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T-Shirt Business Plan Template

Written by Dave Lavinsky

T-Shirt Business Plan

You’ve come to the right place to create your T-shirt business plan.

We have helped over 10,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans and many have used them to start or grow their t-shirt companies.

Below is a template to help you create each section of your T-shirt business plan.

Executive Summary

Business overview.

Comfy Style Tees is a startup T-shirt company located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The company is founded by Scott Smith and Mike Anderson. Scott Smith is an established graphic artist who will be creating the designs for the company’s T-shirts. Mike Anderson is a graduate of Pennsylvania University with a Master’s degree in Marketing. Together, the pair is ready to open their own T-Shirt business, Comfy Style Tees. Scott has been creating unique graphic art for over a decade and has gained a substantial following as an artist on social media. Mike has been a marketing director for another T-shirt business for over five years. He is confident that his marketing and sales skills will allow the company to quickly gain new customers who are interested in purchasing apparel featuring Scott’s artwork. The duo plans to hire a small team of professionals to manage the day-to-day complexities of running a retail business including accounting, customer service, sales, and inventory management.

Comfy Style Tees will offer comfortable T-shirts made from premium 100% cotton. Each T-shirt will feature artwork printed using a direct-to-garment (DTG) printing method that allows for Scott’s detailed and colorful designs to come to life. Comfy Style Tees will create and sell limited edition T-Shirts in small batches.

Product Offering

The following are the products that Comfy Style Tees will provide:

  • Men’s T-shirts
  • Women’s T-shirts
  • Children’s T-shirts
  • Toddler’s T-shirts
  • Pet T-shirts for dogs and cats

Customer Focus

Comfy Style Tees will target people of all ages and genders who value wearing unique T-shirt designs that can’t be found off the rack. The company will target men, women, children, and people with dogs and cats. Comfy Style Tees will target fans of Scott’s artwork as well as individuals that are unfamiliar with it. No matter the customer, Comfy Style Tees will deliver the best communication, service, and high quality products.

Management Team

Comfy Style Tees will be owned and operated by Scott Smith and Mike Anderson. Scott Smith is an established graphic artist who will be creating the designs for the company’s T-shirts. Mike Anderson is a graduate of Pennsylvania University with a Master’s degree in Marketing.

Scott Smith has been creating unique graphic art for over a decade and has gained a substantial following as an artist on social media. Mike Anderson has been a marketing director for another T-shirt business for over five years. He is confident that his marketing and sales skills will allow the company to quickly gain new customers who are interested in purchasing apparel featuring Scott’s artwork.

Success Factors

Comfy Style Tees will be able to achieve success by offering the following competitive advantages:

  • The most flexibility in the customers’ shopping experience: customers can order online for delivery or in-store pickup, come into the physical store and shop, and return items through the mail or in-store no matter which method they purchased them through.
  • All tees are carefully printed using the latest DTG printing machines and meticulously inspected to ensure quality.
  • Comfy Style Tees doesn’t sell to other retailers or white label its products, so if a customer wants an authentic Comfy Styles Tees product, they know they will be able to get it exclusively from the shop or the online store.

Financial Highlights

Comfy Style Tees is seeking $120,000 in debt financing to launch its T-shirt business. The funding will be dedicated towards securing the retail space and purchasing DTG printing equipment and supplies. Funding will also be dedicated towards three months of overhead costs to include payroll, rent, and marketing expenses. The breakout of the funding is below:

  • Retail space build-out: $30,000
  • DTG printing equipment, supplies, and materials: $30,000
  • Three months of overhead expenses (payroll, rent, utilities): $40,000
  • Marketing costs: $10,000
  • Working capital: $10,000

The following graph below outlines the pro forma financial projections for Comfy Style Tees.

t shirt brand business plan

Company Overview

Who is comfy style tees.

Comfy Style Tees is a newly established boutique T-shirt shop in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Comfy Style Tees will offer the most fun, unique, and stylish tees around. Comfy Style Tees will provide a wide range of sizes for adults, children, and pets. Customers can purchase the one-of-a-kind Scott Smith designs online or in-store. T-shirts are DTG printed in small batches and each unique design is offered for a limited time only, so customers who want a particular design will need to act fast before they are sold out.

Comfy Style Tees will be able to provide the best customer service through its friendly and knowledgeable in-store associates and its use of the latest AI technology for online support. The management team is composed of professionals who are highly qualified and experienced in customer service, marketing, and operations. This strong management team allows Comfy Style Tees to serve all customers with attention and care, removing all headaches from the shopping experience.

Comfy Style Tees History

Comfy Style Tees is owned and operated by Scott Smith and Mike Anderson. Scott has been creating unique graphic art for over a decade and has gained a substantial following as an artist on social media. Mike has been a marketing director for another T-shirt business for over five years. He is confident that his marketing and sales skills will allow the company to quickly gain new customers.

Since incorporation, Comfy Style Tees has achieved the following milestones:

  • Registered Comfy Style Tees, LLC to transact business in the state of Pennsylvania.
  • Has a contract in place to lease the retail space.
  • Reached out to numerous potential suppliers to get samples and quotes for their wholesale garments that will become the company’s DTG printed T-shirts.
  • Began recruiting a staff of accountants, marketers, and sales associates to work at Comfy Style Tees.

Comfy Style Tees Services

Industry analysis.

The global T-shirt market size was an estimated $206B in 2018 and is anticipated to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.0% by 2027. In the United States, the T-shirt market reached an estimated $43.47B in 2022 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.9% by 2026. The market for T-shirts can be segmented by materials and printing techniques. Most T-shirts that sell well are made from cotton, polyester, linen, rayon, lycra, or a blend of these fabrics. Two of the most popular printing techniques are screen-printing (estimated revenue share of 56% in 2021) and digital printing, which is expected to grow by 10.9% by 2030.

Over the years, the T-shirt industry has evolved from practical, plain white tees to designer labels, custom designs, and graphic prints. The market outlook for the T-shirt industry is positive with increased ecommerce and more people looking for unique styles. Although online shopping is increasing, more revenue is still currently being generated through physical retail. The top five countries generating the most revenue from T-shirt sales are China, the United States, India, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

Customer Analysis

Demographic profile of target market.

Comfy Style Tees will target people of all ages and genders who value wearing unique T-shirt designs that can’t be found off the rack. The company will target men, women, children, and people with dogs and cats.

The precise demographics for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania are:

Customer Segmentation

Comfy Style Tees will primarily target the following customer profiles:

  • Young adults (ages 18-29)
  • Men and women (ages 30-45)
  • Men and women (ages 46+)
  • Children (ages 4-17)
  • Toddlers (ages 0-3)
  • People looking for stylish T-shirts for their dogs and cats

Competitive Analysis

Direct and indirect competitors.

Comfy Style Tees will face competition from other companies with similar business profiles. A description of each competitor company is below.

Simple Tee, LLC

Simple Tee, LLC provides comfortable T-shirts at affordable prices. Located in Philadelphia, the Simple Tee retail shop is able to provide a wide selection of custom tees for its customers. The company makes form-fitting T-shirts for men, women, and children using 100% premium cotton and cotton blends. Simple Tee, LLC uses screen-printing technology to produce quality T-shirts to suit any style.

Simple Tee, LLC’s promise is to deliver top notch customer service, quality products, and great prices. The company’s team checks each T-shirt to ensure the highest quality before placing it on the sales floor. Simple Tee also sells its tees online and wholesale to other retailers.

Cool Trends T-Shirts

Cool Trends T-Shirts is an Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based apparel company that provides outstanding customer service and fun art prints on all of its T-shirts. Cool Trends T-Shirts uses screen-printing and digital printing technology to make its one-of-a-kind tees. The company makes tees for young adults, children, and toddlers. You can buy Cool Trends T-Shirts through its online Shopify store. Cool Trends T-Shirts does not have a physical store, which saves the company money. These savings are passed on to the customers in the form of deep discounts on all Cool Trends products.

Dezyned T-Shirt Co.

Dezyned T-Shirt Co. is a trusted Philadelphia T-shirt company that provides superior service to customers at all three of its retail locations in Pennsylvania. The company makes its own DTG printed tees for the whole family. Dezyned T-Shirt Co. is able to provide unique tees designed by its founder and artist in residence, Alice Johnson. The company’s tees are priced in the high-end because they are made from premium cotton and printed in small batches, with Alice’s unique designs feature on each one.

Competitive Advantage

Comfy Style Tees will be able to offer the following advantages over their competition:

Marketing Plan

Brand & value proposition.

Comfy Style Tees will offer the unique value proposition to its clientele:

  • All tees are made from 100% premium cotton, carefully printed using the latest DTG printing machines, and meticulously inspected to ensure quality.
  • Comfy Style Tees offers unique pieces that can’t be found anywhere else.

Promotions Strategy

The promotions strategy for Comfy Style Tees is as follows:

Social Media/Referrals

Scott Smith has built up an extensive social media following of fans that love his artwork. Once Scott advised them he is going to be creating his own T-shirt business, many have signed up to receive updates on the new line and have opted to refer a friend for a promotional discount. As more friends are referred, the potential customer base continues to grow.

Print Advertising

Comfy Style Tees will invest in professionally designed print ads to display in magazines, flyers, and direct mailers.

Website/SEO Marketing

Comfy Style Tees will use an online platform like Shopify for its website and  ecommerce store. The website will be well organized, informative, and list all the products available. As marketing director, Mike Anderson will also manage Comfy Style Tees’s website presence with SEO marketing tactics so that when  someone types in the search engine “unique T-shirts in Philadelphia” or “T-shirt store near me”, Comfy Style Tees will be listed at the top of the search results.

The pricing of Comfy Style Tees will be competitive to premium, so customers feel they receive value when purchasing the high quality T-shirts.

Operations Plan

The following will be the operations plan for Comfy Style Tees.

Operation Functions:

  • Scott Smith will be the Owner and Designer. He will oversee the design and printing process and manage all supplier relations. Scott has spent the past year recruiting the following staff:
  • Mike Anderson – Marketing Director who will provide all marketing and sales initiatives for the company including managing the website, social media, and online marketing.
  • Kate Johnson – Bookkeeper who will provide all budgeting, accounting, tax payments, and monthly financial reporting.
  • Sam Lee – Lead Sales Manager who will manage all sales associates activities and schedules as well as oversee the day-to-day operations of the sales floor.


Comfy Style Tees will have the following milestones complete in the next six months.

9/1/2022 – Finalize contract to lease the retail space.

9/15/2022 – Finalize personnel and staff employment contracts for the management team.

10/1/2022 – Finalize contracts for suppliers.

10/15/2022 – Begin the marketing campaign.

10/22/2022 – Begin printing the first limited edition batch of tees.

11/1/2022 – Comfy Style Tees opens its store for business.

Comfy Style Tees will be owned and operated by Scott Smith and Mike Anderson. Scott Smith is a graphic artist who will be creating the designs for the company’s T-shirts. Mike Anderson is a graduate of Pennsylvania University with a Master’s degree in Marketing.

Scott Smith has been creating unique graphic artwork for over a decade and has gained a substantial following on social media. Mike Anderson has been a marketing director for another T-shirt business for over five years. He is confident that his marketing and sales skills will allow the company to quickly gain new customers who are interested in purchasing apparel featuring Scott’s artwork.

Financial Plan

Key revenue & costs.

The revenue drivers for Comfy Style Tees are the fees the company will charge customers for the T-shirts. The price range for Comfy Style Tees is $35-$375.

The cost drivers will be the payroll cost, DTG printing cost, and the cost of the T-shirts themselves. Other expenses will be rent, utilities, supplies, and marketing materials.

Funding Requirements and Use of Funds

Key assumptions.

The following outlines the key assumptions required in order to achieve the revenue and cost numbers in the financials and in order to pay off the startup business loan.

  • Average number of T-shirts sold per month: 750
  • Average revenue per month: $10,000
  • Retail space lease per year: $60,000

Financial Projections

Income statement, balance sheet, cash flow statement, t-shirt business plan faqs, what is a t-shirt business plan.

A t-shirt business plan is a plan to start and/or grow your t-shirt business. Among other things, it outlines your business concept, identifies your target customers, presents your marketing plan and details your financial projections.

You can  easily complete your t-shirt business plan using our T-Shirt Business Plan Template here .

What are the Main Types of T-Shirt Businesses?

There are a number of different kinds of t-shirt businesses, some examples include: Women’s T-Shirt Business, Men’s T-Shirt Business, Unisex T-Shirt Business, and Children’s T-Shirt Business.

How Do You Get Funding for Your T-Shirt Business Plan?

T-Shirt businesses are often funded through small business loans. Personal savings, credit card financing and angel investors are also popular forms of funding.

What are the Steps To Start a T-Shirt Business?

Starting a T-shirt business can be an exciting endeavor. Having a clear roadmap of the steps to start a business will help you stay focused on your goals and get started faster.

1. Develop A T-Shirt Business Plan - The first step in starting a business is to create a detailed T-shirt business plan that outlines all aspects of the venture. This should include potential market size and target customers, the services or products you will offer, pricing strategies and a detailed financial forecast.  

2. Choose Your Legal Structure - It's important to select an appropriate legal entity for your T-shirt business. This could be a limited liability company (LLC), corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship. Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks so it’s important to do research and choose wisely so that your T-shirt business is in compliance with local laws.

3. Register Your T-Shirt Business - Once you have chosen a legal structure, the next step is to register your T-shirt business with the government or state where you’re operating from. This includes obtaining licenses and permits as required by federal, state, and local laws. 

4. Identify Financing Options - It’s likely that you’ll need some capital to start your T-shirt business, so take some time to identify what financing options are available such as bank loans, investor funding, grants, or crowdfunding platforms. 

5. Choose a Location - Whether you plan on operating out of a physical location or not, you should always have an idea of where you’ll be based should it become necessary in the future as well as what kind of space would be suitable for your operations. 

6. Hire Employees - There are several ways to find qualified employees including job boards like LinkedIn or Indeed as well as hiring agencies if needed – depending on what type of employees you need it might also be more effective to reach out directly through networking events. 

7. Acquire Necessary T-Shirt Equipment & Supplies - In order to start your T-shirt business, you'll need to purchase all of the necessary equipment and supplies to run a successful operation. 

8. Market & Promote Your Business - Once you have all the necessary pieces in place, it’s time to start promoting and marketing your T-shirt business. This includes creating a website, utilizing social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, and having an effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. You should also consider traditional marketing techniques such as radio or print advertising. 

Learn more about how to start a successful T-shirt business:

  • How to Start a T-Shirt Business

Where Can I Get a T-Shirt Business Plan PDF?

You can download our free t-shirt business plan template PDF here . This is a sample t-shirt business plan template you can use in PDF format.

Other Helpful Business Plan Templates

Ecommerce Business Plan Template Clothing Store Business Plan Template Retail Business Plan Template

How to write the business plan for a t-shirt company

business plan products and services: custom t-shirt printing

Starting a t-shirt company or growing an existing one requires more than just a great idea. It requires careful planning and the right resources to ensure success.

In this guide, we will cover why you need to write a business plan for your t-shirt company, what information should be included in the plan, what tools can help you create your business plan and finally, what the final document should look like.

By following these steps you’ll have all the tools necessary to make sure that your new t-shirt venture has everything it needs to succeed!

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Why write a business plan for a t-shirt company?

Information needed to create a business plan for a t-shirt company, how do i build a financial forecast for a t-shirt company, the written part of a t-shirt business plan, what tool should i use to write my t-shirt company's business plan.

There are several reasons to write a t-shirt business plan. Below, we cover some of the most important ones!

To draw up a roadmap

Writing a business plan for a t-shirt company can be an invaluable tool for entrepreneurs looking to launch or grow their businesses. It provides the ability to set objectives and goals that can help guide decision-making over the next 3 to 5 years, which is essential for success.

This type of planning is especially important in today’s competitive market, where businesses must continually adapt and innovate to stay ahead of the competition.

A well-crafted business plan can provide existing t-shirt companies with an opportunity to review their current strategies and make adjustments as needed, while also helping new startups get off on the right foot from day one.

To compare forecasted and actual financial performance

Business planning also enables you to compare financial performance against what was initially expected in the financial forecast of your t-shirt company business plan, giving you the ability to make adjustments if needed and recalibrate financial forecasts in the future.

This kind of foresight helps mitigate risks associated with running the t-shirt company and sets it up for success in the long run.

To help secure financing from investors and banks

Writing a business plan for a t-shirt company is essential when looking to secure financing from an equity investor (or a bank).

An attractive business plan will demonstrate the potential of your t-shirt company and its ability to generate returns on investment.

Investors (and lenders) need to see evidence that the company can achieve healthy growth, profitability, and cash generation for them to invest in it. They will also use figures to compute key ratios and metrics.

Therefore, having a well-written business plan with a comprehensive financial forecast is key to attracting investors and ensuring you have access to much-needed capital.

Now that we have discussed why it is important to write a business plan for a t-shirt company, let's move on to the information needed to create one.

Create your t-shirt business plan online!

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t-shirt business plan online

Writing a t-shirt business plan requires research so that you can project sales, investments and cost accurately in your financial forecast.

In this section, we cover three key pieces of information you should gather before drafting your plan!

Carrying out market research for a t-shirt company

Conducting market research is essential before writing a t-shirt company business plan.

It provides you with an opportunity to understand your target market and gain valuable insights into customer needs and preferences.

This information can then be used to accurately forecast revenues in the business plan, giving investors confidence in the viability of the venture.

Moreover, having a thorough understanding of the competitive landscape helps you develop strategies that will give you an edge over competitors.

Ultimately, carrying out market research before writing a business plan for a t-shirt company can help ensure success down the line.

Developing the marketing plan for a t-shirt company

Creating a well-defined marketing plan for a t-shirt company is a crucial step in writing a business plan.

It is essential to determine the right budget for both sales and marketing expenditures (such as promotions and advertising), as this will be included in the overall financial forecast.

As such, it is important to thoroughly assess the resources available and allocate funds accordingly.

The staffing and equipment needs of a t-shirt company

It is essential to think about the recruitment and investment plans before drafting your business plan, as this will ensure that the actions planned are realistic and achievable.

The exact number of people and equipment required to deliver your business plan will depend on whether you are manufacturing the t-shirts yourself or outsourcing production to suppliers, how you handle the logistic (do you own a fleet of trucks and warehouses, or do you outsource this part of the value chain), and how you intend to distribute your goods (owned stores, online sales, network of retailers, etc.).

Be sure to factor the costs associated with hiring staff, such as salaries, health benefits, recruitment and training costs, etc. And the multiple options available to you to secure equipment (buy vs. lease or rent, etc.).

Additionally, funds will need to be allocated for the t-shirt business setup and other capital expenses.

Now, let's look at how the financial forecast for a t-shirt company would look like.

A financial forecast for a t-shirt company usually includes a P&L (profit and loss) statement, a balance sheet, a cash flow statement, and sources and uses table.

Let's take a look at these in more detail!

The projected P&L statement

The projected P&L statement of a t-shirt company shows forecasted revenues, expenses and estimates how profitable the business will be in the future.

example of P&L in a t-shirt business plan

The projected balance sheet of your t-shirt company

A balance sheet is a financial report that summarizes the assets, liabilities, and equity of a business at a specific point in time.

This document provides lenders, investors, and business owners an insight into the company's financial health and overall solvency.

It allows you regularly assess your balance sheet to ensure that your company is not overleveraged, identify levers to optimize working capital, and help plan for future investments.

The balance sheet also allows lenders to review the company's assets, to assess what could be used as collateral for any loans taken out and to help assess your company's borrowing capacity.

example of balance sheet in a t-shirt business plan

The projected cash flow statement

A projected cash flow statement for a t-shirt company shows how much money the company will generate, and how much it will consume.

This give you the visibility required to you ensure that the business has enough cash on balance sheet to honour your financial commitments.

The cash flow forecast also helps you decide whether or not to you have the cash and cash flow required to plan the expansion of the business.

For a t-shirt company, expansion could be new distribution channels, locations (new markets) and/or expanding the product line (different types of t-shirts or clothes) or manufacturing capabilities.

example of a cash flow forecast in a t-shirt business plan

The initial financing plan

An initial financing plan, also known as a sources and uses table, is a helpful tool which shows how you will finance the creation (or expansion) of your t-shirt company.

Knowing exactly where the money will go helps investors or lenders assess how the risk is split between financiers and the founding team.

example of sources and uses of funds in a t-shirt business plan

Now that you understand the financial forecast of a t-shirt company, it is important to consider how these figures are reflected in the written part of your business plan.

The written part of a t-shirt company plan covers everything from the executive summary to the financial plan.

