Is It True That Entrepreneurs are “Risk-Takers”?
According to, well, everyone… “they put it all on the line, gamble their money, take chances no one would have the guts to, etc.”
Perhaps there is some small fragment of truth here. However, I’d argue that it’s quite the opposite.
In fact, entrepreneurs are some of the most risk-averse people you will ever meet.
They do everything in their power to limit risk as they approach new business endeavors.
When it comes to a T-shirt business, there’s no difference. The less risk you have to carry, the better off you’ll be.
This is why starting a T-shirt business remains one of the easier ways to get in the game, without gambling away all of your money.
With the right tools at our disposal, we can have a fully functioning online T-shirt business up and running with absolutely no upfront costs.
Kind of makes you wonder why you wouldn’t at least give it a shot…
T-Shirt Biz 101
There are a few things we have to consider before jumping right into the fun stuff:
- Choosing an audience and validating our “product” ideas
- Selecting distribution and marketing channels
- Laying out our infrastructure (setting it all up for free!)
Who’s your target customer?
The best place to begin is figuring out the type of customer you intend to sell to.
What age group do they fall into? Where do they live? What are their primary interests?
It’s your job to identify who these individuals are to make sure that the merchandise you’re offering, aligns with their buying behavior.
In order to make sure that your assumptions are correct, it’s best to get out in the field and test your ideas.
This includes talking to family and friends, sharing on social, posting in forums, and even cold-emailing people.
Don’t be afraid to ask for honest opinions. You aren’t trying to sell anything, you simply want feedback.
The most important component here is validation. This means confirming the idea you currently have, or simply scrapping it and coming up with new ideas.
Take note of which channels of outreach work best, and, if anyone is interested in your designs, grab their email!
Selecting marketing channels
It’s best to know where you’ll be marketing your shirts before you’re up and running. This will set you up for generating sales right off the bat.
Taking a hint from above, look to where you received the best (and possibly most) feedback when doing your initial outreach.
Did a lot of people respond back to your DM’s on Instagram? How did that Reddit group react to your designs?
Basically, we are asking ourselves, “Where is the best place to focus our marketing efforts?”
Furthermore, will we collect email addresses? Grow a like-minded community in a Facebook group? Retarget potential customers who visit our website? Set up an affiliate program to increase referrals?
These are tactics you’ll want to think about before launching.
I’m not trying to scare you away. This will simply give you an idea of the marketing plan you’ll execute once the store is live.
Be prepared to change as you test and optimize your strategy.
Setting up for success
We need an infrastructure to support our T-shirt business. This means a few very important things…
First off, our e-commerce website. My go-to is Shopify, but there are several options to sell your merchandise such as WooCommerce and Etsy.
We also need a few other elements, including a supplier, T-shirt printer, and a fulfillment option.
This can get a little complicated, unless we do it correctly…
As we talked about before, one of the major objectives of starting a new business is minimizing risk, and getting our project off the ground as cheap as possible.
Let me maintain my original promise and clarify that it’s entirely possible to get started with zero upfront costs.
Luckily, we have access to full-service options such as Printify, that work together with our e-commerce platforms (Shopify, WooCommerce, etc.) to supply T-shirts, print designs, and even ship our products for us.
This means we don’t have to find a supplier, buy 500 T-shirts in bulk, and ship it all ourselves.
After all, that’s a bit risky.
With a full-service option, we simply create our designs and put them up for sale in our e-commerce stores.
Printify, or another provider, will do the dirty work for us.
This is extremely easy to do considering the platforms are integrated, which means that we can rapidly test out ideas for future merchandise.
Here’s what I mean: Say that your T-shirt business is performing well. Now you can also start selling hoodies, bags, phone cases, mugs, or any of the other 200+ products in their catalog.
For anyone looking to get started in an online business, this presents the perfect opportunity to sell actual products without sourcing from China, paying lots of money upfront, …or really risking anything at all!
Here’s the Challenge:
To be honest, there’s not much of an excuse here, and the challenge itself isn’t altogether difficult:
Think up some designs, test them out, and set up the simple infrastructure outlined above. This means signing up for Shopify, Printify, or their equivalents.
Then, all you have to do (the fun part) is select the type of product you want, add your designs to it, and send it on over to your e-commerce store.
Ultimately, this makes life easy in the short term and long term.
For now, there are absolutely no costs that you have to deal with. As someone that supports a lean startup methodology, the idea here is perfect!
And as for the long term, you can focus on selling while the time-sucking work of creating the T-shirts and shipping them is managed behind the scenes.
Nothing’s foolproof and no success is guaranteed, but if you’re trying to avoid all risk while getting off the ground, the opportunity to do so is right in front of you.
Best of luck!
We hope you found the promoted post as informative and entertaining as we did!