1.Understanding your target market. Often people think they can be everything to everyone however knowing every detail about YOUR specific target market is one of the keys to success. From their age, gender, interests, friendship circles, what they read, what websites and forums they look at, what clubs they attend etc. This will come in handy when you’re starting to sell your t-shirts and for target marketing.
2. Set realistic goals about what you want to achieve and the money you would like to make. T-shirt success does not usually happen overnight but rather over a few years. Be realistic with what you can achieve. For example; one goal may be print 50 t-shirts by a certain date. Another goal maybe to sell at least 25 t-shirts to stores by a certain date. Set goals by month so you keep on track and stay motivated.
Interesting Topic : How to start a tshirt printing business properly
3.Know when to hold and know when to fold. You have to own your mistakes. It’s important that you recognize if a t-shirt is not selling, then try to sell in a different avenue such as eBay or Etsy and move on. It’s not worth pushing something that’s not working. Every retailer has best sellers and worst sellers and when they don’t perform, they are marked down and new product is ranged.
4. Knowing how much money you should invest. In my experience, the best advice is work out an estimate of how much you think it will cost initially to start your business and then double it, as this is probably more realistic. People forget about the smaller things such as postage, shipping costs, petrol, website hosting etc. These little things add up.
5.Test your product before you start to heavily invest. This is an important one and given the current Internet opportunities that are out there, it’s easily achievable. If you can make some customized t-shirts from an online website then you can see if people are liking what you are doing. Get your product in photos, organize competitions, give samples to friends to wear and use social websites to show off your t-shirt designs. There are many things you can try, to see if your style works and people like it.
6.Take your time when making important decisions. We are human and we can be impulsive and make quick decisions that may not be the right ones for us. Business is quite tough these days, people will want to rush you and will say anything to try to get you to commit so they have an order. Take your time and weigh up the pros and cons and be informed. Do your research and then make the decision – it will end up saving you time and money!
7.Some opportunities are sometimes not worth it. When you are starting out, you will come across people who will try to challenge your pricing, product and brand. For example, an online retailer may want your product but will only order it, if it’s $10 less than your current wholesale cost. If you are making little or no margin on a job, it is OK to say no. In my experience, be willing in some cases to achieve a lower margin, if it means you will get more business from it. Sometimes it’s a marketing exercise that is well worth the cost cutting.
8.It’s OK to start small. I know myself that as soon as I get a great idea in my head you think ‘that’s it!’ I then start going crazy and spending loads of money. You may buy a machine or other equipment that is quite expensive. Take your time, test different processes and then decide which way you want to go.
It’s really important that you do some samples and see the results first before investing a lot of money into equipment and other things that may not be want you wanted after all.
9.Do your homework. If you’re thinking of investing in a printing machine, then look at all the costs associated with this process. It’s usually not that clear cut and you will find that there will be inks or paper for example, which cost a lot of money and you had not accounted for it.
10.You will be your own Boss! As much as this is super fantastic and you can’t wait to be the boss, there are also average tasks as well. You are the only person that can answer to customer complaints and any issues that come up when running the business. It would be great to become part of a network or forum for weekly support. As a single person boss, you also have to start to know everything about anything; from taxes to sales, marketing to design, from dealing with stores and selling online. You have to be able to master and wear many hats that in my opinion can be quite challenging but also exciting.