Let's imagine you’ve had an idea brewing in your mind about starting a clothing line. You’ve come up with a fun company name and maybe even started sketching out some design ideas. It can be easy to sell t-shirts online, but it’s important to set yourself up for success so you can make money doing so. Here are a few pointers that will send you in the right direction selling t-shirts online to make money.
1. Create a business plan.
Any good idea should have a business plan behind it guiding it forward. This is not to say things won’t change. The plan will more than likely have to be altered as your company grows, but the outlined structure will hold you accountable as you make decisions.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, “A business plan is an essential roadmap for business success. This living document generally projects 3-5 years ahead and outlines the route a company intends to take to grow revenues.” Your business plan should cover things like company summary, mission statement, product description, SWOT analysis, marketing plan, timeline and more.
2. Figure out your budget.
Financial planning should be included as a piece of your business plan, but it’s so important we decided to highlight it independently. You need to look at the overall picture, not only what you will spend on making the t-shirts and how much you will sell them for.
There are other very important things to consider as you evaluate your cost: startup cost, monthly cost, annual cost, marketing and advertising cost, starting inventory cost, taxes, licensing and legal fees, shipping, office type equipment, profit and loss forecasting, etc.
Here’s an article with more information on How To Create A Budget For Your Business. Also, we highly suggest searching for a free budget worksheet and start filling it out, so you can see what you need to make it happen.
3. Set up on the right platforms.
Selling t-shirts online to make money can be simple if you choose the right ecommerce platform. Squarespace has built beautiful ecommerce templates that give your customers a flawless experience as they navigate through each product on your site.
They’ve also set it up as a one stop shop. They’ve made it simple to choose a theme, get your domain registered, set up an account with Google and use integrated software for accounting and shipping. The pricing of their plans is easily worth the amount of features (some free for the first year!) you have access too. Using a company like Squarespace will help get you up and running quickly and efficiently.
4. Charge based on the value.
Figuring out your budget should certainly outline how much you should sell your t-shirts online to make a profit, but there are other determining factors that should be taken into consideration. It’s important to decide the value you are offering to your customers.
Here are some questions you might want to ask yourself:
- Overall, is your shirt retail ready?
- Is it printed on a premium shirt with premium ink?
- Did you have custom screen printed tags in each shirt?
- Are there branded hang tags attached to each shirt?
- Is it coming in pristine custom packaging that will excite the customer to open the box?
- Are you including any other small token, like a sticker, with the shirt?
Also, do a little research. Check out your market and see how much other companies are selling t-shirts online to make money for and where you fit on that scale. Remember, you can always adjust your prices as you roll out new designs.
If you have a game plan, you’ll always know where you’re at and where you’re going. There are a lot of valuable steps in creating a brand and making shirts online. It can take a lot of upfront work between building out the business plan and actually creating your designs, but if you want to make money and keep selling shirts don’t skip these steps!
P.S. Make sure to check out 8 Pro Tips For Ordering T-shirts Online before you buy!