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How To Start An Online T-Shirt Business

Are you set to learn how to create and sell your custom-branded products easily? Well, you’re in the right place because in this free course, How to Start an Online T-Shirt Business: A-to-Z, I’ll lay bare the framework for launching a successful Online T-Shirt Business.

In this guide, we’ll experience each progression A-to-Z of starting an online shirt business that rakes in an additional income month over month. 

Shirts aren’t only an essential of easygoing wear—they’re pieces of clothing that frequently mirror our personalities, interests, and identities. 

The worldwide market for the custom shirt printing industry by 2025 projected to surpass the $10 billion mark.

Along these lines, selling shirts online has emerged as a popular business model, particularly for artists and business visionaries searching for a generally reasonably affordable approach to begin a business. 

In the face of growing popularity in selling t-shirts, you’ll undoubtedly encounter cut-throat competition from some solid rivalry.

Yet, by building a brand for a particular target demographic and making shirt designs your clients need, you can land your prosperity. 

Today, I’m glad to impart the framework for launching a successful Online T-Shirt Business to you. 

I trust you’ll find and incorporate some, if not all, the details to your business.

That be the case, the valuable aspects that this free course will limit itself in highlighting include:

Picking of a Niche

You hear the expression “niche” thrown around a ton, yet it’s imperative to pick one whenever searching for shirt business openings.

The capacity to stick out is one of the most significant aspects of building an effective shirt business. The ideal approach to do that is by offering to a particular interest group or target demographic. 

How To Start An Online T-Shirt Business 6

A niche will enable your online t-shirt business to stick out and better pull in the right target demographic without blowing your spending design. 

For the most part, categories like “shirts for people who like interesting mottos” will prove too expensive even to get noticed, especially in an established market.

You will need to narrow it down somewhat more. A case of a more explicit niche would be shirts with entertaining mottos that identify with specialists and attendants like nurses and doctors or dog owners. 

There are numerous approaches to discover and assess a niche, yet here is a couple: 

  • Utilize Facebook’s Audience Insights tool to measure the size of your niche on the platform. 
  • Check with your prospective niche’s subreddits and assess the subscriber’s base count and level of engagement. 
  • For inspiration, you can skim a rundown of well-known interests/hobbies on Wikipedia. 
  • Consider the communities you belong to and your interests—in some cases, it’s OK to confide in your gut. 

Create a marketable strategy for your shirt company once you’ve narrowed down your niche, and your business design (marketable strategy) ought to cover your objectives and various openings to sell custom shirts. At that point, sort out how you’ll execute that design. 

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Photo courtesy of: ThinkPup

Ordinarily, a business plan is used to secure financing; however, like many entrepreneurs, you’ll discover writing a design is significant, regardless of whether you’ll ever work with an investor. That’s why right from the get-go, it’s valuable that you have a business design. 

Finding quality material & printing t-shirt printing options 

Not all shirts are the equivalent, and neither are all print gigs. As we referenced above, quality is principal to your image and prosperity, so it’s essential to acquaint yourself and pick your blank shirts astutely. 

It may be enticing to forfeit quality for higher net revenues; however, you have to consider how the quality will influence a client’s decision to share your brand and even buy from you once more. 

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How To Start An Online T-Shirt Business 7

Picking a quality shirt envelopes a few elements, including fit, texture, material, sizing, and weight.

Upon zeroing on your choices, I’d emphatically prescribe that you order samples; thus, you can settle on an ultimate educated decision. 

Make your shirt designs. 

In case you’re stuck for shirt niche ideas and designs, an incredible start would be taking a gander at what else is mainstream and, at present, selling admirably. 

Locate the smash hit designs and niches 

Herein are a couple of ways you can get a head start on your shirt business designs. 

The following is a rundown of pages for some of the top graphic shirt marketplaces. You can utilize them to look at the “smash sellers” and “most famous” sections to improve your next niche or shirt design concept. 

  • Kickstarter shirt campaign
  • Redbubble 
  • Zazzle 
  • SnorgTees 

Likewise, you may need to consider looking at Google Trends to feel the trending subjects/topics folks are presently inspired by. 

Recruit a designer

When you have an idea for some shirt designs, you must, in essence, design them. You probably can deliver some extraordinary designs by yourself on the off chance that you have Adobe Photoshop or a comparable program. Nonetheless, if you fall in the same bracket as most people, you’ll have to solicit some assistance. 

There is a wide assortment of tools and marketplaces you can use to locate fitting graphic designers to support you. 

Design focus groups (communities) 

Dribbble: Dribbble is a designer network with loads of extraordinary talent. Hunt for the style you’re searching for, and then you can proceed to message the designers you like to check whether they’re accessible for freelancing tasks. 

