How to Start a T-Shirt business for Less than $100


Starting a business can be challenging and rewarding at the same time.

Becoming an entrepreneur takes discipline, funding and the right tools to stand out from the competition. While some first time entrepreneurs have dreams of starting off big or small many choose the latter.

If you want to start a clothing line start off with a t-shirt business. With little money, starting a t-shirt business for less than $100 can be successful with strategic planning and implementation. Now that you’ve decided to embark on this journey of owning your own company here are a few tips to get you started.


Come up with as many ideas as you can and write them down. Think about design ideas such as texts, logos and graphics. What colors will the shirts be? Look at current t-shirt trends to draw ideas from, this means scouring the latest fashion magazines and websites. Ask yourself as many probing questions as possible to keep the ideas constantly flowing.

Determine your market

Who will be included in your target audience or market? Will they include women, men, kids or just one of these markets? Find a specific niche and stick with it. For example will you target women who have babies or teen boys who love to play lacrosse?

If you’re located in a big college town, make college themed shirts. The more you keep within your niche, the easier it will be to promote and sell to your intended market.

Develop a Price Structure

Research various wholesalers to determine how much you will pay for blank t-shirts. If you don’t currently own an inkjet printer, it’s possible to purchase one for $100. Or you can buy a basic screen printing kit from any art supply store for under $100.

These are the basic tools you will need to start out with. Once business starts to pick up, you can choose the option of upgrading to more professional tools and services. If you’re using a middleman to produce your shirts, calculate screen printing costs, shipping, tags, storage and labor. This will allow you to cover all your costs as well as make a profit.

Marketing and Promotion- Set up a website for free and start promoting your t-shirts. Make sure the site can be easily found by search engines. Share your website link online through commenting on forums, blog posts or exchanging links with other online businesses. Have business cards made and distribute them. Another effective marketing tactic to gain customers is to wear your product. This is the best way to get your product seen as well as telling everyone in your immediate network about your t-shirts. Word of mouth is a very effective tool and it’s free.

Retail or Wholesale?

Selling your t-shirt directly to customers allows them to purchase the shirts directly from your website. Scout out local events, street fairs or other outlets where you can sell your shirts. If you’re going the wholesale route, you can sell them to other stores or boutiques. Set up a meeting with the buyer of the company and seek out stores in your local city, town or neighborhood.

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