There are seven key sections that every good business plan should have. In the following sections, we cover them in detail.

1. The executive summary

When writing the executive summary of a t-shirt company business plan, it is important to include a comprehensive overview of the business venture and its goals.

This should include a description of the company’s core products, its target market, and any competitive advantages that the business may have.

Additionally, providing a market overview that details industry trends, customer needs and preferences, and competition is also essential for investors to understand the context in which your t-shirt company operates.

Key financial information such as projected revenues, expenses, and profits should also be included in the executive summary to give investors an idea of the potential return on their investment.

Finally, it is important to include a clear call-to-action that explains what type of help you are looking for from potential investors so they can make an informed decision about your company.

2. The presentation of the t-shirt company

A detailed business plan for a t-shirt company should include an overview of the company's structure and ownership, its location, and its management team.

Regarding structure and ownership, it is important to detail the legal entity of the company (for example, partnership or limited liability corporation). You should also explain who owns the company, including their background, experience, and any connections to the industry or customer base.

For the location section, pinpoint where the t-shirt company is based and why this location was chosen. Address any advantages of the particular area such as easy access to suppliers or customers.

Finally, describe the management team of your t-shirt company. This should include the expertise and background of each member, as well as their respective roles in the business. It is important to also outline any plans for growth or expansion of the team if that is part of your strategy.

3. The products and services section

When writing the products and services section, you should start by summarising the types of t-shirts that you offer.

This should include descriptions of different designs or styles, as well as details about fabrics used and any other features that make your t-shirts unique.

Additionally, explain how these products will be produced, whether it is through in-house production or outsourcing to a third-party manufacturer.

Lastly, you should provide details about customer service policies such as return policies and warranties offered on each product sold.

business plan: t-shirts sold by the company

4. The market analysis

When presenting the conclusion of your market analysis in your business plan, you should include key information about demographics and segmentation, target market, competition, barriers at entry and regulation.

This information is essential for any bank or investor who will be reading the plan as it provides insight into the viability and the size of the market opportunity.

Demographics and segmentation provide important data on who is buying t-shirts and what motivates them to do so. The target market section should outline which segments are being targeted by your products.

Competition should also be addressed, with an analysis of direct competitors as well as potential indirect competitors.

Finally, regulations must be taken into account when laying out all aspects of operations including production methods, labelling requirements, etc.

5. The strategy section

The strategy section of a business plan must be comprehensive and should include details on pricing, marketing plan, milestones, risks and mitigants.

When explaining the pricing strategy for a t-shirt company, it is important to consider the cost of production, the competitive environment and market research to determine an appropriate price point that will attract customers and generate a sufficient gross profit.

The marketing plan should include a detailed strategy on how to effectively reach the target market such as through a network of owned physical stores, selected retailers, online sales.

Additionally, milestones and timelines that show a clear path of growth should be outlined (launch your business in 3 months and reach our break-even level of output in 6 months for example), as well as details on any risks and mitigants that might arise along the way.

6. The operations section

The operations section of a t-shirt company business plan should include comprehensive and detailed information about the staffing team, roles of staff members, recruitment plan, storage and logistics and key assets and intellectual property that the business needs to operate.

You should outline the roles and responsibilities of each employee in this section as well, including qualifications, experience and skill sets needed for each role. It is also important to include a recruitment plan that outlines how you will find new staff members if necessary.

Lastly, include a list of key assets and intellectual property that are necessary for the operation of the t-shirt company. These could include any assets that are owned or leased by the business, such as premises, machines, software, or trademarks.

7. The presentation of the financial plan

This is where you will present the financial forecast that we talked about earlier in this guide.

Now that you have a better understanding of what should be included in the content of your t-shirt business plan, it’s time to look at the tools that can help you create one.

You could create a t-shirt business plan using applications such as Excel or Word, hire a consultant or accountant to write it for you, or use online business plan software.

Let's look at the benefits and drawbacks of each solution.

Create your t-shirt company's business plan using Word or Excel

Using Excel and Word to create a business plan for a t-shirt company can be an attractive option because of its low cost.

However, without expert knowledge of accounting and financial modelling, it can be difficult for the business owner to accurately create a financial forecast using Excel.

Additionally, most financiers or investors would likely distrust such a forecast because it wouldn’t have been created by a professional software or individual with the relevant financial modelling skills.

Using Excel can also be time-consuming and tedious, while updates to the financial forecast are also difficult. And using Word requires starting from a blank page and spending hours formatting the document once written.

Overall, while using Excel and Word may seem like an attractive option due to their low cost, it is usually not the best solution for creating a t-shirt business plan.

Hire a consultant to write your t-shirt company's business plan

Outsourcing a t-shirt company plan to a consultant or accountant can be a smart idea for business owners, but it isn’t without its drawbacks.

One of the main benefits of outsourcing this task is that consultants and accountants are experienced in writing business plans.

This means they have the skills and knowledge to create accurate financial forecasts without errors.

However, there are some cons when it comes to outsourcing this task. Accountants may lack the industry expertise and insight necessary to forecast sales accurately, for example.

By outsourcing the business plan, entrepreneurs may also find they have less control over the end product than if they had written it themselves.

Hiring consultants or accountants to write a business plan is also expensive, and there may be additional unexpected costs if changes need to be made to your forecast later.

Use an online business plan software for your t-shirt company's business plan

Another alternative is to use online business plan software .

There are several advantages to using specialised software:

  • You are guided through the writing process by detailed instructions and examples for each part of the plan 
  • You can be inspired by already-written business plan templates and examples
  • You can easily make your financial forecast by letting the software take care of the financial calculations for you
  • You get a professional document, formatted and ready to be sent to your bank or investors
  • You can easily compare your forecast against your accounting data to make sure you are on track to deliver your plan, or make adjustments if needed

If you're interested in using this type of solution, you can try our software for free by signing up here . 

We hope that this article has helped you to better understand how to write the business plan for your t-shirt company. Do not hesitate to contact us if you still have questions!

Also on The Business Plan Shop

  • How to do market research for a clothing line
  • How to create a financial forecast for a clothing line
  • Clothes shop business plan template

Know someone in the t-shirt or clothing industry? Share this article with them!

Guillaume Le Brouster

Founder & CEO at The Business Plan Shop Ltd

Guillaume Le Brouster is a seasoned entrepreneur and financier.

Guillaume has been an entrepreneur for more than a decade and has first-hand experience of starting, running, and growing a successful business.

Prior to being a business owner, Guillaume worked in investment banking and private equity, where he spent most of his time creating complex financial forecasts, writing business plans, and analysing financial statements to make financing and investment decisions.

Guillaume holds a Master's Degree in Finance from ESCP Business School and a Bachelor of Science in Business & Management from Paris Dauphine University.

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How to Start a Successful T-Shirt Business: 8 Key Steps and Tips

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Free T-Shirt Business Plan Template

Matthew Khalili

12 Min Read

how to start a t-shirt business

Over the last ten years, the revenue of the t-shirt industry has increased by about 26% . That’s why smart entrepreneurs like you are considering starting an online T-shirt business.

Many businesses buy custom t-shirts to help advertise their products or brands. In addition, people love showing their humor with funny sayings and their love for movies and TV with cool pictures.

With a T-shirt business, you can earn a serious amount of money, knowing each person in the US spends $15 a year on it. The interesting part is that you don’t even require a huge investment to start.

But do you know how to get started with your t-shirt business ? This guide is here to help you turn your vision into reality. So, let’s roll up our sleeves and get started!

Why start a t-shirt business?

The business of selling t-shirts has grown a lot lately, thanks to more people shopping online. And with the help of t-shirt business models like print-on-demand, you can run this business by sitting on your couch. Here are some benefits that the print-on-demand model provides:

Benefit #1 — Free Yourself from Inventory!

Forget about renting a warehouse and wrestling with boxes of tees. With drop-shipping, you’re in the design game, not the inventory game.

Just pick your favorite styles (t-shirts, hoodies, onesies, the whole shebang!) and colors, upload your killer design and boom, your personalized store is ready to start selling t-shirts online.

Benefit #2 — Save Time and Effort with Printing Included

Gone are the days of worrying about printing your design onto a t-shirt! Print-on-demand services can handle the entire printing process for you, such as:

  • Eliminating the need for you to find a printer
  • Managing the logistics
  • Dealing with potential printing issues.

Just pick your favorite design, choose your size and how many you want, and that’s it! They’ll take care of everything else, from printing to sending it to your customers.

Remember, the final product will look its best if you give them a clear, high-quality image (PNG & EPS) to work with.

These companies may use various printing techniques like screen printing, digital printing, or direct-to-garment, so choose a service known for producing high-quality garments.

Benefit #3 — You can work from anywhere

This is where things get exciting! Forget the days of commuting and rigid office schedules. With this business model, your workplace can be anywhere with a decent internet connection and a laptop – your cozy home, local coffee shop, or even a sunny beach!

The key to success lies in effective communication. You’ll need to stay connected with your suppliers (the drop-shipping companies) to ensure smooth order fulfillment and with your customers to handle inquiries and build relationships.

Benefit #4: Effortless Order Fulfillment

Shipping? Not your problem! Your drop-shipping partner takes care of that, too. These companies have established networks or partnerships with reliable distribution giants. This ensures your customer receives their order promptly and efficiently. You focus on marketing and sales while they handle the behind-the-scenes magic of delivery.

So, now you know about the many benefits of the online t-shirt business, but how do you begin with it? The following sections in this guide will clarify the process in 8 easy steps.

How to start a T-shirt business in 8 easy steps

  • Choose a niche
  • Create a business
  • Making it legal
  • Prepare the production setup
  • Create unique t-shirt designs
  • Set Up an online store
  • Market your t-shirt business
  • Market your online t-shirt business

1. Choose a niche

Start by picking a specific topic or market for your online t-shirt business. This will help you attract the right customers without spending too much money. Successful t-shirt businesses stand out by focusing on a particular group of people or interests.

To find out what your potential customers are interested in, you can look up famous words or phrases they might be searching for online. You can do this with the help of a keyword tool.

Understanding which specific market to enter is crucial when starting a business. Here are some ways to figure out if a niche is worth it:

  • Look at a list of common hobbies on Wikipedia to get some ideas.
  • Think about your interests and the groups you’re part of. Sometimes, going with your instinct works.
  • Visit subreddits dedicated to your potential niche. Observe how many people are talking about it and how engaged they are.
  • Use Facebook’s Audience Insights. This free tool shows how many people on Facebook are interested in things similar to your t-shirt designs. This helps you know if there’s enough of an audience for your shirts on social media.
  • T-shirts inspired by internet culture are among the most popular kinds you can sell. Research has shown that t-shirts with funny designs are perfect for making money.

After you’ve selected your niche, it’s time for you to make a solid business plan for your t-shirt store.

2. Create a business plan and get funded

If you need a loan or investors for business, then a solid business plan is your magic key!

In case you’re wondering what a solid business plan looks like, we’ve created a t-shirt business plan template to guide you through the process.

Just like a blueprint guides builders, a well-structured plan shows banks and investors every aspect of your business, especially the finances.

A business plan can help you extract your business’s estimated costs and projected revenue. This will help you strengthen your financial understanding and likelihood to get your loan approved.

Usually, it’s wiser to ask for just enough money to get started. Then, if you need more later, you can ask for another loan.

Banks are more likely to lend you more money if they see you’ve used the first loan wisely and your business is making money. This approach also means less risk for you.

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t shirt brand business plan

3. Making it legal

Once you create a plan, making your business legal is the next thing you would like to focus on. For that, you need to choose a name and see all the legal requirements for your business in your state.

Choose a unique business name. It will help people remember you, secure your place online (like getting a website and social media accounts), and ensure you aren’t confused with competitors.

Here are a few key steps to start:

  • Register your business name.
  • Get a federal tax ID number.
  • Decide on your business structure.
  • Set up how you’ll get paid, not just with cash.

If handling paperwork is not your thing, you can always consider hiring a lawyer to ease things.

4. Prepare a production setup

There are many ways to make printed T-shirts suitable for anyone, regardless of your skills or experience.

If you like hands-on work, consider buying your screen printing equipment. This allows you to control the quality of your T-shirts.

Plus, people enjoy watching these creations come to life on social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram.

The initial cost might be high, but afterward, you’ll only need to spend on maintenance, which means more profit for you.

Alternatively, you can hire local screen printing services. This adds to your initial costs, but working with a nearby business or a trusted distant company helps ensure quality.

For a quicker start, many small business owners use print-on-demand services. They’re fast and let you sell many products without worrying about unsold stock. But remember, each item costs more to print, so your profits will be lower.

5. Create unique t-shirt designs

Once you’re done setting up your production setup, the next job remains to create unique t-shirt designs. Here’s how you start:

Perfecting Your Designs

Start by creating designs that represent your brand’s vision. If your online T-shirt business showcases your artwork or digital designs, save them in the correct format (usually .eps) for printing.

Intricate designs might require test prints to ensure clarity. Beginners can learn design through free online tutorials for software like Adobe Photoshop and Canva.

Collaborating with Artists

Consider collaborating with talented artists from sites like Creative Market, Fiverr, or Upwork. Depending on your relationship and business model, you can purchase their artwork or form a profit-sharing partnership for ongoing collaboration.

Sourcing Design Ideas

If you’re short on design ideas, look at sales trends on platforms like Etsy or use tools like Jungle Scout to understand popular products on Amazon.

Additionally, Google Trends can offer insight into popular slogans or design themes that might sell well.

Presenting Your T-Shirts

Once your designs are ready, showcase them realistically. Use services like Placeit to superimpose your designs onto photographs of models in blank T-shirts.

Alternatively, you can find stock photos of people in blank shirts and edit your designs onto them using Photoshop.

6. Identify your sales channels

When you decide to start selling, picking the right place to market is crucial. Selling directly from your website is an option but can be costly. However, there are online marketplaces that make selling easy, too.

Your Own Website

This is like building your own theater, with total control over everything. It’s great if you want complete branding freedom, but it also takes more effort to attract the audience.

Online Marketplaces

Think of these as bustling marketplaces like Etsy, Zazzle, or Redbubble. They’re already full of clothing buyers, so setting up your shop (like a little stall) is easy, but you’ll share the spotlight with others.

Big Players

Giants like Amazon and Walmart are massive arenas, attracting huge audiences. They can be powerful sales channels, but you might need to pay fees or compete with tons of other sellers.

Remember, the best choice depends on your needs:

  • Compare platform fees and transaction costs to see what fits your budget.
  • Some platforms offer marketing or customer support tools, which might be worth the price.
  • Consider where your ideal customers are hanging out online.

7. Set Up an online store

Once you have finalized your designs and production, the next step is to choose a platform to set up your online store.

While building your website from scratch may seem like a good option, it can be quite expensive due to the cost of hiring developers. To save on costs, it is recommended that you opt for a web-building platform.

Let’s look at some user-friendly e-commerce platforms perfect for setting up an online store:

  • Shopify: Great for detailed sales reports and making your shop look good.
  • Wix: It’s free to start and very easy to use.
  • Weebly: Cheap and includes selling tools right from the start.

These platforms all work well with print-on-demand services, a hassle-free way to produce and ship your T-shirts. This setup allows you to concentrate more on designing and marketing your products.

8. Market your online t-shirt business

Finally, your shop is live now, but how can you reach the masses? The answer is marketing. Here are some key strategies to think about:

  • Social Media: This is one of the biggest places people spend time. For example, you can use Instagram to reach out, especially if you’re targeting a young crowd. Make use of trending hashtags while sharing your products.
  • Search Engine Optimization: Ensure your store tops online searches.
  • Email Marketing: Keep in touch with your customers through emails. Remind them about items they liked, offer deals, and encourage them to return.
  • Paid Advertising: Place ads where your potential customers are already looking, like on their favorite websites or social media.
  • Creating Original Photographs : Consider hiring a local photographer and models to take dynamic and engaging photos of your shirts for a more personalized touch. This option depends on your budget and the scale of your T-shirt line. It’s a great way to give potential customers a real feel for your products.

Considerations for starting a t-shirt business

Starting an online custom t-shirt business might seem easy with current technology, but standing out and being profitable is challenging. Here’s a simplified guide on how to get started:

T-shirt Printing Techniques

There are three main ways to print on t-shirts:

  • Screen Printing: This traditional method produces durable designs but is cost-effective only for large orders. It’s versatile, allowing you to print on various items besides t-shirts.
  • Heat Transfer: This method is more accessible for small batches and allows full-color printing. However, the initial cost for the heat press machine can be high, and the quality may not be as durable.
  • Direct-to-Garment (DTG): DTG works like a regular printer and is excellent for detailed designs. It’s suitable for small orders but doesn’t offer discounts for bulk printing.

Your t-shirt designs should be unique and resonate with your target audience. Ensure high-quality prints using files with at least 300 dpi and a transparent background. Remember, simpler designs can often be more popular.

The durability and feel of your t-shirts are crucial. High-quality materials and printing techniques cost more but can lead to higher customer satisfaction and pricing.

Develop a solid and memorable brand. It should reflect your niche, design style, and quality. A distinctive brand helps you stand out in a crowded market.

Decide whether to stock inventory or use a print-on-demand service. Holding inventory might improve profits but comes with more risk. Print-on-demand is a safer option when starting out.

Dropshipping is also popular, allowing you to focus on design and marketing without worrying about production or shipping.

Starting a successful t-shirt business is a step-by-step process. While having a detailed plan for your shop, product creation, and delivery is essential, it doesn’t guarantee success.

To get ahead, consider every aspect of your business carefully:

  • Pick the best sources for your online design tools, printing equipment, and t-shirt materials.
  • Find the most affordable yet effective ways to print and ship your t-shirts without compromising quality.
  • Craft a plan that will drive more customers to your store. Whether through social media, SEO, or content marketing, find what resonates with your audience.

Doing these things well can significantly increase your chances of building a thriving online t-shirt store.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can i create an online store for my t-shirt business.

Yes, you can create an online store to sell your t-shirts using the “print-on-demand” business model. This approach doesn’t require a significant upfront investment, and it can also help you save time.

What are the best platforms to sell t-shirts online?

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with so many options to sell your t-shirts. To simplify things, here are the top 5 places to consider:

  • Etsy: Great for unique items and a large, engaged audience.
  • Shopify: Customizable and easy to use for a personalized store.
  • eBay: Global reach with a trusted reputation.
  • Wix: Ideal for beginners with intuitive design options.
  • Squarespace: Beautiful templates for a sleek store design.

Can I run a t-shirt business from home?

Yes, with the print-on-demand eCommerce model, you can sell T-shirts online without buying or storing inventory. Simply put, you design the T-shirts, and the service handles the rest, from printing to shipping. It requires little to no upfront costs and saves you much time.

How do I determine the right pricing strategy for my t-shirts?

When it comes to pricing your shirts, there are several strategies you can use to match your brand’s needs. Here’s a quick rundown of popular pricing methods:

  • Competitive Pricing: Set your t-shirt prices lower than your competitors to attract customers. Remember, the goal is to build a loyal customer base, not just to make quick sales, so focus on quality.
  • Cost-Plus Pricing: Add a set profit margin to the cost of making each t-shirt. For example, you might add 30% to the production cost to determine the final price.
  • Dynamic Pricing: Adjust prices based on how popular your shirts are. If a design is flying off the virtual shelves, you might increase its price slightly.
  • Bundling: Offer deals when customers buy multiple shirts, like a discount on buying two or more or a “buy three, get one free” offer.

About the Author

t shirt brand business plan

Matthew Khalili is an experienced business planning expert and the founder of The Plan Writers. With over a decade of experience in the field, he has helped numerous entrepreneurs in creating investor-ready pitch decks and business plans. Matt has enabled 5000+ startups to raise over $1 billion through his business plan, market research, and financial modeling services. Read more

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How to Start a $41K/Month T-Shirt Business (2024)

  • 11 months ago

Have you ever wondered how to start a t-shirt business? Starting a t-shirt business only requires a little investment and some technical skills. You can start a clothing line and make a great living. We’ll show you how.

One of our success stories is about Sanford Booth. He started his own t-shirt printing company by buying a Big Frog franchise and turning his original investment of nearly $200K into a profit in only four months. He took home $80K the first year, and this year he’s expecting to make $550K! We’ll share his advice for starting a t-shirt company.