Behance: Behance is a cool platform to consider. You can see portfolios from various creators worldwide who have expertise in illustrations, styles, niches, and the likes. In case you wind up appreciating a creator, you can connect with them and get a quote on your custom shirt designs. 

Freelancing communities

Renowned freelance communities like Freelancer and Upwork are some of the different alternatives you might need to attempt. 

You’d quickly discover qualified shirt designers and look at their past project accomplishments and portfolio. When you like a creator, you can directly connect on the platform and recruit them on the spot. 

Purchase shirt designs 

You can always buy pre-made designs in case you’re stuck finding a creator. Remember that on the off chance that you decide to go this course, there’s a high probability that others are as of now selling whatever design you pick, making it harder for you and your brand to stick out. 

Consider the associated shirt graphic marketplaces below: 

Graphic River: It’s with Graphic River that you can purchase and sell royalty-free, Photoshop files, icon packs, and vectors for your shirt designs. 

Tshirt Factory deals in an assortment of vector image — from old school to punk rave and metropolitan styles — for shirt printing organizations 

Designious: This marketplace deals in PNG shirt designs and vector packs, alongside clip art to make your products. 

Creative Market: Creative Market doesn’t mean zero in only on shirts. However, you can discover millions of remarkable text styles, illustrations, themes, photographs, and templates designed by free makers from across the globe. 

In case you intend to sell shirts on the web, remember that you may need to buy a business permit. 

Prototyping of your shirts 

When you have some ultimate designs, your following step will be to get some mockup pictures made so your clients can perceive what the final design will resemble imprinted on a shirt. 

There are a couple of ways you can get pictures of your final designs on shirts, including ordering samples and taking product photography yourself, or even opt to make a 100% digital mockup leveraging the wealth of shirt templates online. 

Among the most recognized kinds of mockup files are Adobe Photoshop shirt templates. With Adobe Photoshop shirt templates, you get a sneak peek preview of how your designs will look imprinted on a shirt real fast.

Most Photoshop templates accompany various layers that let you change the shirt’s shade and apply your design that balance with the shirt’s wrinkles, creases, and shapes. 

To assist you with finding the best mockup file for your next undertaking, here are a few resources: 

  • MockupWorld 
  • 19 awesome shirt templates
  • GraphicRiver shirt mockups 

Likewise, you can utilize web-based mockup software on the off chance that Adobe Photoshop isn’t ideal for you. The web-based software lets you do something very similar without downloading and figure out Photoshop. Check out with the following:

  • Placeit 
  • Printful mockup generator 
  • Printify mockup generator 

For these sorts of assignments, the other extraordinary alternative is to solicit an expert’s expertise on Fiverr. Look for shirt mockups. 

Approving your designs 

Before you put away a ton of money on your new business concept, you ought to confirm that there is a business opportunity for and enthusiasm for your designs. There are numerous ways you can approach approving the market and sell shirts on the web. 

Probably the most mainstream and more normal techniques for approving your design ideas include: 

Print on demand: With web-based business platforms like Shopify, it’s never been simpler to set up a convenient online store-plus domain name. It’s surprisingly fast to validate your business idea. Start a 14-day free preliminary and incorporate a print-on-order service to validate your shirts by attempting to sell them on the web.

Crowdfunding; Crowdfunding sites have made it a lot simpler to test, approve, and collect cash forthright for your new business idea.

Dispatching a crowdfunding campaign can be tedious and requires a decent design of readiness. Nonetheless, the advantages can be enormous, including completely subsidizing your project before your début. Crowdfunding may cut for you on the count you have, especially a novel shirt business concept, say, matching shirts for dogs and dog owners. 

Reddit: Notwithstanding the network’s overall antipathy for promoting, Reddit is as yet perhaps the best spot to get legit feedback on your designs -and the feedback can even convert into deals after you launch. It’s relatively easy tracking down an exceptionally focused niche of likely clients with several subreddits and approach them legitimately for their take on your designs before launching. 

Social networks: Post some of your designs to your Facebook profile, niche Facebook communities, Twitter, and other social communities, your companions, and potential clients patronize. Be cautious when asking loved ones, notwithstanding—their sentiments are inclined to benevolence. 

Setting up your online store 

And since you have your shirt designs set, you have made your mockups and approved your idea; it’s an ideal opportunity to build your store. 

There are a modest bunch of shirt print-on-order services that straightforwardly integrates with your Shopify store, permitting you to begin taking orders in a matter of seconds. For your benefit, each time you get an order, these services will print and then ship your shirts to your clients. 

As such, the business model is an extraordinary method to begin given there’s no compelling reason to buy or hold any stock upfront. The best part is that on the off chance that you need to utilize your design on other printable products, for example, mugs and handbags, you have that option also. 

You’ll be set to begin selling shirts online as soon as your store is set up. 

