Okay, so you are tired of the 9-5 grind, and you want to start a business.
It’s important to do your homework before diving into entrepreneurship. Should you build a niche website? Open an e-commerce store? Create your own software? It’s important to take time to consider which option would suit you best.
However, you shouldn’t overthink things, because otherwise you might get stuck in analysis paralysis for days, weeks, or even years!
So if you have been thinking about starting your own business for ages, but for some reason haven’t done it yet, I suggest you to challenge yourself to launch a print-on-demand t-shirt store this weekend.
Sounds crazy? Maybe. But it’s definitely doable!
Pick A Specific Niche That You Know Well
Okay, so your first thought might be to just sell generic t-shirts, but that is a terrible idea because no one will pay $30+ for a t-shirt that can be worn by anyone.
What you should do instead is pick a specific niche. It can be based on interests, hobbies, political beliefs, religious beliefs, etc. Who do you want to sell to?
Ideally, you should be a part of your target audience, because that way you’ll immediately have the competitive advantage of understanding your customers well.
Research The Relevant Media To Come Up With T-Shirt Concepts
Now that you know who are your potential customers, it’s time to research the media they consume, whether it’s comics, magazines, books, TV shows, movies, music, etc.
This is the easiest way to get inspiration for your t-shirt designs. Simply use references to the media that your customers consume. It can be anything from quotes to jokes to images. Just make sure that you aren’t infringing copyrights!
Create Your T-Shirt Designs
Okay, so now you have your t-shirt concepts ready, and you need someone to turn them into actual designs. Where can you find that person?
Your best bet is UpWork. Go there, create a client profile, write up a job description, post the job, wait for the bids to come in, and then sort through them. You want someone who is both affordable and good at what they do. You can read more about hiring freelancers here.
Keep in mind that UpWork is an international platform, which means that the rates for design work can vary drastically from person to person (a designer in New Delhi will usually charge less than a designer in New York, etc.).
I’d advise against going with the cheapest option. After all, you do get what you pay for, and it’s better not to waste time on people who won’t do a good job. Try to balance affordability and quality.
Open Your Online Store
You might be intimidated by this step, but don’t worry, it’s very straightforward and it doesn’t require any coding!
First, sign up with Shopify, which is the biggest eCommerce platform in the world, and set up your store (you can find the reasons why you should open a Shopify store for your print-on-demand business mentioned here).
Then, sign up with Printify, a print-on-demand fulfillment company, and add your t-shirt designs to your account.
Finally, integrate Printify with Shopify, and import your t-shirt designs into your Shopify store.
Congratulations, you are all set, and your store is open for business!
Promote, Promote, Promote!
However, having an online store it’s not enough, because your potential customers don’t know about it yet.
You need a marketing plan. There are many ways to drive traffic to your store: SEO, content marketing, influencer marketing, paid advertising, and more. Where should you start?
I suggest you to start with paid advertising. Create some Facebook ads, test which ones work the best, and then double down on the winners. Master paid advertising first. You can learn about the other marketing methods later.
The whole idea of launching a business in one weekend might feel uncomfortable. After all, a weekend is only 48 hours, and you won’t be able to get everything polished in that time. Shouldn’t you wait until you have all your ducks in a row before you start selling?
Actually, no, you shouldn’t. Speed of implementation matters more than the quality of implementation. Moreover, you can’t learn to run a business by thinking about it, you can only learn to run a business by actually doing it. So accept my challenge. Launch your own print-on-demand t-shirt business this weekend.
Yes, I know it’s scary, but when you really think about it, what have you got to lose? Worst case scenario, you will lose the money you have spent on Shopify, Printify and UpWork. And the best case scenario? You will build a profitable business that you can later sell for a sizable amount of money. Stop procrastinating. If you want to start a business, do it, and do it this weekend. Life is short!