T-shirt printing is a lucrative business to start at home because t-shirts continue to be a popular clothing of choice for all age groups. Youth sports teams and organizations order them to be used as uniforms, while reunions, weddings and corporate events also want their logos or names printed on t-shirts to serve as giveaways. The quality of the textile used, as well as the t-shirt's workmanship and proper sizing, can make a difference in keeping your customers coming back for repeat orders. Finding the suppliers who can maintain their quality standards is also a key factor.
Education and Training
You will need to familiarize yourself with the t-shirt printing machine in order for you to produce consistent output, especially on volume orders. Manufacturers often include training manuals with their machines. Be sure to study these, ask questions from their technical support, experiment printing a few shirts, and learn to troubleshoot for problems.
If you want to offer design services along with the printing or opt for a digital printing machine, you need to be proficient with design software that is compatible with your machine. Scour for free online classes, or enroll on a short course in your local community college.
Depending on how low you can keep your costs and how competitive your prices are, you can earn about $5 or more per t-shirt printed. Multiply that by the quantity ordered by the companies, church groups or soccer teams, and you will have a rough idea of how much you can make in a month or year. You can charge higher if they will avail of your artistic skills for their custom designs. If you offer special pricing for bulk orders, you can entice your customers to order more so they can avail of the cheaper prices. Opening an online store can also expand your market outside of your town, and you can expect this move to bring in more income.
Finding a niche in a popular business is a little tricky. You will be competing with the more established industry players who have more money to invest in marketing and wholesale materials. You can target customer needs that are not met by your competitors. You can offer your services to any of the following purposes: to be sold as a fund raising item by charitable organizations, as uniforms for sports teams, corporate giveaways or incentives, memorabilia for local concerts and shows, and reunion or wedding keepsakes. Providing good customer service along with high quality products for your price point will ensure customer loyalty.
Because the t-shirt has been around for so long, you have to research on those businesses that are providing custom printed ones for your target market. Adjust your price point so you can compete with them and still make enough profit for yourself. Keep up with the changing color and design trends to get fresh ideas for your t-shirts. As with any other business, listening to your customers will enable you to serve their needs better. These needs can even open new markets for you.