your Design
You need to make sure that your design will make you money, especially if you plan to buy a lot of T-shirts. Validation is the process of figuring out if your idea will sell on the market. Your point of view is important, but it’s not enough.
You can check that your design works by:
Your store needs more than one social media account to reach a wider audience. Post your designs on the walls of these social media sites and ask people what they think. Especially if you are using a personal account, you should ask everyone. Personal accounts are often skewed by what friends say about them.
Subreddits are where comments and votes are made on Reddit. You can use subreddits to find your niche and ask people what they think.
Use T-shirts of good quality.
The next most important thing is the quality of your Tees. If the fabric isn’t good, the design might crack or even fade after just a few washes. Quality T-shirts keep the look of their designs for a long time. They lead to loyal customers who buy from them again and again.
In turn, the repeat sales will help your store make more money. Also, your customers will help you get more leads by telling their friends about you.
How do I know if a T-shirt is good?
Several things can tell you about the quality of a T-shirt. Among them are:
- The T-Shirt’s Fit And \Comfort. How do you feel when you wear the T-shirt?
- The way things feel. The best kinds of T-shirts are made of cotton or linen. They are easy to wear and make designs that look great.
- The Load. The design is affected by the weight because of things like the weather. When it’s hot, your audience needs light T-shirts, but when it’s cold, they need heavier T-shirts.
- The Size Was Right. Your design might depend on the sizes and measurements of T-shirts. To make sure that your design also fits perfectly, you need to make sure that the sizes are correct.
- The Quality Of The Stitching. How long your design lasts depends on how well it is stitched. If there are fewer stitches on your T-shirts, they are more likely to crack when you wash them. The cost of the T-shirt will also depend on how it is stitched.
Start by putting in one order so you can compare the quality of the T-shirts to the list above. When you buy in bulk, you will know exactly what you are getting.
Set up your Printful app and Shopify store
Once you’ve decided on a design quality and T-shirt quality that you’re happy with, you can set up your Shopify store. In three easy steps, you can start selling your T-shirt designs:
- Sign Up For The Platform: and you can use it for free for 14 days before you have to pay for it.
- Make A Printful Account And Get The Printful App: There are a lot of T-shirts to choose from on the dropshipping platform. You can send Printful your design files, and they will print and ship your T-shirts to your customers. The plugin makes sure that your online store’s product catalog is always up to date.
- Make Sure To Place A Test Order: once you’ve set up your store and connected it to your dropshipping supplier. With the test-order, your suppliers can make sure they can order.
Printful doesn’t just work with Shopify. You can use the plugin with eBay, Amazon, Etsy, ShipStation, Zakeke, and Zapier, among others.
Market Your Business
Once your store is ready, you can turn your attention to marketing. It would be best if you brought people into your store so that you could start selling things. Be ready to spend to make money at this point. For instance, the more paid ads you run, the more likely it is that you will get more leads.
Here are some ways you can market your online store, whether it’s on Shopify or somewhere else:
Keep up with changes in the market.
The news has a big effect on the people you want to reach. Please talk to your audience and do research to find out what’s going on in their lives right now. You can find out about the right trends and information through social media or email. If you pay attention to market trends, it will be easy for you to find a niche and appeal to their interests.
Use Google Ads
There are two ways to market with Google Ads. You can buy an ad that just shows text, or you can buy one that shows the price and a picture of the product. You have seen text ads at the top of your search results. The price and image of the product are shown in different places, like on the side of websites or search results.
If you choose Google ads, you will need to do keyword research. You will look at how many times a keyword is used. It would help if you also checked out the prices and competition.
Use ads on Facebook.
When it comes to putting ads in front of the right people, Facebook ads are very useful and effective. You’ll be able to sell your goods based on things like:
- Job names
Your interests will have the most effect on your marketing plan and the niche you choose. You can find out what people like on Facebook and then choose a product that appeals to those likes. For example, you can use sports as a theme if someone likes sports. You can also find fathers and try to sell them Father’s Day T-shirts.
If you make your marketing plans based on the above criteria, you’ll have a lot of chances to make money. You can also run your marketing campaigns with the help of an ad management tool like HubSpot. You will be able to see how your ads affect the number of sales that come from them.
Instagram has more than 100 million active users in the US alone. Over 500 million people live in the world. There are two ways to market on Instagram:
These are people who have a lot of people who follow them. You can pay them to post or talk about your products if you ask them to. Their followers will look into your products, which will bring you more leads.
For organic reach, you post pictures or videos of your products and add hashtags. Users will quickly be drawn to your products if you use good images and relevant hashtags.
Most women who have money to spend use Pinterest. If they are the people you want to reach, it makes sense to put your ads there. Because the platform has a clear base of users, the wedding industry has used it to market a lot of its products.
Your Store’s Brand
A brand is how people think about your products. A strong brand helps get the attention of customers, earn their trust, and turn them into loyal, repeat customers. If you want to sell more, it would help if you worked on how your customers see your products.
How do I change what my customers think?
The first step is to learn more about your competitors and the people you want to sell to. You’ll need this info to figure out what your customers want and how your competitors are marketing themselves so you can stay ahead.
You can also use the Internet to do research and change how your customers see things.
- Facebook. Find out what your customers like and gather any other information that could help you make products that help people. For example, you can find out what they like to do, who they look up to, etc.
- Subreddits. They help you figure out what customers in a certain niche care about.
- Social Media. The other social media platforms, like Instagram, can be used to find out more about both your customers and your competitors. Ask things like, “What are my competitors doing right to build the image of their brands?” What are they not getting right?
The information will help you come up with a logo, colors, and fonts for your brand, a company slogan, and a tone for your website.
One Last Thing
The steps to starting a T-shirt business on a tight budget are simple, but there are many of them. In a few words:
- Pick a place to sell on.
- Do enough research and then choose a niche.
- Use simple and unique designs
- Use T-shirts of good quality.
- Set up a store and find a service that does drop shipping.
- Market your business
- Label your shop
You don’t have to learn this process right away because you can always look it up to make sure you follow the details that will make your business stand out.
There are important lessons that will stay with you as you go through your business journey.
Among them are:
- Always do your homework well.
- Make sure that your products are based on what your customers want.
- Ensure all your products and processes are as unique as possible.
- Use social media marketing to get people interested in your business.
Do you think we missed any business tips on how to start a successful T-shirt business from home on a small budget? Could you please tell me?