T-shirt printing business is one of the most profitable businesses that you can get into. The great thing about this type of business is that it’s fueled by local demand. It’s no secret that typical American cities or towns never run out of local organizations that seek out to commemorate their own special events.
Among all sorts of corporate branded tokens and keepsakes, t-shirt is one of the most common commemorative items given away. It’s very specific. It was custom-made for that special event. People can wear it. It’s very practical and at the same time, inexpensive.
With all these factors put together, it’s no surprise that commemorative t-shirts are quite popular from coast to coast. As a result, there is a significant local demand for t-shirt printing businesses.
You might be thinking: “Why don’t they just order online?” While it’s a good point, a lot of local businesses prefer a local outfit. They prefer face-to-face interaction. They feel that their needs can be easily taken care of in just a phone call away from someone across town or down the block.
These consumers are looking for a local touch and a responsive local partner. You’d be surprised by the volume of local demand for t-shirt printing services. If you want to get into this kind of business, you have to be aware of the benefits as well as the issues you may encounter in operating the best 5 in 1 heat press transfer machines.
Keep the following in mind.
Using a Heat Transfer Machine
Starting your t-shirt printing business with the heat transfer machine is not as easy as it sounds. First, the good news. Heat press transfer machines have cured the headaches that are normally associated with t-shirt printing. Usually, when you ask people on how to create a t-shirt, a lot of them would give you an answer that is extremely accurate as of thirty years ago. They would often elaborate the silkscreen printing process, which is a very tedious manual process where people could screw up the t-shirt very easily.
It also requires a lot of attention to details. There’s just so many things that could go wrong during the silkscreen printing process. But there are still printing shops that use this old- fashioned method because of the very high quality of the result they get from doing it by hand. This is the kind of response you would get from people if you ask them how t-shirt printing is done.
In reality, t-shirts are now produced in a much safer and faster way. Thanks to heat press transfer machine. You can feel ecstatic about t-shirts being produced at the clip of one unit per thirty seconds. At this rate, you can finish two t-shirts in a minute; 120 t-shirts per hour. And from a local printer’s perspective, 120 t-shirts produced in an hour is plenty!
The bottom line is that the modern heat press transfer machine has made t-shirt production so much easier and has eliminated traditional dilemmas associated with t-shirt production.
On the other note, the use of heat press transfer machines is not a worry-free proposition.
Your Designs are Only as Good as the Heat Transfers You Get
One may resort to outsourcing the HTV component of the t-shirt when running a one-stop shop for t-shirt printing. Your designer would have to send the t-shirt designs to another company that prints out the vinyl designs. And once you get the printed materials in the mail, you would then use the heat transfer machines to apply those vinyl designs onto the t-shirt.
As you can probably tell from this process, all sorts of things can go wrong. What if the carrier sends the wrong box to the wrong company? What if your designer screws up and sends the wrong file? What if the outsourced company jumbled your vinyl design orders and sends you back the wrong printed designs?
Anything bad could happen. Just because the modern t-shirt heat press machine has made printing so much faster and easier, doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s no roadblock along the way. But this modern technique is much better than doing things by hand.
Also, a lot of customers would prefer specialized custom designs and thicker ink on their shirts. In those situations, you have to use either a specialized silkscreen outsource provider or a different equipment. Your typical heat press transfer machine can help you in those situations.
With that said, here are a few things to consider to jump-start a t-shirt business to achieve a higher level of success.
Focus on a Niche
It’s a good idea to be a specialist. People are more willing to pay a premium to a specialist compared to a jack-of-all-trades. Customer don’t really expect that much quality from a jack-of-all-trades. They just need the job done immediately. However, customers who are willing to wait with high expectations would really seek out a specialist and pay a premium.
But there’s a drawback to that. If someone has sought you out because you have set the bar high on your niche, your customer’s expectation is much higher compared to that of a general practitioner. Remember that advertising your reputation is equally important with how you deliver your work.
Make Sure You Work With the High Quality Designer
As I’ve mentioned in the process outlined above, a lot of local t-shirt companies get the design done locally and then they would outsource the actual printing of the HTV. The printed materials are then shipped to them and they use their heat presses to apply the designed thermal papers onto the shirt.
There are some companies that offer a one-stop shop. With this, customers are not only able to get the t-shirt design on-site, they also get everything done at the same place. The big advantage of this setup is that the customer is always in the loop. They can call the shots as far design and final quality are concerned. Of course, we can rely on these customers to pay more since they have a wider range of control over the t-shirt production. That’s not the problem, though.
The problem is, this kind of framework may be hard to sustain since only a few of your customers require a tight grip over the production. I hope you’ve noticed the problem there. In most cases, it makes more sense to get the job done locally and have the HTV printing done elsewhere. The only thing you have on your plate is creating the t-shirt design and the actual heat transfer.
Don’t Forget the t-shirt Quality
While China-made shirts are tagged dirt cheap, don’t get blinded into thinking that low prices can equate high quality. There has to be a fine balance between low-cost t-shirts and decent material quality. You have to remember that not all your customers are trying to save money. A lot of them prefer quality over price. So keep this in mind and try to achieve a happy marriage between low-cost and decent t-shirt quality.