There is an assortment of shirts accessible through the following associated print-on-order companies: 

  • Printify 
  • Teelaunch 
  • Gooten 
  • Printful 

Factors for starting a shirt business 

Even though the tools and innovation accessible for designing, printing, and shipping custom shirts make launching come across as a simple engagement, the upsetting part involves building a brand to stand apart from its competition.

You combine cut-throat competition with the thin net profit margins that come with it, and voila! Building an online shirt company suddenly turns into somewhat more challenging than it may initially show up. 

As it so happens, you need to settle on the right decision from the get-go if you need to design and sell shirts online. 

There are a few essential components associated with starting a productive shirt business. Every one of these components is worth an intent consideration before pushing ahead: 

Brand: In the shirt business, a reliable, fascinating brand is fundamental. 

Quality: To build a sustainable business, the quality of the shirts you use and of the print work should be unparalleled 

Inventory: It’s a finesse balance between utilizing a print-on-order service to spare time and exertion or dealing with your stock to exploit volume discounts. 

Design: Most individuals buying graphic tees coincidently are searching for graphics, designs, and aphorisms that appeals to them and mirror their feelings and temperament. 

Shirt printing strategies: There is a wide range of approaches to print designs on a shirt. Picking the right one can assist you with saving money and settle on a more intelligent business decision. 

 Now that we’ve highlighted all the elements that need close consideration, how about we explore each one of them. 

  1. Design 

Finding in your catalog a duplicate of a shirt design found elsewhere is the exact opposite thing a prospect would need. Your designs should not be complicated—the truth is that many top-rated graphic tees are basic. Notwithstanding, you tees do need to stick out and connect with your target demographic. 

Your design files ought to, for the most part, be at least 300 pixels per inch (PPI or dpi), have a transparent background, and be sufficiently enormous to cover the entire print area of the shirt; this way, you guarantee a quality print. Note that your precise specifications will shift contingent upon the printer and printing strategy employed (more on that later). 

  1. Quality 

The other most significant factor in the sustainability & success of an online shirt business is quality. You can disappoint somebody once. However, they won’t let you frustrate them twice. A shirt that fades and cracks or a pattern that shrinks and rips won’t win you raving fans that return and repurchase. 

Although top-notch quality shirts may cost more, likewise, they can yet deliver incredible prices. Your shirt’s latter quality will rely upon the blank shirt’s material, right designing of your design file, and printing technique employed.

  1. Inventory 

When beginning a shirt business, many people either select to either utilize a print-on-order service to take inventory management and shipping off plate or purchase and hold stock, exploiting bulk pricing and local printers. Likewise, you can select a blend of both. 

By holding your inventory, you can all the more effectively sell in-store and possibly improve your overall revenues, though, with print-on-order, you take on significantly fewer risks. Gauge the advantages and disadvantages before you start. In case you’re uncertain, print-on-order is consistently a standout amongst other low investment business models. 

For entrepreneurs, Dropshipping is a simple t-shirt design business model. With services like Printful, it’s very simple to begin and test your shirt designs. 

Likewise, you can put resources into your printer and set up a base of operation, and that’s if you have the financial muscle to boot. 

  1. Brand 

In the shirt business, a reliable, intriguing brand is indispensable. Your image is a guarantee that will integrate every one of your choices, from your designs to quality and niche. 

From your shirt business name to the logo you use, building one-of-a-kind and an affable brand are significantly more so in a highly cut-throat industry. 

When clients have more options, it turns out to be critical for an online business to have an unmistakable presence, thus arresting the attention and catching their consideration. 

On the off chance that you’ve selected a niche that encapsulates a specific way of life, you can fuse it into your website and marketing to address these clients, as in the animation/streetwear model story above. 

  1. Shirt printing methods 

There are three well-known techniques for imprinting onto shirts. As expected, every technique has its advantages and disadvantages. 

Choosing which one to utilize will partly rely upon how long you need to put time into the product creation and which printing partner you pick. 

In this segment, we’ll illustrate every one of the three shirt printing alternatives to give you a superior comprehension of each process. 

Whether you put resources into your printer or utilize a local provider, it merits realizing how each printing method functions.

Heat Transfer

Equally, Heat Transfer has been around for quite a while and exists in many forms & shapes. You may have seen basic Heat Transfer paper at your local office supply store. 

The upside of Heat Transfer s is the capacity to arrange a heap of prints from your local printer and move them to your shirts with a business heat press machine as you get orders. 

Heat Transfer s can effectively deliver full-color image onto shirts relatively easy and rapidly. 

Even though this technique makes it simple to print designs from your home PC and move them with an iron, it won’t cut it regarding a small venture’s sustainability.

 The more developed type of Heat Transfer is designated as “plastisol moves” and is printed by proficient printers on exceptional, top-notch heat-move paper. 