We’ll share everything you need to know to get started including:

  • Which Business Model Is Easiest
  • Skills You Need to Create Your Own T-shirt Designs and Sell Online
  • What Makes a Great Business Name
  • Elements of a Good Business Plan for an Online T-shirt Business
  • Where to Go to Establish Your Business Structure
  • Steps to Take Before You Start Selling T-shirts Online
  • Choosing a Location to Sell Your T-shirts
  • What You Need to Know About Equipment
  • Resources for Team Building
  • How to Manage Your Small Business Finances
  • Paying Taxes
  • Marketing Your Business

Now get ready to learn how to start a tee shirt business.

Step 1. What’s the Best Way to Start a T-Shirt Business?

The first step is to decide what t-shirt business model is right for you. Your t-shirt business should stimulate your creativity, but it should also appeal to your customers’ needs and wants.

Some t-shirt business ideas include:

  • Focusing on a specific target market, such as small business t-shirts.
  • Performing graphic tee design work and printing them yourself.
  • Starting an ecommerce store using Print-on-Demand companies.

You aren’t limited to just one type. Which t-shirt business model(s) you choose will impact every business decision you make.

Sanford’s Big Frog Portland t-shirt franchise focuses on producing and selling custom t-shirt designs made to his customers’ specifications. He decided to get a Big Frog franchise after the 2008 housing market crash caused his real estate career to slow down. He told us:

It cost around $180 to $200K in startup costs, but I was breaking even after the fourth month.

Many consumers start their shopping experience online, so a t-shirt business that can sell clothing in person or online is recommended to start your clothing line.

Keep reading for different types of t-shirt companies.

How to Start a T-Shirts Franchise

A t-shirt franchise like Big Frog gives you a head start on your small business journey. The application process is similar to the interview process for a job.

How to Start a T-shirt Printing Business with Big Frog

Follow these steps to apply for a Big Frog Franchise:

  • Request information .
  • Get to know the franchisor on a business call.
  • Attend a webinar that goes into more detail about the responsibilities of an owner.
  • Fill out disclosure documents to prove you have the resources necessary to start a t-shirt business franchise.
  • Meet other franchise business owners.
  • Get to know the corporate team.
  • Learn to press T-shirts.
  • Learn about their customer support.
  • Start the franchise.

Every franchisor will have different requirements, but most franchises require a minimum of $100,000 to $300,000 to get you through the first year. This is consistent with Big Frog’s requirements of:

  • No less than $50K liquid assets
  • At least $40K working capital
  • $300K net worth (varies based on regional construction costs)

These numbers are in place because the following are consistent across all of Big Frog’s franchises:

  • $39,500 initial franchise fee
  • Initial investment of $188,344 to $247,944
  • A 6% royalty paid monthly on revenue
  • 1.5% of revenue for marketing costs

Ultimately, this pays off because you have access to proven methods to make a great living printing t-shirts. The top ⅓ of stores open for more than a year make more than $600K in revenue with a 63.5% gross margin. This is comparable to what Sanford told us:

The franchisor’s job was to help me develop a marketing plan, and it worked… going into year nine, I expect to make $550K. It’s been growing steadily, with the exception of two huge years and a drop during the pandemic to $440K. Currently, break even is about $25K a month.

We also get special pricing, which is a benefit of Big Frog over an independent shop.

Before you start reading, check out our interview with Sanford. He shared lots of advice about how to start your own t-shirt business that you can use as a step-by-step guide.

How to Start a Brick and Mortar T-Shirt Business

We’ve all been to a brick-and-mortar store. Their business model is selling t-shirts in a building where people can come to the store, try them on, and buy what they like. These stores may sell a single clothing line, multiple clothing brands, or custom t-shirts.

With the rise of ecommerce, this part of the industry is hurting. Closures of retail stores have been increasing for at least the last three years, according to Moneywise . Despite this, Digital Commerce says retail sales have increased around 3% per year since 2007, meaning the stores that stay open are making more money.

This business model works with franchises and stores that run a tight ship. They tend to need sales of $40K per month to be safe. Otherwise, you’ll probably want to start a different way.

Sell Custom T-Shirts

T-shirt companies that run this way focus on a specific brand. This type of business can be a physical retail clothing store, fashion design, e-commerce, print-on-demand service, manufacturing, or a combination of these. A business plan using this model typically focuses on a niche market to satisfy their needs and may expand into other markets later while keeping the brand image.

As a franchise owner, you may want to try to find clients like this to provide printing services. They can become steady clients.

Sell T-Shirts Online

An online t-shirt business focuses on ecommerce through an online store. According to IBIS World, there are 278 business owners selling $582.4 million in t-shirts online for a combined $18.1 million in profit margins. This doesn’t include businesses that don’t classify themselves as an online t-shirt business. Check out their full list of specialized reports .

You can sell t-shirts through lots of websites. Here are the top places to list your t-shirts online:

  • Amazon is the largest online marketplace on the planet. You have to be listed there.
  • Facebook and Instagram Marketplaces are also massive. Some functions can be done through one platform and then work on both, but others have to be done separately. 
  • eBay is another great place to sell t-shirts online. Learn about selling on eBay .
  • Shopify offers an easy experience to set up your own clothing store and connects with most of the bigger marketplaces directly from your shop.
  • WordPress and WooCommerce work great together for super fast ecommerce stores.
  • Etsy is another great marketplace for an online t-shirt business. Check out our guide on creating an Etsy shop .

How to Sell Shirts Online with Print on Demand

You may wish to consider starting a Print-on-Demand (POD) t-shirt business because you don’t need inventory to start selling t-shirts. POD is perfect if you’re wondering how to start a t-shirt business at home.

You simply create a t-shirt design, add it to the print-on-demand company’s garment design software, and connect it to your ecommerce platforms to start selling it. Shopify has a great blog about the top print-on-demand companies.

My favorite is Printful because the graphic tees design software is easy to use, fast for delivery in the U.S., and easily integrates with Shopify, WooCommerce, Facebook, and Amazon. You might want to consider Amazon Merch to sell your t-shirt business designs because they have fast shipping and a huge number of customers.

If you run another type of t-shirt design business, you could hire a developer to drive more revenue by providing printing and shipping services to your client’s customers.

Fashion Designers

Fashion designers focus on designing new clothing that is both stylish and unique. They are primarily focused on the art of their products. When a t-shirt design business reaches this level, the brand is typically at the top of the fashion industry.

They are typically artistic people who make designs and accessories that stand out. They can be self-trained or go to fashion design schools. If you are interested in fashion design education, here are the top 50 schools.

Wholesale is focused on selling t-shirts in bulk orders. To do this, you will typically need to offer retailers t-shirts at 50% of MSRP. You might want to implement this strategy once you develop a reputation for your own online t-shirt store. eCommerce solutions have made it easier because you can combine this strategy with print-on-demand services for selling t-shirts.

Here’s a great list of apps that will make wholesaling easier for your t-shirt brand.


Manufacturing t-shirts is focused on creating t-shirts from field to thread to final garment. This is the most cost-intensive portion of the t-shirt industry because you’ll need a warehouse, fabrics, employees, and machines. That can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

I’d only recommend this strategy at the point in which you are a solidly profitable company, when the only way to increase gains is to buy the machines to produce the garments yourself. Make sure to reach out to a financial expert who specializes in t-shirt manufacturing before doing so.

In case you didn’t gather it from the list of t-shirt business ideas, an online t-shirt business is the most likely way to reach success. After your ecommerce business sees success, you can start expanding and adding other business models to your operations.

Step 2. Learning the Skills

You can’t start a t-shirt business without learning the necessary skills. There are five basic skills you need to sell t-shirts online successfully:

  • Production and printing
  • Business skills

Let’s dig deeper into each of these to see how they impact a custom t-shirt company.

Design Skills

Before you can sell tees, you need t-shirt designs. T-shirt designs are typically created by someone with graphic design skills. This person takes t-shirt business ideas and makes them a reality.

T-shirt designs will typically include several steps in the design process. The steps to design your own t-shirts include:

  • Draw t-shirt designs using digital software, like Photoshop , Canva , or Illustrator .
  • Have a pattern maker cut the patterns for the design.
  • Build a prototype.
  • Make alterations.
  • Create a tech pack . A tech pack is just the design specifications you give to a clothing manufacturer.
  • Source the materials and begin manufacturing.

This process will change some based on what types of machines you are using. For instance, Sanford uses a direct-to-garment printer (DTG) to print his designs. He told us:

The DTG printer is the most important piece of equipment and costs $22,000.

The printer plus software makes it so the process goes straight from design to print.

I’m not going to go into all the details of each type of printer because it is a highly technical field, but some of the most common printing techniques are:

  • Embroidery machines
  • Sublimation
  • Screen printing

There are a ton of great resources on how to design clothes. Here are some useful ones:

  • Best Fashion Design Schools
  • Best Free Online Classes
  • Best Fashion Design Software
  • Best Print-on-Demand Companies

Another crucial step is learning the technology you’ll use. Paying a developer to create a website selling t-shirts online can be expensive. I’ve seen people spend $25K to not get what they want. It’s possible to get good work without understanding how to use the following tech, but you should probably learn about them first.

  • An ecommerce platform (Find Investopedia’s review of the best ones here .)
  • Payment processors
  • Editing software
  • Marketing software

Most tech companies offer free trials or low-cost tutorials on how to use their software. Make sure to use them. They were built to help you make the most of their offerings.

Relevant marketing will help you reach your target audience and let them know about your t-shirt printing. Without it, finding customers can be a real challenge. Marketing can be done both online and through other channels.

The largest marketing companies expect digital marketing to make up over half of all ad spending for the foreseeable future. To read more of their insights, check out this blog .

You’ll need to be familiar with the three largest ad markets for your t-shirts:

  • Facebook and Instagram

Make sure to familiarize yourself with them; otherwise, you’ll be operating in the dark and wasting a lot of money.

It’s important to have social media accounts connected to your online t-shirt business to build an online presence that will help sell t-shirts online and in person.

Big Frog collects 1.5% of revenue and uses it for marketing franchises. Sanford told us:

One of the big differences between a franchise and an independent t-shirt print shop is that Big Frog has well-defined marketing processes in place that, if you follow them, make it easier to succeed.

Watch the full interview here to see what else Sanford has to say about marketing.

Built-in marketing costs make custom t-shirt printing easier than without a franchise.

Production and Printing Skills

Your t-shirt business will need to produce t-shirts, which can be done through a manufacturer, or you can print your own t-shirts and other apparel products. If you are going to print t-shirts, you’ll need to learn how to make a shirt with different types of machines.

Some of the typical techniques you’ll need to learn include:

  • Direct to garment
  • Transfer printing
  • Cad cut vinyl

Sanford walks you through the direct-to-garment printing process at the 6:28 mark of the interview .

Printsome offers a good infographic on deciding what kind of technique you want to use.

You’ll want to know screen printing and heat transfer techniques, which means purchasing your own machines or finding someone to teach you hands-on. If you are running a franchise or printing shop, you’ll need to learn which ways work best for t-shirt businesses.

Business Skills

Business skills cover a wide range including accounting, pricing, shipping, and managing inventory. We’ve provided a list of useful resources by business topic:

  • Accounting : Udemy , edX
  • Pricing : Coursera , Udemy
  • Shipping : Shopify , BigCommerce
  • Inventory Management : Quickbooks , Unleashed

Sanford told us that franchises provide you with lots of guidance for your own business.

I get discounts from a ton of places because Big Frog has discounts that save me money on things like payroll, payment processors, and other companies that Big Frog has discounts with.

Step 3. T-Shirt Business Name

You’ll want to choose a name for your own online store t-shirt company. The name shows your personality and voice. Your t-shirt business should take into account the following considerations about brand presence:

  • Will the name indicate your business sells shirts?
  • Is it easy to spell?
  • Will you focus on local sales? If you do, consider including the name of the location.
  • Is the .com domain available ?
  • Is the business name unique?
  • Does your name fit your branding? Check out Big Frog’s logo:

Big Frog Custom T-Shirts, Inc is the full name of Big Frog. The name clearly states what it does: create custom T-shirts. In addition, it’s memorable. There are not many companies with similar names.

Try out our business name generator . Next, register your business name with the government.

Step 4. Write a T-Shirt Business Plan

You need a t-shirt business plan to define and guide your vision for the t-shirt company. Your plan will drive your t-shirt business by:

  • Guiding decisions
  • Securing financing
  • Developing partnerships with other businesses 

One of the benefits of buying a t-shirt printing franchise is simplifying decision-making because the franchise will specify or help you with:

  • Location selection and lease negotiation
  • Design and layout of the store
  • Recruitment

According to Sanford:

The royalty is the big negative about franchises, but Big Frog really makes it worthwhile.

Your plan should evolve to allow your t-shirt business to change with the market. Check out some of our favorite resources for planning.

We’ve gathered templates to help you develop your business plan. Here are some of the best:

  • One-page business plan
  • U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) business guide
  • State-specific templates
  • Business plan template for a startup business
  • How to Write a Business Plan
  • SCORE’s free plans and startup assistance resources
  • The Complete Business Plan Course (includes 50 templates)

Check out our interview with Mike Andes to get step-by-step instructions on business planning:

Step 5. Establish a Legal Structure

Starting a t-shirt business requires getting a business license, tax permits, and choosing how to classify your business:

  • Sole Proprietorship : Most franchises will not allow you to run a sole proprietorship because there is no liability protection, but it’s the least expensive way to start a business. Fill out a Schedule C to get started. Consider joining the American Independent Business Alliance .
  • Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) : Each state has different requirements. Check your state’s requirements . You might choose to register in a different state than where you live to reduce the cost of doing business. Check out the top 10 states to get an LLC.
  • Corporation : If you intend to sell stock or raise funds by selling equity, you might want to become a corporation. Otherwise, stick to an LLC.
  • Partnership : Normally, legal firms operate as partnerships. Unless there is a specific reason you need a partnership, it is better to do a multi-person LLC. Investopedia has good information about partnerships and corporations here .
  • Franchise: Buying the right to use a company’s processes and intellectual property to run one of its locations. has two franchise opportunities to start a t-shirt business in the United States. Big Frog is the only Direct to Garment (DTG) t-shirt franchise.

For best results, hire legal representation with experience starting a business, like an attorney, accountant, or tax specialist. They’ll help you start your custom t-shirt business and start selling designs faster.

Learn more about business structures .

Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

You’ll need to apply for an EIN from the Internal Revenue Service. It’s free, but you must go online during normal business hours. An EIN is necessary if you want employees or financing for your online t-shirt business.

Licenses, Permits, and Tax Forms

Each location has different licenses, permits, and tax forms required. Use the SBA License and Permits page to identify what your custom tees company needs. Keep reading for information on different legal structures.

Step 6. Getting Ready for Customers

Your t-shirt business is now an entity, but there’s more. 

The order you complete the rest of the steps, you’ll depend on your resources, skill sets, and the type of t-shirt company you start.

There are six areas of business you’ll need to make decisions about:

  • Location: Where will you be working?
  • Inventory: What will you sell, and how will you pay for it?
  • Employees: Will you have employees, and how will you make sure it is a safe environment?
  • Finances : How will you keep track of transactions and financial records?
  • Insurance : How can you protect what you are building?
  • Marketing : How will you find customers?

Step 7. T-Shirt Business Location

You might need a physical t-shirt business location. Connecting with local business owners is easier if you are near your target market. If you have enough products, you’ll need a business location or fulfillment center . Otherwise, you may want to choose the location based on the wealth distribution of the area, the price of space, or choose a central location that is convenient for more people.

When deciding to rent a space for a clothing line, consider:

  • Do you need space for screen printing equipment and inventory?
  • Are you running an online t-shirt business? If so, you can run it from home.
  • Will customers be coming to your small business?
  • Does your t-shirt store have inventory?
  • How will you display your t-shirt designs?
  • How much space is needed to store your t-shirt designs?
  • Will you host a traveling pop-up t-shirt store?

When opening a t-shirt company, you should rent space if you store inventory. You’ll want to plan ahead based on whether the space is a warehouse for an ecommerce store or a storefront where you can display your own t-shirt designs.

Franchises will typically help new business owners find a spot that works based on their previous experience. This can make a huge difference as every town seems to have locations that are just cursed to cycle through businesses.

To find spaces to rent in your area, contact a local commercial RE agent .

How to Start a T-shirt Business From Home

Each city and state has different requirements for where a business is allowed to be located. Local ordinances and franchises might not allow a t-shirt business to be home-based.

How am I supposed to start my t-shirt brand with so many rules for a small t-shirt business? Just search the Municode Library to find your city regulations.

Finding a Good Spot

When looking for a space to rent, consider your ideal client and what stores they might frequent. For instance, a t-shirt printer might do well in a high-traffic mall or a space with a high density of local businesses. Finding the right place will take some research, which will be much easier after considering your marketing efforts.

Step 8. Inventory, Screen Printing Machines, and Product Displays

A new t-shirt store needs inventory unless you are starting an online t-shirt business with print-on-demand. You’ll need the t-shirts you’ll be selling, product display stands, registers, computers to design t-shirts, and the machines for adding designs for shirts. You may need several machines based on the many different types of t-shirts. These can range from heat presses to DTG printers to embroidery stations.

Sanford uses the DTG printers for most of his work. He told us, 

I even work with other print shops on a referral basis to let them earn revenue on small print runs that they’d normally lose the revenue because they can’t afford the setup.

I have found that is a good starting point to see what others suggest. offers a list of manufacturers by location and type of clothing. It’s a great place to start when looking for manufacturers.

Used Printing Machines and Product Displays

Printing machines and product displays can often be found at huge discounts if you buy them used. You can find printers and product displays through online markets, pawnshops, going-out-of-business sales, and other places.

When buying a franchise, they may specify the exact machines you should use. For instance, Big Frog uses Brother DTG Printers.

Considering buying an existing business? The equipment and inventory should be included in the purchase price. Learn more about valuing an existing business in our guide about buying businesses. Then check our business listings for available print shops .

Step 9. Employees

Sanford emphasized the importance of hiring people who are better at their assigned roles than you are:

I’ve got three employees: two designers, and one focused on printing.

Make sure they have Photoshop and Illustrator experience and good customer service. They’ll be interacting with lots of customers, need to be highly responsive, and set customer expectations.

You’ll need employees. Big Frog wants its owners to build the business rather than work in the business. Keep reading for more information.

Tax Filing and Withholding

Federal and state tax filing requirements apply to new employers. You must keep records of employment taxes for a specific duration, including special forms and accounting for state taxes. (Please remember: I’m not licensed to give legal advice on the duration, and the IRS has been known to change things.)

Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered! Check out the IRS guide for employers .

Federal Employment and Labor Law Posters

All employers must display Workplace Posters , which you can download from the website.

Other requirements include:

  • Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9)
  • State’s New Hire Program
  • Worker’s Compensation Insurance
  • Disability Insurance (varies by state)
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

Job Posting

Hiring people requires posting “now hiring” signs and posting on prominent job boards. Some places you can start posting job requirements are:

  • Zip Recruiter

Sanford told us:

I prefer LinkedIn because it lets me set up screening questions before I post the job posting. That really helps me screen candidates better.

Prepare a list of questions for interviews and simplify your hiring process. Indeed offers a resource guide to help you make better hiring decisions.

Sanford suggests including your employees in the interviews. He told us:

It helps give them ownership, and it’s important they like who they work with.


Employees are typically a company’s biggest expense. There are three common pay structures in business. Each fits a different scenario. Let’s take a closer look:

  • Salary: You might want to assign yourself a flat weekly or monthly rate for budgeting purposes.
  • Hourly: This pay structure tracks the hours an employee works and pays them a set hourly rate, but it doesn’t reward performance.
  • Commission: If you only want to reward performance and not time, a percentage of revenue is the way to go.
  • Hybrid Models: Hybrid models combine two pay structures. Combining hourly and commission encourages employees to help drive sales.

I pay my employees $14 to $16 per hour.

The article “How to Create a Pay Structure That Promotes Team and Company Growth” offers some insight into pay structures.

Step 10. Financial Management

A successful t-shirt business manages the financial aspects. Sanford emphasized the benefits of managing margins:

Your margin is crucial. If you don’t manage it, no matter how much you sell, you’ll lose money. I typically aim for 65%.

He also discussed the importance of following up with your clients: 

During the slow months, January, February, and into March, I’ll reach out to my routine customers and make sure they don’t need anything. Following up makes a huge difference in how much you make.

You may need some extra funds to start your clothing brand. To find banks that work with small businesses, use this resource .

Let’s look at some tricks you can use to help your clothing line become profitable.

Budget! Budget! Budget!

A budget is the most important tool you can use in business. Without it, your high-quality t-shirts might not make enough money during the first few years.

I need to make $25K a month just to break even, so that’s a lot of t-shirts.

However, be careful using spreadsheets. According to Ray Panko , professor of IT management at the University of Hawaii, “ 1% or more of all formula cells ” contain errors. 

