Note: This article contains affiliate links (hyperlinks, widgets, or through images), which means I receive compensation if you purchase a product through them. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and/or believe will add value to my readers. Visit my disclosure page for more information.
Are you interested in clothes? Or maybe you have too much time on your hands and would like to try your luck at running an online business? A custom merchandise store is one of the available options. There is a demand for custom t-shirts that people wear to express their political views, support sports teams, or showcase their love for celebrities.
And these are just a few examples.
While the idea of running a t-shirt business may sound attractive, there are still many things to do before you can expect your first customers.
The article gives you a step-by-step guide on creating a successful t-shirt store, even if you lack experience. After all, success comes from a willingness to learn, work hard, and invest time.
Step #1 – Find a Reliable Supplier
Investing in a printing machine and manufacturing t-shirts yourself is too risky, especially if you do not have the money to spare. Taking a loan is also not the best option as there are no guarantees that you will succeed.
Instead, it would be best if you stuck to a dropshipping business model.
In regards to print on demand, Printify is one of, if not the best available suppliers. A global print provider network, more than 250 products, quality products, and one of the best prices in the market sound like a great package, right?
Step #2 – Check With Local Laws
If you are serious about the POD store, you will need to follow all the necessary procedures and register the business once it starts making money.
Check the local legislation and make sure that you are familiar with it.
Otherwise, you may end up having to pay fines for tax evasion and other crimes, even if you had no intention to commit them. When it comes to the law, ignorance is not an excuse.
Step #3 – Research Market
Finding a niche is one of the most challenging steps. Ideally, you want to work with something you find interesting. This way, it is easier to find motivation and not abandon the business midway through.
At the same time, entering an oversaturated market with limited resources spells trouble.
Instead, you could start with an uncompetitive market and gain experience by running a store there. Once you are comfortable, you can switch to your ideal line of products by adding them to the store later.
Step #4 – Consider Looking for a Partner
A print on demand business does not have to be a single man operation. You can look for a partner or two and share the workload.
For example, one person can create designs or look for freelancers who can provide unique ideas for the merchandise. Meanwhile, while your partner focuses on their duties, you could work on promoting the store.
Step #5 – Choose the Right Ecommerce Platform
The right platform matters when you want to make enough money and have things run as smoothly as possible.
As far as the best and most popular eCommerce platforms go, Shopify is one of the most optimal choices. It is easy to manage and integrate the t-shirt store.
Moreover, because of its popularity, the availability of many neat plugins and extensions makes running the store even more effortless. Not to mention all the articles and video guides on the internet to answer questions you may have.
And if you cannot find the information yourself, getting in touch with customer support is also an option.
Step #6 – Drive Traffic to Your Store
Once you add products and have the store up and running, it is time to drive website traffic. Do not expect people to find the page themselves. You will have to spend resources on marketing.
Try multiple methods and see which of them bring you the most site visitors. At the same time, there are certain ideas you should implement in your marketing strategy regardless of whether you want to or not, particularly if you’re going to create a sustainable and thriving business.
First of all, hire someone who can optimize the store for search engines. Organic traffic is one of the cornerstones of a successful online store.
Secondly, build your social media presence. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and even platforms like Reddit and Quora are good channels to reach wider audiences.
Finally, establish relationships with influencers. You can attract many customers just by having an influencer give you a shoutout. And as little as a free t-shirt is enough to pay some influencers.Selling t-shirts online has become a popular way for entrepreneurs and artists to start a relatively inexpensive business. Here are some tips on how to get started!Click To Tweet
Step #7 – Add New Products Regularly
Do not stick to just your initial designs. Aim to introduce new merchandise consistently.
You may even want to consider expanding the product line by adding more than just t-shirts. Mugs, hoodies, phone cases, calendars, and, most recently, face masks are all in demand and can make you money.
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.