One of the easiest businesses to start is a shirt business. This is for two primary reasons:
1. The capital is relatively low.
2. It’s easy to sell shirts because they’re a low-ticket item.
And the demand is here as well. According to Statista, revenue in the shirt and singlet segment will amount to $24,320 million in 2019, and the market is expected to have a 1.0% yearly growth.
That said, starting and growing a shirt business is far from easy. It has its pros and cons. To help equip you before you venture into this industry, here are a few questions that you need to ask yourself:
Brick-and-mortar or Online?
Addressing this question requires you to know the pros and cons of having a physical and online store. The first and most significant advantage of having an online store is that you’ll have lower overhead costs as you won’t have to pay for rent, the salary of your staff, store décor, and more.
There’s also what is called the print-on-demand online business scheme where you can offer your designs to be printed on the shirt. You’ll work with a company to do the printing and fulfilling for you, so all you have to do is to supply your designs and market your online store. What’s more, is you only have to pay for what you sold. No inventories at all.
Despite these fantastic benefits and opportunities for e-commerce, customer service and shipping are the main drawbacks. With a physical store, you won’t have to deal with complaints about slow or expensive shipping. Your customers will also be able to physically inspect the items, unlike in online stores where the chances of returned orders due to wrong sizing is high. You will also have more control over the quality of your customers’ shopping experience with a physical store.
Your Own Brand or Franchise?
The next thing you have to consider is if you will start your own shirt brand or get a t-shirt franchise. The main advantage of starting your own brand is that it will be 100% yours. Everything from the brand name down to the design is yours.
But gaining traction among customers is going to take a long time. It takes careful branding, smart marketing, and some advertising costs to get people to notice you. If you get a t-shirt franchise instead, people will already know the brand and will buy from you because they recognize the brand.
Getting a franchise lets you override the problematic stage of spreading brand awareness and jump straight to making profits.
Will you offer custom printing?
As the Research and Markets 2017 report shows, the global custom shirt printing market is expected to significantly grow in the coming years due to the advancement of printing technologies, an increase in disposable income, and the shift towards fashionable apparel even in developing nations.
Customers love being able to supply their own designs and have it printed on their shirt of choice. If you can offer this, it will be one of your competitive advantages.
Starting a shirt business requires a lot of decision making despite its relative ease of entry. The most successful entrepreneurs consider every factor from all sides and act on their decision as soon as possible.