Try using accounting automation to save money over hiring a full-time accountant to deal with paperwork. Some of the best free budgeting software include:

  • dsBudget : This open-source software requires some development experience.
  • QuickBooks: This popular resource is used by millions to make their accounting easy by setting up rules, connecting with their bank(s) directly, and more.
  • Xero : I was introduced to them through an Australian client, and people love them. In my experience, it allows you to automate most of your processes but is meant to be set up by an accountant and software developer so that the platform works specifically based on your location(s) tax needs.

If you’re running an online t-shirt business, such as print on demand from home, you’ll need to make far less. My break-even point is 35 t-shirts for every $100 of expenses. You need to review your costs often because material pricing changes regularly.

How to Start a T-shirt Business with No Money

Starting a t-shirt company doesn’t cost a fortune. While it cost Sanford “$180–$200K for the franchise fee, equipment, and building with remodeling,” other shirt entrepreneurs have started a t-shirt printing business for less than $1,000.

In our interview with Marcus from Portland Gear, Marcus suggests beginners use the following to start a t-shirt business:

  • Shopify : Get a free 30-day trial of Shopify with our affiliate link.
  • A print-on-demand company : I prefer Printful.
  • Social media marketing : This might be less than $500 per month and is typically more economical than other options.

Hear more from Marcus below:

Common Funding Paths

eCommerce entrepreneurs often fund their t-shirt online store with personal funds, but you can also consider taking on:

  • Loans from family or friends
  • Business partners
  • Government programs

The SBA offers free courses on financing options and funding programs . For info on using personal funds to start a business, check out this article from The Hartford.

Alternative Sources of Funding

You might also want to consider the following ways of getting into the t-shirt printing industry.

  • Crowdfunding  
  • Credit cards
  • Home equity loan
  • Rollover for business startups (ROBS)

Develop a Pricing Structure

How you price your clothing brand will impact how people view it. If your prices are too high, customers will go elsewhere. Too low, you’ll lose money. Based on the rules of thumb presented by Marcus in his interview:

Direct-to-garment typically charges 60-70% margins or around 45-50% for screen printing, but it fluctuates monthly based on how many non-profits I’m working with.

You can use this online calculator to estimate your price points:

What Would you like to do next?

Increase prices every year.

Inflation occurs every year. You might need to raise your prices by 5% per year to keep up. In this high-inflation environment, you may want to increase your prices quarterly or monthly. It gives you room to increase wages and make some extra money for your online t-shirt business.

It’s easier to raise prices when your customers expect it. One way to help prepare customers is to follow this process:

  • Send an email in November letting your customers know that prices will be going up at the beginning of the year.
  • Book enough online t-shirt business to keep you busy through the slow months (January to March).
  • Raise prices on January 1st. 

Step 11: Sales Tax and Insurance

Sales taxes.

All but five states, and some cities (or counties), require sales tax. You can find a guide on applying for sales tax on TaxJar . After you register to pay sales taxes, you will need to keep track of the sales to pay them according to state laws. I would highly recommend speaking with an accountant that specializes in taxes to help you comply with your business’s unique needs.

Get the insurance you need based on the type of business. You’ll need unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation if you have employees. You may also want general liability and cybersecurity insurance to protect against unforeseen events that could cause your clothing line business substantial losses.

Step 12: Marketing

Now you’re ready to sell shirts. You have the location, equipment, inventory, and employees—but no clients!

How are you going to let people know about your online t-shirt business?

Marketing is crucial for a custom shirt business. Franchises have an advantage here because they already have built-in clients and a marketing budget. They’ve also figured out what works. 

Sanford told us: 

I started with print media, radio commercials, a TV commercial, and tons of direct mailers, but that got expensive. Then I started cold calling, following up with previous customers, then digital marketing has really made a difference.

More Marketing Tips for T-Shirt Businesses

He also suggests:

  • Building relationships. Networking is what makes a business pay off.
  • Continually focusing on SEO for your ecommerce business. Start by familiarizing yourself with Google requirements .
  • Checking customers’ previous print jobs to give you ideas on how to sell more shirts.
  • Following up! It makes a difference.
  • Using analytics.

Use software like Hootsuite to manage your online t-shirt business and social media accounts easier. You can schedule posts, assign team members to manage specific sites, and access all your platforms in one place. In addition, they keep up with the requirements for each platform and update you on developments via a dashboard.

Hubspot CRM also makes managing clients and vendors easier. You can integrate it with almost everything, including emails, invoicing, inventory, and your accounting to make sure that you know what is going on with every client. 


Want to know what styles and designs are trending? Follow suppliers, competitors, and influencers to see where communities are heading. Some of the top influencers to follow are:

  • Elon Musk : Let’s face it, both Sanford and I think he’s a rockstar. He mixes jokes, insight, and enthusiasm to spread his message. He’s the founder of six companies and the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX. We can all learn from him.
  • Screen Printing Blogs : Want a list of 40 blogs focused on t-shirt printing? Check out this one. 
  • SEO Influencers: Rand Fishkin , Danny Sullivan ,and Neil Patel

Go Forth and Start Your Own T-Shirt Business!

Whether you’re selling online or have a storefront, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I know how to start an ecommerce store?
  • Is it worth it for me to sell online?
  • Will I be comfortable speaking to clients?
  • Am I starting a clothing line this year?
  • Why am I starting a clothing business?
  • Do I need employees or advice to get started?
  • What will I need to feel successful?

Now that you know how to start a t-shirt business, take the next step. Start your own!

The truth is, all it takes is a great idea, some skills in graphics design, and a good marketing strategy to get started. As Sanford told us:

When I went to see the people at corporate, I knew a Big Frog Franchise was right for me.

Once you’ve mastered the art of selling shirts, you can expand to hats, jackets, socks, or anything else that will go well with your collections. Where do you get inspiration for your collection?

Brandon Boushy

Brandon Boushy lives to improve people’s lives by helping them become successful entrepreneurs. His journey started nearly 30 years ago. He consistently excelled at everything he did, but preferred to make the rules rather than follow him. His exploration of self and knowledge has helped him to get an engineering degree, MBA, and countless certifications. When freelancing and rideshare came onto the scene, he recognized the opportunity to play by his own rules. Since 2017, he has helped businesses across all industries achieve more with his research, writing, and marketing strategies. Since 2021, he has been the Lead Writer for UpFlip where he has published over 170 articles on small business success.

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One thought on “How to Start a $41K/Month T-Shirt Business (2024)”

Hey Brandon! Very throrough post. I can see you went to work and left no stone unturned.

Keep up the great work!

Cameron in Corona

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Custom Printed T-Shirts Business Plan

Start your own custom printed t-shirts business plan

Your T-Shirt!

Executive summary executive summary is a brief introduction to your business plan. it describes your business, the problem that it solves, your target market, and financial highlights.">, opportunity.

Imagine the ability to create a totally custom shirt. You choose the material and style of the shirt, and then the image or graphic you want on the front and/or back. This is the ultimate form of expression. There are no limits to what you can communicate. Some people might show their fanaticism for a particular sports team, others a musician. Or you might have a social message or cause on your shirt. Whatever you may decide, you can print any image on your shirt. 

Your T-Shirt! is an exciting new business that allows people to custom design a shirt (specifically the design on the front or back) any way that they would like. By intelligently leveraging cutting edge technology, Your T-Shirt! will harness the power of computer sublimation to allow custom shirt printing in production runs as small as one unit.

Your T-Shirt! has segmented the market into two groups, organized by the type of product that they purchase. The first group is customers that desire an already created graphic image to be placed on the their shirt. The second group are those that prefer custom artwork to be placed on their shirt. Your T-Shirt! has decided to divide the market by the products that they purchase because it offers an intuitive, easy method of targeting the two different groups. An additional reason for segmenting the market based on the two products is because the demographics for the buyers of the two products are distinct enough to group them separately.


Your T-Shirt! has identified three competitors, two are local companies, the third is an Internet-based shirt designer.

  • T-shirt World  — This local competitor specializes in silk-screening. 70% of their business is silk-screening with the remaining 30% sublimation. They require a minimum order of 10 with a 2-3 week lead time. This company only uses pre-existing designs for their silk-screening and for sublimations you must use their artist.
  • Shirt Shack  — This local retailer is geared toward organizations or teams with production runs of 20 or more. They do fairly good work but are rigid regarding custom work.
  • Design House  — This is an Internet-based retailer that primarily offers computer sublimations. Design House has a catalog of approximately 200 images for the customer to choose from. They do allow customers to use their own graphic. The quality of the sublimations is mediocre at best because they can only use off the shelf technology.

Our mission is to offer the finest in custom shirt sublimation production. We will offer customers the best product at the best price. Customer’s expectations will always be exceeded.


We are going to grow our business to start making a modest profit in year 3. Our name will become synonymous with high quality fashion forward T-Shirts. Everyone will come to us when they want to wear something custom made. We will be able to pay off friends and family by year 5. 

Financial Highlights by Year

Financing needed.

We will be getting a total of $84,500. David will be contributing $19,500 of his own money. We have a loan of $65,000 which will be fully paid by year 5. We will make a small profit starting year 3 and will consider taking on more staff by year 4 or 5 after we pay off the loan completely. 

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Problem & solution, problem worth solving, our solution, target market, market size & segments.

Market Segmentation

Your T-Shirt! has segmented their market into two distinct groups. As mentioned previously, the two segments are grouped by the type of product they chose. Although Your T-Shirt! is dividing the market by product type, it is effectively dividing the market by age as well since the customers who purchase the custom artwork shirts tend to be older than the group preferring the ready-made graphics. While this is not a hard and fast rule, it is a fairly accurate generalization.

Graphics  — This is group purchases a shirt and has an existing graphic placed on the shirt. This is the less expensive option and lends itself to low production numbers, as low as one, since there is not the inherent expense of artwork creation.

  • 69% are students
  • Median individual income is $26,000
  • Go out to eat 3.4 times a week
  • Listen to 3.6 hours of music a week

Artwork  — This segment prefers having custom artwork created and placed on their shirt. They generally have the image or style in mind and will direct the artist to create it. Occassionally when the customer will not have an exact image in mind but will rely on the artist’s skills to help shape the work. Some of these customers will use Your T-Shirt!’s partner artist, others will have a friend or other service provider develop the art.

  • Median individual income is $42,000
  • Go out to eat 2.7 times a week
  • Listen to 3.3 hours of music a week
  • 18% are using the shirt as a form of communication for a cause or a message

4.2 Target Market Segment Strategy

Your T-Shirt! has chosen these two market segments because their demographics (reasonably young) have the highest likelihood of purchasing a custom shirt. Both of these segments are reasonably young. This is important because most of Your T-Shirt!’s products are T-shirts and younger people tend to wear them frequently.

Music is also an important interest for the target markets since both segments listen to and watch more than average amount of music. T-shirts are particularly popular at music events. This phenomenon may be explained in part by the expressive nature of both music and T-shirt graphics. Your T-Shirt! will provide a form of expression, allowing each customer to choose what aesthetic or idea they want to communicate.

Lastly, the business will be located in Seattle which has a young, hip scene. There are many music and other venues that cater to Your T-Shirt!’s demographic and these will be useful in developing awareness of Your T-Shirt!

Current Alternatives

Another minor source of competition comes from home kits that turn your ink jet printer into a T-shirt making machine. While these kits do offer some competition, the image quality is not good, therefore this will only appeal to children or the home hobbyist, someone not very concerned with image quality. 

Our Advantages

Your T-Shirt! has two advantages that will use to their advantage to achieve market penetration.

  • Large catalog of graphics  — Your T-Shirt! is developing several strategic relationships with existing graphics companies that have an extensive images catalogs. It would be difficult and expensive for Your T-Shirt! to create their own library of graphics but by developing relationships with companies who own existing libraries, Your T-Shirt! is able to offer its customers an expansive array of imagery. Your T-Shirt! pays a royalty for use of these graphics.
  • Quality of the sublimation  — Due to its networking contacts at Hewlett-Packard, and the use of prototype technology, Your T-Shirt! will be able to produce sublimations of much higher quality than any of their competitors. This gives Your T-Shirt! a fantastic competitive edge. At some point within the next two years this technology may be available to the public, however because of the close contacts Mr. Inkler shares with HP, Your T-Shirt! will always have cutting edge technology available, well in advance of any public release.

Keys to Success

Our keys to success is: 

  • Leverage cutting edge technology as a competitive advantage.
  • Exceed customer expectations by offering high quality products at reasonable prices with quick turnaround times.
  • Employ careful financial and accounting analysis to ensure efficiency and proper controls.

Marketing & Sales

Marketing plan.

The marketing campaign will seek to increase visibility for Your T-Shirt!, emphasizing the ability of the customer to completely customize their design. Your T-Shirt! will use several different venues to communicate this message.

  • Advertising  — Your T-Shirt! will run ads in several teen/young adult magazines whose readership demographics are similar to Your T-Shirt!’s.
  • Youth events  — Many different events will be sponsored as a means of increasing visibility. These include but are not limited to music festivals and sporting events along with the new genre of extreme sporting events.
  • Student groups  — Your T-Shirt! will attempt to gain awareness of the different student groups who actively purchase shirts for their members. Awareness will be achieved through a combination of sponsorship of student organization events as well as advertisements in magazines that specifically target this demographic. 

The sales strategy will emphasize the fact that ordering a shirt from Your T-Shirt! is a very easy and pleasing experience. The sales effort will work on the continual development of the website, the main tool used for ordering. It will be quite important to have a friendly, easy to use web interface for two main reasons. One, there are so many choices available that it could become daunting to the customer. The second reason is that a large portion of sales will be placed on the website. It is imperative to make it so easy that people don’t stop part way through ordering due to cumbersome or difficult instructions. The website embraces the philosophy of making the experience so easy and pleasing that the customer comes back to buy more.

Your T-Shirt! will also rely on three other factors to help boost sales. The first is exemplary customer service. Having excellent service will provide the customer with the feeling that the business is looking out for the customer’s interest. Second, when a customer places an order, they will probably be excited to see the finished product, so Your T-Shirt! will ensure the fastest turnaround time possible. Lastly, sales will be boosted by offering customers a high quality product. We will use high grade cotton shirts and state-of-the-art sublimation printing materials.

Locations & Facilities

We are going to have a small store front with one computer where our customers can put in their own designs. We will have a counter and cash register for those who would like to have help. It will be set up somewhat like a fedex kiosk, most of the work will be done online and offsite at HP. 

Your T-Shirt! will offer customers a variety of options for creating their own custom shirts. The majority of orders will be for t-shirts, however other style shirts will be available. Your T-Shirt! has developed a strategic relationship with Hewlett-Packard (HP) printer division. We will use their printer sublimation technology that allows a computer image to be applied to a shirt in a high quality, high resolution, economically feasible manner. This technology creates an image durable enough to withstand thousands of washings. Its photo-like quality, due to significantly higher printer resolution than anything on the market, will show off any image. The technology is cost effective enough to offer customers the ability to order just one unit. Most other competitors’ costs prohibit printing custom shirts in one-off production runs. Finally, the customer may choose from an extensive library of existing images, supply their own image, or have an artist create an image for them

Equipment & Tools

The store will have a computer kiosk for customers to access the graphics catalog. The customer can then place the order online or take the information to an employee to place the order.

Milestones & Metrics

Milestones table, key metrics.

Our Key Metrics are: 

  • # of page views and shares on Facebook
  • # of tweets and retweets on Twitter 
  • # of Customers in a month
  • # of higher priced custom t shirts 
  • # of searches for our websites 
  • # of customers calling for more info 

Ownership & Structure

Your T-Shirt! is a start-up organization. It has been formed as a Washington registered L.L.C. by David Inkler. The L.L.C. formation was chosen as a way to minimize personal liability issues for the owner and avoiding the double taxation found in traditional corporations. 

Management Team

Your T-Shirt! will be led by David Inkler and is not his first t-shirt venture. While in college David produced and sold tie-dye shirts. This early business experience gave David valuable insight into the market, the products, and the customer’s needs and desires. Since leaving college David worked in Hewlett-Packard’s printer division, and it was this experience that provided useful business and professional contacts within the shirt sublimation technology industry that he is currently leveraging. After three years in marketing at HP, David went back to school to earn his MBA. David will use his educational skills, his technological business contacts, and his previous shirt industry experience to make Your T-Shirt! profitable. Sales forecasts indicate that Your T-Shirt! will achieve sterling sales for years two and three respectively. Net profit will correspondingly be untarnished.

Personnel Table

Financial plan investor-ready personnel plan .">, key assumptions.

Our key assumptions are: 

  • There are people with disposable income that will be interested in buying custom t-shirts 
  • People  like wearing shirts that say something as a fashion and personal statement. 
  • Our customers will find us on our website 
  • Our customers will appreciate the convenience of getting t-shirts shipped to their house and will be willing to pay for it. 

Revenue by Month

Expenses by month, net profit (or loss) by year, use of funds.

 Your T-Shirt! will incur the following expenses for start up:

  • Two Apple Macintosh computers — These will be high end models and utilize the following software: Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, Macromedia FreeHand, and QuickBooks Pro.
  • HP XX Laser Printer — This is a prototype printer not available to the public.
  • In-store computer kiosk — This allows customers to view options for shirts and existing imagery.
  • Website — This will be used for information disbursement as well as ordering.
  • Shelving display unit — To display assorted graphic images on paper for easier viewing.
  • Broadband Internet connection.
  • Two desk/chair/office supplies sets.
  • Small shirt inventory — Inventory will be kept small to lower overhead. This will be accomplished by using a shirt vendor who is one shipping day away, effectively using a just-in-time (JIT) system for managing inventory. 
  • Heat application unit — To make the sublimation transfer.

Start-up Expenses

Legal $1,200

Stationery etc. $200

Computer equipment $6,200

Office furniture $1,000

Sublimation heat transfer unit $2,000

Wesite development $6,500


Sources of Funds

We will need a total of $84,500. David will give 19,500 of his own money. He secured a loan for $65,000 for the startup expenses. Since we are able to break even by the second year, and make profit on the third year. He will start hiring more staff to up the sales by year 5 after he pays off the loan. 

Projected Profit & Loss

Projected balance sheet, projected cash flow statement.

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How to Start a Successful Online T-Shirt Business in 2024: The Definitive Guide

How to Start a Successful Online T-Shirt Business in 2024: The Definitive Guide

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T-shirts are timeless.

They’re the ultimate fashion chameleon. T-shirts can dress up, dress down, and express the wearer’s unique personality. They’re always in demand.

And starting a t-shirt business is easier than ever.

E-commerce business platforms and print-on-demand companies make it simple to start selling unique, one-of-a-kind t-shirts. This is why so many beginner entrepreneurs start a t-shirt company. Even experienced entrepreneurs love the t-shirt industry and often start t-shirt companies as side hustles.

So, whether you’ve always wanted to run your own t-shirt company featuring your unique designs or just looking for an easy way to test the entrepreneurship waters, now is a perfect time to get started.

Over the past fifteen years, our team has helped thousands of entrepreneurs start t-shirt and other clothing businesses in the U.S. and worldwide. We’ve helped some of them write business plans for t-shirt and clothing brands and lines and have helped many with unique t-shirt designs . And our expert designers have designed t-shirts for some of the world’s most popular brands, bands, and festivals. We frequently mentor entrepreneurs and business owners on starting e-commerce businesses, dropshipping business models, building new fashion brands, and other topics that drive success in the clothing industry. This guide shares our actionable insights, tips, best practices, and expertise.

How to Start a Successful Online T-Shirt Business:

Develop your t-shirt brand, fill in the business blanks, crunch the numbers, plan your t-shirt line.

  • Build your web presence

Create a sales plan

Spread the word.

t shirt brand business plan

Let’s get started.

Step one of starting a successful t-shirt business? Develop your brand identity.

t shirt brand business plan

When you start your own t-shirt business, you cannot understate the importance of your visual identity – especially in fashion.

T-shirts are very personal because our clothing choices are one way we define our identity – to both ourselves and the world.

As a result, the brands we choose to wear and the labels we display on our clothes become an extension of who we are and how we see ourselves.

In particular, the millennial generation has been shown to desire an authentic connection with their clothing brands. Fabrizio Moreira writes :

They want a brand “experience,” they want authenticity. It follows, then, that having a message that resonates with these consumers, and staying authentic to that message, is one of the few ways to break into the cutthroat fashion industry as a small brand…

So, before you brainstorm your first t-shirt design and get ready to start your t-shirt company, ask yourself these important questions:

  • What identity do I want my t-shirt brand to project?
  • Who will want to wear my t-shirts? What is my target demographic?
  • How saturated is the target market for my t-shirts?
  • What can customers get from my t-shirt company that they can’t get anywhere else?
  • What makes my t-shirts unique? Is it the material? The graphics? The message?
  • Is there a price point representing a sweet spot in my target market?
  • What is the most important part of my customer’s experience?

