Top 9 Steps To Start A Home Based T-shirt Printing Business

T-shirts are everyone’s favorite. The comfort that it provides to the wearer is what has made it a staple for almost everyone. You will hardly find anyone out there who doesn’t own a tee. It made its presence felt in the 70s; however, it became a mainstream fashion symbol by 80s.

You might not have an idea, but the industry related to t-shirts and singlets is expanding. By 2021, the market volume is expected to grow up to 3, 633.69 million pieces. That’s the reason t-shirt printing business is sprawling with a high-speed.

That’s why people have started selling these staples online and offline more than ever. For many business-minded folks, starting an online outlet for custom sweatshirts and tees is a great way to be a part of the startup culture. And if it’s your second, third, fourth or even tenth business, you are going to add up to your growth for sure.

Here are nine tips to get your hands on a home-based t-shirt printing business.

1. Identify and understand your target market

Since the market is sprawling and it’s already developed, you are not going to survive if you compete with every other t-shirt maker in the industry. Instead, you can shift your focus on just one target market and succeed.

Don’t be too incomprehensible and pick a specific target market. For example, meme-based or funny shirts would be a broad market for you. But if you choose funny graphic tees about nerds, then you are sure to attain popularity. That’s a specific market which is, of course, significant in terms of demand. All in all, you would have an opportunity to attract your customers as there would be just a handful of competitors to compete with.

2. Know the competition well

Competing with your competitors doesn’t mean writing their names on a paper for reference. It is much more than that. You need to learn about them, study them. You have to compete with your competitors on all levels. And, this will incite your audience to choose your products over theirs.

Know well about what kind of quality are they offering, what’s their design variety, how have they structured their pricing and what type of customer service do they provide? Also, make sure to know about their product promotion strategy.

Knowing the competition in your niche isn’t hard at all. Initially, you may find it though. What all you need is to follow their social media profiles, blogs, and subscribe to their newsletters.

3. Pick the best printing methods

T-shirt business usually counts on three printing methods — direct to garment, screen printing, and heat transfer. Though each of them has some pros and cons, you have to figure out which option is best for your home-based t shirt printing business.

Direct to the garment — this printing technique is responsible for creating high-quality images. You can produce small orders with ease and in a wide palette of colors. Without compromising with the quality, you can create detailed yet versatile designs. However, for large-scale production, this method isn’t very pocket-friendly.

Screen printing — well, this technique is budget-friendly for large scale production. However, it may prove to be expensive for multiple color printings. It works pretty well with simple and easy designs, but once the design gets complex, the quality proportion starts decreasing.

Heat transfer — this method is easier for printing t-shirts on demand. The designs have to be first printed on a high-quality heat-transfer paper. But the steps do not end here. You will have to buy a quality heat press machine and then transfer the design on the shirts professionally. As compared to screen printing, the quality that you get through this method is low. In fact, it’s less durable than direct-to-garment method too.

4. Set your goals

Every business is based on some specific goals. Having no business goals in mind means your startup will not have a soul of its own. Setting business goals will make you know what are you are working toward. However, if you do not set any goals, it means you are aimless and do not want to grow as a business. Furthermore, you will start struggling as an entrepreneur.

Therefore, for your t-shirt printing startup, you should set short-term and long-term goals. Decide the number of shirts you want to sell in a week, month and year. Once you start achieving your short-term goals, achieving long-term goals won’t be a problem for you.

5. Understand your financial condition

Be it custom hoodies you want to start printing or shirts you should have a clear picture of your financial health. You should understand your finances well even when you decide entering the t-shirt printing sphere!

Make sure to keep a record of your investments throughout the whole process. If possible, keep all your expenditures (business related) in the same account. And, do not use this account anything other but your business.

Know what you expect before shelling out funds. Get quotes online from many printers and make a comparison list. Follow the same procedure for labeling, storage, packaging, and shipping. In the end, the cost of your production will be a significant factor in deciding the final price of your t-shirts.

6. Create a design that’s unique

Keep the thump rule of simplicity in mind when designing a graphic or quote for your shirts. A design doesn’t have to be complex but unique enough to grab the attention of the customers. If you know how to design, you can create great graphics and quotes using the logo maker tool of Designhill or other platforms. But if you aren’t, there are freelance designers to help you out in this.

Check out Designhill, Dribbble, Behance and other networks for freelancers’ community. Visit these sites and review the work of designers over there. If you like anyone’s work, go ahead contact and propose your work to him or her.

7. Review your design

Once a designer agrees to your proposal and starts designing check the design before giving thumbs up. Create mock-ups and review the work. Since every customer likes to see the creative before buying, make sure you put it on your site for them to see. Of course, you have to finalize a design first.

Use photo imaging tools and templates for creating design previews.

However, if you find the process a little lengthy, cut it short by merely printing a simple tee with the design.

8. Find out what others have to say

Do you know others ‘opinion matters a lot in the business sphere? You can’t keep rolling everything on your own and taking a final decision. You need to seek others’ viewpoint too. So, before starting to sell or promote, parade the final product in front of the potential customers.

Post images of your custom hoodies and sweatshirts on social media. Get honest feedback from your customers. If they like your shirts, nothing can stop you from selling it!

9. Promote your products and start selling

Once your potential audience shows a positive response to your designs, it’s time to start promoting our shirts. There are many ways to do that. But each of them begins with choosing the right demographics. If your buyers are keen on Zombie-themed shirts, market your products among high-school students or college-goers. Run promotional campaign through PPC, Facebook, Instagram, and other channels.


Starting a t-shirt printing business isn’t one size fits all. Before letting your idea fly high, you need to work out on some tips to achieve success. Follow each of the tips stated earlier to maximize your chances of success in this industry.