Starting a T-Shirt Business: How to Become an Expert
When you started your t-shirt business, you did all your homework and went through all the details it takes to start out right. You made sure you followed our checklist and got everything situated:
- Chose a market/niche for your t-shirt business
- Validated your t-shirt ideas – is there a need/demand in this niche
- Researched your t-shirt business name ideas to see if they are available legally
- Researched your t-shirt business name ideas to see if they are available for as a web domain and social media accounts
- Picked your business name
- Filed proper paperwork
- Chose a printing method for your t-shirts
- Chose a heat press/equipment to print your t-shirts
Then you got everything running smoothly in regards to taking orders and completing them. Perfect!
Sounds like you got everything under control and you’re good to go, right?
Starting a successful t-shirt business doesn’t end there. A successful entrepreneur continues to learn and never stops learning.A successful entrepreneur continues to learn and never stops learning. Click To Tweet
The same is true for most professionals in almost any field. Doctors, dentists, pharmacists, teachers, etc. are all required to partake in continuing education.
For most industries, there are courses, webinars, conferences, consultants, professional organizations, etc. available for one to continue learning in their field.
Markets are always changing, along with technologies, equipment, and new ways of doing things. Half of continuing education is to keep up with these new ways of doing your job.
The other half to continuing your professional education is to learn the in’s and out’s of your business. It’s nearly impossible to learn everything there is to know about a particular field, especially for a newbie just starting out.
If you continue to educate yourself, then you are building yourself into an expert. People like to do business with experts. It gives them confidence that they are receiving the best product or service for their money.
Would you like to get your car fixed by someone who dabbles in auto repairs? Or instead, the mechanic who knows your car inside and out?
By constantly growing in your knowledge, you will grow into an expert in which people will trust and want to do business with you.
12 Ways to Become a T-Shirt Printing Expert
As an apparel decorator, there are several ways to grow and become an expert. Of course, you want to increase your knowledge of heat printing. At the same time, also consider learning more about other aspects that affect your business as well, such as marketing.
Half of your business is printing, the other half is getting orders. In order to be successful, you need to become an expert at both.
[Related Content: 7 Ways to Keep Your Customers Coming Back for More]
So how do you become an expert? Immerse yourself in the industry. There are so many resources available, most of them for free, while some you can pay for.
One of the most popular places to start is with Google. Search for blogs that teach you how to print t-shirts and how to grow and market a t-shirt business. The good thing about finding a good blog is that blogs tend to be focused on a particular topic, for example, t-shirt businesses, marketing, etc.
Most of the time, blogs will publish information based around the niche they are writing for, so it will be a treasure trove of information. There will be many posts on your subject.
[Related Content: Transfer Express Blog]
Before you leave Google, search for business articles as well. Sites like Entrepreneur, Forbes, and Inc. can give you good insight on successful business practices, even if it is not directly related to t-shirts. These types of articles are “one-offs” but you will usually get a good take-away from each article.
Besides blogs, videos are another sure way to learn about heat printing and growing a t-shirt business. YouTube has plenty of videos to learn just about anything, including t-shirt printing.
Transfer Express offers videos on application, how-to’s, and more.
[T-Shirt Business Videos: Transfer Express Video Library]
Often times, if you find a blog you like, you can sign up for their newsletter. By signing up for their newsletter, you will get educational content sent directly in your email inbox. You will get relevant content regularly without even going to hunt for it.
The other benefit to receiving a newsletter is that these types of sites are sending out content that people will find relevant and useful. In this case, you will find out what other people are doing and what you should be doing.
It is an easy way to be fed bite-sized pieces of education.
While you are also on blogs, a lot of times there will be offers to download an ebook. Ebooks are a great way to learn more in-depth material on a particular topic.
Most of the time, these are free. Just enter your email address and the ebook arrives in your inbox for you to download.
A lot of times, these ebooks have a lot of useful information that you won’t be able to implement all at once. Don’t get overwhelmed.
First skim the ebook. After you look it over, save it in a particular folder on your computer for you to refer to later. That way, you can go back and work on the tips a little bit at a time.
Choose one thing to work on, and finish it. Then go back and pick another item from the ebook to work on.
Another way to deepen your knowledge is to sign up for webinars. Like ebooks, webinars are often free and contain a lot of helpful content on a particular subject.
At first, it may be a lot to take in. Most webinar presenters will give you a recording of the webinar afterwards. Then you can go back and watch it again.
[Free T-Shirt Business Webinars]
Besides webinars, there are courses you can attend. You can go different routes with courses. You can take courses at your local college, sign up for live online courses in which there is a normal schedule like in person, or you can buy a go-at-your-own-pace type of course.
For courses, you will need to pay for them, but you’ll get a lot more out of a course than you will an hour-long webinar. It may be worth the money to partake in.
Conferences are another way to increase your knowledge. You will probably have to pay for conferences, also. Depending on the size of the conference, it can get pretty pricey. Conferences that are more regional or local will be less expensive.
9. Trade Shows
Attend a trade show in your area. You can learn a lot from a trade show, including different providers and products that are available that you may not have known before.
The exhibitor hall is filled with people who are in the same boat as you.
[Upcoming Apparel Decorating Tradeshows]
Besides learning from reading or watching videos, talk with people. You can learn so much from talking with other entrepreneurs.
Learn from their mistakes, and also their successes. Sometimes it takes a long time to figure things out that work and don’t work. Many times, entrepreneurs are more than willing to share their experiences with other people trying to start a business.
By talking to other t-shirt businesses, you can skip some of the mistakes others have made, and try some of the things that were successful for them, which will expedite the way to growing your own t-shirt business.
After you talk with people, you may be able to find yourself a mentor. Form a relationship with people who are willing to help. As you grow your business, you can reach out to them with questions along the way.
Don’t limit yourself to looking for people in your area, either. The internet has made distance no longer a factor.
10. Social Media
Take advantage of social media to meet people and talk to. Join a closed Facebook group. Ask questions. Be willing to listen.
A closed Facebook group is where people really open up and talk with others. It’s an online community of people trying to learn and help each other.
[Are you a Transfer Express customer? Join our closed Facebook Group to talk with other growing t-shirt businesses!]
Another online area to learn is forums. Forums are filled with questions and answers. Just reading what people are asking about may give you ideas that you otherwise may not have thought of yourself to even ask.
Like Facebook groups, forums are filled with people willing to help.
12. The last tip for learning? Doing.
You will always learn the most when you are doing what you have learned. Practice makes perfect. The more you do, the better you’ll get.
You can’t get experience from reading a book or watching a video. At the end of the day, you have to roll up your sleeves, and do the work.
Over time, you will become a t-shirt expert from simply doing and learning from experience as you go.
[Related Content: 7 Tests to Grow Your T-Shirt Business]
T-Shirt Business Learning Resource Checklist:
- Trade Shows
- Social Media Groups