Do you want to know how to start a tshirt printing business online and make it successful? You’re in the right place then.
Every business needs to be promoted. Everyday millions of online stores are going live while only 1 to 2% of them are actually making profits. So starting an online store like a printing t-shirts is easy but turning into into a profitable business is a lot of work.
If you’re looking for a one stop guide on starting a t-shirt business online and make it a success in 2019 and beyond, this detailed post is for you where you’ll find everything from market research to logistics to making profits. Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
- Step By Step Guide On How to Start A T-shirt Printing Business To Make Money Online
- Most Commons Mistakes to Avoid While Launching Your Online T-shirt Printing Business
- FAQs About Online Tshirt Printing 2019
Step By Step Guide On How to Start A T-shirt Printing Business To Make Money Online
Perform a thorough competitor research before diving
Did you know the #1 way to build a profitable an eCommerce store or business online? It’s doing competitor research.
If you know how your competitors are doing along with their strengths and weaknesses, you can literally come up with a foolproof marketing strategy that makes profits consistently.
When it comes to competitor analysis, we highly recommend you to start using SEMrush (it costs you around $100 per month which is worth every single penny) and gives you benefits like;
- Uncover competitor ad strategies
- Finding competitor ads
- Finding top publishers and advertisers
- Backlink analysis with ease
- Find best keywords for SEO and PPC
- Compare with competitors and estimate the traffic of any website
- Export complete analytical reports
- Complete website site audit feature to find and fix your website issues and
- Position tracking
If you’re wondering about how to do competitor research with SEMrush, read this article and you’ll find a ton of golden nuggets to use SEMrush to take your eCommerce store to the next level.
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Pick the best ecommerce platform for your online store
Did you know that WordPress is used by 31.3% of all the websites which is a content management system market share of 59.8%? But there are so many other options also available. Here’s a list of some of the best eCommerce platforms to launch a printing business online in 2019 and beyond.
- Laravel Ecommerce
Out of all the above eCommerce platforms, the below are widely used and give you for printing t-shirts business effortlessly.
WooCommerce: It offers a basic drag and drop website builder that you can use as a powerful blogging platform to build almost any kind of eCommerce store online and it also offers a wide range of hosting options.
Here are some of the benefits of using it.
- Provides excellent shopping cart
- Extremely secure and robust
- Plenty of themes are available which you can use to customize your site
- Professional and customizable website design options
- Large community support when compared to any other platform
Shopify: Shopify is the most popular “all in one” eCommerce platform which allows you to build an online store with a great user experience and it gives you the following features;
- Their monthly plans start at as little as $9
- The themes are mobile responsive
- You can pay to buy the themes according to your website
- Facebook and Pinterest integration is offered
- The support team is available 24/7
Here’s how its backend looks like;
Magento: Magento is considered as one of the #1 eCommerce platforms and if you’re looking for a dedicated platform to launch your printing of t shirts business, we highly recommend you to give a try to it.
Here are some stats about Magento:
- Used by 4% of eCommerce businesses across the Internet
- Widely popular for big eCommerce businesses around 7% of the top million eCommerce websites use Magento
- Gives you access to thousands of extensions you can use to make most out of the platform
Magento gives you the following features;
- Magento offers all the tools and extensions you need to create an eCommerce store online
- It also gives you a ton range of community users to help you build an eCommerce store
- It’s a mobile friendly eCommerce platform so you don’t have to worry about losing your mobile audience
- Offers a wide range of features to create multiple tshirt printing stores online
Create a strategic marketing plan for your online t-shirt printing business
Create a SWOT analysis if you want to take create a smart marketing plan that takes your business to the next level.
SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
Here’s how it basically looks like;
A SWOT analysis is used by most companies and eCommerce stores to identify what their products are doing well, where they can improve, and how they fit in the competition along with the long term threats their eCommerce store might have in the long run.
