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Hi my name is Patrina and I design afrocentric/urban tees with an inspirational/affirming message. I am trying to research and find out who would be my competitors(for the purpose of writing my business plan) and it is alot harder than I thought. My shirts have a Christian theme but the designs are definitely urban and afrocentric. So it is difficult in narrowing down my competition, because i'm not sure if they're are any companies that are doing what i'm doing...if anyone has any ideas or suggestions....please write me back ASAP!!!!

Thanx
 

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Hello, competition, and welcome to the forums!:)

I don't think I'm directly related to your products, but I do offer a positive message in my clothing.

My thing is "Motivational and Inspirational Urban Wear"!

Much to success to you.

Anything I can do to help, just let me know.;)

Again, welcome to the forums!:D
 

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I really wouldn't say that your shirt are urban, they are more Afrocentric.

Urban cover underground art and graffiti, graphic art.

I'm not trying to be *****y but shouldn't you have done your business plan and research before you started?

I know that plans evolve and sometimes completely change but for the most part it seems like it should have been one of your first steps.

I do like you shirts but what do you have for us black women that have went to the chemicals?

You could do something like "I love my kinky hair now that it's straight".
 

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I'm not trying to be *****y but shouldn't you have done your business plan and research before you started?
Not all the time :) I never had a business plan, and I did just fine.

Plus, with a place like CafePress, you can get started easily (at low or no cost), and then work on the marketing after your store is up.

Business plans can be very helpful, but I don't think you *have* to have one to succeed.
 

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Rodney said:
Not all the time :) I never had a business plan, and I did just fine.

Plus, with a place like CafePress, you can get started easily (at low or no cost), and then work on the marketing after your store is up.

Business plans can be very helpful, but I don't think you *have* to have one to succeed.
Rodney,

I think you misunderstood what lawaughn was saying. I think she meant that IF you decide that you are going to have a business plan then there are certain steps you take in a particular order -- getting your ducks in a row so to speak. I agree with her. You don't get a site, shirts, etc. and then start preparing a business plan. She wasn't saying that you HAVE to have a business plan.
 

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You don't get a site, shirts, etc. and then start preparing a business plan. She wasn't saying that you HAVE to have a business plan.
You could start doing it that way. The site that was linked was a cafepresss site. I personally don't see anything wrong with starting a cafepress site and then working out the detailed business aspects of it.

No worries though, I was just adding my own opinion in the mix :) I'm sure there's people with more business plan experience that know the process better.
 

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I did mean that she should know her competition and also have her plan first if she choose to have one.

Personally I don't have a written plan but I do know how my company differs from my competition and I make moves based on that.

I really would like to see more designs from Patrina that relate to the rest of the women that have relaxed hair if hair is going to be the focus. Even little children have relaxed hair now. Don't cut yourself off from at least 75% of the market.
 

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patrina22 said:
I am trying to research and find out who would be my competitors(for the purpose of writing my business plan) and it is alot harder than I thought. My shirts have a Christian theme but the designs are definitely urban and afrocentric. So it is difficult in narrowing down my competition, because i'm not sure if they're are any companies that are doing what i'm doing...
If your site is a specific combination of themes, you don't have less competition, you have more competition. If you define your competition as "people who are doing exactly what I'm doing" you're looking at it way too narrowly.

The more themes you add to one design, the more competition you gain, and the more customers you lose. While there is an "ideal customer" for your store, that customer might still end up buying a shirt that's plays to just one of your angles, or a small combination of them, from another store. But you're not going to pickup a customer who is excluded by one of your themes.

This is the entire point of the "lowest common denominator sells" cliche.

Now, that doesn't mean you can't succeed by being more specific and finding that group of customers who feel you make clothing that's better suited to them - but don't forget that your competition is everything they've been buying up until now, and everything they may still buy in future. If there is no-one exactly like you, that means everybody even a little bit like you is your competition.
 

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I started out THINKING I knew my target and my business strategy went that way I Found out my Target was not were I though it was so I had to RESTRATEGIZE I did however keep my store open. (why scrap all that work? it is the internet someone may still buy and the site is all paid for) I then did the same thing (asked a few newbie questions and created a NEW business strategy) I anticipate I will have a few more changes of tack in the future also. Anyway even though my store is not Afro Centric it is uplifting and quirky and I think appeals to a WIDE variety of people SO I am probably your competition (although if you are CafePress then I could be your affiliate :) and maybe even sending you sales for a percentage)
 

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I'm reading an interesting marketing book at the moment, and one of the bits I read just last night addresses this question in an interesting way. It suggests that you ask your customers - or prospects - these questions. Design a survey to give both feedback about your specific products and how you could do better, but also ask the customer who THEY see as the competition.

Solmu is right when he says that the more of a "niche" you're in, the more competition you've got. Anything your prospect may like to buy instead of your designs is your competition - they're only going to spend so many dollars a year on decorated t-shirts and you want to get most of 'em! :D
 

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lawaughn said:
I really would like to see more designs from Patrina that relate to the rest of the women that have relaxed hair if hair is going to be the focus. Even little children have relaxed hair now. Don't cut yourself off from at least 75% of the market.

The focus for my designs is not hair. I created all of the hair designs around the same time and that's just how I was feelin'. When I first made those designs I wasn't thinking about having a t-shirt business I was just doing it for fun, but when I saw that other people actually liked my designs and wanted to buy shirts from me. That's when the lightbulb went off and I started thinking about this whole "t-shirt business" more seriously.;)

I am in the process of creating other designs as we speak...but of course since I did things a lil' backwards I am not adding any new designs to the website until I have everything in order, which is why I originally posted this message to find out information for my business plan. There is so much that I don't know about running a t-shirt business which is why I am on here, to learn, ask questions, network, all that good stuff. I wish I would have found "t-shirt forum" months ago...it would have saved me alot of frustration. But you live and you learn and I'm here now. I appreciate all of the responses I received for my post the other day and I am all ears if anyone has any other advice, comments and suggestions.

Patrina
thanks for the warm welcome everybody:D :) :D
 
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