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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hope that's not too personal a question!

My friends and I are looking into selling t-shirts w/a distinctive phrase with some creative marketing.

Ideally (of course!) we'd like to make a lot of money!! (dreams of homes in the South of France, etc.!)

Just wondered if anyone had had great success w/their biz? (inspiration would be great!) Or, if they knew of anyone who had achieved noteworthy success?

Thanks!!
 

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Depends.

We make darn good money. We are printers not pre-print or line sellers. When the presses are running we make a very good amount of money.

That said, you can make a lot or a little. It's up to you. If you have a good business plan and are willing to put in 200% effort.

I have friends that run shops doing 7 figures a year and I have friends only doing 5 figures. It's all what you put into it.

One point I will make. Most shops or people fail in this business. They do so because the do not have clear goals and are not willing to ride out the early bumps. You need to be willing to work hard and have a sound business plan. Write you business plan and set some goals and then go after it. The earning potential is only limited by you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for that input!!

I wonder (of course!) now what differentiates those who've earned 7 figures from those who've earned lesser amounts? :)

We would be doing the design, marketing and mailing of the shirts (& possible other accountraments) but have them made/printed by another party. We're focusing on the catchy phrase we've come up with.
 

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Jolynne Smyth said:
I wonder (of course!) now what differentiates those who've earned 7 figures from those who've earned lesser amounts?
Jolynne Smyth said:


Same as in any business venture... luck, timing, money, business model, product, marketing, PR, operations, financial responsibility, hard work, commitment, knowledge, etc.

 

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About 8 months ago I knew nothing about the t-shirt business. All I had was a concept for my unique WOAT. After 6 months I am only in the 4 figure range but I get great feedback from customers, which is very satisfying. I am doing this part-time and have only used free advertising so far. I really believe this can work but it will just take time, effort and experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Encouraging!!

There are four of us (my friends & I) working together so of course we're envision bigger profits (more to divide!).

Here's hoping for good timing/work & all those other things that make for a success!!

Nice to hear how others are doing!

Btw, I have a 100 lb dog, so I guess I'd better start working hard...!!!
 

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CoolHandLuke said:
Jolynne Smyth said:
I wonder (of course!) now what differentiates those who've earned 7 figures from those who've earned lesser amounts?
Jolynne Smyth said:
Same as in any business venture... luck, timing, money, business model, product, marketing, PR, operations, financial responsibility, hard work, commitment, knowledge, etc.
I will aggree with all but luck. Yes you could be lucky and be in the right place at the right time but for the most part luck has nothing to do with it.

To your list I would add. The total underlying desire to succeed. Willingness to take risk and never giving up. You eat sleep and breath business.
 

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SpacemanFL said:
About 8 months ago I knew nothing about the t-shirt business. All I had was a concept for my unique WOAT. After 6 months I am only in the 4 figure range but I get great feedback from customers, which is very satisfying. I am doing this part-time and have only used free advertising so far. I really believe this can work but it will just take time, effort and experience.
There are so many aspects of this business. If you selling shirts on line then you need to advertise your site and really push it. If you are in the end of the business I am, advertizing has nothing to do with it. In fact we don't advertize. All our business comes from word of mouth. We are good at what we do and the world is finding out about us. News of a good printer travels fast.
 

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Jolynne Smyth said:
Thanks for that input!!

I wonder (of course!) now what differentiates those who've earned 7 figures from those who've earned lesser amounts? :)
Focused goals and a solid business plan. They never waver from the end result. They took risk by investing in expensive equipment when the time was right and then made it pay off.

Just stop and think a minute. With a good product/service and the right equipment and know how. You can pull in some serious cash flow. Say I have a manual press and just a flash to cure. My production rate may only be bringing in $20.00 per hour. Now I add a conveyor dryer and my production rate can go up to $100.00 an hour easy. Now I have drummed up enough customers and biz to deside to make the plunge and buy a $60,000.00 automatic press. Sounds scarry hu? But if I can bring in enough work to keep that press running, I can be looking a $1,000.00 to $3,000.00 per hour coming in. Does not take long to pay the thing off but then again there is the risk involved if I cannot keep it running jobs. Some of these guys I know have several of these presses and more. Their cash flow (not net profit) can be as much as $10,000.00 per hour. If the company is netting 33% profit after expenses, thats $3,300.oo per hour profit. Thats not what you get but what the company makes. Your company should be paying you a wage out of the gross, not the net.
 