SWOT analysis is basically split into two major factors;
- internal factors (strengths and weaknesses) and
- external factors (opportunities and threats)
Here’s how you can perform a SWOT analysis to make your business profitable in the long run.
- Begin by compiling a list of internal strengths & weaknesses so you get an idea about what would be more beneficial to you (printing, affordability, branding and so on)
- Start compiling a list of external opportunities and threats (where your competitors are doing great)
- Create an analysis and detailed marketing strategy for next 1 year (and focus on what kind of product categories you’ll have)
- Identify and discuss KEY points in each category
Once you’re done with the above things, determine the best course of action to start working on the things which have highest priority all the way down to the least priority of actions.
Choose the right t-shirt printing method
There are basically several types of printing methods you can choose from.
- Print on demand sites
- T shirt dropshipping websites
Let’s talk about each of them so you get a better idea.
Print on Demand websites: These websites are basically online marketplaces that allow you to upload your tshirt designs and have them printed on t shirts and many other garments. You will be able to create your artist shop so that you can promote it online and drive traffic to it,.
The biggest benefit of choosing this tshirt printing method is there are no upfront costs and no web developing skills are needed as well. Here are few of such site which provide you the services.
Here are some of the printing methods available.
High density type
Tshirt dropshipping websites: These sites allow you to sell your designs online directly from your own website or eCommerce store. That way you can set up and personalize your online shop however you want.
The biggest benefit is that you get huge profit margins when compared to “print on demand sites”. Here are some of the example websites
Setup an easy to use online t-shirt design software
You need to setup an easy to use online t-shirt design software that allows your customers to personalize any t-shirt design using your own website. This is extremely important if you want to succeed in 2019 as most people are now looking for custom made t-shirts where they can customize t-shirts however they want.
At its basic, the t-shirt design software should allow your customers to;
- Design their own logos
- Create their own quotes on tshirts
- The ability to use any kind of texts and fonts of different styles, graphics etc
- Embed their own names or custom designs and so on
So what are the best tools that you can use for online tshirt printing design in 2019?
Although there are a wide range of tools available but the following mentioned tools are widely popular that provide you flexible features to provide custom tshirt printing designs.
- CorelDraw Graphics Suite
- Desktop T-shirt creator
- Free t-shirt maker
- Whoop Tee
Most Commons Mistakes to Avoid While Launching Your Online T-shirt Printing Business
Here are some of the common mistakes most people make when they are launching t-shirt printing business online for the first time. Avoid them at all costs and you will succeed.
Mistake 1: Doing everything yourself
Starting an online business online is easy. All you need is to pick a blogging platform, buy a custom domain and hosting and you’re all set to go. But the hardest part is making it a success.
You need to a ton of things including;
- Content creation
- Promotion and marketing your products
- Making sales
- Improving website conversions
- Building an email list
- Managing social media and so on
You can’t do all of the above things by yourself alone. You need at least 2 or 3 members who can take care of your business. Or you should at least outsource most of the tasks such as optimizing your site for SEO, content marketing and so on.
Mistake 2: Not communicating with customers
If you want to build a profitable online store, make sure to interact with your customers. Customer satisfaction is the #1 thing that can make or break your tshirt business success.
Here are few ways you can communicate with your customers to provide them better experience.
Live chat is a must have: No matter what platform you’re using to run your tshirt printing business online, you must include a live chat so that your customers can ask for any discounts and questions they might have before they decide to buy something from your store.
Also have a auto reply system where you create automated replies to the most common questions asked by your customers to give them faster replies.
Build an email list: Whether you know it or not, the best way to build a rapport with your customers is to build an email list and send them newsletters. As indicated by Direct Marketing Association, email showcasing observes a 4300 percent degree of profitability (ROI) for organizations in the USA.
The best way to build an email list is to use viral quizzes, polls and surveys as they are a lot of fun to watch the way people play with your quizzes.
