T-SHIRT BUSINESS: How to Start, Business Plan and Guide

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T-shirts are more than simply a practical piece of casual apparel; they are also a means by which we express our individuality. As a result, t-shirts will always be in demand so long as people need to dress. By 2025, the bespoke t-shirt industry is projected to be worth $3 billion. However, before you go on talking about running a T-shirt business, have you been working on any impressive designs that you’d like to show off to the world? Do you think your neighborhood is lacking a provider of promotional products or uniforms? Like any solid business plan, your motivation for getting into the T-shirt business ought to be stated right off the bat. In this article, we cover everything you need to start a successful T-shirt business, including a starter kit as well as how to write a well-designed business plan just to make your journey easy. 

Let’s get started….

How to Start a T-Shirt Business

The T-shirt market is appealing because it provides opportunities to people of all backgrounds and skill sets. The beginning is simple, and how far you take it is up to you. Indeed, with the development of e-commerce, dropshipping, and home-based businesses, it is now possible to launch a successful T-shirt business with little to no initial investment.

Start-up options for businesses that double as creative outlets are expanding rapidly. One fun and profitable way to put your imagination to use is to sell T-shirts printed with your own design, slogan, or other text. You can make a modest profit from selling T-shirts, which, when added up, can be a significant sum.

Learn the ropes of the T-shirt business with our no-nonsense guide that emphasizes how easy and inexpensive it is to get started and a successful one. It only takes a few simple actions to launch your own t-shirt business, regardless of whether it’s a side gig or your main source of income.

#1. Establish a Plan of Action

An actionable plan is essential prior to launching a T-shirt sales venture. Use these seven guidelines as a starting point for developing a plan for your company’s future; don’t panic if you haven’t got every bit of information at your disposal just yet. Once you begin going, everything will run easily since you have a goal in mind.

Choosing a company name is the first order of business. Create a logo, business cards, a website, and other branded materials based on that name (or something else entirely).

The next step in establishing an online presence is to register a domain in accordance with your brand name. Whereas platforms like Shopify and Etsy are widely used for online T-shirt sales, those who prefer to create their own bespoke websites should begin doing so without delay to ensure that their stores are ready to go when their products are released.

#2. Register Your T-Shirt Business

Your new company should be registered as either a sole proprietorship or an LLC, regardless of whether you plan to work on it part-time or full-time. By forming an LLC, your company can take advantage of a number of tax breaks not available to sole proprietorships. You can get blank T-shirts at cost if you use your EIN to do so (as opposed to your personal SSN).

The fee to register with your state might range from $50 to $100. Check that your company complies with the regulations set forth by your state for its size.

Using a provider to form an LLC for you is an option if you don’t want to devote your time to doing so yourself. If you pay for this service, you can devote more time and energy to developing new ideas for your company.

#3. Figure Out the Best Means of Production

Everyone, regardless of their degree of expertise, may make their own custom-printed T-shirts in a number of different methods.

Those who want to handle their own materials can invest in screen printing tools for use at home or in the workplace. If you enjoy making social media content, people love to see things take shape on TikTok and Instagram, and this allows you a great deal of influence on the quality of both the art and designs displayed on the shirts. While purchasing this equipment may have a big impact on your budget, once they are in place your profit margins will increase as your sole ongoing expense would be routine care.

As an added bonus, local businesses that offer screen printing services are not hard to find. The money needed to pay these suppliers would have to be included in your starting budget. Quality control can also be monitored by using a service that is either close by or that is located far away but with which you have a solid working relationship.

If you’re in a hurry to get things rolling, you may also take use of highly dependable print-on-demand services. Sites like Printful and Printify make it easy to print and ship large quantities of items quickly without worrying about losing money on unsold inventory. Yet, due to the higher per-item cost of printing, the margins on these goods are narrower.

#4. Create Artistic Designs

Brand-focused designs are required before printing can begin. Launching a T-shirt company to sell your original artwork requires you to have the files created (often vector files, like .eps) in a format that can be read by your chosen printing service. Intricate designs may require test prints to ensure that every detail shows up clearly on the final product. There are a number of free Adobe Photoshop and Canva tutorials online if you’re just getting started with design.

Platforms like Creative Market, Fiverr, and Upwork include thousands of talented artists you may hire to complete custom projects. You can pay the artist directly for their project if you like them and wish to support them, but a long-term partnership based on a share of the profits may be more practical.