Your answers to these questions (and others like them) will build the core of your t-shirt brand. All of your future branding decisions should expand on these ideas. Your business name , company logo, and website design should grow from the concepts you laid out here.

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t shirt brand business plan

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So, take the time to think – think – about your t-shirt brand from the start. T-shirt businesses are popular entrepreneurial ventures because they’re so easy to start. That makes the market crowded.

But customers are people. And people respond to authentic brands to which they can relate.

So, develop a clear and authentic brand for your t-shirt company from Day One to increase your chances of success.

Choose your niche

Part of developing your t-shirt brand is figuring out who you are as an entrepreneur (and possibly designer) and your audience.

You can’t sell to everyone.

Trying to please everyone and do everything is impossible- and expensive. You’re more likely to succeed if you design t-shirts with a specific audience.

For instance, if you sell only sustainably sourced t-shirts made with eco-friendly inks, that should be reflected in your brand. That will make identifying your business easier for people passionate about environmentally responsible apparel.

So, you’ve got to define your niche before committing to a brand name or logo. Then you can choose a business name and obtain a custom logo that reflects your niche.

Here are some t-shirt niche examples:

  • High-performance athletic tees
  • Sustainably sourced organic t-shirts
  • Extra-comfy t-shirts for sleeping or lounging
  • Locally-grounded tees celebrating history or cultural touchpoints
  • Political or pop-culture references
  • Limited-edition t-shirt designs that cycle quickly
  • Exclusive members-only high-quality t-shirts

These examples are only here to spark your imagination. Ground your niche in your authentic interests.

But be sure to consider your total addressable market . Not every niche will support a lucrative opportunity for new entrants.

Whatever niche you choose, make sure you’re passionate about it. That passion will come through in your t-shirt designs and your messaging. And your audience will appreciate and embrace the authenticity of your brand.

So, what kind of t-shirts will you sell? And who are your unique customers?

Your visual brand

Every brand has visual components that help customers recognize and identify that brand.

The most obvious visual component of your brand identity is your company logo . However, many businesses also use specific brand colors , an illustration system , or other small signature graphic elements that help people remember them.

These types of branding elements are important for every business. But they’re particularly crucial for t-shirt businesses.

This is because your logo should appear on your t-shirts so that people can recognize that it’s from your online t-shirt store. So, your logo needs to jive with the designs on your shirts visually.

As we mentioned above, your logo should be a visual extension of the kinds of shirts you’ll be selling. If it looks out of place, your t-shirts will suffer, and your brand will look bad.

If you expand your visual brand identity with an illustration system or other signature graphic design elements, they can be incorporated into future t-shirt designs. So, it's a worthwhile investment that will pay you back in brand recognition and t-shirt revenues over time.

The importance of trademarking

Finally, ensure you get a custom logo that can be trademarked .

If you use a free logo generator to create your logo, you’ll get, at best, generic stock or clip art that cannot be legally trademarked.

This means thousands of other businesses can create t-shirts that look just like your logo to cash in on your brand’s popularity. And there’s nothing that you can legally do about it.

So, whether you get your logo at crowdspring (prices start at $299), or pay a design agency big bucks to do it, make sure you get a custom logo that will serve your t-shirt business as it grows and that you can legally protect.

Once you define your brand, you can think about the vitally important details of starting and running a t-shirt company. From choosing a t-shirt business structure to pricing, licensing, and permits to a business plan...

Starting a t-shirt company is pretty easy. But it’s still a business. And starting any new business involves jumping through a few hoops.

Hoop One: What’s your business structure?

The first hoop is to choose the business structure for your new t-shirt business. Sole proprietorship or LLC ? Incorporate or register a partnership ?

If you want to launch your t-shirt company quickly, a Sole Proprietorship may be the right choice. But give this some real thought. Your business structure can impact all sorts of things – like your personal liability for the company and how you’ll pay taxes.

Hire an expert to form your company and save time. Our trusted partners can help: Northwest ($39 + state fee) or Bizee ($199 + state fee) . We recommend Northwest. After evaluating the leading registration companies, Northwest stands out as our top choice due to its competitive pricing, exceptional customer support, and commitment to privacy. Pay just $39 + state fees and you'll get a free year of registered agent service, articles of organization, privacy, and client support from local experts.

So, making the right (or wrong) choice can affect your business in many ways.

Hoop Two: Paperwork? What paperwork?

After you clear the legal business structure hoop, you must file the necessary paperwork.

The U.S. Small Business Administration tells us that a license or permit is necessary for virtually every new business type. Their website has all of the info you need to find out what sort of license or permit you’ll need to start a business in your state.

Remember that most states require you to register your new business if the trade name under which you operate your business differs from the legal business name .

For example, if your registered t-shirt company is an LLC and is named Three Sisters, LLC, you can’t operate that business lawfully in most states if you’re selling products under the trade name Three Tigers. That’s because the registered name and your trade name are different.

Fortunately, this isn’t a difficult problem to solve. You can simply register your actual trade name with your state (and/or local government) by filing a “doing business as” (DBA) certificate.

DBAs are also commonly called “assumed name,” “fictitious business name,” or “trade name.”

Here’s a terrific resource that explains what a DBA is, the DBA state requirements, and how to file a DBA for your business in all 50 states and U.S. territories.

Hoop Three: Do you have a plan for your business?

Is the paperwork all squared away? Then it’s time to think about the specifics of your business.

Your business plan should include (at minimum) a statement about your t-shirt brand, a general description of your products (t-shirts, hoodies, anything else?), and a strategy for how you plan to sell them. The plan doesn’t need to be lengthy. Many outstanding one-page business plan templates can help you start quickly.

This is when you need to decide what kind of t-shirt company you will run in the first place.

Here are the two most common options:


This business model, a variant of dropshipping business models , enlists the aid of a third-party vendor to print and ship pre-existing garments (like t-shirts and hoodies) to your customers.

You provide custom designs. Your print-on-demand (POD) vendor then applies the designs and ships the finished t-shirts to your customers as orders come in. So, you don’t have to store inventory, decorate shirts, or manage fulfillment (packaging/shipping).

Some print-on-demand companies, like Printful , even provide convenient mock-up generators (more about mock-ups below).

But, not all POD vendors are created equal. Here are some variables to consider when choosing a POD vendor:

  • Do they carry quality shirts that will satisfy your customers?
  • What printing techniques do they offer? Can they execute your designs well?
  • How long do they take to print and fulfill orders?
  • Do they offer a wide range of t-shirt styles that will appeal to your customers?
  • What profit margin do they offer?
  • Do they integrate with the e-commerce platform you plan to use?
  • What other services do they offer that may make your business easier to run?

This is one of the easiest t-shirt business models to set up. It works well for entrepreneurs who want to start quickly and without a large financial investment. But remember that some of your revenue goes to the third-party vendor that prints and fulfills your orders.

Pros for the print-on-demand business model

  • Typically, no (or low) set-up costs
  • High-quality prints (if you pick a good vendor)
  • Unlimited color options (but remember that price increases with the number of colors)
  • Ideal for small order quantities or one-off prints
  • Offers many different clothing options (t-shirts, hoodies, hats, jackets, leggings, socks, dresses, etc.)

Cons for the print-on-demand business model

  • Not cost-effective for large quantities
  • Few vendors offer volume discounts
  • Minimal print product selection (you’re limited to what the vendor offers)
  • Few customized finishing options (tags, labels, packaging, etc.)

logo designer sitting in front of a computer

Custom wholesale

Custom wholesale t-shirt businesses purchase pre-made wholesale tees and then customize them by hand.

You can print, applique, embroider, or otherwise embellish the existing t-shirts to fit your vision and make custom shirts.

This model allows maximum creativity when selling t-shirts but requires more time, effort, and financial investment than the print-on-demand model.

You must purchase t-shirt inventory upfront and pay for the materials and labor to customize them. You’ll also need to store the inventory, acquire a space to customize the shirts, and fulfill your orders.

However, you’ll take home more of your profits than the print-on-demand model since there’s no third party to pay.

Pros for the custom wholesale business model

  • Very cost-effective in large production runs of a single shirt type
  • Most vendors offer substantial volume discounts
  • Lower costs mean bigger profit margins for you
  • Ultimate design freedom – decorate your t-shirts in any technique you choose

Cons for the custom wholesale business model

  • Not cost-effective for big clothing lines with different items, colors, and sizes
  • Embellishing or decorating t-shirts can be time-consuming
  • Minimum orders typically require 10 to 25 units per color/size
  • You’ll need to figure out how to manage inventory and shipping (either do it yourself or hire a separate vendor for warehousing and fulfillment)

Be sure to investigate several vendors to find the best fit for you.

Hitting your target price point for your t-shirt line relies on finding the right business model and the right partner or vendors to help you create and fulfill that line. Your product costs will be key factors in the future success or failure of your t-shirt company.

You may want to include your anticipated business model, pricing structure, customer demographics, and estimated spending power in a detailed business plan.

Plan for all the necessary legal and logistical business considerations with a solid business plan, and you’ll create a strong foundation for your t-shirt company’s successful future.

brand identity guide illustration

When starting any new business, you have to understand the numbers.

But not all numbers are equally important to all businesses.

For a t-shirt business, you’ll want to track your sales and profits to ensure that your t-shirt business is profitable. But there’s much more to think about before you can get there. When starting a t-shirt company, begin by assessing your start-up costs .

While your business model (dropship vs. custom wholesale) impacts the costs of running a t-shirt company, some costs are common across all business models. When you start your own t-shirt business, these costs will include the following:

  • your brand design (logo, business cards, and website)
  • any national, state, or local license or permit fees
  • deposits and rent for a physical work location (if you plan to lease your workspace)
  • basic infrastructural costs like phone and internet service, invoicing software, e-commerce expenses, etc…
  • marketing and advertising costs
  • hourly wages to cover your labor time

Once you know how much it will cost to get your t-shirt company started, compare that with the funds you have. Then plan how you’ll make up any difference.

Unlike most businesses, you can start a t-shirt business with little money. For example, people looking to start a trucking company must consider the cost of expensive trucks, trailers, insurance, etc.

But a t-shirt business doesn’t require a lot of capital, and most people don’t need additional funding. But even if you need to secure financing,  numerous business financing options might be available.

If you plan to work with pre-made wholesale garments, you’ll want to shop for the best prices at your quality point to hit your target price point.

If you plan to print on demand and dropship t-shirts , that won’t be a concern. But, you will want to research which POD businesses offer you the best profit margins since you’ll share your revenue with them.

Running smart calculations to determine how much it will cost to start your t-shirt company will allow you to plan your pricing strategy.

Setting your prices

To create a smart and effective pricing strategy when selling t-shirts, you must start by knowing how much it costs to produce your clothing items – also known as cost-per-unit or “CPU.” The small business finance experts at Bond Street explain :

Most businesses in the apparel world use a cost-based pricing strategy, in which the final cost to the consumer ultimately comes from the cost of producing that product.

Your print-on-demand partner should be able to provide you with a CPU. But, if you go wholesale, you’ll have to calculate your CPU, including the t-shirts and additional printing or customization costs.

The CPU is only a starting point. It’s also important to bake the cost of running your business (and some profit!) into your t-shirt prices. Otherwise, it will be difficult to sustain your business over time.

Aim for prices 30% – 50% higher than your expenses to ensure a profit. Profit is, after all, essential to your business’s success.

Competitor pricing

Once you’ve done the math, it’s time to start considering the less-tangible aspects of pricing – competitor pricing and perceived value. These factors help you pick a price point that makes sense for you and resonates with your target market.

Your potential customers are shopping for more than just your t-shirts. They’re shopping with your competitors, too.

And they know how much your competitors are charging. Consciously or not, they’re gathering data about what products like yours should cost.

You must also understand your target market and what your competitors charge.

You might feel your t-shirts are worth more; or want to charge less than your competitors. And that’s okay.

But, if you’re completely unaware of what your competitors charge, you may miss the mark entirely – either costing you profit if you charge too little or sales if you charge too much.

Perceived value

Perceived value is the amount that a customer thinks a product is worth.  And your competitor’s prices are a part of that perception. But not the whole picture.

How your t-shirts look plays a role. How your t-shirts feel plays a role. But your branding can influence how your product is perceived, as well.

A classy logo, professional website, and high-end brand positioning will produce a higher perceived value than a poor logo and amateurish website.

So, remember to consider your brand and your competitor’s pricing when creating the pricing strategy for your t-shirts.

Check out this article for more details  about pricing your t-shirts.

Starting a t-shirt company is a business.

But there's plenty of room for creativity in that business. Planning your first collection is an integral step in the process. And this is where your creativity can shine. So, let's talk about how to get started.

It’s time to (temporarily) put aside the business side of things and start thinking about the t-shirts themselves.

Your first t-shirts should reflect your brand’s essence and properly introduce your unique design perspective. So, refer back to your brand concept and niche for inspiration.

People need time and repeated exposure to know your design aesthetic and brand. Your first t-shirts must show your audience what sort of quality, designs, and messaging they can expect from your brand consistently.

Consistency is key.

So, if you’re a designer, now is the time to create t-shirt designs that reflect you and the brand you’re creating. But, if you’re an entrepreneur who is not a designer, it’s time to find trusted designers to help you create original t-shirt designs.

This is a perfect job for the creatives at crowdspring. Holding a single custom t-shirt design project based on your brand concepts will deliver dozens of t-shirt designs for you to choose from.

You’ll have the opportunity to collaborate with many designers at once. This collaborative process ensures that your unique brand will shine through. And you can award and purchase as many designs as you like.

Uniqueness and authenticity are the elements that will help to set your t-shirt company apart in the crowded fashion marketplace. So, however you acquire your designs, ensure they reflect your aesthetic.

Types of t-shirt printing and decoration

When planning your t-shirt designs, knowing your options for executing those designs is helpful.

There are many printing and decoration options. Here are a few you should know…

Screen or silk screen printing

Screen printing involves creating a custom stencil of your design, which is applied to the screen. The screen (with stencil) is laid over the t-shirt, and ink is applied. The negative space in the stencil is filled with ink, transferring your design to the t-shirt.

Screen printing is great for creating perfectly identical prints. But, each screen can only be used with a single dye color. So, it can get expensive to screen print complex designs with many colors.

Heat transfer

Heat transfer uses a special heat transfer paper that allows your design to be melted into the fibers of the t-shirt.

Your design is printed onto the heat transfer material. The design is laid in place and melted into the t-shirt using a heat press. The design on top remains unaffected by the heat transfer process.

Heat transfer is great for complex, multi-color designs. And, it’s economical for small runs of shirts. But, it can change the fabric’s hand (or feel), making it stiffer.

Consider embroidery if you’re looking for a dimensional effect in your design.

Embroidery software will transform your design into electronic instructions for an embroidery machine. The machine then stitches your design into t-shirts using appropriately colored threads.

Embroidery requires your t-shirt to be made of relatively sturdy fabric; otherwise, the embroidered threads will overwhelm the weaker fabric. This causes the fabric to pucker or sag. So, choose t-shirts that can stand up to the embroidery process.

Embroidery provides a unique visual effect that looks unlike any other decoration technique.

Direct-to-garment printing

Direct-to-garment printing is exactly what it sounds like. This process prints fabric inks directly onto the t-shirt using an inkjet printer.

The pros of this process are that it can produce very crisp, complex images and leaves the fabric feeling pleasantly soft. The cons are that it tends to fade quickly, and the print quality is entirely dependent on the quality of the printing machine.

So, ask for samples from a vendor before agreeing to do business with them.

An appliqué is a fabric patch or design sewn directly to the shirt’s surface.

The finished effect is 3-dimensional and can create a wonderful tactile experience depending on the fabrics used.

The opportunities for color, pattern, and overall design are limited only by your imagination.

You’re unlikely to find a Print on Demand company offering appliqué services. But, if you like the look of appliqué, you can do it yourself or hire stitchers to do it for you.

This is a labor-intensive process, but the final product has the potential to be more like a work of art than “just a t-shirt.”

If you plan to sell your t-shirts online (which you should because it’s quick, easy, and cost-effective), you’ll need t-shirt mock-ups.

Mock-ups are images showing your finished t-shirts. These images are placed on your online business store so customers will know what your t-shirts look like.

It’s best to have mock-ups of each design in every color and available t-shirt style. People want to know exactly what they’re buying.

And accurate mock-ups give people the confidence to choose a shirt they like.

Once your t-shirt company is up and running (and bringing in profit!), you can set your business apart from the competition by replacing generic mock-ups with uniquely styled photos of your t-shirts that reflect your brand. Hire models that look like your ideal customers, and style the photos to appeal to your audience.

But to get started, t-shirt mock-ups are all you need to show off your t-shirt designs to prospective customers.

Build your website

Your website is one of your t-shirt company's most important ambassadors. It may be the core vehicle by which you do business. So, this is not a place to cut corners.

The most cost-effective way to start a t-shirt company is with an online store.

E-commerce website hosting , e-commerce platform fees, and up-front web design costs will be cheaper than paying rent on a brick-and-mortar storefront.

Your website has two major aspects to consider – appearance and function.

Website appearance

Your website design must reflect your t-shirt brand. Visitors should understand your business’s personality and what sort of t-shirts they can expect to buy from you as soon as they arrive.

Your website’s visual design and marketing copy will help communicate this vital information. Here are some suggestions:

  • Use your brand’s colors.
  • Prominently feature your logo.
  • Write marketing copy with your target audience in mind.
  • Showcase clear, professional mock-ups (and upgrade to custom photos of your t-shirts asap).
  • Choose a font that’s easy to read and reflects your brand personality.
  • Don’t let design elements overwhelm the copy or pictures of your t-shirts – white space is your friend.

Besides being a brand ambassador, your business website is a great venue for showing off your t-shirt designs to a wide audience.

Augmenting your website with styled photos of people wearing your t-shirts will inspire shoppers, allow people to relate to your designs, and encourage visitors to imagine themselves in your t-shirts.

If your photos resonate with a visitor, the chances are that they’ll purchase your items – or, at least, wish they could.

Finally, a strong website design will lend credibility and legitimacy to your business.

To learn more about great website design, check out Grow Your Small Business With These 7 Website Design Best Practices and 11 Biggest Web Design Trends for 2022 .

Other options exist if web design is not among your many DIY skills. For example, if you already use the Magento platform, extensions like Magento 2 shop by brand can help you build brand pages.

Website functionality

A website’s functionality is just as important as its appearance.

Your website has got to be easy to use – or people will leave. Prioritize these functions…

  • Load speed. Your website should load quickly. For every extra second it takes your website to load, potential customers click away.
  • Navigation. Your website should be easy to navigate. They’ll leave if folks can’t figure out how to shop or where the FAQs are.
  • Customer support. It should be easy to reach customer support. Nothing screams “SCAM BUSINESS” quite as loudly as a website without customer support contact info.
  • E-commerce. It’s gotta be easy for people to buy your t-shirts online. The harder it is to complete the shopping process, the less likely it becomes to complete their purchases. (More on choosing an e-commerce platform in the next section – Create a sales plan.)

A website that’s difficult to figure out or doesn’t work well reflects poorly on your business. It raises questions about your credibility and undermines customer trust. This will hurt your sales.

A website that people can navigate quickly and easily to buy your t-shirts will lead to more successful purchases – and higher revenue for you.

There's more to building a t-shirt company than making t-shirts. Getting people to buy your shirts is a challenge in itself. It's time to create your sales plan.

Where do you plan to sell your t-shirts? In an online shop? In a brick-and-mortar store of your own? Or maybe you want to sell in local boutiques with many different clothing lines ?

We encourage you to sell online from the start because it’s easiest to get an online store up and running. There are no monthly rent, mortgage, or property taxes to pay and no retail fixtures to buy when you operate an online store.

But there are many options – including selling in physical stores. And once your t-shirt company starts to make a profit, you may find that it’s time to expand your business into another channel. So, consider the pros and cons of each option.

Your sales plan should be comprehensive. You’ll want to develop both an overall marketing/sales strategy and a list of day-to-day tactics that will help you sell your t-shirts.

The core of your t-shirt sales plan should include your choice of e-commerce platform.

Choosing an e-commerce platform

It’s easy to create an e-commerce presence nowadays without much technical knowledge. You can even create a side hustle instead of starting a full-time business. The hard part is choosing the right e-commerce platform.

