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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Trying to grow a small custom shirt company from a hobby / side hustle to a full time income for our family. Maybe $200k-$250k in sales a year.

We'd be selling custom printed shirts and outsourcing the actual decorating to print shops in town.

We have the basics taken care of -- accounts with wholesalers, company name, batch website, social media, sales tax license, experience in the industry. But we want to take it to the next level. We want to start getting noticed online, we want to start getting calls for quotes from anyone in town looking for shirts. We want to be on page 1 of google.

IF YOU ONLY HAD $500 TO INVEST IN GROWING YOU'RE T-Shirt BUSINESS WHERE WOULD SPEND IT?

Website, SEO, social media, advertising (what forms work best)? Would you try to do it yourself or maybe hire someone like Marketing360?
 

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We'd be selling custom printed shirts and outsourcing the actual decorating to print shops in town.
So you don't offer design services, and you don't do any printing either.
In other words, you just want to be a middleman.
It is possible, but not quick or easy, and you will have to find a way to outsource the artwork as well.
You basically need to offer what regular print shops offer, and compete on one or more of the important factors (artwork, quality, price).

We want to be on page 1 of google.
There are 3 ways to do this:
a) Offer something rare.
If you have "Lunar rocks for sale" for example, you are guaranteed to be on the first page.
This is an extreme example with less than 10 search results, but I'm sure you get the idea.
Basically less competition = easier to be on the first page.
b) Have a lot of content for the target keywords.
This is how smaller sites often rank higher than ebay or Amazon.
The amount of relevant content required is proportional to the competition.
Popular keywords will need more content.
c) Buy ads.
This is self-explanatory.

IF YOU ONLY HAD $500 TO INVEST IN GROWING YOU'RE T-Shirt BUSINESS WHERE WOULD SPEND IT?

Website, SEO, social media, advertising (what forms work best)? Would you try to do it yourself or maybe hire someone like Marketing360?
Giving away good quality samples.
Something people would actually enjoy wearing.
A few shirts given to the right people can return a fortune in sales.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
d to offer what regular print shops offer, and compete on one or more of the important factors (artwork, quality, price).
So over the past 22 years our main customers at the print shop are what we call brokers.
They have contract printing rates with us - we do A LOT of this - like 70% of our business.
They go out and sell to the local shops, businesses, hospitals, schools, etc - they do all the leg work, quotes, ordering garments, etc and then bring the order to us -- we just print it and give it back.

That is the business I want to get into.
I do not want equipment, employees, shop rental, utilities, etc
I just want to work from home. I can offer lower prices than my current big shop because I don't have any overhead, payroll, etc to deal with.
All I need to do is make the sale, direct ship the blanks to the print shop (I work there now), and they get done and handed back to me.
I always thought - wow these guys have got it made - all the profits from the garments and none of the headache of owning a shop, press, ink, etc.

We can offer artwork creation and help -- but we do not have any art experience.
We can outsource that. My current shop does it for free for anyone who prints with us.
And the same artist does side work if I ever wanted to take my printing elsewhere.
 

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So over the past 22 years our main customers at the print shop are what we call brokers.
They have contract printing rates with us - we do A LOT of this - like 70% of our business.
They go out and sell to the local shops, businesses, hospitals, schools, etc - they do all the leg work, quotes, ordering garments, etc and then bring the order to us -- we just print it and give it back.
I know how it works, and I actually do something very similar.
I produce and own the rights to all the artwork though, because that's where most of the money is.
This does not mean I do all the art-work myself. Most of the art-work is outsourced, partially at least, and a lot of the design elements get reused.
I print a lot of garments in my own shop as well, because that way I get to keep all the money, and I have full control of the work.

I can offer lower prices than my current big shop because I don't have any overhead, payroll, etc to deal with.
I always thought - wow these guys have got it made - all the profits from the garments and none of the headache of owning a shop, press, ink, etc.
It may look easy, but it isn't... If it was, everyone would do it.
Printing is time consuming, but not difficult. With a bit of training anyone can print shirts.

The same apply to paper and packaging printing by the way. Most of the jobs come from graphic design agencies which will keep most of the money.
Some agencies are just 1 or 2 people working from home.
 

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Cotton Heritage
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For $500 I would go to Yelp. Start with a $10 a day campaign. Pick the keywords you want like custom t-shirts, screen pritning, etc. Every day log into to see where your searches are going. Block and dispute keywords until your phone starts ringing and you start making sales. Do that for 2 weeks straight. Then you up your daily budget $5 a day until get leads daily. By day 30 you should have made a sale or two. Make sure to offer your most competitive pricing for the first 6 months or so you are only trying to gather reviews.
 

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$500 one time spend, page 1 of google, $250,000 a year while making no products, making NOTHING. Not going to happen. Nor should nature allow it to happen. Consider the following:
Make stuff you will wear, with a clear CTA and wear it where there are lots of eyeballs.
A Tee reading "My hustle is DIFFERANT" will engage an audience. Give them a place to go anonymously.
"I scored, you can too!" Give them a safe place to go to see your reality.
But that means YOU have to do something, make it rain and that seems to be not your style.
SO, give the $500 to others to wear your apparel in high visibility places.
I suggest you count the 'seeing' eyeballs and the number of visits to the landing page.
An 'Ah Ha' moment may lie in your future.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I am not selling a clothing line so this doesn't work.

I am selling custom screen printing for schools, businesses, etc

The $500 is for month #1 -- then whatever money we make will be reinvested into marketing.
We are asking how to use that first $500

-- Maybe on a new website?
-- Maybe on postcards and postage?
-- Maybe on Google Adwords?
-- Maybe on a profesional SEO company to audit the website?
-- Maybe on something else - we don't know.
 

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i'm with Lancer, don't be an abomination to nature
your only selling point is you, every morning wake up look in the mirror and say 'i am a middle man, but i am the friendliest, most customer concerned middle man north, south, east aaaand west of the pecos)

i suggested local tournament prizes, bar-games, local team sponsor, etc., on your other thread

website - no
postcards - $500 won't get you in to too many hands, but a good idea
gloggle - NO (may as well bet it all on black)
seo - no (see above gloggle)
 
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