The shirt printing business is undeniably a booming industry nowadays. With the increasing demand for customized apparels, individuals, organizations and businesses go for shirt printing vendors to avail personalized and custom-made design wardrobe for personal, marketing or event use. Here are the top 5 tips on How to Start a Shirt Printing Business, from our guest mentor, Nap Garcia of ProTees.
In any business, product inventory is very important.
Managing your inventory helps you track the goods that you sold, as well as how profitable your business has become. With inventory control, you can avoid running out of stocks because you are be able to do a forecast of how long your supplies will last. At the same time, this will keep you away from having over supply of items that have gone out of style and obsolete. Thus, having an efficient inventory management allows you to assess your accounts and finances, and also enables you to provide better customer service.
There are various inventory systems which you can use for the business. Unfortunately, full-blown softwares are a bit expensive for those who are still starting out. But there are also inventory systems that are up online for free (but mostly for trial or with limited functions). You don’t actually need to spend on inventory systems yet. You may use Microsoft Excel instead for managing your inventory. As long as you have a proper system in place, it’s okay.
No matter how good your designs are, if you don’t have a niche market, then its useless.
The common mistake of shirt printing business owners is to focus too much on their apparel designs, without setting a target market. It should not start with the design or your artist. It should start with the people you want to sell your products to. Having a niche market allows you to create a product that is in line with what your target consumers taste. This makes it easier for you to think of concepts, and sell your items because you already have a market and you already know what they want.
Nowadays, simpler/classic design is more marketable. Even a simple name of a college course let’s say for example, in white print in the chest, is more marketable than a design pure of images in 5 colors. Students are usually the market of this kind of business. This is a big market, that is why most shirt printing businesses base their designs on the current trends that are likely to capture them.
When pricing your products, consider all the cost and the quantity.
In t-shirt printing business, when you calculate the price, you need to check the cost of the following: t-shirt, print, logistics, as well as the tax. Make sure you include these expenses to your actual pricing of the shirts. Also include your expenses in marketing and labor. Depending on the quantity (example: more than 100 pcs.), you may have 20% profit margin. The t-shirt price would depend on your costs for making each of them.
4. Provide Good Customer Service
Running out of stocks forces you to turn away customers. Damaged or haphazardly done items leave your customers unhappy. These are the common scenarios to which printing businesses can relate to. However, committing a mistake is inevitable.
You are only human. You make mistakes. And it’s okay. But you need to learn from it.
When you come across unhappy customers, compensate the damages to flip them from being unhappy to satisfied clients. If items are returned, you should check their reasons of returning it. On the other hand, if its rejected, you check your production – the flaws may have started there. Now if you know it’s your (production) fault, admit it and immediately take an action. By this, you do not only keep your customers appeased, but you also got their trust to order from you again.
Napoleon “Nap” Garcia is in love with t-shirts since he was taking up Information Technology course in Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila. He’s the founder of TshirtPlus.ph and the Philippine’s Head of Delegation in ASEAN Entrepreneurship Assembly.
He is also one of the founders of ProTees Project, an online selling tool that enables individuals and organizations too raise funds by selling customized t-shirts with no upfront cost. They provide high quality t-shirts, hoodies, polo shirts with customized designs to schools, companies, charity foundations and more.