How to Start a T-Shirt Business

So you want to be in the t-shirt business.  Its sounds like fun (and it is) but like anything else in life it’s a lot of hard work.  If you are serious about being in the business you want to know what you are getting into.  Here are a few things to think about before you jump in.


1.   Choose a Specialty– What part of the business do you want to be in?   Perhaps a screen printer or embroiderer?  This will take capital to purchase the machinery and a great deal of know how.  If you don’t know what you’re doing, you will waste a lot of money burning through blank t-shirts and ink.  We suggest working for someone first to know the ins and outs of the business.  Or perhaps you want to be a wholesale distributor much like The Adair Group.  This also takes capital to stock inventory, have a warehouse, and many other challenges.  Also margins can be tight when you are just offering blanks.

2.  Long Hours, Hard Work– Like starting any other business, the hours will be long at first. Once you get everything setup organizationally speaking, then you need to get sales.  Don’t have an outgoing personality?  Then this probably isn’t for you.  If you become a printer you will be dealing with deadlines.  Perhaps a

Opening a t-shirt business can be challenging but rewarding.

customer needs a rush job.  Guess what, that means you will be working late and on the weekends as well.  Welcome to the t-shirt business.

3.  Managing People– Do you like managing people?  Remember if you grow your t-shirt business you will need to hire employees.  The most important part to any business is the people.  Do your best to find the right ones and put processes in place so everyone is accountable.

4.  Financing the Business– How are you going to finance the t-shirt business? Perhaps a loan from family and friends or a loan from a bank.  It is important that your business is well capitalized or you will be setting yourself up to fail.  Remember you will need to buy your t-shirts in bulk to compete and this takes capital.


These are just a few things to think about before starting your t-shirt business.  There are many many more but this article will hopefully get the wheels spinning in your mind.  The t-shirt business can be very rewarding but its important to know what your getting into.  We wish you the best of luck.

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