How to Start a T-Shirt Business Concord NC

A good t-shirt never goes out of style, so a great t-shirt business has the opportunity to expand for many, many years. Here are some tips on how to start a t-shirt business.

North Carolina SBTDC
(704) 548-1090
8701 Mallard Creek Road
Charlotte, NC
UpSurge Business Solutions
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Charlotte, NC
A Natural Bent - for Executive and Business Coaching
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University of North Carolina at Pembroke
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Pembroke, NC
North Carolina State University, Capital Region
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Raleigh, NC
The Nelson Group Business Advisors, Inc.
(704) 707-4333
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Kannapolis, NC
Performance Coaching Inc
(704) 655-9107
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Charlotte, NC
Western Carolina University Sub-Center, Asheville
(828) 251-6025
68 Patton Ave., Suite One
Asheville, NC
Appalachian-Foothills Region SBTDC
(828) 345-1110
905 Highway 321 NW Suite 354
Hickory, NC
North Carolina SBTDC
(828) 227-3504
204 Forsyth Building
Cullowhee, NC

How to Start a T-Shirt Business

Among the numerous business possibilities out there, a t-shirt business is perhaps one of the simplest. This doesn’t mean the t-shirt business is easy to set up and is always foolproof. In business, there is no such thing as a sure thing; everything you do in a business should be considered as a risk. But consider the possibilities. For one, a t-shirt business will never go out of style as long as you know how to package and reinvent your products. And the business startup requirement of a t-shirt business is considerably small, especially when you compare it to other business opportunities. Product sales can even be done online, saving you a lot of money on business startup costs. A good t-shirt never goes out of style, so a great t-shirt business has the opportunity to expand for many, many years.

Here are some tips on how to start a t-shirt business. Note that while these tips will tackle some legal aspects of the t-shirt business, it will not go through explaining the progresses behind registering the business. In any case:

The basics of a t-shirt business

Since you are starting a t-shirt business, you need to know the very core of your enterprise: your products. Do extensive research on your market and what potential products could click within this market. Should you start an online business or would you rather have a physical store? Remember that your funds will probably dictate this side of the business; you can’t open an actual store with any funds, after all.

But more than the logistics, research on what you should sell. Garment companies create their products because they know it will be sold in bulk. So it goes without saying: create t-shirts that you know (not think) will sell. It has to be good enough and creative enough to match the existing products in the market, but not too different it’ll alienate the market. Know the competition—know what they sell and know how your t-shirts can be different and better. Copying an existing product will only strengthen your competition’s business. You need to be original, especially now that almost anyone can open up their own t-shirt business, thanks to the minimum business startup cost.

Make sure your finances are stable and ample before you open the business. Even in an online store, you are expected to pay for some expenses—even if your business has not started to earn money. Business experts would say that it really takes time before any kind of business endeavor actually starts to earn money. Are you really to shell out for money to keep t-shirt business running?

Lastly, set goals—and work hard to meet those goals. Do not give up easily; as mentioned above, it really takes time before a business picks up. Give your t-shirt business time to grow.

The legalities

While t-shirt creation is all about being creative (after all, it will be the main draw of your business), you need to be careful not to step on legal landmines during the duration of your t-shirt business life.

For instance, many garment companies unknowingly use trademarked characters, figures, and phrases on their t-shirt designs. Obviously, this is illegal and could land your business into serious trouble. Likewise, if you’re using a new character, phrase, word, or design on your t-shirt, make sure you copyright your designs and trademark your logos and labels to make sure no one else but you can use them. Trademarks and copyrights protect your work from being stolen; and if someone does, you can command a hefty sum of them. But if you don’t, other t-shirt businesses and garment companies can freely steal your designs and logos—and you won’t be protected by the law in case this happens.

Copyrighted characters or logos should be avoided, unless you can secure a permission from their owners. Well known quotes, however, can be used—as long as you do not claim it as your own, or at least make it appear so. Pictures or illustrations done to the likeness of real people are also permitted, as long as you do not copy the said illustration from a well known portrait or photograph of any kind. The golden rule here is this: do not copy ideas and creations by other people.


The next step is marketing. How can you make other people buy your t-shirts? Of course, you need to let people know that your products exist. This is the purpose of marketing. However, since you do not have thousands (more so millions) of dollars. This should prompt you to use all the resources possible to market your products for free. Internet shops do not necessarily have it easy, but at least they don’t have to spend much on marketing. One of the concerns of an online t-shirt business is, naturally, their website. Getting traffic is one thing; getting the visitors to purchase is another.

Here, you can choose to use three techniques that also apply to physical stores: great products, easy checkout, amazing service. Great products help you attract customers, easy checkout (or easy purchasing) provides customers with few chances to change their mind about the purchase, and amazing service entices them to come back for more. With online stores, the layout of the online store has to be easy to navigate. Technically, everything else about this is already in the realms of online marketing and search engine optimization. You have to work on those as well.

Many sellers may think that numerous options and choices can improve their product sales. Not necessarily; too many choices can actually overwhelm a potential customer, which can hinder product sales. You need to concentrate on specific products to make sure you customers can see your best offerings.

In the end, of course, the best way to increase the likelihood of success for your business is great products and service. If the customers liked what you have, they will keep coming back for more—with more customers for you in tow.