How to Start a Graphic T-Shirt Business

by Tanya August 09, 2021
t shirt business

Today, starting a graphic T-shirt business is easier than ever thanks to online marketing resources, digital printing, and huge distribution networks.

Even so, designing a t-shirt that is popular requires more than just a great idea – it requires a solid plan and a vision.

If you want to know how to start a graphic t-shirt business, then keep reading below:

1. Conduct market research

Before you think of the concept and design of your t-shirts, conduct some market research to make sure your product appeals to buyers.

Start by identifying your target market. Find out what types of people buy T-shirts like yours, where do they discover these products and how much are they willing to pay.

Then seek out people in that group to get their feedback on your design. You can also ask people in your network who have worked in fashion retail and can give you some advice.

2. Think of a concept

Spend some time creating and refining your concept. Remember – you are not just designing a T-shirt, you’re setting up a business, so keep consistent branding, image, and company identity in mind.

So brainstorm and expand your ideas in different directions. It’s often difficult to tell whether your idea will resonate with other people, so it might be an idea to come up with multiple versions.

3. Plan your business properly

Although selling T-shirts might sound straightforward, without a plan, you’ll be wasting both money and time. Read more about what sort of market research you need to consider before creating a T-shirt business.

A business plan needs to include things like:

1. A clearly defined target customer
2. Identification of underserved customer needs
3. Value proposition

In order to be successful, you will need to create an effective business plan that outlines your product, your target market, your financial projections, and your business goals.

Once you’ve done this you will need to come up with a business name, and obtain any necessary permits or licenses.

4. Design your T-shirt or a tote bag

The next step in the process is to start designing your T-shirts. You can get inspiration by browsing Pinterest or draw a 100% original design.

Once you have something in mind you can visit an on-demand T-shirt and hoodie printing website like printful.com/uk/personalised-hoodie. All you have to do is upload your design on their website and
they will print it on any one of a wide selection of hoodies and ship it out to you.

When buying branded tote bags  make sure that your design is high-quality, high resolution, and that it works in various sizes. It’s also important to bear in mind that while an image may look amazing on your computer screen, it may not look quite as good once printed onto the t-shirt.

You can also check out providers like Gelato – a platform to create and sell custom products online. Unlike many other providers who make their items in China, Gelato offer locally produced items in 32 countries, easy integration, and 24/7 customer support.

5. Select a printer and your materials

Shop around for the best printer and your materials. Start by contacting a range of local printers, and online print sources to find out what they offer. Keep in mind your profit margin when doing this.

You will then need to find a supplier of T-shirts. It’s a good idea to choose a supplier that produces high-quality T-shirts such as Screen Textiles. They also specialise in printing and embroidery.

6. Price your T-shirts

Once you’ve found a printer and a company to supply your T-shirts, you can work out how much your T-shirts will cost. You need to bear in mind that if you price your T-shirts too high, you could end up with a lot of unsold inventory.

7. Market your T-shirts

The final step is to market your T-shirts.

Social media & influencer marketing is probably the best place to get started with marketing your T-shirts.

You can create TikTok, Instagram, and Pinterest accounts and update them regularly. You can also advertise on these platforms to reach your audience quicker.

And finally, you can send a few samples to influencers (people with a big and engaged following) and ask them to promote your products.


In the T-shirt industry where designing, producing, and selling your product is relatively easy, a solid idea that people will resonate with is all you need to get started

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