How to Start an Online T-shirt Business?

How to Start an Online T-shirt Business

Starting an online T-shirt business is a great idea. However, you need to have all the basics before deciding to dive into the online T-shirt business.

Do you know why most print on demand businesses fall at inception? It’s because they didn’t take the right procedure to start their business and just indulged in it for the sake.

That shouldn’t be the case for you. In this article, you will get to know the steps to take if you want to start an online T-shirt business.

You won’t have to be worried about all the logistics and can even start your business in the comfort of your home.


Why start an online t-shirt business?


Online T-shirt Business

Well, you may think that the online t-shirt business is flooded. However, think twice about that.

Everyone owns a t-shirt and that is enough guarantee that the demand for t-shirts will never reduce. It will always be there. Events are always coming up and people need t-shirts to brace the event.

Hence, the supply and demand curve will always be rising. That’s where you need to take advantage.

When you look at it from a business perspective, you will note that it can become profitable within a short time. It will just incur you a start-up cost and from there you will get a considerable amount of profit


How to start an online t-shirt business?


Online T-shirt Business 2

Step 1: Set your objective or goal

Before starting an online T-shirt business, you need to set your objectives and know what your ultimate goal is.

Get to know what gap you are filling and whether the market is there or it will waste your time and make you feel like the business won’t work well.

This is the same as having a business model, whereby you will be able to evaluate the risks, strengths, and opportunities. 

Evaluate why you are starting the online t-shirt business. Is it for fun? A passive source or your main source of income?

Moreover, evaluate how much time you can put into the business and its viability.


Step 2: Find a niche for your online t-shirt business

If you are serious about your business, you need to find a suitable niche for your online t-shirt business.

Will you be delivering plain t-shirts, t-shirts with designs, custom made designs t-shirt or what kind?

You need to find something that is unique and will represent your brand. This will make you be a step ahead in terms of business success.

While creating your online store, do thorough research, get to see other online stores, and their ideas. This will help you know the best strategies to take.

Try and evaluate what you think is impressive and find the appropriate niche that interests you. Ensure you take advantage of any untapped market where there is little competition.


Step 3: Find, create or acquire great designs

If you are starting an online T-shirt business, you need to know where you will be getting designs for the commodities.

Are you a great designer? If the answer is No, don’t worry, there are many online platforms that you can use to outsource designs. 

Such platforms include Plicks. There is a wide variety of designs that you can customize ranging from sports, profession, days, family, and hobbies. Alternatively, you can choose to find freelancers to make designs for your products.

However, you need to have an idea of what you want the t-shirts to entail. You need to introduce the concept of personalization to ensure that products are unique and provide client satisfaction. The mention of your brand should create a visual of what you offer.

If you are opting to hire a designer, get to know their experience level and this will help you be more decisive. If you are the designer, always think out of the box and be creative.


Step 4: Validation of the designs

You may have gotten the best t-shirt designs and thought they were the best, however, you need to seek the feedback of the t-shirt design ideas you have.

If you have a particular concept bring it out to see if people are willing to buy the same or not. It should act as a trial basis.

You can seek validation from online platforms and also from local consultants. These platforms include Reddit. It is a great place where you can gauge the success of your online t-shirt business.

This will assure you of honest feedback and see the reactions of potential customers. It can even act as your starting point in marketing and once you launch your product they will be ready to buy.


Step 5: Sourcing your T-shirts

Now that you have already settled on what designs to get and so on. It is important to decide where you will be sourcing your t-shirts.

Thus, when doing this, ensure to get the best high-quality t-shirts. Thus, get an ideal supplier, check for quality, and know what your budget can allow. The main idea is to stand out from your competitors. This can be either if you are running a print on demand business or dropshipping.

Hence, the highest quality of your products is better. Don’t decide to buy t-shirts that will wear and tear after a short while. Check for the kind that will last long. This will make your customers even tell their friends about the great products that you offer.


Step 6: Get a printing provider

You have already settled on a t-shirt supplier and where to get the designs. What about printing? Who will do that?

There are different kinds of printing techniques and you need to find one that will suit you best. For this, you can get in touch with the local printing businesses and see whether they can offer the service to you.

However, you need to evaluate the best technique you can take that is cost-effective. This will also help you to build on your business model and how you want to partake in your business.

You can even opt for the Drop shipping option that allows you to communicate with suppliers who will make t-shirt designs for you and dropship to your customers.


Step 7: Mockup your designs

Once you have settled on the designs you will be using. The next thing is getting some mock-up images of how the printed t-shirts will look like.

You can decide to order samples and take photos of the products or creating a digital mockup.

You can use the adobe photoshop t-shirt templates to make your mockup files. In this, you will be able to change the color of the t-shirts and apply your design.


Step 8: Market your products

You need to choose the best marketing option for you. Ensure you use social media sites to promote your products and also the relevant forums to communicate the same. Get to know the best strategies to take to ensure your t-shirt sales are high.

Having a great online presence is essential.. While marketing, know how to handle your competitors to outdo them. You can even borrow one, two, three ideas from them.

Get to know where your ideal customers love to hang out while online. This is the best place to get hold of their attention.


Step 9: Launch your store under your brand and start selling

When you have already made your decision on starting an online T-shirt business. It will be much easier to launch your store and start selling.

If you have all the necessary resources needed you will be in a better position to start your own t-shirt business at ease.


Step 10: Make your sales

Having gone through all the steps, it will be much easier to have a solid business model that will guide you along the way. The only thing remaining is starting your online t-shirt business.

Invest your time, energy, and capital to ensure your business becomes a success.

Also, try to diversify in offline opportunities that you can use in sales of your t-shirts. You need to be bold enough to approach interested parties.


Types of t-shirt design printing


t-shirt design

There are different ways of t-shirt design printing and other commodities. This will help you be more decisive on the best way to t-shirt design printing for your customers.

1) Screen printing

This type is a great option for designs that are darker or have a high level of animation.

Do you want to be printing bulk t-shirts that accommodate just five or fewer colors? This is the best option for you!

Screen printing can help produce durable results and through it, you can even expand your product line. However, it is not suitable for custom designs.


2) Heat transfer

In this method, you just place an image on a heat transfer paper. You then cut the image from the paper and place it on the t-shirt.

The heat transfer paper melts easily into the fibers of the clothing and creates great images. There are basic and complex heat transfer papers.


3) Direct to garment

For this option, ink is applied directly onto the t-shirt using an inkjet printer. The designs are downloaded to a computer and then directly transferred into the t-shirt.

It is a cheap option because of the low setup cost. It is great for a few orders.



You need to be careful when starting an online t-shirt business. You can easily go wrong along the way, but as long as you persevere and you are unique in your endeavors you can never go wrong.

The crucial thing is planning and this will help you be in a better position in strategizing in the success of your business.

Also, choose the best marketing strategies for your business to ensure you grow a wide customer base.