Step-by-Step Guide: How to Start a T-Shirt Business

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Writing a solid business plan is the foundation of any sustainable t-shirt business. It doesn’t only help with convincing investors, business angels, and banks, but also works as a guideline for the founding team and as a reminder. The business plan for a t-shirt business should fundamentally show your vision and work as a motivation for your team. Through this, it is ensured that decisions are made for the long term.

There are no universal guidelines, manuals, or samples set in stone – that would certainly make no sense, because every business is different! However, it is important that you include the following points into your planning.

What Do I Have To Consider In The Business Plan?

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  1. Management summary: The most important points of the enterprise presented in a short and succinct way.
  2. Business idea: This is the main product idea. The value of you to your customers, as compared to your competitors, should be highlighted. Here you should write about the motivation and thoughts behind your t-shirt business.
  3. Management- and founding team: The team members with their specific qualifications. Here it becomes clear who works in which area of the business, and the know-how of each of these people (design, production, marketing, finance, etc).
  4. Market and competitors: Insight into the current market and comparison with your competition. Here you should guess how many customers you can reach with your product.
  5. Marketing and Sales: In a t-shirt business, with every brand it is also important to have a marketing strategy. Here you should establish which values the fashion label stands for, and how you want to communicate that. This also covers whether the product should be sold through only an online store, over the old-fashioned method of a retail shop.
  6. Legal status: Here you should write about the chances and risks, and also talk about the possible solutions through which you can take chances and minimize risks.
  7. Opportunities and risks: On the one hand, the opportunities and risks should be addressed and, on the other hand, possible solutions should be identified, with which opportunities can be exploited and risks counteracted.
  8. financial planning: Many founders fail with the funding. Here it is important to calculate the cost of the label creation and the first production. You should also consider all the running costs.

Which Costs Will I Have To Face When Starting a T-Shirt Business?

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At the beginning of a t-shirt business especially, you must think about the creation costs. This includes the production of your first collection. In general, larger amounts cost less, while smaller amounts cost more. It is hard to make a definitive statement here about costs, because the prices are very different and depend on the textiles and corresponding designs. If you want to start on a smaller scale, then start with 3-4 different samples and a small series of 30 units. That way, the costs for the t-shirts are in an adequate relation to the sales.

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