If you’re having trouble coming up with designs, you can obtain inspiration from the number of T-shirts that have sold on Etsy or on Amazon). In addition, you are able to determine which buzzwords are the most popular and therefore likely to sell by conducting a Google trends search for the different slogans you’re considering using for your shirt designs.

When the designs are complete, potential buyers will basically want to glance and observe how the T-shirts fit on actual people. Placeit is a user-friendly platform that provides a library of blank T-shirt product images for you to apply your designs. Images of people wearing blank tees can also be found in stock photo collections. At the same time, you can use Photoshop to superimpose your own designs onto these images.

For more exciting action images, you can employ a professional photographer as well as recruit some models if you’ve got the time and resources to do so. However, it all depends on your production budget as well as the number of shirts you may be able to produce within a given price range.

#5. Choose Which Marketing Channel Will Be Most Successful For You

Once you’re ready to start making sales, you nevertheless need to decide on a distribution method. It’s simple to sell online using either your own website or a marketplace.

If you go with a third-party vendor, you’ll have to create an account and arrange things for your storefront. In particular, marketplaces like Etsy, Zazzle, and Redbubble are well-known for their high garment sales and large consumer bases. Also, Amazon and social media platforms are two more viable options for marketing your wares.

Considering the long-term viability of each service’s cost is essential before making a final decision.

#6. Build  a Website for Your Business

Generally, to market your T-shirt business, you need to have a website even if you plan to sell through an intermediary marketplace. These are some of the most reliable and popular e-commerce systems available today:

  • Shopify has excellent tools for tracking sales and generating bespoke themes for its online stores’ front ends.
  • Wix offers a free plan and a simple-to-use interface.
  • Weebly is the most affordable e-commerce solution.

If you’re making your shirts utilizing a print-on-demand service, then you can easily incorporate all of these features into your workflow. They enable you to concentrate on the creative aspects while they handle the logistics of selling and promoting your products.

#7. Publicize Your T-Shirt Business

Getting the word out about a new company might be tough, but there are inexpensive options available. Explore online communities like subreddits and Facebook groups where you may post your T-shirts to keep people interested in your niche market.

If you want to test whether micro-influencers have good conversion rates, you can also try contacting them and inquiring about their engagement rates. Emerging celebrities are also inclined to back a fledgling company.

Are T-Shirt Businesses Profitable?

Sales of T-shirts have topped $1.9 trillion worldwide in recent years, proving their widespread popularity among consumers of all ages. When compared to other business alternatives, starting an online t-shirt business has modest startup costs and high potential profits. While the profitability of a t-shirt business will vary based on your market and advertising expenditures, you can launch a viable side hustle that generates money in as little as 30 days.

What Things do You Need to Start a T-Shirt Business?

Generally, a commercial screen printer is essential for a new custom t-shirt business. Here is a rundown of the basics any new venture in this field should have on hand.

  • Heat press
  • Printers.
  • Computers
  • Graphics programs
  • Cutter
  • Transfer paper

What Kind of Shirts Sell the Most?

The type of T-shirt that sells the most varies depending on a number of variables, including market demand, target audience, and current trends. Yet, some common T-shirt designs that typically do well on the market include:

  • T-shirts with a slim or fitted cut
  • T-shirts with distinctive and striking prints
  • Basic solid-colored T-shirts
  • Graphic T-shirts with popular designs and logos
  • Soft-material, casual T-shirts that are both comfortable and stylish
  • T-shirts that seem retro or vintage

However, it’s critical to remember that what sells well can change based on the time of year, current affairs, and cultural fads. Maintaining up-to-date information on fashion trends can help you to better tailor your T-shirt selection.

Is It Hard to Start a T-Shirt Business?

The fact that the T-shirt business offers a degree of equitable opportunities is one of its best features. It doesn’t take much to begin going, and after that, it’s up to you to determine where it goes. In truth, you don’t need a lot of money to launch a T-shirt business, also with the growth of e-commerce, dropshipping, and home-based businesses.

T-Shirt Business Plan

Suppose you had the option of designing your own shirt from scratch. You get to customize your own tee by picking the shirt’s fabric and cut, as well as the design that will appear on the front and/or back. This is the pinnacle of spoken communication. Nothing you say or write will be off-limits. The fact that the T-shirt business offers a degree of equity is one of its best features. It doesn’t take much to get it going, and after that, it’s up to you to determine where it goes.