Most template-based web design services offer e-commerce functionality that will let you launch an online store quickly.

And others, like Shopify , are built specifically for e-commerce. These platforms will, among other features, let customers pay by credit card (you won’t need to get a special merchant account because the platform will already provide this functionality).

There are many, many e-commerce options. Here are a few factors to remember when choosing the e-commerce platform to sell your t-shirts…

  • How reliable is the platform? How much downtime do they experience?
  • What payment methods are supported? Are these payment methods compatible with your audience?
  • How quickly does the platform load pages and process orders? (Faster is better!)
  • What fees does the platform charge? Do they get a cut of each sale? Is there a regular subscription cost? If so, how much?
  • What integrations does the platform offer? For instance, Shopify, Magento, and WooCommerce integrate with t-shirt printers and drop-ship vendor Printful .
  • Does the platform allow you to create a customizable website that reflects your unique brand?

Remember how important your unique branding is? The website templates on e-commerce sites are available for all other t-shirt brands to use, as well. As we emphasized previously ,

It’s not enough to have a website… You also want to be sure that your site’s design is unique and that it showcases your products and you. Just like your logo, your web design should start with your personal brand. A well-designed website will expand upon and support the values and personality traits that you’ve identified as being core to your business. If web design is not among your many DIY skills, know that there’s help available .

Self-hosted open-source e-commerce services allow you to use your uniquely branded website with its e-commerce functionality.

Check out services like WooCommerce , Magento , and Open Cart . Not only can you use your original web design, but they also scale easily alongside your business as it grows.

Set up your online store

Once you’ve chosen the right e-commerce platform, it’s time to do the most exciting part – create your store to sell t-shirts online!

This is the culmination of all your hard work so far. Here’s a quick summary of what you’ll need to do to get your store set up and running:

  • Create or acquire original, on-brand t-shirt designs.
  • Choose a printing or printing/ drop-shipping vendor.
  • Create quality mock-ups of your t-shirts.
  • Take original photos of models who reflect your target audience wearing your t-shirts.
  • Get a unique brand-appropriate web design OR choose a generic website template. Include your original photos in the design.
  • Create your e-commerce account on the platform of your choice and follow the set-up instructions.
  • Upload your t-shirt mock-ups into your new e-commerce store and write brand-appropriate descriptions for your t-shirts.
  • Enter your pricing info.
  • Follow the e-commerce platform’s instructions to activate your store and sell t-shirts online.

Depending on your chosen platform, some of these steps (6-8) may occur differently. But you get the gist.

And congrats! You’re running a t-shirt business.

Dreaming of retail

If you dream of selling in a physical store one day, starting by selling in existing boutiques is a safer financial bet.

This lets you, among other advantages, accept credit card payments without first establishing a merchant account. And it delays your need to find and pay for physical space.

Wait to open your pop-up or permanent store until you’ve built some retail experience.

When deciding which boutique to carry your clothing line, double back to our first point – your well-developed brand.

Choose boutiques that align with your brand identity and target market. If you design t-shirts for motorcycle enthusiasts, you can probably bypass the boutique specializing in yoga pants and maxi skirts.

However, if you make wise boutique choices, there’s a good chance your target audience already shops there.

Once you’ve targeted which boutiques you’d like to partner with, the next step is to start thinking like a retailer. Stitch Method’s Jennifer Philbrook shared this advice in 5 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before I Started My Clothing Line :

If you plan on selling wholesale to boutiques it is important that you have merchandise ready to sell during the correct buying season… You need to figure out when you need to have production ready to ship to stores or customers and then work backwards from there through the development stages (leave enough time!) to make sure that you are working on the correct season.

Always schedule your meetings with boutiques in advance. The customer always comes first in retail, so cold calls and drop-ins are bad.

If you've made it this far, you know your brand inside and out, your legal business details and business plan are in place, and you have a plan for producing/shipping your t-shirts and selling them. Now, let's talk marketing.

Notify the press

It’s time to focus on getting the word out about your fabulous new t-shirt company and drum up some customers!

A great way to get started is to compile a list of local fashion editors and media outlets (radio, television, and online blogs). When you’re ready to launch your t-shirt company, you can notify these resources via press release. Local news sources are often excited to promote local entrepreneurs.

Take it one step further by creating an entire press kit.

Engage with social media

As a new business owner, you’ll want to take full advantage of the inexpensive and easy exposure that social media marketing offers you.

You need to build an online presence . As we previously explained ,

Social media gives you the ability to easily keep customers up-to-date on new products, store policies or sales. It also enables you to build a social rapport with current customers, while building low-pressure relationships with future buyers.

Maintaining (at a minimum) a Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook presence will help you build an audience of devotees. And consider reaching out to micro-influencers  who can help you in the early days.

Make it easy for visitors to see what your t-shirt brand is all about by featuring those fabulous photos of your t-shirts in a Facebook album.

Social media is also the perfect platform to help future customers get to know you and your clothes.

Customers buy from a start-up business instead of a major retailer because they feel connected to that business’s story . So, use your social media to share that story – for free!

Smart marketers incorporate one or more psychological principles into marketing campaigns, content marketing, and sales strategy. Here is everything you need to know about the principles and theories that can supercharge your marketing and influence people to buy your products or services.

Acquire reviews and social proof

Word of mouth is the most powerful marketing there is. And the online equivalents are reviews and testimonials.

Here are a few tactics that will help you to collect and leverage reviews and testimonials:

  • Invite customers to share reviews of your t-shirts and store them on Google Reviews in your order follow-up emails.
  • Ask happy customers if you can share their rave reviews on your website as testimonials.
  • Create a review page on your website that allows customers to leave reviews right there.
  • Send out a survey a few days after a customer gets their order from you. Ask if you can share their responses on your website as a question in the survey.
  • Place testimonials on most pages of your website. Don’t overwhelm viewers with testimonials, but don’t banish them all on a single dedicated page.
  • Enlist social media influencers who engage with your audience to share their thoughts on your t-shirts. Smaller local influencers are most likely to do this for an affordable cost (or even free).

Throw a launch party

Finally, consider throwing a launch party to create exposure and excitement for your t-shirt line. Francis Arden (Aston Models partner) shares great advice to ensure your launch party is the well-attended extravaganza you dream it will be.

Build your list.   Remember those local fashion editors and media outlets? They should be on your list. So should local boutique owners, influencers, clubs, or groups to which your audience might belong, and anyone else relevant to your area.

Don’t compete for guests.   Schedule your party on an evening with no other major events – especially not other major events in the fashion industry. You don’t want to force your attendees to choose between your launch and another event.

Hold your event at an interesting location.   A special, unique venue can make an event feel like… well… an event! But don’t choose randomly; pick a location that jives with your brand presence. Try to find a venue where your target audience would feel right at home – if ‘home’ was super fun and exciting.

Offer something for free.   People love free swag. If you can afford it, offering a thoughtful and relevant gift will greatly impact your guests.

Sell at the party. Order t-shirts to sell at the party – even if you plan to sell primarily online. This will give people a chance to see the quality of your products. And, if you don’t order too many, the low supply may help drive up demand – sending people to your online store to purchase.

You’re on your way

Starting a t-shirt business is one of the most exciting, creative, and accessible ways to become an entrepreneur.

We hope this guide on starting a t-shirt business has given you the confidence to start today.

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How to Create a Business Plan for your T-Shirt Business

With advancements in technology and the internet, as well as the changing tides of commerce, starting your own business has never been easier. And it turns out, many are dipping their toes into the entrepreneurial pool by starting out with their own t-shirt or apparel campaigns.

The custom apparel industry has boomed in large part due to the low barrier of entry thanks to websites like Teespring, Teechip, and Represent to name a few. But as more and more people come aboard, the market is becoming oversaturated and it is becoming increasingly difficult for newbies to profit.

Unfortunately, many new entrepreneurs lack the experience or education to create the systems that will one day turn their business into a sellable asset, and the marketing wherewithal to beat out their competition.

Whether you’re looking to kickstart your first custom apparel campaign or are struggling to make your current one work, we’re breaking down how to create a business plan for your t-shirt business that will put you on the path to success. Even if you’ve found some success with your campaigns, implementing the following steps will likely improve your success, boost your profitability, reduce your current workload and turn your business into a sellable asset, so follow along.

Step One: Pick Your Platform

There are several platforms available for sellers to choose from including, Teepsring, Teechip, Teezily, Represent, Viral Style. These platforms offer online design tools that allow you to create custom products in a few short minutes.

Additionally you have access to marketing tools like URL tracking, third party analytics, and more, plus these platforms handle shipping so you don’t have to.

While many people choose to start out using websites like Teespring, some sellers are moving to Shopify to start their own brand.

Unlike the other platforms, with Shopify you are responsible for creating, posting, marketing and shipping your products independently. Though this may sound daunting to some, there are plenty of advantages to choosing Shopify as your platform, most notably, building your own personal brand.

If you want to grow a t-shirt business that is built on a completely unique and/or personal idea then Shopify is a great platform that will let you develop your brand. Your entire ecommerce store can be designed to reflect your vision and voice, and you will have full control over its design, layout, marketing and more.

Step Two: Choose Your Niche

One of the first questions you need to answer before worrying about marketing and design is your niche.

The niche you choose to move forward with can directly impact your audience size and potential sales. When making your decision you will want to choose something that has high levels of commerciality and little to no competition. Together these two factors can help you create viral campaigns and crush it in sales.

If you aren’t sure which niche is right for you there are a couple simple ways to test the market:

  • You could start a few test campaigns on platforms like Teespring to see which attract the most buyers, or
  • You can take advantage of the TeeGrasp Niche Analysis Tool , found on our website

With option one, you will likely end up investing several hours of your time and energy into the process, which is why we obviously prefer option two.

Our niche tool allows you to instantly compare up to 50 niches at one time. Once our tool has pulled all the data from each niche you can then view a chart containing several different metrics including how many campaigns have launched recently, sales made, total active campaigns in that niche, and social media data.

Choosing a niche blindly is not advised and can cost you time and money. Whichever route you choose to go down in terms of niche selection, make sure you have research and data to back it.

Step Three: Build Your Audience & Gain Traction

Building an interested audience is critical if you want your t-shirt business, but how do you go about it?

There are four main ways you can start to gain traction, make initial sales and build your audience:

  • Growing an email list
  • Creating Facebook pages/groups
  • Paid advertising

Many of these strategies intersect one another, for example, you can grow your email list via your Facebook page using the Call to Action button or via paid Facebook ads driving traffic to an email list opt-in page on your website.

Unlike an email list, Facebook page or paid advertising, SEO (short for Search Engine Optimization) refers to the basic behind-the-scenes tweaks you can make to your website that will increase your ranking in search engines like Google. The closer you are to ranking number one on Google, the more chances your website will be seen by customers searching for your products.

Regardless of which method you choose, the underlying need is to continuously reach new potential buyers and entice them to purchase your product.

Step Four: Create Systems and Processes

Perhaps one of the least glamorous aspects of growing your own business is creating the systems and processes that will allow you to organize it so it runs smoothly.

Systems and processes refers to things like SOPs (standard operating procedures) that are essentially step-by-step instructions for tasks. These documents are meant to be so detailed that even someone who is unfamiliar with ex. a website would be able to perform the task.

These also happen to be one of the golden tickets for turning your business into a sellable asset. In fact, this is a serious problem for most sellers. While they create a business that, for example, profits $1000 per day, they increase the valuation of their business. When it’s time to sell, having the right systems in place can be the difference between a big cash out and just quitting.

In fact, many online businesses sell for 20x their monthly profit. If you increase monthly profit by ex. $10,000, you can make that back PLUS $200,000, but only if you have a business based on systems. Find out how much your business is worth here .

Create systems, procedures and protocols for all of the tasks you complete in order for your business to function and not only will you be able to iron out any wrinkles in your daily operations, but you will save yourself significant time when you go to hire support staff or sell the business.

Step Five: Hire Staff To Support Your Business

Speaking of support staff, once you start making consistent sales you will want to invest in staff. There are plenty of successful t-shirt business owners who profit over $30,000 per month but want to quit because they’re sick of the grind.

Running the operation daily by yourself will wear you down and can eventually cause your business to fail. Start by hiring out smaller tasks like FB ads management and progress towards hiring someone for customer service inquiries or researching new design ideas.

The truth is, no one is Superman and we all need a break every now and again. Don’t try and do it all, create the systems (see Step 4) that will reduce your stress and burden, and still be able to earn money when you’re on that well-deserved vacation or living a digital nomad lifestyle.

As we mentioned above, creating a business plan for your t-shirt business doesn’t just benefit newbies, but can greatly impact a currently profitable business. What this plan does is reduce your odds of diving into a business blind and increases your chances of beating out your competitors and creating a future asset.

Did you start out with a business plan? If so, how has it helped shape your business?

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T-Shirt Business Plan Template [Updated 2024]


T-Shirt Business Plan Template

If you want to start a T-Shirt company or expand your current T-Shirt business, you need a business plan.

The following T-Shirt business plan template gives you the key elements to include in a winning T-Shirt company business plan.

You can download our T-Shirt Business Plan Template (including a full, customizable financial model) to your computer here.

Below are links to each of the key sections of your T-Shirt printing business plan: T-Shirt Business Plan Home I. Executive Summary II. Company Overview III. Industry Analysis IV. Customer Analysis V. Competitive Analysis VI. Marketing Plan VII. Operations Plan VIII. Management Team IX. Financial Plan

Click below to see each section of our free tshirt business plan template. You can also click here to get our t-shirt business plan pdf.

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T-Shirt Business Plan Home I. Executive Summary II. Company Overview III. Industry Analysis IV. Customer Analysis V. Competitive Analysis VI. Marketing Plan VII. Operations Plan VIII. Management Team IX. Financial Plan

tshirt business plan template

How to Start a T-Shirt Business

Starting a T-shirt business can be a rewarding venture due to its low barrier to entry and minimal startup costs. As with any business, it will take lots of hard work and effort, but with the availability of print-on-demand services and e-commerce, you can comfortably launch a T-shirt business in a few weeks or even days.

In the United States, the T-shirt revenue segment amounts to more than $5 billion, with an annual growth of 3.5% expected by 2027 .

With thousands of other T-shirt sellers out there, you will need to implement a solid business strategy to push ahead of the crowd and convince customers to choose your designs above others. This will require consistent time, resources, and dedication to make this type of business a success.

Most Common Types of T-Shirt Businesses:

  • Brick-and-mortar shop.
  • Online T-shirt business.
  • Home-based T-shirt business.
  • Retail line.
  • Sell to wholesale suppliers.

T-Shirt Business Plan — Free Template

Download our free business plan template in MS Word format.

How to Start a T-Shirt Business:

If you're interested in starting a T-Shirt business, read our detailed guide for everything you need to know.

Decide what type of T-shirt business you want to start.

Determine the style of t-shirts you will make..

T-shirts are a staple item of clothing that can be found in anyone’s closet. The demand for unique, quality T-shirts has yielded top T-shirt brands around the world, from the United Colors of Benetton to J.Crew. To break into this competitive market, it’s important to think about your niche and brand identity.

Niche - Choosing a niche is one of the most important aspects of starting a T-shirt business as you’ll want your product to stand out from your competitors'. Think about who your ideal customer is, the style of T-shirts you plan on producing, and how you will convince them to buy your product.

Design - If you’re a graphic designer or artist, you probably have a portfolio of designs that would look cool on a T-shirt. But if you’re not, keep in mind that your designs do not have to be overly complicated. Simple designs work too.

If you'd like, you could hire a graphic designer to create designs for you, purchase pre-made designs from sites like Dribbble, or sign up for a T-shirt design course on Skillshare and create your own design(s).

Brand - A strong brand identity is vital in a saturated market such as the T-shirt industry. That’s why building a distinctive brand that attracts customers is so important. Your T-shirt brand will rely on your niche, design, quality, and marketing efforts.

Consider taking a course on apparel and brand awareness at your local college or reading a few books on the subject to boost your knowledge.

Set up your business.

Write a business plan..

A business plan provides a summary of your products or services and outlines your business goals, how you plan on achieving these goals, and the time frame within which these goals need to be met.

If you're not financing your own business, you will need a business plan to apply for a bank loan, credit card, or grant . Your business plan should outline what your business is going to do, how much money you need to start it, and other important elements such as costs and expenses, a sales projection, and milestones.

There are two types of business plans: a traditional business plan and a lean startup plan. Traditional business plans are thorough and detailed, while lean startup plans are simplified and allow you to launch your business faster.

Choose a business structure.

To form a legal entity, you will first have to select a business structure . There are five main business structures to choose from, each with its own legal, financial, and tax implications.

For a T-shirt business, sole proprietorships and LLCs are the most popular structures. We advise speaking to a lawyer to help you determine the best legal entity for your business.

Register your business with the Secretary of State.

Prior to registering your business, do a Google search for your business name and use the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office search tool to make sure that your chosen name is not in use by another company.

If you have selected an LP, LLC, or corporation, you will need to register your business under your legal name or under a Doing Business As (DBA) name with the Secretary of State.

You can do so by filing electronically or by mail and paying the required fee. Fees vary from state to state. Once you have chosen a business name, remember to register a domain name online so that you can market your business later.

Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

If you are planning to hire employees, or are registered as a partnership or corporation, you will need to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) via the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) . This is also known as an Employer Tax ID.

It's easy to apply for an EIN. All you have to do is fill out the online application and wait for the IRS to email your EIN to you. The service is free of charge.

Obtain applicable licenses and permits.

In addition to obtaining your EIN, you are required to obtain a state tax ID. This is because a number of states impose state and local taxes, including sales tax, income tax, and employment taxes on businesses.

Each state and county has its own tax rules and regulations, so be sure to check with your local government or municipality for more information.

Research various printing techniques.

Choose a printing technique that suits your design preference and budget., screen printing:.

Screen printing is one of the oldest and most popular techniques for T-shirt printing. A mesh stencil (one for each color) is used to transfer ink by passing a squeegee over the mesh, which pushes the ink through the holes and onto the T-shirt.

Screen printing creates vibrant designs and various effects can be achieved with some skill . It is also more cost-effective to print in bulk (25 or more T-shirts).

If you’re planning on doing it by yourself, keep in mind that it will take time to learn and perfect. Alternatively, you could send your T-shirts off to a professional screen printer.

Heat Transfer:

Heat transfer printing, also known as thermal printing, uses a heat press machine to transfer an image from a wax-based ink ribbon onto a surface.

During thermal printing, the wax ribbon is pressed against the T-shirt and the opposite side is heated until the ink melts and transfers onto the fabric.

This technique allows you to print high quality, photorealistic images. It's also ideal for smaller orders and can be set up at home.

On the flip side, heat transfer printing requires a large initial investment for machinery, and prints are not as durable as with other printing techniques.

Direct-to-Garment (DTG) printing:

With the advent of digital printing, more people are switching to the direct-to-garment method due to its cost-effectiveness and ease of use.

Similar to an inkjet printer, a DTG machine prints the design directly onto the T-shirt. The ink is then heat set with a tunnel dryer.

DTG printing is fast and accurate, and renders photorealistic prints in unlimited colors. However, it is not cost-effective for bulk orders and does not print well on darker garments.

If you're unsure about which printing technique to use, think about how durable you want your T-shirt designs to be, the cost of each printing method, and whether you'll be printing in bulk or only creating one-off designs.

Create your own designs or buy pre-made designs.

Search for trending topics on Google Trends and check out Reddit to find out what people are talking about and searching for. You can also check out social networking sites like Tumblr and Pinterest, and marketplaces like Teeview and Zazzle for inspiration and ideas, and to see what’s already out there.

Even if you're not a skilled artist, you can still create your own designs by using a free graphic design program. With a little creativity and perseverance, you can create eye-catching designs and sign up with a POD vendor to print and ship your T-shirts.

If you’re not up for creating your own designs, you'll want to purchase ready-made designs and templates, source them from a graphic design marketplace, or hire a freelance designer.

Pre-made designs cost between $5.00 and $30.00 per design. Many sites also offer payment plans ranging from $7.50 to $70.00 per month.

License and copyright your brand.

Obtain a license for purchased designs..

Certain sites sell royalty-free designs, allowing you to resell or use the artwork for commercial and personal use. However, license agreements vary with each site and you might have to pay more for an extended commercial use license in order to sell the end product.

An extended license gives you the right to use the artwork on products offered for sale like T-shirts, mugs, stationery, etc., and is an ongoing, non-exclusive agreement. This means that the designer retains the copyright and has the right to sell the design to other clients. If you want to own the copyright for the artwork, you and the designer will have to sign a written agreement stating that they are giving copyright ownership to you. This will likely incur an additional fee.

