6 Steps to Start print-on-demand T-shirt Business

Selling T-shirts is a wonderful place to start if you’ve always wanted to work in the fashion industry. Although it may not appear to be costly, the industry has a lot of promise. The custom printed T-shirt market was estimated at about $4 billion in 2020, according to Grand View Research, and is expected to rise at a compound annual growth rate of nearly 10% over the next seven years.

It’s the versatility of this wardrobe classic that makes it so easy to sell online, whether you want to use it for branding purposes or to communicate specific preferences. Customization is something that customers adore. You may also offer customers a variety of designs that they want with print-on-demand services. Here’s how to start a successful T-shirt business in six easy steps, from defining your ideal consumer to deciding on a marketing approach. We’ve also listed a couple of our favorite print-on-demand services for you to consider.

In six ways, you Can Start an Online T-Shirt Business Using Print-on-Demand:

What’s Print-on-demand?

Print-on-demand is, in a nutshell, a sort of dropshipping. You can make and sell original T-shirt designs without worrying about fulfillment, shipping, or inventory this way. After a consumer orders one of your shirts, the print-on-demand provider will produce the T-shirt and ship it to the customer immediately. This not only reduces your burden, but it also allows you to open an internet store without a large initial expenditure.

How to Create a Print-On-Demand T-Shirt: 6 Steps to Starting an Online T-shirt Business

1. Pick a market

One of the most important aspects of selling items online is to have a niche. While T-shirts are a must-have for any outfit, not everyone will want to purchase your T-shirts. To guarantee that your designs are seen by the correct people, start by selecting your ideal target audience.

It’s important not to make it overly broad. What are your interests and passions? What are your hobbies and passions? As a beginning point, consider your passions and interests.

Alternatively, you can see what’s popular right now. You may use Google Trends to find out what the most popular search terms are and then utilize that information to find a niche.

2. Under your competitor and know your niche

After you’ve determined your specialty, you’ll need to learn about your target market. What do they prefer to share on social media? Which form of content generates the most interest? This knowledge can assist you in coming up with T-shirt design ideas.

You should not only learn more about your area, but you should also research your competitors. What are they doing that appears to be effective? Is there a part of your niche that they’re overlooking that you could focus on?

3. Build your eCommerce store

It’s tempting to start with your online store, but the framework you’ve laid in the preceding steps will ensure that your print-on-demand business is successful from the start.

You may construct your online store using a variety of eCommerce systems, such as Shopify and BigCommerce, and a number of print-on-demand businesses offer direct interaction with these platforms. As a result, you’ll want to double-check that your platform and print-on-demand service are compatible. You’ll be able to handle orders much more quickly this way. Selecting a platform that interfaces with other sales platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook, or even Amazon, is also a smart option.

In addition to integrations, you should look into the platform’s design capabilities. You’ll want to pick one that allows you to customize it to your liking so you can build an online store that fits your brand. A decent platform will include a number of themes that you can easily alter to match your company’s branding.

However, even if your website is well-designed, if it is not user-friendly, the majority of your work will be wasted. Given that mobile shopping currently accounts for the majority of online transactions, you’ll want to be sure that whichever template you choose is mobile-friendly.

4. Integrate with a print-on-demand service

You may now connect your online store to the print-on-demand service of your choosing after you’ve launched your website. You’ll be able to sell T-shirts from your own website this way.

Not only do print-on-demand businesses have low initial costs, but most of them also include mockup generators so you can see how your design will look on a T-shirt and how the finished product will look on a model. This is a really valuable feature because these photographs may also be used as product images on your own website.

5. Get designing (again)

After you’ve finished browsing the website, you may move on to the next stage of the process: designing your personalized tees. Your designs must be unique while being simple in order to capture the attention of your target audience. You can include slogans, images, or a message, for example. These are some of the most popular T-shirt designs.

You can either sketch your ideas or employ a professional graphic designer, depending on your artistic ability. In either case, it’s preferable to start with hand-drawn designs and work your way up from there. In fact, depending on the style you want to achieve, you might be able to convert your hand-drawn designs into vectors that you can alter.

Your chosen print-on-demand provider will have its own set of requirements. So simply make sure that whatever you create adheres to these rules.

6. Check the quality

You’ll want to make sure that the quality of your T-shirts meets the standards of your audience because you’ll be selling them online. This will be a deal-breaker for your business’s success.

You can certainly choose lower-quality materials to increase your profit margins. However, in the long term, this will only harm your brand. Plus, because returning customers are the lifeblood of eCommerce businesses, you’ll want to do everything you can to ensure that they come back to your store again and again.

So, before you start selling your T-shirts to the rest of the world, you need order a few samples. You’ll want to consider the material’s quality, as well as the sizing and fit. Nobody enjoys having to purchase an extra large when they are actually a medium.

You should also inspect the T-shirt after it has been washed. Is the color readily faded with just one wash? Worse, did it possibly contract?

Take a look at the actual print. You don’t want your designs to start to crack. It’s not the kind of vintage style that will get you rave reviews and repeat business.
Consumers are more concerned about sustainability, and this trend will continue.

While T-shirts made from more environmentally friendly materials, such as organic cotton, may be more expensive, they can be profitable. You may use it not only as a unique selling offer, but you can also rest easy knowing that you’re contributing to the answer.


YouTubers and other celebrities have been selling their own merchandise online for a long time. Anyone may now sell bespoke clothing online thanks to the availability of print-on-demand services and their ease of use.
T-shirts, in particular, can be an excellent starting point. T-shirt sales are on the rise, and for good reason. This simple item can create a fashion statement of its own with a clever slogan or imaginative message.

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