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New to the Business

87 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  gatorhide
My wife and I are interested in starting a home t-shirt printing business. We have come up with a name and registered with the state, etc... Now we are trying to decide which printing technology will best fit our needs, i.e., DTG, screen printing, heat transfer, etc... We realize the costs are pretty high for the initial investment, but so far we are leaning towards the DTG printers because we appreciate having the ability to immediately produce detailed high quality multi-color prints with the DTG process (with some practice of course). Over the next week or so, we plan to purchase the necessary equipment and begin our small business journey. I guess what is so troubling is that there are so many different opinions out there regarding brands of DTG printers. No single DTG printer appears to be free from the troubles related to consistent quality, operating and maintenance costs, and associated customer service support. Financially, we are considering the $15K and under range for the printer.
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My 2 cents advice is now cash is the king, unless you are good at manufacturing, you should buy from some guys around you and if you have sales and cash, I think you can make the same margin as you make it yourself.

For anyone who think they have some really good t-shirt, I would like to buy from you and sell them in China. I know the market is changing, now many of the Chinese will become the consumer (buyer) and not the seller as below. For someone who believe the same, send me an PM.

I think that your choice is more dependant on your market and your sales method. If you are going to be at the mall or amusement park selling shirts to people passing by then DTG would be great. If you are in the market of selling shirts in bulk to places like schools or other businesses, than screen printing would be your best bet.

I'd make sure that you are going to be able to print what your market will handle. While DTGs can print multicolor shirts, they don't do very well with printing a 100 shirt order. Best of luck!
As you are new to the business, start off by outsourcing your manufacturing/distribution of your product. And allocate a certain percentage of your overall funds towards marketing. This will give you time to do more research on the type of equipment you want to purchase or finance but if it doesn't work out at least you haven't completely drained your resources. In this type of economy you have to act prudent and ensure that you have ample funds for marketing and getting your name out there. Once you have established a name, whether it be online or within your local community, you can use your sales to finance your business.

Additionally, if you can show a profit during your first year of operations it makes your business much easier to finance from both a bank or equity level. Also make sure you allocate a certain amount to pay yourself during the process.
Thanks for the advice! We do have a military installation nearby that could possibly bring in a reasonable flow of unit t-shirt orders, but we are also interested in setting up a website and/or a store on eBay. Honestly, we would love to have a storefront in the mall, but the rental costs for a space in the mall can run from $1,600 - $5,000 per month depending on the season. Another concern for us is the learning curve for old-fashioned screen printing as compared to the DTG print process. For the novice, it would seem that printing designs from a computer imaging program would produce more professional-looking t-shirts faster than if one were depentdent upon the hard-earned skills associated within traditional screen printing. Particularly, I am doubtful of my ability to create professional looking multi-color images without the help of computer imaging software and that makes the DTG printer seem very appealing. However, I anticipated the military t-shirt orders to be in the 25-150 range. Is the practicality of using a DTG printer in such cases defeated due to the profit margin, or more from time constraints? Thanks!
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