On the other hand, if you create your own artwork, you are automatically the copyright owner of that artwork and can do whatever you please with them. If you purchase a design from a marketplace and are not sure if the design is copyrighted, you can ask the designer or do a search for the image/design on the U.S. Copyright Office site .

To hire a designer or purchase pre-made graphic templates, check out Dribbble, Behance, Designious, Envato Market, and

Apply for a trademark or patent.

You may want to apply for a trademark to protect your designs from being copied or altered by other companies. You can do this online via the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website .

If you are unsure about copyright and trademark laws, consult with an attorney to determine the best option for your business. Fees vary according to the type of copyright or trademark protection you need.

Test your T-shirt designs.

Create t-shirt mockups..

Once you have your completed T-shirt designs, you'll want to "test drive" them by creating mockups on real T-shirts. This will give you an idea of what your designs will look like in real-life and whether or not they can work as sellable items.

There are several ways to create T-shirt mockups. You can have a few samples printed by a dropshipper, use T-shirt templates online, make your own mockup using a graphic design program, or hire someone to do it for you.,, Upwork, and Fiverr, are just a few of the sites that allow you to purchase pre-made designs or hire someone to create templates for you.

Ask family and friends for feedback.

Before you have a batch of T-shirts printed, it's important to make sure that there is a market for and interest in your designs.

Approach your friends and family, as well as your target market, and find out if they would be interested in purchasing your T-shirts. Be sure to ask for honest feedback so that you can tweak your designs before setting up shop.

Once you have finalized your designs, you will need to choose the best T-shirt type for your needs based on fabric, quality, fit, and color.

For more information, you can also take a look at T-shirt blogs and websites to follow .

Determine how much start-up capital you will need.

Calculate your overhead costs..

The cost to start a T-shirt business depends on a series of factors. These include registering your business, obtaining the necessary licenses and permits, purchasing equipment, business insurance, accounting software, hiring employees, and marketing your business.

You will also have to take your fixed costs, such as rent and salaries, and variable costs into account. This will give you an idea of how much start-up capital you will need.

Secure funding.

Once you have determined how much start-up capital you will need, you can decide on which financing route to take. There are a number of ways to go about financing a business, from using your personal savings to applying for a small business loan.

Each financing option has its own pros and cons, so we advise consulting with your local SBA or a financial advisor to determine the best option for your needs.

How to secure funding:

  • Ask family and friends for a loan.
  • Use your personal savings.
  • Take out a small business loan.
  • Get a business credit card.
  • Apply for a small business grant.
  • Apply for a minority loan (if applicable).
  • Try crowdfunding.
  • Sell equity in your business.

Open a business bank account.

It is critical to keep your personal assets separate from your business to allow you to manage your accounts and records accurately.

You'll want to compare various bank accounts to ensure that you receive the best rates and terms for your business.

Price your T-shirts

Set the right price..

One of the most important aspects of starting a T-shirt business is setting the right price for your T-shirts . You'll want to consider what price you can afford to sell at to make a profit, and how much customers are willing to spend, coupled with your material, labor, and shipping costs.

Your pricing structure will also depend on the type of T-shirt designs that will be printed. For example, basic designs such as a simple slogan or image will cost less to make than a highly-detailed image.

On average, fast fashion T-shirts range from $5.00 to $15.00 a piece. These T-shirts typically feature a simple design with or without a few words and are best for selling in bulk to retail stores and boutiques. By selling larger quantities, your cost per unit will drop.

Mid-range T-shirts are sold for around $16.00 to $27.00. This price point is usually set for T-shirts from popular brand names. If you are able to place small wholesale orders, your profit margin will be decent.

Band T-shirts and high-detail, graphic T-shirts retail for around $28.00 to $40.00 per item. These tees are usually of a higher quality than your average mass-market tees and are favored by streetwear labels, boutiques, and customers looking for specific or unusual designs.

Luxury T-shirts range from $41.00 to $80.00 or more and are typically associated with luxury brands. These labels are often endorsed by celebrities, which pushes up the retail price.

It's important to note that your selling or wholesale price would work out to around half the retail price, which you need to factor in accordingly. However, each business is unique, therefore the pricing formula you choose will ultimately depend on your financial situation.

Set up an e-commerce store.

Choose a merchant platform..

Once you've made your mockups, figured out your pricing structure, and received feedback on your designs, it's time to set up your e-commerce store.

Setting up an e-commerce store on one of the big merchant platforms is quick and easy. There are a variety of themes and layouts to choose from, and for a fee, you can customize your online store to suit your brand.

Choose a shipping option.

If you plan on running your T-shirt business from home, you'll want to set up a shipping option for your customers or sign up with a dropshipper.

The United States Postal Service is reliable and offers volume shipping services for businesses of all sizes. Their Click-N-Ship service allows you to ship products from your home or office with a tracking number, and deliver it to your customer's nearest post office or to their door.

The pricing for First Class Mail starts at $0.383 per item for commercial clients and $2.66 for First-Class Package Services.

Lease commercial space.

These days, most T-shirt businesses are run via e-commerce stores , but if you'd prefer to lease commercial space to open a boutique, search for a location with high foot traffic in a busy part of town or inside a shopping complex.

T-shirt boutiques are typically small, which means you'll have to pre-make your T-shirts from home or use a POD vendor. Keep in mind that you will need more startup capital for rent and utilities, printing equipment, inventory, and employee salaries. You will also have to familiarize yourself with zoning regulations in your area and make sure that you acquire the necessary licenses and permits to operate a retail store.

Purchase equipment.

Once you are satisfied with your business location, you can then find suppliers, purchase blank T-shirts and equipment, and start printing your designs. Building a strong relationship with your suppliers will benefit your business in the long run and allow you to solve any problems that may arise swiftly.

Start hiring.

Hire employees..

If you intend on hiring employees, you'll likely need a graphic designer, cashier, sales assistant, and sales manager (if you are not planning to manage the store yourself).

There are several key steps to follow when hiring employees:

  • Write a job posting.
  • Post it on a job board.
  • Review applications and resumes.
  • Interview candidates.
  • Check references.
  • Send a job offer letter.
  • Fill out the mandatory IRS forms.
  • Train employees.

There are many hiring tools and job boards that you can leverage to help you find and hire the best employees. You may also want to use an applicant tracking system to help organize your process.

Set up payroll for your staff.

Next, you'll want to set up payroll and schedule pay periods to withhold taxes for the IRS. If you prefer to outsource this task, you can hire a payroll company to do it for you.

Report employees to the state.

Be sure to report new employees to your state New Hire Reporting Center or Department of Revenue in order to pay workers' compensation, FUTA, and FICA taxes.

Protect your business.

Obtain business insurance..

Business insurance is vital to ensure that your business and personal assets are protected from unexpected risks, such as lawsuits, theft, or property damage.

If you have employees, by law you are required to provide workers' compensation, as well as unemployment insurance, and in some states, disability insurance as well.

We recommend speaking to an insurance agent to find out which insurance coverage is best for your needs.

Market your T-shirt business.

Host a soft opening..

Since you'll be contending with thousands of other T-shirt businesses online, it's important to actively market your business from the start. A solid marketing strategy will help to spread the word about your T-shirt business and allow you to build a strong client base.

If you're running your business from a boutique, hosting a soft opening is a great way to attract customers.

Create a digital invitation and invite your friends, family, and businesses close by to a low-key event at your store before the opening date.

Get signage for your retail store (if applicable).

If you're opening a boutique, you'll need signage to enable your customers to identify your store easily.

Create social media accounts.

Social media is a great way to build brand awareness, engage with current customers, and attract new ones. Since your services are visual, be sure to start a Facebook and Instagram account to post pictures of your T-shirt designs.

Sign up for Google My Business.

You can boost your chances of appearing in local search results by creating a profile on various business platforms and signing up for Google My Business. There's also Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising for boosting traffic to your e-commerce site.

Take an online course.

If you're not skilled in social media management, consider taking an online SEM/SEO course or contact a local agency to help you achieve your marketing goals.

How to Start a T-Shirt Business — Checklist Download

Stay on task and cover your bases with our detailed checklist.

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T-Shirt Printing Business Plan Examples

JAN.04, 2017

T-shirt Printing Business Plan Example

Do you want to start T-Shirt Printing s business plan?

Do you want to get into the business of t-shirt printing? Well, the market has immense potential provided you plan for it well.

At the core of every business is careful planning. To make sure that all the aspects of a business are planned, you need to outline a business plan. Moreover, when you are starting a business, it is evident that you will face unprecedented situations. If you have not planned for your major operations, you are likely to make the wrong decision during a crisis. 

For reference, you can take help from this business plan t-shirt printing , written for Splash Prints. This template can help you if you wonder how I start my own t-shirt company . It can also help you manage operations, finances, and resources.

For greater and in-depth knowledge of the business world, you are recommended to g through some relevant strategic plan ssuch as a tattoo shop business plan.

Executive Summary

2.1 business introduction.

Splash Prints will be a t-shirt printing company started in Orlando, Florida. It will be owned and managed by Halie James. The business will aim to become the main source of T-shirt printing in Florida for both its citizens and the tourists who visit its different theme parks throughout the year.

2.2 About the Management

Starting a t-shirt design company is all about creativity and management. If you have the creativity to bring forth services and products that are appealing to the customers, then all you have to do is manage the work, and the company will no doubt succeed. So, if you’re thinking about how to start a t-shirt design company, one of the first things you need to focus on is the business plan for investors .

Here, we are presenting the t-shirt printing business plan sample for Splash Prints. You can follow along with this t-shirt printing business plan pdf to write a business plan for your business. You can also look at relevant plans such as screen print on T-shirt business plan to include all the necessary details of your business. 

2.3 Customers of T-Shirt Printing Company

The customers of Splash Prints will belong to all domains and work areas. However, our focus groups will include:

  • Young Adults
  • Retail Shops

2.4 Business Target

The target of our business is to become the main hub for t-shirt design and printing throughout Orlando and gain a 70% share of the market within two years.

Our financial targets to meet for the first three years of our launch are demonstrated below:

T-Shirt Printing s Business Plans - 3 Years Profit Forecast

Company Summary

3.1 company owner.

Halie James will be the owner of Splash Prints. She finished her MBA about a year ago, after which she started to focus on all the requirements needed for starting and maintaining a business. She even worked in an industry to learn the best management techniques that she could apply in her own business. 

3.2 Company History

Splash T-Shirts had been a dream of Halie James ever since she was young. She wanted a business that could bring unique expression and a fresh perspective to the market. Therefore, she worked to start Splash T-Shirts, an artistic t-shirt design and print center that will allow various artists to showcase their works and provide these works of art to people at reasonable costs. 

3.3 How the T-Shirt Printing s company will be started

Step1: Plan It Out!

You might be wondering how to start a small t shirt company. Well, the first step is always researching and planning.

This sample business plan for t shirt printing can help you with it. We have provided this business plan template for t shirt company for free so that anyone can benefit.

In this free t shirt printing business plan, we will provide a marketing plan, sales strategy, personnel, and financial plan for Splash Prints.

Step2: Define the Brand

An important aspect of business plan for t shirt printing is developing a brand name around the company. A t-shirt business is purely a business dependent on self-expression. Therefore, Halie decided to do this by allowing artists to showcase their art in the store so that more people would be attracted.

Step3: Find the Perfect Space 

The location of your business matters a lot, especially if it is an artistic business. To make her store stand out, Halie chose a central position in the market and chose an open concept store to provide more space.

Step4: Create Hype Online

It is crucial for any apparel business nowadays to use the internet to its advantage. Halie decided that she would set up social media profiles for her business on all the major websites and post regularly. She would also use the live feature to showcase interviews with the weekly artists. 

Step5: Promote and Market

As the final nail on the board, Halie will utilize all physical and virtual resources she has to promote her business. She will hire expert marketing managers for this purpose.

T-Shirt Printing s Business Plans - Startup Cost

A business is defined by the services it provides. Therefore, you have to be very careful when deciding the range and scope of your services in the t shirt printing company business plan. Deciding on your services in the t shirt printing business plan will help you manage all the other aspects of your business in a better and more efficient way. 

So, when you’re wondering how do you start your own t shirt company, think about the unique benefit you will give your customers through your services. This will be a very crucial base for your business’s success. 

In this t shirt printing business plan template free, we are describing all the unique services provided by Splash Prints. 

  • Customized Design

Splash Prints will provide customers with a platform to design their very own prints for their t-shirts. Through this platform, customers will not only be able to decide the material and other particulars of the shirt but also be able to specify the areas they want their design. Customers can also reach out to our designers for better ideas. 

  • Customized Printing

In addition to the t-shirt designs available in our stores, our customers can also have custom-designed t-shirts printed within a day. 

  • Regular Collections

As the store is based around the idea of selling t-shirts, we will offer regular collections of t-shirt designs for customers to choose from. 

  • Special Collections

Once a month, Splash Prints will partner with top-notch artists to design a special collection of shirts that will be available for a week only. 

Marketing Analysis of T-Shirt Printing Company

Excellent work.

excellent work, competent advice. Alex is very friendly, great communication. 100% I recommend CGS capital. Thank you so much for your hard work!

Before starting a tshirt printing company, it is important to know who you are going to serve. Besides, you need to explore the macroeconomic trends of the market to gauge your position among other businesses. All these aspects are to be grouped into a marketing plan such as the one we have provided in this sample business plan t shirt printing.

In this business plan for t shirt printing pdf, we are providing the general market trends for t-shirt enterprise. In addition, we are providing a stepwise guide on  how to make a successful t shirt company. We are also documenting the marketing plan for t shirt printing business so that you can have a thorough understanding of each aspect.

You can also visit greeting card business plan or another printed t shirts business plan to be more prepared.

5.1 Market Trends

According to GrandViewResearch, the U.S. custom t-shirt printing business has a market value of $3.96 billion and it is steadily growing with a growth rate of 9.7%. It is expected to reach $7.57 billion in market value by 2028, which means that this is the prime time to start an influential business in this domain.

To know how to start my own t shirt brand, you can refer to the sections above.

5.2 Marketing Segmentation

The customers of Splash Prints are divided into the following categories:

T-Shirt Printing s Business Plans - Marketing Segmentation

5.2.1 Teens 

Our primary customers will be teens in the surrounding area because this is traditionally the group that is most attracted to colorful new designs. Therefore, we expect to have frequent visits by teens who are looking for comic-related or trendy t-shirts. 

5.2.2 Young Adults

The second group of customers will be the young adults. This group is expected to avail of customizable design options. 

5.2.3 Tourists

As Florida is filled with theme parks, it gains a lot of tourists throughout the year. Splash Prints will try to attract them by establishing deals with different theme parks. We will set up small stands with a small collection in these theme parks where tourists can look at some of our products. This will be done to attract them to our main shop. 

5.2.4 Retail Shops 

We will also be targeting local retail shops and supplying them with small portions of our collections so that we have a greater reach than just our one initial shop.

5.3 Business Target

  • To become the highest quality custom T-Shirt Printing business in Orlando. 
  • To be an expression of creativity in the business.
  • To gain a net profit of $20k/month by the end of our second year.
  • To establish a loyal customer base interested in a sustainable fashion.

5.4 Product Pricing

Our prices will be slightly higher than other printing stores in the market, but our print quality will be better than our competitors. We will also offer exclusive deals and discounts to our customers.

Marketing Strategy  

Marketing is an important part of learning how to start a home t shirt business. You need to develop a business plan of t shirt printing to manage this part well. It should follow a similar structure as this sample business plan t shirt printing. You can also refer to a gift shop business plan to get more diverse sales strategy ideas. 

Here, we are presenting the marketing strategy that Splash Prints will employ to boost its sales:

6.1 Competitive Analysis

  • We will arrange for art shows every week to provide a refreshing experience to our customers.
  • Only we among our competitors will be supporting local artists in displaying their work.
  • Our customers will be able to design their shirts as they want.
  • We will offer sustainable fashion choices to customers where they can also bring old t-shirts to get printed.

6.2 Sales Strategy

  • We will advertise our company in theme parks in the area.
  • We will put small collections in retail stores.
  • We will use social media to create hype for the artist’s collections.
  • We will offer exclusive discounts to recurring customers.
  • We will set a yearly competition for ‘Shirt of the Year’ with a reward for the winner.

6.3 Sales Monthly

T-Shirt Printing s Business Plans - Sales Monthly

6.4 Sales Yearly

T-Shirt Printing s Business Plans - Sales Yearly

6.5 Sales Forecast

T-Shirt Printing s Business Plans - Unit Sales

Personnel plan

In the t-shirt printing business, customers will have to interact with your employees daily. To make sure that the customers are satisfied with your services, it is essential to have employees with great interpersonal skills.

When you explore how to start a successful t shirt brand, you should also take down the type of employees you will be needing. Moreover, it is a good practice to also include the performance appraisal and reward system in your t shirts printing business plan.

Here, we are listing the staff required by Splash Prints with the average expected salaries.

7.1 Company Staff

  • 4 Sales Officials
  • 2 HR & Media Managers
  • 1 Accountant
  • 1 Receptionist

7.2 Average Salary of Employees

Financial plan.

T shirt startup costs can be daunting. But the good thing is that all business-related finances can be managed and turned into profit via a detailed business plan. For this purpose, most entrepreneurs hire a professional financial analyst. 

To make a detailed financial plan that can guarantee success, you need to draft balance sheets for at least three years. You need to figure out your average expenditures against the profit so that you don’t go into a loss. Moreover, you need to draw graphs for break-even analysis and gross margins to have a clearer idea of your net worth and financial standing.

For an in-depth understanding of the components of a financial plan, you may also visit photography company business plan .

In this printing t shirt business plan, we are providing the financial plan for Splash Prints for guidance:

8.1 Important Assumptions

8.2 break-even analysis.

T-Shirt Printing s Business Plans - Break-even Analysis

8.3 Projected Profit and Loss

8.3.1 profit monthly.

T-Shirt Printing s Business Plans - Profit Monthly

8.3.2 Profit Yearly

T-Shirt Printing s Business Plans - Profit Yearly

8.3.3 Gross Margin Monthly

T-Shirt Printing s Business Plans - Gross Margin Monthly

8.3.4 Gross Margin Yearly

T-Shirt Printing s Business Plans - Gross Margin Yearly

8.4 Projected Cash Flow

T-Shirt Printing s Business Plans - Project Cash Flow

8.5 Projected Balance Sheet

8.6 business ratios.

  • Is a t shirt business profitable?

Yes. Just as the success of a record store is based on its record label business plan , A t-shirt business can prove profitable as long as you develop a good and thorough printing t shirts business plan. 

  • How do I create a Tshirt business plan?

You can follow the business plan given above to draft your t-shirt strategic plan. As a guide, you should also investigate how to create your own t shirts at home  and an enterprise on a large scale. 

  • Is screen printing shirts profitable?

Screen printing shirts can be profitable if you enter the market after thorough research on how to build a t-shirt business .

  • Is the online t-shirt business profitable?

The online t-shirt business is immensely profitable especially if you offer customization options to your customers.

If you succeed in developing an accurate business plan for t shirt printing company like the one provided above, then there is a greater chance of success for your online t-shirt business.

Download T-Shirt Printing Business Plan Sample in pdf

OGSCapital’s team has assisted thousands of entrepreneurs with top-rate business plan development, consultancy and analysis. They’ve helped thousands of SME owners secure more than $1.5 billion in funding, and they can do the same for you.

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Tiger Woods Introduces His New Brand: Sun Day Red

Mr. Woods is trading in the Nike swoosh he wore for decades for the tiger logo of Sun Day Red, which will be a stand-alone unit within TaylorMade Golf.

Tiger Woods in a red shirt and black Nike hat, finishing a golf swing.

By Lauren Hirsch and Vanessa Friedman

For even those who have only a passing interest in golf, one of the sport’s most memorable images is of Tiger Woods playing his way to another major tournament victory while wearing a red polo shirt with a white Nike swoosh.

That image is officially in the past, however. In January , Mr. Woods announced the end of his 27-year deal with Nike, which had made him hundreds of millions of dollars. The partnership was marked by memorable ads and, of course, the red Nike shirts that Mr. Woods wore during many final rounds on Sundays.

When Mr. Woods announced the ending of his partnership with Nike, he said there would “certainly be another chapter.” On Monday, he and his new brand sponsor, TaylorMade Golf, made clear that the next chapter would again include a red polo shirt. It will be stitched with a tiger in the center, the logo for his new brand under TaylorMade: Sun Day Red.

