This is how you SCALE your tee shirt design and sales business
Folks have been selling tee shirts online for years now and ever since everywhere wi-fi and Google fiber have made there way into our vocabulary…entrepreneurs have been figuring out ways to make there tee shirt businesses scale.
Would you like to know how they do it?
Good, we thought you might.
Well there are lots of articles that talk about the underlying attributes for any business to scale, grow and dominate. Try Googling How to Scale a Business right now in a separate browser tab.
When you do you’ll find lot of late night reading material. Like this article from Forbes or this article from Entrepreneur. But for the sake of time, we’re going to boil it down to a few simple principles that mean the most to the tee shirt niche.
Go where the gold is
When gold struck in the American West during the mid-1800’s there were millions of Americans and foreigners who dropped everything to travel far and wide so they could mine gold. These entrepreneurial adventures weren’t for the faint of heart. Thousands and thousands of people died for the opportunity to strike it rich in gold. But they went because they knew gold was there.
They could have stayed more East and mined for gold in other mountain areas but that was a crap shoot. They lowered their risk by going where the gold was.
Nothing has changed with that principle either. That why the Saudis stay put and mine their own oil. That’s why cotton is grown in the South.
So then where do you go to find your tee shirt gold?
You go to the largest online marketplace for tee shirts: Amazon.com
Amazon recently (1 year ago today) launched there Merch by Amazon in a powerful eCommerce play to dominate the tee shirt printing business. They are even going to expand into other merchandise like mugs, laptop cases, etc. Little guys beware.
So then this is where the gold is, isn’t it?
We have the largest online marketplace selling tee shirts in the world. So naturally…this is where you want to be.
But how to do you wade through all those designs and be successful selling against the hordes of other designers? More on that later…
Process. Process. Process
Whether you’re selling 10 shirts a month or 10,000 shirts a month. The business with the best process and most streamlined execution will win every time. You cant even begin to think about scaling your business or even being successful at all until you’ve laid the foundation to grow bigger than you imagined.
In other words, you have to lay down the track before you build the train.
Ha! That’s a tee shirt idea right there. You can keep that one, it’s on the house.
One of the first things you might think about doing is hiring a Virtual Assistant to help you with your tee shirt business. You can get one pretty inexpensively and if you’re still stuck at your day job they can be a tremendous asset to help you scale quickly.
Because of the time difference, they will be working hard on your business while you are sleeping at night. That’s 8 hours of productivity while your counting sheep. One of the best things we ever did to help scale up 10×10 Shirt Designs was hire a Virtual Assistant. Need to hire one? Ask Nathan for help.
Here are five ideas on how to leverage your Virtual Assistant to help you with your tee shirt business.
- Have them design the tee shirts for you
- Have them post and upload y9our tee shirts to multiple eCommerce websites
- Have them post your designs on social media
- Have them manage your Dropbox account where all your designs are held
- Have them seek our better pricing from vendors or designers via Craigslist
No matter what you’re doing in your business however, the one thing that will make or break you is organization.
If you’re sloppy, your customers will feel it.
If you careless, your bottom line will be affected.
If you are a scatter brain, your marketing will never get off the ground.
So how do you put together the perfect business with excellent processes AND know where to dig for gold?
These are new kids on the block but founders Neil and Todar already have some great experience in selling tee shirts online. Specifically through Amazon Merch. And for their second act, they will be helping hundreds and maybe thousands or more budding entrepreneurs with their new software.
Merch Informer gives you all the niche data at your fingertips to help you make decisions about what designs ideas you’ll want to pursue. With a single click of a button you’ll be able to see all the product features, description, and sales rank of any tee shirt online at Amazon.
But wait….isn’t this copying?
MerchInformer allows you to see whats trending and selling well on Amazon so that you can produce YOUR OWN unique designs in the niches that sell well. They are providing part of that process we talked about earlier. You no longer have to sift through hundreds of Amazon pages to find popular niches.
You just enter 5 keywords and press a button and your done.
They also include simple ways to check for trademarks and alert Amazon if someone else is imposing on your design or trademark. One of the coolest features however is the ability to see BSR or Best Sellers Rank on the shirt designs.
This feature will allow you to sort and rank your searches by sales rank to really hone in on the best selling designs.
And so what do you do with all of that research you’ve done with MerchInformer? Well, you start designing your shirts of course. But remember, you don’t start that either without a process, right?
Great, your learning! (assumed you said yes to the question)
Scaling the design process
Now you could go out there and hire a really cheap Indian or Philipino freelancer but there is only so many of those around. And guess who else is looking for those same free lancers to help them?
Yep, you guessed it….your competition.
So one model that works great for scaling your designs, in niches you know work, is a design membership club. 10×10 Shirt Designs is a design membership club that researches niches for you (we’re customers of MerchInformer) and then creates killer designs each week for you to pick from.
You pay a low monthly fee (keeps copy cats and window shoppers out) and then only $10 a for each shirt design you want.
Here is a great video that explains the process in a little more detail:
We hope we added a little value to your business (or future business) in this article and only ask in return that you share it right now in your favorite design or tee shirt Facebook group. Leave us a comment if you think we missed anything in this post but we want to sincerely wish you the best in all of your endeavors!