Starting a successful online t-shirt business is very difficult to accomplish.
Find Your Niche
The first step to starting a t-shirt company online is to find a niche. It is impossible to appeal to every person in the entire world, so do not try to. Appealing to a smaller market will make it easier to sell your products, and will also give you repeat customers. Maybe you want to make shirts for people who like to surf, or snowboard. If so, do not compromise your niche by trying to appeal to tennis players. Pick a good niche and stick with it.
Choose A Website
There are two different t-shirt websites that I have had experience with: Printmojo and CafePress. Printmojo requires you to pay an upfront payment for every t-shirt that you want to sell. For example, if you want to sell 50 t-shirts, then be prepared to pay about $200-$300 in total. Printmojo does have a really good interface that makes it easy to upload t-shirt designs, as well as great customer service that will handle the shipping and handling of your shirts (at an extra price). If you have the money, then you should buy your shirts from Printmojo. The only thing that makes CafePress good is that you do not have to pay an upfront cost to buy your shirts, but they will end up taking a larger chunk of your profit. Uploading images is a pain in the butt at CafePress. If you are looking for some quick cash, then try CafePress, but I recommend Printmojo in the long term.
Start small with your online t-shirt company will help you to not get discouraged. You will not become a household name overnight. When you first get started, design 5 t-shirts and offer them in all sizes. When it looks as if these shirts are selling, design a few more. Do not purchase thousands of t-shirts with a hundred different designs because you will waste a ton of money.
Market Your Product
In order to succeed with your online t-shirt company, you need to market your product. There are several different ways to accomplish marketing your t-shirts. The first way is to use Google’s adwords application. You pay between $.10 and $1.00 for people to visit your website, and potentially purchase your t-shirts.
Another way to market your t-shirt company is to join a forum that is similar to the niche of your t-shirts. Become a regular contributor on the forum, and post a link to your company’s website in the signature area beneath your post. This method is time consuming, but it does not cost anything. If you have the time, I highly recommend joining and contributing to a forum that is similar to your niche.
The third way to market your Internet based t-shirt company is by using Yahoo Answers. This also requires extra time, but it is inexpensive. Simple answer questions that people ask, and post a link to your website at the bottom of the answer. Make sure you are giving thought-out good answers, or people will not visit your site.