  • No restriction on the number of colors you can use in a print 
  • More reasonable for little bunches 
  • You can “print” each shirt in order 


  • The do-it-self approach implies extra time input from you 
  • Enormous upfront investment in a heat press machine-between hundreds to a couple of thousand bucks 
  • Lower quality and less intense than direct-to-piece of clothing and screen printing 

Screen printing 

Screen printing is an old strategy that has stood the trial of time for entrepreneurs who design and sell shirts on the web and in-store. 

Screen printing can create reliable and enduring outcomes. As one of the most well-known techniques for imprinting onto shirts, the technique affords you the leeway to extend your product offering as it lets you print on products like canvas things, mugs, caps, and different things to make and sell.

Be that as it may, a labor-intensive setup design implies screen printing is most practical when imprinting in mass. Screen printing also presents issues with intricate designs or designs with more than four to five tones, as each shading builds expenses and creation time. 


  • Volume discounts 
  • With large batches, it’s cost-effective 


  • Can print basic images and designs 
  • Expensive for various colors 

Direct-to-garment of clothing (DTG) 

The direct-to-garment printing process works a lot like an ink-jet printer you may have at home. It’s a typical kind of shirt printing business hardware since it directly prints ink onto the shirt and can deliver full-color images with precision. 

Direct-to-garment printing produces quality imprinting comparable to screen printing and better than heat transfers. Dissimilar to screen printing, there are no design costs since it works like an ink-jet printer. This implies it’s simple and cost-effective to print a handful of orders. 

The noteworthy impediment of direct-to-garment printing is the absence of volume rebate for enormous orders, as it takes a similar measure of time to print each shirt. 


  • No setup costs 
  • High detail accuracy in printed design 
  • Boundless color options 
  • Superb for handful orders or one-offs 


  • For the most part, no volume discounts 
  • Not practical for massive creation runs 

Online t-shirt business success stories

Numerous business people have been influential in beginning an online shirt company. Some specifically have utilized Shopify to run their animation-inspired shirt printing for ages. 

There’s one who chose to model their shirt business when they were unable to discover animation-style apparel that fit their style.

The entrepreneur modestly launched what they perceived as a small garments line, which has since transformed into a six-figure print-on-order clothing business selling streetwear enlivened by Asian mainstream society and animation.

The secret? Identifying winning designs at an early stage by leveraging Reddit and paid ads to test products

Start your shirt business today. 

Whatever niche you opt to serve or however ambitious you choose to get with your designs and quality, it’s never been simpler to communicate your creativity and sell shirts online. A shirt store makes for a great first online business for new entrepreneurs. 

Here’s the uplifting bit: Building and dispatching a new shirt brand on Shopify is comparably cheap and speedy. In case you have designs you need to sell, you can be ready for action in as short as a couple of hours. 

Thanks to the Shopify App Store that brims with the bounty of applications and integrations, you can likewise interface your store to a shirt printer/dropshipper in minutes and rapidly have a fully working store, set to print and ship to your clients. 

FAQ: Starting a shirt business 

1.Is a shirt business beneficial? 

T-shirts are a staple for men, ladies, and kids far and wide, with worldwide retail deals coming to $1.9 trillion lately.

Making an online t-shirt business is productive and has low startup costs contrasted with different business openings.

While shirt business profits change contingent upon your niche and advertising costs, you can set up a profitable extra income stream inside 30 days. 

1.What amount would you be able to make selling shirts? 

The sum you make selling t-shirts relies upon how long & how much you put into your business. There have been numerous accounts of entrepreneurs making hundreds of thousands of dollars selling and dropshipping t-shirts online. 

1.What amount does it cost to begin a shirt business? 

Beginning a shirt business from home can cost you at least $300, as per one Shopify storekeeper, which is a little investment contrasted with opening a physical shirt store and purchasing your t-shirt printing business gear and embroidery machines. 

1.How would I start a shirt business? 

  • Conduct market research to locate an enthusiastic network. 
  • Devise a t-shirt company name. 
  • Make a business logo and set up an online store. 
  • Make your shirt designs. 
  • Set up your online media accounts. 
  • Run paid advertisements for your online shirt business webpage. 
  • Do blog campaigns and free advancements with influencers. 

1.Do you need a permit to operate to sell shirts on the web? 

Ordinarily, you needn’t bother with a permit to operate to sell shirts online. You might need to get a resale permit to purchase attire from a wholesaler besides tax. Check with your local county revenue or finance office to find out additional info.

1.How might I start my own shirt business with no cash? 

In case you need to begin a shirt business quickly with no cash, add products to your store utilizing print-on-order dropshippers like Printful.

Go to the Shopify App Store, look for Printful, and click the “Add app.” .

If you were looking for ways to Start an Online T-Shirt Business its my hope that the above guide is of help to you.

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