Sun Day Red is marketed as a “lifestyle brand” for both sports fans and non-athletes and will include apparel — even cashmere sweaters — and shoes, David Abeles, chief executive of TaylorMade, said in an interview. (Mr. Woods switched to FootJoy shoes from Nike after his car crash in 2021 .)

How much of a role design will play in that apparel was not entirely clear, but Mr. Abeles said that “the design language of the products is completely different” from products Mr. Woods wore in his last sponsorship deal. Initial promotional images showed a new logo — a tiger with 15 stripes to mark the number of major championships Mr. Woods has won; a black, long-sleeve T-shirt with the brand’s name, Sun Day Red, on it; and its version of the red polo, which is on the bloodier end of the red spectrum and includes black buttons, suggesting attention to detail. (To be fair, there’s only so much anyone can do with a polo.)

Mr. Woods’s affinity for red stems from his mother, who is from Thailand, where the color has significance.

“We worked through what he believes is the red that’s most associated with his color palette,” Mr. Abeles said. “The red color he chose is the one that is most prominent and most consistent with what he believes is the red that has inspired him.”

As for the space between “Sun” and “Day,” Mr. Abeles said it was meant to underline the brand as more than a weekly fit.

“Sunday red is the color that Tiger has made, you know, very famous on Sundays,” he said. But Mr. Woods “plays golf more than just Sunday,” Mr. Abeles added.

In ambition, if not design, Sun Day Red reflects a growing trend, one in which athletes see long-term potential in the increasing convergence of fashion and sports into one category known as “lifestyle.”

To that end, many are interested less in being living advertisements for a sponsor than actual participants, demanding increased ownership and control over their own brand. In 2019, Roger Federer became both an investor in and a guest designer for On, the Swiss sneaker company, and in 2022 Tom Brady unveiled Brady, a men’s wear brand developed in conjunction with Jens Grede, the mastermind behind Kim Kardashian’s Skims. Serena Williams also has her own fashion line, S by Serena.

Mr. Abeles would not confirm whether Mr. Woods had equity in the brand.

Sun Day Red will exist as a stand-alone brand within TaylorMade, with its own headquarters and team of designers. The company has appointed Brad Blankinship, who was previously at Quiksilver, to oversee daily operations.

Sun Day Red will first make its products available for sale online on May 1, with aims to eventually expand internationally. Polos will cost $115 to $175, and cashmere sweaters will be $250 to $350.

Mr. Woods has had an equipment deal with TaylorMade since 2017, when Nike shuttered its equipment business. The company made its pitch to Mr. Woods about an expanded relationship over the past several months, Mr. Abeles said. It included a visit to Mr. Woods’s boardroom in Jupiter, Fla., where the TaylorMade team showed him a pitch video that “really connected with his legacy, his greatness, his values and his future.”

Mr. Woods is now entering, in many ways, a new era in his professional life, nearly five years after his last major championship. Last year, he joined the powerful board of the PGA Tour and has been a key player in deliberations as it negotiates its future.

Mr. Woods announced the TaylorMade deal on Monday in Southern California, where he is hosting the Genesis Invitational tournament.

“I have learned so much over the years and have a lifetime of experience adjusting my apparel and footwear to help me play better based on the way it was constructed,” Mr. Woods said in a statement. “There are things that I could tell you that no one knew I was doing over the years. I’m ready to share those secrets with the world.”

Lauren Hirsch joined The Times from CNBC in 2020, covering deals and the biggest stories on Wall Street. More about Lauren Hirsch

Vanessa Friedman has been the fashion director and chief fashion critic for The Times since 2014. More about Vanessa Friedman

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Embracing Politics: Come for the draft analysis, stay for the anti-Biden rant. A growing class of commentators is blending sports and conservative politics .

Caitlin Clark Is Different: Her fiery competitiveness, no-look passes and 3-point bombs have made her the biggest star in college basketball. What happens when she leaves Iowa ?

Soccer in $1.50 Sandals: In Ivory Coast, lêkê are the preferred footwear for amateur games and almost everything else. Even Gucci wants to copy them .

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Tiger Woods unveils Sun Day Red, a new apparel brand with TaylorMade. Here’s what it means

Merchandise from Tiger Woods' new clothing line, called Sun Day Red, is displayed during a news conference ahead of the Genesis Open golf tournament, Monday, Feb. 12, 2024, in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Eric Thayer)

Merchandise from Tiger Woods’ new clothing line, called Sun Day Red, is displayed during a news conference ahead of the Genesis Open golf tournament, Monday, Feb. 12, 2024, in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Eric Thayer)

Tiger Woods speaks at a news conference ahead of the Genesis Open golf tournament, Monday, Feb. 12, 2024, in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Eric Thayer)

Tiger Woods smiles at a news conference ahead of the Genesis Open golf tournament, Monday, Feb. 12, 2024, in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Eric Thayer)

David Abeles, CEO and president at TaylorMade, attends a news conference announcing Tiger Woods’ new clothing line, called Sun Day Red, ahead of the Genesis Open golf tournament, Monday, Feb. 12, 2024, in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Eric Thayer)

Erin Andrews smiles at a news conference announcing Tiger Woods’ new clothing line, called Sun Day Red, ahead of the Genesis Open golf tournament, Monday, Feb. 12, 2024, in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Eric Thayer)

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Tiger Woods in a red shirt on Sunday has become as recognizable as a Masters champion in a green jacket. Only it’s no longer about a Sunday red shirt for Woods.

It’s about a brand.

Five weeks after Woods and Nike announced their relationship had ended after 27 years, the 48-year-old Woods said it was “the right time in my life” to develop his own brand in an expanded partnership with TaylorMade Golf.

The brand is called “Sun Day Red,” and men’s apparel — golf shirts, hoodies, outerwear — will be available online in the United States and Canada starting May 1. The plan is to expand his line to include footwear, along with women and kid’s apparel.

Patrick Cantlay hits from the 11th tee during the first round of the Genesis Invitational golf tournament at Riviera Country Club, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024, in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang)

The logo is a tiger with 15 stripes, one for each of his majors. And if he happens to win another major? “We’re going to have to redo the trademark,” he said with that famous smile.

It was quite the show Monday evening, more of an event than an announcement. David Abeles, the CEO and president of TaylorMade Golf, was so excited about the new brand that he promised those in the crowded room that they would remember 10 or 20 years from now where they were when “Sun Day Red” launched.

Here are a few details why this deal is important to Woods and a bold step for TaylorMade, which until now was mostly about golf equipment and its recent entry into the ball market.


Sportscaster Erin Andrews, who hosted the Monday event, might have said it best when she introduced Woods by saying, “For the first time in 27 years wearing something different ... .”

As much as Woods was known for his red shirt on Sunday, he was equally known as one of the top Nike athletes. Nike signed him after he won his record third straight U.S. Amateur in the summer of 1996. “Hello, world,” Woods said the day he turned pro. Nike then churned out an advertisement campaign, and that was no coincidence.

But there was trouble brewing. Woods returned to golf following his February 2021 car crash and was wearing FootJoy shoes instead of the swoosh. He said it allowed him to be more stable. Nike said it would work with Woods to meet his needs. He was still wearing the FootJoy brand in his final tournament representing Nike.


TaylorMade or the new Sun Day Red brand does not have golf footwear just yet, though Abeles expects that to be developed before too long.

Germany-based Adidas previously owned TaylorMade, and all the golf clients wore the shoe. But a year after Nike Golf got out of the equipment business, Adidas sold TaylorMade to a private investment company. That allowed Woods to switch his golf equipment to TaylorMade, ultimately the start to what led to this new brand.


Abeles and Woods described it as a premium active lifestyle brand. This is as much performance on the golf course as comfort at his children’s soccer games.

The rollout will be gradual, starting May 1 online in the U.S. and Canada before expanding to key markets. The tiger with 15 stripes is the logo, but it’s not prevalent like the swoosh (Nike) or the alligator (Izod) or the polo rider (Ralph Lauren) on other brands.

The cap has the tiger on the front. Some shirts are plain, with the logo in a small square at the bottom of the buttons on a golf shirt. Some of the outwear has block letters of “Sun Day Red” written along the side of the quarter zip.

“The logo is sustainable and applicable, but it’s not unilaterally the same,” Abeles said. “We also think in lifestyle, it’s nice to have some tonal logos when you’re out at night.”


The Sunday red is obvious.

“Sunday red — it’s me,” Woods said. “It’s just become synonymous with me.”

So why the three words? Abeles and Woods talked about the “Rule of Three,” when three words or sentences of the same length can leave a greater impression. Woods, for example, is fond of saying his goals in golf were, “Work hard, think hard, play hard.”

Abeles said “Sun” also can mean the preferred weather (missing at Pebble Beach). Day can also mean that golf is played every day of the week. Red is what Woods has long considered his power color, with guidance from his mother.

There was no shortage of thought that went into that one.


Woods was wearing a cashmere hoodie during the announcement.

He will be in the new threads at Riviera Country Club this week, where he makes his 2024 in the Genesis Invitational. Woods is the tournament host of the $20 million signature event. There was a chance of him playing Tuesday afternoon. He has the pro-am on Wednesday, and the tournament starts Thursday. As for the Sunday red? First he has to make the cut.

AP golf:

t shirt brand business plan

Target launches a new dollar-store-style budget brand

  • Target is launching a new budget brand for clothes, electronics, beauty products, and home items.
  • The range includes undergarments, toothbrushes, and dish soap. Most of the items will be under $10.
  • Target execs said in November that shoppers were having to make trade-offs and cut back on discretionary spending.

Insider Today

Target has launched a new budget brand that will offer shoppers low-cost clothes, electronics, beauty products, and home items.

Target said on Thursday that the brand, Dealworthy, will feature nearly 400 "everyday basics," with most items under $10 and some costing less than $1.

The range will include items such as undergarments, socks, toothbrushes, laundry detergent, and dish soap.

Target will also sell Dealworthy electronics, including phone cases and power cords, as well as kitchen and home items like paper plates, paper towels, and food containers.

Beauty products and toiletries on offer will include shampoo, dental floss, and cotton balls and swabs.

The retailer said that the first products would be available in stores and on its website on Sunday, February 18, with more being rolled out throughout 2024 and in early 2025.

The new brand could see Target competing more closely with dollar stores, many of which have scrapped the $1 price point in recent years amid soaring inflation. Dollar Tree , the last of the big three dollar store chains to stick to price tags of $1 and under, put its price up to $1.25 in late 2021.

Inflation has been cooling in recent months. But prices soared in the wake of the pandemic, forcing some shoppers to trade down by turning to cheaper brands, including retailers' own-branded products. Aldi , whose range is mostly made up of private-label brands, said that US sales soared in 2022.

"Consumers are still spending, but pressures like higher interest rates, the resumption of student loan repayments, increased credit card debt, and reduced savings rates, have left them with less discretionary income, forcing them to make trade-offs in their family budgets," Target CEO Brian Cornell told investors at the company's most recent earnings call in November.

Executives said that food and beverage prices were up by 25% on average compared to pre-pandemic and that customers had been "delaying their spending until the last moment" to stretch their budgets until the next paycheck, like waiting for the weather to turn cold before getting winter clothing.

Target makes $30 billion a year from own-brand products

Target told Business Insider that it would be selling a 200-pack of jumbo cotton balls for $1.99, a two-pack of toothbrushes for $0.99, and tablet stands and phone cases for $5.99 each.

"In each category they will be the lowest-priced item at the shelf," Rick Gomez, Target's chief food, essentials, and beauty officer, told Axios . The phone cases will cost half the price of the cheapest cases it sells by other brands, Target said in its press release.

"With Dealworthy, Target is offering more options at lower prices, starting at less than $1, while strengthening its portfolio of owned brands," the retailer said in a press release .

Target said that it makes more than $30 billion in annual sales from its owned brands. Target brought in revenues of $109 billion in 2022.

t shirt brand business plan

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t shirt brand business plan

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  1. T-Shirt Business Plan Template Sample Pages

    t shirt brand business plan

  2. T-Shirt Business Plan PDF

    t shirt brand business plan

  3. T-Shirt Company Business Plan Template

    t shirt brand business plan

  4. T-Shirt Business Plan Template Sample Pages

    t shirt brand business plan

  5. Free Online Clothing Brand Business Plan Template

    t shirt brand business plan

  6. T-Shirt Business Plan Template Sample Pages

    t shirt brand business plan


  1. T-shirt industry -How to manufacture it?

  2. T-shirt manufacturing, business full plan, invest money 💰 

  3. 5 Reasons YOU Should Start A T-Shirt Business! (2022)

  4. Denim shirts|religion shirts|shirts for men|export surplus shirts in delhi|upto91%off on Big Brands

  5. Starting A T-Shirt Business With ALMOST NOTHING 🤯

  6. What equipment do I need to start a profitable T-shirt business?


  1. How To Start A T-Shirt Business (2024 Guide)

    Updated: Dec 5, 2023, 1:10pm Editorial Note: We earn a commission from partner links on Forbes Advisor. Commissions do not affect our editors' opinions or evaluations. Getty Step 2. Register Your...

  2. T-Shirt Business Plan

    T-Shirt Business Plan Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 5,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their t-shirt businesses. Get our t-shirt business plan template and step-by-step instructions below to quickly and easily create your own t-shirt business plan today.

  3. T-Shirt Business Plan Template & Sample (2024)

    Executive Summary Business Overview Comfy Style Tees is a startup T-shirt company located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The company is founded by Scott Smith and Mike Anderson. Scott Smith is an established graphic artist who will be creating the designs for the company's T-shirts.

  4. T-Shirt Business Plan Template & Step-by-Step Guide (2024)

    Key Takeaways Clearly identify your niche and establish your unique selling proposition (USP) that sets you apart from other t-shirt businesses. Draft a persuasive executive summary that outlines your goals, marketing plan, and financial forecast to attract potential investors.

  5. How To Launch A Custom T-Shirt Brand: An Ultimate Resource Guide

    Here Is The Ultimate Guide To Launch A Custom T-Shirt Brand. #1. Write A Business Plan. The simple act of writing down your vision and working on it accordingly, gives you an outline of how the business will operate. Your business plan projects the credibility of your product and your sales goal.

  6. How to write the business plan for a t-shirt company

    There are several reasons to write a t-shirt business plan. Below, we cover some of the most important ones! To draw up a roadmap Writing a business plan for a t-shirt company can be an invaluable tool for entrepreneurs looking to launch or grow their businesses.

  7. How to Start a Successful T-Shirt Business: 8 Key Steps and Tips

    Market your online t-shirt business. 1. Choose a niche. Start by picking a specific topic or market for your online t-shirt business. This will help you attract the right customers without spending too much money. Successful t-shirt businesses stand out by focusing on a particular group of people or interests.

  8. How to Start a $41K/Month T-Shirt Business (2024)

    For instance, a t-shirt printer might do well in a high-traffic mall or a space with a high density of local businesses. Finding the right place will take some research, which will be much easier after considering your marketing efforts. Step 8. Inventory, Screen Printing Machines, and Product Displays.

  9. T-Shirt Business Plan Template

    Use a T-shirt business plan template to visualize and capture important information about your T-shirt business. Our free sample will help you increase the likelihood of success by guiding decisions and ensuring your venture is built on a solid foundation. Executive Summary

  10. T-Shirt Business Plan Company Overview

    T-Shirt Company Overview. In your company analysis, you will detail the type of t-shirt business you are operating. Women's T-Shirt Business: this type of t-shirt business offers a wider variety of t-shirts styles, such as cap sleeve, thin strap, tanks, etc. Men's T-Shirt Business: this type focuses on men's/male t-shirts.

  11. Custom Printed T-Shirts Business Plan Example

    Solution Your T-Shirt! is an exciting new business that allows people to custom design a shirt (specifically the design on the front or back) any way that they would like.

  12. T-Shirt Business Plan Executive Summary

    You can download our T-Shirt Business Plan Template (including a full, customizable financial model) to your computer here. Next, provide an overview of each of the subsequent sections of your plan. For example, give a brief overview of the t-shirt business industry. Discuss the type of t-shirt business you are operating.

  13. How to Start a Successful Online T-Shirt Business in 2024: The

    Step 1 Develop your t-shirt brand Step one of starting a successful t-shirt business? Develop your brand identity. When you start your own t-shirt business, you cannot understate the importance of your visual identity - especially in fashion.

  14. T-Shirt Marketing: How to Market a T-Shirt Business

    Get Started With Marketing T-Shirts. Set up consistent advertising with a t-shirt business marketing plan. Use your research to explore new design ideas, define a target audience, and develop a strong brand identity for more loyal customers. Learn how to market t-shirts and boost sales with measurable objectives.

  15. How to Create a Business Plan for your T-Shirt Business

    If you want to grow a t-shirt business that is built on a completely unique and/or personal idea then Shopify is a great platform that will let you develop your brand. Your entire ecommerce store can be designed to reflect your vision and voice, and you will have full control over its design, layout, marketing and more. Step Two: Choose Your Niche

  16. T-Shirt Business Plan Template [Updated 2024]

    If you want to start a T-Shirt company or expand your current T-Shirt business, you need a business plan. The following T-Shirt business plan template gives you the key elements to include in a winning T-Shirt company business plan.

  17. T-Shirt Business Plan

    T-Shirt Business Plan If you are starting a T-Shirt business, there are several custom components that will set your company apart from the myriad of competition in the market. Investors and banks that see a heavily standardized plan that mirrors the competition and lacks a tangible competitive advantage as lacking a profitable future.

  18. How to Start a T-Shirt Business

    In the United States, the T-shirt revenue segment amounts to more than $5 billion, with an annual growth of 3.5% expected by 2027.. With thousands of other T-shirt sellers out there, you will need to implement a solid business strategy to push ahead of the crowd and convince customers to choose your designs above others. This will require consistent time, resources, and dedication to make this ...

  19. T-shirt Printing Business Plan Example [2024]

    T-Shirt Printing Business Plan Examples ( 7 votes, average: 4.71 out of 5) Article Apparel Business plans Art & Crafts Business Plans Business Plan Templates Fashion Business Plans Table of Content Do you want to start T-Shirt Printing s business plan? Do you want to get into the business of t-shirt printing?

  20. Girl Tribe restructures with new printing facility, eyes new store

    The duo invested just $200 to get the business off the ground, producing 48 graphic tees. These days, their shirts and sweats drive the brand's success, accounting for 70% of sales. Girl Tribe ...

  21. Printify Vs. Printful (2024 Comparison)

    Both POD companies offer products across several categories, including men's clothing, women's clothing, kids' clothing, accessories and home and living items. However, Printify beats ...

  22. Brunt Workwear starts selling shoes in-store

    Eric Girouard found quick success selling boots, shirts and hats for construction and trade work online after its launch in 2020. He's now selling in retailers for the first time, with plans for ...

  23. T-Shirt Business Plan Industry Analysis

    T-Shirt Industry Analysis. While this may seem unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes. First, researching the t-shirt business industry educates you. It helps you understand the market in which you are operating. Secondly, market research can improve your strategy particularly if your research identifies market trends.

  24. Target relaunches Up&Up store brand

    Target relaunches Up&Up store brand, with sales topping $3 billion. Target is adding many new products into its 15-year-old "Up&Up" store brand. Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) said Monday it's ...

  25. Tiger Woods Introduces His New Brand: Sun Day Red

    Sun Day Red will first make its products available for sale online on May 1, with aims to eventually expand internationally. Polos will cost $115 to $175, and cashmere sweaters will be $250 to ...

  26. Sun Day Red: What to know about Tiger Wood's apparel brand

    The brand is called "Sun Day Red," and men's apparel — golf shirts, hoodies, outerwear — will be available online in the United States and Canada starting May 1. The plan is to expand his line to include footwear, along with women and kid's apparel. The logo is a tiger with 15 stripes, one for each of his majors.

  27. Target Launches New Dollar-Store-Style Budget Brand

    Feb 15, 2024, 5:06 AM PST. Target says that the Dealworthy brand will include nearly 400 items. Target. Target is launching a new budget brand for clothes, electronics, beauty products, and home ...

  28. PDF Free-Version-of-Growthinks-T-Shirt-Business-Plan-Template

    The real version of Growthink's Ultimate T-Shirt Business Plan Template is much more than a fill-in-the-blanks template. That template professionally guides you step-by-step so you can quickly, easily and expertly complete your business plan. Perhaps most importantly, it includes complete financial projections.

  29. Sam Altman Seeks Trillions of Dollars to Reshape Business of Chips and

    OpenAI chief pursues investors including the U.A.E. for a project possibly requiring up to $7 trillion. The technology behind generative AI has exploded, fueling a demand for chips that can handle ...