Guide to start an online business of shirts

A t-shirt is a basic element and has been universally accepted by men and women in recent decades. Not only is it a classic piece of casual clothing, it is a blank canvas for artists and entrepreneurs alike. Because of this, selling shirts online has become a popular business option. For many entrepreneurs, starting a brand of t-shirts online is a great inexpensive way to start an online business, be it as a first, second or third business personalized t shirt collection.

With the growth of the popularity of the shirts business, there is no doubt that there will be competition. To be positioned, you need to have designs that people love, a brand and quality that people appreciate. In this guide we will go through the creation process to start your own line of shirts and an online store. We will look at each of the steps to follow and the keys to success to help you get started as a t-shirt entrepreneur.


Starting an online t-shirt shop is easy

Good news. Building and launching a t-shirt brand is relatively cheap and fast. If you have ideas for the designs you want to sell, you can start everything up in a few hours. With the necessary amount of apps and integrations available in our app store , you can also get in touch with a printing or dropshipping service in minutes, and have a full functional store, ready to print and send to your customers


But it’s also hard work

Although the tools and technology available today for the design, printing and shipping of your own t-shirts make everything much simpler, the difficult part is to build the brand to differentiate yourself from the competition. It combines competition with low margins and the construction of an online beach business becomes a bit more difficult than it appears.

To be successful with your new brand of shirts, you have to make the right decisions from the start.


The keys to success

In the online t-shirt industry, there are critical elements to be successful as a t-shirt entrepreneur. Each element needs to be considered before continuing:



Surely you’ve heard this term a lot, but nowhere is it more important to choose a niche market than in the shirt industry with graphics. One of the most important factors in building a successful shirt business is the ability to stand out among the many competitors and one of the best ways to do so is through choice and specific niche.

In general, categories such as t-shirts with funny slogans are going to be too broad to attack in an already developed market. You’ll have to reduce a little more. An example of a more specific niche would be shirts with funny slogans that relate to doctors and / or nurses.

Being more specific will help your business stand out and attract the right audience without ruining the established budget.



Most people who buy graphic items look for design, images and slogans connect with them and reflect their opinions and personality.

The last thing a visitor will want is to see your catalog as a copy of other designs that exist. Your designs do not necessarily need to be complicated. In fact, many of the best shirts with graphics are simple, although you need to connect with an audience.



The next important factor in the success and sustainability of an online t-shirt business is quality. You can cheat anyone once, but you can not cheat twice. The quality of the shirts you wear and the printing must be first class. A design that fades or cracks; or a shirt that breaks or shrinks will not create followers, but people who will not return or buy again.



A strong and interesting brand is vital in the t-shirt industry. Your brand is a promise that all your choices including your niche, design and quality will be together. Building a unique and desirable brand is important for your business in a competitive industry. When consumers have more options, it becomes extremely important for an e-commerce business to have a presence and capture the attention of consumers.


Quality of the shirts

Not all shirts are the same and not all prints are of the same quality. As mentioned before, quality is a parameter of your brand and its success, so it is important to educate yourself and choose your shirts wisely.

It has always been tempting to sacrifice quality for high margins but you need to consider how this quality affects the consumer’s decisions, whether to share your brand or to buy again.

Having quality shirts covers several factors, including shapes, sizes, materials, softness and weight. A great start to determine which shirt you should use is to review the reviews of one of the popular T-Shirt Magazine Online t-shirts

Once you have narrowed down your options, we strongly recommend ordering a T-shirt from each supplier, testing it and making an informed and definitive decision.


Print quality

Currently, there are three popular methods for printing on shirts. Each method has its pros and cons, and will depend in part on the amount of time you want to invest in creating the product, as well as choosing the partner that will generate the impression.

Below, we have summarized three printing methods so you can better understand each process.



It is an ancient technique that has been maintained over time. Being one of the methods of printing shirts, can produce durable and quality results. However, an initial labor-intensive setup means more profitable screen printing when printed massively. Screen printing also poses problems when it comes to complex designs or with more than four or five colors, since each color more, increases costs and production time.


Heat transfer

This method has also existed for a long time and in different ways. You may have seen the basic role of heat transfer in a supply store. Although this makes it easy to print designs from a computer and transfer them with heat, it is not achieved when it comes to running a business. The most advanced form of heat transfer is called plastisol transfer and printed with professional printers on a special paper, to return the heat transfer in high quality printing. The advantage is that with this technique you can program batches of prints from a local printer, and transfer them quickly to the shirts by means of a heat machine, while you still receive orders.


Direct printing

The direct printing process works much like an inkjet printer that you would have at home. Ink is printed directly on the shirt and can produce accurate full-color images.

It produces a quality print just like silk screen printing and better than heat transfer. Since it works just like an inkjet printer, there are no installation costs, unlike screen printing. This means that it is easier and cheaper to print small orders.

Its main disadvantage is the lack of volume discount for large orders, since it takes the same amount of time to print a shirt.


Create your designs

Find the best way to sell designs and niches

If you are stuck thinking about niche ideas and shirt designs, a good start is to see what the trend is and what is selling well.


Here’s a list of several popular pages with some interesting graphics that can help you get a better idea of ​​your next target market niche and the designs you can use.

  • Teeview
  • Zazzle Bestsellers & Zazzle Popular
  • Redbubble Popular
  • Skreened Trending Shirts
  • Snorg Bestsellers
  • Kickstarter T-Shirt Campaigns

In addition you should consider from time to time review Google Trends and  Google Hot Searches to get topics that people are looking for.


Hire a designer

Once you have design ideas, you’ll have to add ideas already designed. If you have Adobe Photoshop or similar programs, you can produce some simple designs made by you. However, if you are like your target audience, you will need help.

There are a variety of tools and companies that you can use to find a reliable designer to help you with your designs.