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Preston said:
CoolHandLuke said:
Jolynne Smyth said:
I wonder (of course!) now what differentiates those who've earned 7 figures from those who've earned lesser amounts?

I will aggree with all but luck. Yes you could be lucky and be in the right place at the right time but for the most part luck has nothing to do with it.

To your list I would add. The total underlying desire to succeed. Willingness to take risk and never giving up. You eat sleep and breath business.
Luck has everything to do with it my friend. It's just that some people create their own luck.
 

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Preston said:
There are so many aspects of this business. If you selling shirts on line then you need to advertise your site and really push it. If you are in the end of the business I am, advertizing has nothing to do with it. In fact we don't advertize. All our business comes from word of mouth. We are good at what we do and the world is finding out about us. News of a good printer travels fast.
Well… I’m on both ends and to say advertising has nothing to do with generating business would be a little irresponsible, at best. The fact that you’re doing great without advertising is great! I can only imagine what you’re leaving on the table?

However, I don’t by your advertising philosophy for a second, because if that was the case, you wouldn’t have a website, and you surely wouldn’t put your logo on your posts. Isn’t that advertising?
 

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CoolHandLuke said:
However, I don’t by your advertising philosophy for a second, because if that was the case, you wouldn’t have a website, and you surely wouldn’t put your logo on your posts. Isn’t that advertising?
Maybe a little bit, but not necessarily. Is a website an ad? Or is it a store? It depends. It can be one or the other, OR it can be both. If you don't offer and goods or services that are available for purchase through the site, but rather you are promoting goods or services that can only be purchased off-line, then it's an ad. If customers ARE able to buy goods or services through your site then it is a store. If it’s an online store AND you are promoting your brick-and-mortar store on your site, then it is both. Just because you have a brick-and-mortar store, doesn’t mean you are advertising. Same goes for an online store. You can have one and not advertise it at all.



After visiting Preston’s site, however, it is clear that it is strictly an ad and he is definitely advertising.
 

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Comin'OutSwingin said:
After visiting Preston’s site, however, it is clear that it is strictly an ad and he is definitely advertising.
Well, I guess you are right on that one. Our business directly generated off the site is negligible though. We just use it for an info thing and most who visit it are already our customers in one way or another or pointed there by an existing customer.

We have so much business from word of mouth that we hardly have time to turn around as it is so we do not push any other form of of getting our name out. Word of mouth is just the most effect way for us to get new customers. I did a custom print run a month ago for a customer. They had people coming up to them saying where they got that shirt and who printed it for them. That’s where we get our business. We keep them and get more by blowing our customers away with quality and service. That's what sells more than anything else you can do. We are not looking for the one time customer or price shoppers. We want loyal returning customers and everything we do is to insure that happens. A satisfied customer is your best salesman.
 

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I agree completely.:D



I’ll tell a little bit of my story, here. When I moved from selling shirts at events, it was because I had an idea of an urban wear clothing line that I thought was pretty good. So I decided to have a few shirts made with my concept and see what some family and friends thought about the idea. They loved it. But of course you have to kind of take that with a grain of salt, because they aren’t completely objective. I wore them everywhere. People would ask me where I got my shirt from. I'd tell them, and sometimes make a sale or two. I gave some to my family and friends. Then they would have their family and friends asking them about the shirts. They would tell them, and soon they were coming back to me with all of these people that wanted shirts. Before I knew it they turned into my “sales reps”. They were bringing me money from or had me meet with people they worked with, neighbors, friends of theirs, so that I could sell them shirts with my concepts.



I printed the first run of my “concept” in September. Since then, I have sold about 600 shirts of my brand with absolutely no advertising, no website, nothing. Strictly word-of-mouth. Most of those are people that come back to get different designs.



So, yes, Preston I agree with you whole-heartedly. Word-of-mouth is excellent. And the only way it works is with quality products/services and excellent customer service.;)
 

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Well, I guess you are right on that one. Our business directly generated off the site is negligible though. We just use it for an info thing and most who visit it are already our customers in one way or another or pointed there by an existing customer.
By the way Preston (and anyone else reading :)), you can add a link to your site in your signature if you like:
http://www.t-shirtforums.com/profile.php?do=editsignature
 
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