Besides your customers’ engagement, you’ll also get their email addresses when you’re using polls and quizzes. According to Adweek, quizzes are the most shared content type on Facebook so don’t ignore them while building an email list.
Mistake 3: Poor website UX
Having a poor user experience (UX) can kill your website conversion rates. Focus on the following things and you’ll have a better website UX in 2019.
- Make sure your website is mobile friendly
- Increase your overall website loading times
- Remove unwanted stuff that affect your loading times
- Optimize your images size before uploading
- Use a faster hosting service
Use heat maps tool like Crazy Egg: Heat maps provide you detailed insight into what customers are doing on your tshirt printing business site. Heatmaps tool like Crazy Egg helps you where people engage the most on a particular page, with red areas signifying many clicks and blue areas signifying barely any or no clicks so you can act accordingly.
Use WPTouch: Either hire a designer to make your site mobile responsive or if you’re using a self-hosted blogging platform like WordPress, install WPTouch which is a free plugin that automatically adds a simple mobile theme for mobile visitors to your WordPress website.
Mistake 4: Not focusing on attracting traffic to your eCommerce store
If you’ve a mentality of “if you build it, they will come”, you will NEVER succeed in eCommerce industry. You’ve to go out and work really hard to bring visitors to your site.
Here are few quick tips to get more visitors to your website or store online.
- Send out samples to influencers on social media sites like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and so on so they will give a link back to your eCommerce store within their posts.
- Focus on SEO. Optimize each and every page for a primary keyword and include it within your title, image alt tag, meta description, URL and so on for better results.
- Do blogger outreach as few bloggers can send you a ton of traffic just with a tweet. You can offer them freebies, money or giveaway something to promote your tshirt business.
- Do paid ads. You can use Facebook ads, twitter ads, Instagram ads and so on to see how your paid traffic is converting from social media sites. Also make sure to give a try to search engine ads such as Google AdWords, Yahoo and Bing ads to see which is giving you more conversion rates.
Mistake 5: Not providing offers and discounts
If you want to attract more customers or looking to turn your website first time visitors into customers, you need to offer HUGE discounts. That’s the only way you can attract long time customers who will buy things from you again and again.
Also make sure to use special days and weekends, holidays etc to your advantage by offering discounts or promo codes to bring more profits to your business.
Quick tips to promote your online tshirt printing business
Whether own a blog, a website or a social media network, you need to get the right people to visit and participate.
Without engaging the right eyeballs on your offers, nothing meaningful is going to happen. You’ll continue to struggle and hope for the best until you give up.
To avoid that, you need a low-cost promotional system to supercharge your business.
It doesn’t matter your present financial level, T-shirt printing has become a powerful source of generating targeted leads.
But before deciding on T-shirt printing to promote your business, I’ve got some insights for you.
Why T-Shirt Printing Is Powerful
This system of promoting any business isn’t related to offline anymore. T-shirt printing and branding has evolved over the years and savvy entrepreneurs are venturing into it.
I’m sure you’ve see cafepress.com t-shirts and how unique they’re. As it grows popular each passing day, free vista print discount coupon, psprint discount codes are being given to potential customers to encourage and reward them.
We all wear shirts every day or at least, every week. Do you know I had to visit a website and subscribed just because I saw a T-shirt print termed “You can Make It” and beneath the inscription, there is a link to get more information.
T-Shirt Printing Is Direct Response
Do you know what direct response marketing is about? As simple as this marketing system is, it’s still the bedrock of every successful business you patronize every day. Amazon and Ebay have been using direct response ads to captivate and sell thousands of products continually.
A direct response ad quickly reveals the core benefit of taking action. It doesn’t need any relationship building (although, important). That’s what I experienced and I had to visit a blog without any incentive or push.
Direct Ad Increase Conversion Rate
It was direct and I couldn’t reject it. If you’re looking to grow your business, advertise for free and get the right people to visit your website and blogs, craft a powerful and catchy ad on a colored t-shirt and wear it in a crowded event.
