FREE GROUND SHIPPING on retail orders above $125

How to Start a Successful Custom T-Shirt & Printing Business

How to Start a Successful Custom T-Shirt & Printing Business

How to Start a Successful Custom T-Shirt & Printing Business Since the pandemic started many people who thought they has stability found themselves without jobs and struggling to make ends meet. It forced many individuals to think outside the box and determine multiple ways to establish income so in the case of  another global shutdown they'd find themselves on the right side of the spectrum still financially stable and able to meet their needs. Because of this selling t-shirts online has become a popular business choice, especially for entrepreneurs and artists looking for a relatively inexpensive way to make much needed additional income. Plus, the global market for the custom t-shirt printing industry is expected to eclipse $10 billion by 2025, with an already $8bn market size, 10,952 businesses (not including many start-ups and home-based businesses), and 62,720 employees.

With the growth in popularity of selling t-shirts, there’s no doubt you’ll face some stiff competition. But by building a brand for a specific target audience and creating t-shirt designs your customers want, you can find your own success and thus start a successful custom t-shirt & printing business. Many clever entrepreneurs like yourself have identified the demand of this product and have started thinking about beginning their own T-shirt businesses but may not know where to start. So what steps can you follow to get started and make sure your business journey has continuous success?

1. Find a Niche for Your Online Custom T-Shirt & Printing Business

A niche will help your online shirt selling business stand out and better attract the right target audience without blowing your budget. Current niche's include selling Direct-To-Garment (DTG), also know as Direct-To-Film (DTF) transfers, digital files, socially inclusive items, etc. One of the most important parts of a successful online t-shirt business model is the ability to stand out, and one of the best ways to do that is by catering to a specific target audience or interest group. 

Take your time, and do your research if you decide to create a niche store. Look through other online stores that you like, and use them to brainstorm T-shirt ideas for your own business. Jot down anything that you think is impressive, and then take some time to think about how you can make your online T-shirt business even better. Ultimately, you can target any niche that interests you. If you think that there is an untapped market, take advantage of it. It’s easier to stand out when there’s little competition, and it’ll be much cheaper, too!

2. Design Your Own T-Shirt

The custom printing and tshirt market is becoming more saturated as many inidviduals are putting on their entrepreneurial hats and launching their brands and buisnesses. With everyone buying designs from designers on marketplaces such as etsy,, and other platforms there are several individuals selling the same designs. Don't get me wrong, there is still a profit to be made because at the end of the day it comes down to marketing and your ability to reach nich markets, but when there is exclusivity profit margins tend to increase. The easiest way if you are not a designer is to work with freelances of platforms such as Fiverr to design graphics that are released exclusively to your business and no one else. Composing NWA's or leagl agreements helps to keep things professional and ensure you will be the only person using the graphics.


3. Validate Your Design

Verify that there is a market for and interest in your designs. You can achieve this by posting your designs on some forums (make sure that you watermark your designs so nobody can steal them). Use social media and reach out to family and friends, doing polls to see what is likable or not. You can create tshirt mockupsand post your prospective designs onto forums to get feedback. 


4. Source Your Products


5. Print Designs


6. Set A Price

Another important aspect of starting a t-shirt business is determining the pricing of your products. You’ll need to factor in your purchase price plus the cost you incur in printing the designs. Assuming you want to sell at a 50% margin, you can multiply the overall cost by 2 to determine your unit price.

Let’s say you buy 50 t-shirts for $300, and it costs $500 to print a one-color design. In this case, you paid $6 for one shirt and $10 to get the design printed on it. Your per-unit cost would be $16 ($10+$6). So it would be ideal to sell the t-shirt at $32 (16x2). You can even charge $5-$10 more if you’re selling a retail quality t-shirt (people are often willing to pay more for better-fitting and super soft material).

7. Choose a business model or multiple

8. Set Up Your Online Store & Start Selling


Add A Coupon

What are you looking for?

Fresh Prince Graphic Tee

Someone recently purchased

Fresh Prince Graphic Tee

10 Minutes Ago From Florida