10 Reasons to Start a T-Shirt Business

Now is the time to start a t-shirt business. All you need is a heat press. Heat transfer technology is so advanced and so simple, you can print any item at a profit. Thanks to the power of heat printing, anyone can start printing shirts out of a spare room, garage or basement with a minimal investment. Plus, it’s easy to learn and easy to do. Still not convinced? Here are the Top 10 Reasons to Start a T-Shirt Business.

1. Heat Press Transfers Make It Possible 

The top reason to start a t-shirt business is heat transfer technology. First of all, you don’t have to worry about expensive screen printing equipment or messy ink-based printing. Thanks to heat transfers, you can quickly heat press names and numbers on team uniforms and print any logo on demand–at a profit. There are heat press transfers available to print any item, in any quantity at a profit.

2. You Don’t Need Much Space

Secondly, to get started with heat press transfers, you only need about 3 feet of counter space. Or just a sturdy table. You don’t need to worry about environmental laws for disposing ink wastes (like you do with screen printing). Additionally, you don’t need a big screen printing press or drying equipment. Anyone can set up a heat press in any spare room or garage.

3. Get Started for Around $1,000

Another reason to start a t-shirt business–it’s inexpensive. Heat transfer technology is the least expensive way to get started in all types of garment decoration. The beauty of a heat transfer t-shirt business is that a good heat press can be purchased for around $1,000. You can find complete heat press packages with everything you need to get started. For cash-strapped newcomers, the thought of buying a relatively expensive automatic screen printing press or a high-end embroidery machine simply isn’t practical. However, almost everyone can afford a heat press and the supplies required to start heat printing.

Side Note On Choosing A Heat Press:

Whether you purchase a no-frills model or a high-end unit, don’t purchase a cheapo machine. The few bucks you save up front aren’t worth it in terms of the aggravation and lost time you’ll endure with a poorly made press that breaks down easily and doesn’t operate as it should. Also, give plenty of thought to the kinds of features you want. For instance, make sure the press is large enough for your needs. If you’re doing football jerseys, you may want a 16-inch x 20-inch platen so that you can handle larger graphics, for example. On the other hand, if you’re only doing T-shirts, a 16-inch x 16-inch platen may be plenty. For more information on how to choose the best press for your new business, download this free guide on choosing a heat press.

4. Learn to Apply Heat Press Transfers in Minutes

Equally small is the associated learning curve: As you might guess, you can learn to operate a heat press in a matter of minutes. There are a few basic tips one should learn, such as pre-heating the garment before application and knowing whether you need to peel the graphic hot or let it cool first. But basically, anyone can successfully learn to apply a transfer in less than five minutes. That’s one of the things that’s so exciting about heat transfer technology…it’s so easy! True, you need to learn which shirts work best with heat transfers, but that’s about as complex as it gets.

5. No Artwork Necessary

If you use Stahls’ pre-cut heat press letters and numbers to add names and numbers to shirts, you don’t need artwork. It’s the fastest way to start. (See the video below on how to start using pre-cut numbers and letters.) To add logos or designs, Transfer Express creates custom heat press transfers for you without artwork. They have a template system. Choose from thousands of templates and customize online with the EasyView Designer. It’s so simple and the results are so professional. You select the colors and tell them what type of shirt you’re printing on. In just a few days, ready to apply heat press transfers arrive at your door. There is even same day shipping on one color designs.

6. Easy to Grow 

For the cost of a heat press and some supplies, you can offer a wide variety of products to customers in an equally wide variety of niche markets — add names to team uniforms for the sports market, create spirit wear for high schools, T-shirts for bands, you name it. And given your investment is so minimal, at least relative to other types of high-dollar business investments, you can dabble in different markets and in different product lineups to see which ones work best for you. If it turns out sports arena isn’t your game but you’re perfectly suited for the corporate apparel market, easily shift directions without wasting any of your investment.

7. Fast Return on Investment

What is the average ROI for heat press equipment? I can’t make any promises because every region is different when it comes to pricing, and every business has their own associated costs. Also, it depends on what you’ve invested. But a good rule of thumb when pricing items you’ve decorated is to double your costs to establish your selling price. Let’s look at a t-shirt with a team logo and a player number. Using custom transfers and transfer numbers, the costs for creating a shirt could be approximately $5.00, including the cost of the basic cotton t-shirt. Throw in about $2.00 to cover labor, giving you a cost of $7.00 per shirt, but you can charge as much as the market will bear. Depending on what you charge your customers will determine the speed of your return on investment. For more information on how to price your decorated apparel, download this free retail price list guide.

8. Print on Anything

How many different materials and products can you personalize with heat transfers?

The list is too lengthy to print here. You can surely take care of all the most popular items, such as t-shirts, golf shirts and sweatshirts. But with a heat press and the right heat transfers, you can also imprint nylon jackets, nylon bags, performance wear, canvas bags, caps, CD cases, and much more. There are special heat presses designed for printing on caps and headwear. Stahls’ heat presses come with interchangeable platens so you can print small items, legs, sleeves, baby clothes, you name it.

9. There’s a Heat Transfer for Any Type of Look

Again, the list is long, but the most commonly used heat transfers include: Pre-cut heat transfer letters and numbers (available in film, flock, twill, felt, and more), heat transfer embroidered letters, ink jet transfers, full color digital (Ultracolor) transfers, sublimation transfers, graphics created from heat transfer vinyls (film, flock, reflective, metallics, specialty materials for nylons), screen printed transfers (hot split, cold peel, glitter, and more).

10. The Profit Possibilities are Endless

Millions of garments a year are decorated with Heat Press Transfers. They are used for both short run, on demand situations as well as high volume garment manufacturing. With today’s wide variety of heat press transfers, including low-temp adhesives that don’t scorch sensitive fabrics, you can print on anything. You can make a profit on any quantity, even just one piece. More and more people are recognizing heat press technology as a viable, affordable and profitable business opportunity.

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