Hustle Ideas

How To Start A Profitable Online T-shirt Printing Business In 2024

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How To Start A Profitable Online T-shirt Printing Business In 2024

In the past, starting a t-shirt company required a production line, heavy equipment, a sales team, and tons of experience in several fields.

Today, the business model is changing especially when you can engage third-party printing services online.

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T-shirt printing is a lucrative side hustle that generate $1,000+ monthly even at an early stage with the support of printing services print such as Printful and Printify.

If you have been wondering how to start a t-shirt printing business online in 2024, you just stumbled on the right post.

In this article, I will take you through all the major steps involved in starting an online t-shirt printing venture and how to drive your business to success in a short period.

Key Highlights

🎯 You have to carefully study trends related to your niche.

🎯 Over 60% of t-shirt buyers make choices based on shirt colors and designs.

🎯 Printing shirts in bulk is always more profitable.

🎯 Over 96% of global brands use Google Ads for wider brand awareness.

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🎯 Your shirt price should be moderate initially and not extremely low.

Starting A Profitable Online T-shirt Printing Business

Before starting a t-shirt printing online business, there are some things you need to consider and some steps you need to follow. Though there are numerous ways to start a shirt company online, here are the most effective ways:

Think of a Good T-shirt Concept

The first step toward starting a t-shirt printing business is to think about what you intend to offer in terms of concept, idea, branding, and quality to your t-shirt niche.

Generally, t-shirts look familiar. However, this does not entail that you cannot create a unique concept for your t-shirt business.

Before starting a t-shirt brand, the first step toward success is to envision how you want your shirts to look. Upon gathering this information, you can then carefully study trends related to your niche to find out what your target audience wants.

Since starting an online t-shirt business, you can utilize Google Search trends to find out what your target audience is searching online. This way, you can better understand how to set up your business and the specific traits your brand should possess.

Create a Set of  Designs

It is impossible to kickstart a t-shirt business without first creating a design template for your shirts. With great t-shirt designs, you stand above your competitors, as design plays a crucial role in the success of shirts.

With that in mind, you can fully tell that a brand design can make or break your t-shirt company. While bigger brands can get away with less unique designs, you must bring in your best as a startup to attract a fan base as quickly as possible.

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As a rule of success, you must always think outside the box to maximize your chances of being successful. You do not have to be a pro designer to make a t-shirt design.

Moreover, numerous websites now allow you to create unique mockup designs for your shirts. Thus, you can now create designs with no experience.

Of course, you can always hire real professional designers on platforms like Upwork or Fiverr to handle your shirt designs. However, suppose you intend to curb the cost of hiring a professional.

In that case, you can always resort to using these websites for generating your designs.

As of today, Tailorbrands is one of these websites that allow users to create free designs without any design skills.


Upon visiting their official website, you can create a design by filling in some forms and describing your brand or business. If you don’t feel happy with the results, you can always refresh for a new page of uniquely crafted concepts for your selection.

If you intend to explore other design communities, you can check out any of the options below:

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Choose a Third-party Printing Service

Upon choosing a niche and putting your t-shirt designs in place, you must choose a perfect way to print your designs. Unlike in the past, there are now so many options available for t-shirt printing.

Thus, you can use heat transfer, direct printing, or screen printing (in-house production). Printing in bulk is always more profitable, as these huge prints often offer more discounts.

To ensure quality, you must select the best online printing services. With websites like Uber Prints, Printful, and CustomInk, you can easily create and print designs and place them for sale online.


Also, most of these online printing services offer POD (Print-On-Demand) services. This way, you only have to print according to customers’ orders.

This move saves cost in the long run, paving the way for more balanced expenditure.

Setup your Pricing

Over the years, the price of shirts has continued to climb. Today, there are even shirts that are worth thousands of dollars.

The price of your shirts tells a lot to your consumers. According to market stats, the higher the price of a product, the higher the quality in the eyes of consumers.

With that in mind, your pricing should be moderate initially and not extremely low. To get the best price, you need to summarize your overall purchase expenses and printing costs.

If you want to sell at a 50% profit margin, you can total your expenses and double them by two to get the price of a single unit. You can also consider lower profit margins like 25-30%.

For instance, if you purchase a pair of 50 plain shirts for $300, that’d be $6 per unit. At this point, if you spend an additional $400 to print designs on all the shirts, it would be a split pricing of $8 per unit in design.

These calculations mean that your total expenditure on the shirts would be about $14 for every unit. Therefore, following the 50% profit margin, you could sell each t-shirt for $28. However, with our recommended profit margin of 30% for a start, you are better off selling each unit for $20, so you can make a 30% profit of $6.

Setup Your Online Store


Starting an online store is one process that seems daunting. In reality, however, it is one of the simplest steps toward starting a t-shirt company online.

After creating an array of products for your consumers, you need to set up reliable structures through which they can steadily purchase from you. This point is, of course, where an online store comes in.

You can either choose to run a custom-built e-commerce store or set up a store on an existing platform. To set up a custom store, you have to pay for a domain name and a hosting plan.

Though you can get most of these services at cheap rates on websites like Bluehost, using an already made platform is always better. Also, you can use the e-commerce options available on WooCommerce and a host of other platforms.

However, it is worth noting that custom online stores require lots of money to operate. Moreover, users have to fund maintenance mostly every month.

With the advent of platforms like Shopify, it is now extremely easy to create an online store without the hassle or stress of maintenance.

As a startup, you can consider this option, as it would cut costs and allow for great productivity in the long run.

Invest In Online Marketing

Brand awareness is one factor that determines how much a brand can make in terms of product sales.

With little public awareness about your brand, presenting your products to people becomes difficult unless you offer something unique and uncommon.

To ensure success, you have to use the online advertising tools available today. Google Ads is one of these services that allow businesses to reach a wider audience at a low cost.

Over 96% of global brands utilize Google ads for wider brand awareness. This move should, of course, tell you how useful this tool has become.

To create public awareness about your brand, you have to hire a professional videographer on sites like Fiverr to make an awesome ad presentation for your brand.

Then, you can use these professionally edited clips in your Google Ad campaigns to maximize consumer appeal. Of course, suppose you do not intend to hire a videographer.

In that case, you can always use tools like Canva to generate cool templates for Ad presentations.

Besides Google Ads, you can create a Facebook page for your brand and promote sponsored posts about your brand to a well-targeted audience.

Facebook Ads are similar to Google Ads, as they all boost posts to a range of users. However, most businesses still prefer Google Ads due to the turn-up rate and engagement possibilities.

Final Thoughts

Though many steps are involved, it is easy to start a t-shirt printing business online.

Unlike in the offline form of this business, you do not have to spend too much money on printing, as several companies now accept Print-On-Demand services, allowing for cost-effective operations.

Once you choose a shirt niche and set up a design, you need to select a preferred printing method to start your business. Of course, you can always start a custom online store along the line.

For a start, however, you are better off using free online e-commerce services. Overall, the t-shirt industry is a highly profitable one. Thus, there is so much to gain from running a successful t-shirt business online.

With the right mindset and guides, anyone can start this business, as it is quite easy to set up.

If you have been looking for a way to start your shirt company, you can carefully go through the steps in this article to ensure success. In all, we do wish you good luck!