Wear it when you visit a friend. Instead of boarding a cab to a nearby shopping mall or movies, take a walk and creatively overtake snail-walkers. Get them to see the back of your T-shirt where the inscription is. But don’t be too fast, give them time to read, memorize and ponder on it.
Use A Strong Call To Action
When using T-shirt prints as your promotional system, make sure the inscription at the back of the T-shirt is strong and catchy. You’ll lose a lot of responsive prospects if you don’t have a strong call to action.
There is no time to explain what your blog is about. Determine your product’s benefit and stick with the best. Your unique selling proposition would help you trigger the right ads and write and ensure you win in T-shirt printing and advertising platform.
It’s time to take action and change your blog. Blogging isn’t for lazy people who pray and refused to take action. There is time for praying and hoping and there is time for action taking and implementation.
FAQs About Online Tshirt Printing 2019
Here are few important questions you must know before you learn more about how to start a t-shirt printing business online in 2019 and beyond.
1. Is starting a t-shirt business a good idea?
Yes, in fact printed t-shirts business is growing at rapid pace which is also going to be a billion dollar industry by 2020 according to many sources. So if you’re thinking to launch a tshirt business, go ahead and start now without any delay.
Just make sure to do a proper market research, competitor analysis and get the right team to take it to the next level.
2. What are the 3 things I need to know before starting a printed shirt business online in 2019?
Here are the 3 most important things you should about how to start a printed t-shirt business online and make it a success.
- You need to have decent amount of money to be invested into your t-shirt printing business (which includes hosting, website related costs, SEO, promotion part, tshirt printing infrastructure as stated above in the article and so on)
- Make sure to focus on quality of the product which includes fabric and printing
- Don’t compete with big brands as it’s foolish idea. Instead, offer excellent t shirts at affordable prices
3. Is there any good t shirt designing software?
Yes, there are so many tools and software available for t shirt designing and the major tools are listed below.
- Merch Power
- Teespring T-shirt Tool
- Custom Ink T-shirt Tool
- T-shirt Design Templates
- Design a Shirt
4. How much does a T shirt printing machine cost?
So are you curious about how much does a t shirt printing machine costs you?At an average, a 1 color print on a 100% cotton t shirt ranges from 5 to 10 dollars depending on the number of shirts in the order. The more you order per printing, the less cost it would be (for obvious reasons on bulk orders).
Approximately for an order for 100 t shirts would take less than 1 hour to print and you would charge at least $5 per print which costs you around $500 for the total order. So you can calculate the appropriate cost based on your orders.
5. How can I drive “local area” customers to my tshirt printing business online?
There’s a concept called “Google My Business” where you can list your tshirt printing business online and connect it with Google maps to start getting local leads to your store. That way, you can also bring offline customers to buy stuff from you. Here are few quick tips to get started.
- Run localised targeted Google ads known as AdWords
- Print pamphlets and distribute in local newspapers
- Advertise in local classified ads
- Print some posters and get them in front of college students or your colleagues (and ask them to wear and promote your brand)
- And so on
Browse more Blogging Resources:
- Unbiased SEMrush Review with 30 Days Free Trial
- Best Lifestyle Blogs to Follow in 2019
- Must Read Blogs from Indian Bloggers in 2019
- Learn How to Find Traffic of Any Website for Free
- Most Popular Blogs For Women to Follow in 2019
- Best Fiverr Alternatives for Freelancers to Make More Money
Final Thoughts On How to Launch A T-shirt Printing Business In 2019
Just like any other business, you need investment, proper planning and market research to be able to build a profitable t shirt printing business. Although it’s not easy as it takes time, efforts and lots of trial and errors to start seeing actual profits. So aim for long term results and you’ll be fine.
Hopefully this guide on how to start a tshirt printing business helps you successfully make profits from your online stores. If you still have any questions, shoot them in the comments below.