Download T-shirt Business Plan Template

Nevertheless, to make a T-shirt business work and be successful, you need to have a solid or well-designed business plan. That being said, what does a business plan for a T-shirt entails?

What is a T-shirt Business Plan?

A business plan outlines your growth strategy for the following five years and gives a current picture of your t-shirt firm. It outlines your company’s objectives and your plan for achieving them. To help you with your plans, it also offers an industry analysis of the t-shirt market.

How Do I Write a Business Plan for My T-shirt Business?

Over the past two decades, we’ve assisted over five thousand would-be entrepreneurs and business owners in developing strategic plans for launching and expanding their t-shirt enterprises.

Below you’ll find a template for a t-shirt business plan as well as detailed instructions for writing your own.

Click and use the provided link below for in-depth information on developing and implementing each aspect of your T-shirt business plan.

Download T-SHIRT BUSINESS PLAN template

By doing so, you will be able to know more about each of the following essential components of a business plan;

  • Executive Summary
  • Company Overview
  • Industry Analysis
  • Customer Analysis
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Marketing Plan
  • Operations Plan
  • Management Team
  • Financial Plan
  • Appendix

T-Shirt Business Starter Kit

Generally, T-shirt businesses are simple to launch and have minimal entrance requirements. Hence, to supplement their income or as a hobby, many people desire to create t-shirt businesses.

While there are several ways to start a T-shirt business and print your own shirts, the fastest and simplest way to begin is with the use of a heat press.

If it is about the starter kit you require to launch your T-shirt business, this might help you grasp what it’s all about. Basically, you will require a heat press and other accessories and tools that will support the expansion of your firm to set up a T-shirt business.

You can print T-shirts, hoodies, and other garments with a thermal press which is why it is safe to say the heat press is your starter kit. It is basically all you really need to sell t-shirts.

What Makes Up the T-shirt Business Starter Kill?

You can utilize professional-quality screen-printed conversions instead of the ones you are previously printing on the inkjet printer and computer by using a heat press.

Rather than investing in an expensive printing press, inks, screens, and all the other equipment needed for traditional screen printing, you may simply apply the design to the garment using a heat press.

Yes. you may find a T-shirt thermal press starter kit that is inexpensive; however, the less you spend, the worse the quality of the heat press you will receive for your business. You get what you pay for, as the adage goes. This is basically the way it is especially when you’re dealing with heat press devices in the T-shirt business. 

Everything you need to get started making high-quality t-shirts quickly and easily are always included in most painting press business starter kit. Some of the things included are:

  • A2Z Swing Away Heat Press 15″x15″
  • Quick Slip Lower Platen Protector – 15″ x 15″
  • 6″ x 10″ Platen A2Z
  • Quick Slip Lower Platen Protector – 6″ x 10″
  • Heat Printing Pillow – 12″ x 14″ – for adult shirts
  • Heat Printing Pillow – 5″ x 18″ – for sleeves and legs
  • Reusable Cover Sheet 18″ x 20″ – 6 Mil
  • Kraft Paper 15″ x 19″ – 25 Pack
  • Free Ground Shipping (some exceptions apply)
  • FREE Transfer Express Marketing Kit (Free coupon for the kit–it’s personalized so you need to call in)

Do I Really Need a T-shirt Business Starter Kit?

Convenience is among the best justifications for which you need to buy the starter kit for your T-shirt business. Indeed, you might save some money as well, but convenience is the main concern. Do you know how it feels to be eager to begin a project? Exactly.

How Many Designs Do You Need to Start a Tshirt Business?

Eight designs max, with six of each size in t-shirt form to begin. That’s 24 tees for each design (in sizes 6S, 6M, 6L, and 6XL) and 192 tees altogether. In this method, you may determine which sizes and styles are most popular with your target market through a preliminary test run.


If you want to achieve financial success now is the moment to act on the most recent market trends. Anyone with the initiative to master the ropes of T-shirt retail will find a lucrative and open industry. For as long as people need to dress, T-shirts will be in demand. Plus, by 2025, it is expected that the bespoke t-shirt market would be worth $3 billion.

But while there are innumerable resources online to help you get started on this path, you’ll need to bring your own excitement and a little bit of self-control to run a successful T-shirt business.


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