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Discussion Starter #1
Hello again,

I am so nervous yet so excited about trying to get my t-shirt biz started but I find there is so much to do. I spend literally around 2 hours a night on my computer looking at competition, reading about seo, looking for tees in bulk, screen printer information, gathering data related to my field, coming up with designs. It is all very scary and overwhelming especially since I am a newbie starting out. I did not realize that this is a VERY competitive industry. I am so ambitious and I think my creative side speaks volumes therefore I believe I have what it takes to become successful and I don't mind doing the work at all, in fact, that is how I feel I will avoid failure. I just want to know if most people felt the way that I do when they first put the idea of starting a tee biz in motion. I want this to happen so bad and it will but I tell myself everyday don't go too fast, take the time Tiffany and research all that you can and then put together a step-by-step plan for each aspect of my venture. Please tell me I am not crazy or that I am not the only one with anxiety at times at all of the leg work to make sure you start a successful company. :)

Also, has anyone literally sold t-shirts out of their car at any type of outing or event or posted up anywhere and tried to sell them right on the spot? If so, was your traffic good?
 

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Hi Badalou,

I am in the beginning stage. Beginning stage meaning I already have my company name, tax numbers etc. I have 6 designs so far and in process of getting ready to have those screenprinted. Now I am at the stage of research, research and more research on competition, marketing and getting my website up a running and how to run a successful business. I am looking at different avenues to start off with to get my name out there, example: flyers, flea markets, door-to-door and possibly even out of my car!:) I am trying to find the best angle to do that by. My shirts will be screen printed instead of heat transfers so I will have money already tied up in inventory that I will need to move as fast as I can which is why I am asking about all the different avenues. Once I have my website up in running it will get me a better chance of being noticed and I can then direct my marketing efforts directly to my website for business and hope that will help me move inventory faster but until then I am just trying to start somewhere to get my name out there once all my research is done and I my ducks are in a row.:)
 

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wat avenues are u taking for research im only asking because im in the same boat just haven't found the exact place to find out about the competition and the "urban" market ill be servicing
 

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tiffhlove said:
Please tell me I am not crazy or that I am not the only one with anxiety at times at all of the leg work to make sure you start a successful company. :)
I don't think you're crazy. I'm ramping up to be online in July and there is a lot of work yet to be done. My advice is to list everything that you know you need to do, and then start checking off the list. For me, that really makes things more manageable... plus takes the stress out of having to remember everything I need to do which seems overwhelming at times.

If it was easy, everybody would be doing it. :)
 

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Welcome to our world Tiffany!

Just so you know thay you are not alone, I know EXACTLY how you are feeling.

And for your question about selling, I've sold hundreds of shirts right out of the back of my SUV!

Most of the time I was just set-up anywhere, but if I was at the mall and someone asked me where I got the shirt I was wearing, you bet I would take them out to the parking lot and sell them a shirt!

I've also sold many shirts at events. I just did a local high school sports event last week. Just working after my regular day job, I sold about 400 sports-themed shirts.

Stick in there and hang with it. My site isn't up and running yet, and I still feel overwhelmed at times.
 

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I will pop your bubble just a bit. Don't believe that if you build a site, they will come. You do need to get out and show your stuff. I am not crazy about the flea market area as I think they expect dirt cheap pricing. Be a little classy about your business. There are things called trunk sales. You make an appointment with a local clothing store (an independent, as chains will not do this) and ask that you sell your shirts out front or in their store for a day and you split the profits. If the store sees that your shirts are selling then you may have a client to move your product. Ok, here is another idea for all of you. I was Chief of canteen Service for the VA Hospital in Los Angeles for 10 years. I had one of the largest retail operations in the country. Every day in my cafeteria I had a vendor from the outside selling. Now right away you people are thinking "Patients" Nope staff. Over 4000 employees in LA. What I collected was 20% of their sales and I made sure they had receipts. Now I am getting ready to do it. There are hospitals in your area and they often let outside vendors come in and even large companies. They often collect funds for employee functions. Okay another $5.00 buck
 

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Comin'OutSwingin said:
if I was at the mall and someone asked me where I got the shirt I was wearing, you bet I would take them out to the parking lot and sell them a shirt!
Just curious - has that ever happened? I can't imagine going up to someone and saying "nice shirt". About the only strangers who have commented on my clothes are retail staff - who are not necessarily sincere, and not in a position to come out to the car park and buy a shirt. Just wondering if this is one of those 'each of us lives in a different world' kind of things, or you're just hopeful it will happen one day :)
 

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I can't imagine going up to someone and saying "nice shirt"
I think it happens a lot with slogan t-shirts (although it did happen one time with the threadless "downpour" t-shirt which isn't a slogan tee).

I've had it happen more times than you can imagine. Perfect strangers coming up to talk about my t-shirt, ask me where I got it, tell me a story.

But I agree, I don't think I would ever stop someone and ask them where they got their t-shirt either....and I loooove t-shirts. I'd probably just try to google it when I got home.
 

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I've been approached many times about a shirt I'm wearing.

But maybe they were just trying to pick me up...
 

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I've got a shirt that says "Slacker" but it looks like the Snickers candy bar logo that I get comments on. Just last week some guy at the gas station on base said, nice shirt, I need two of those for my sons...

I wish I had come up with the idea, I coulda made a sale. :)

All that being said, though, I don't ever go up to people and ask where they got their shirt.
 

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Solmu said:
Just curious - has that ever happened? I can't imagine going up to someone and saying "nice shirt". About the only strangers who have commented on my clothes are retail staff - who are not necessarily sincere, and not in a position to come out to the car park and buy a shirt. Just wondering if this is one of those 'each of us lives in a different world' kind of things, or you're just hopeful it will happen one day :)
That happens to me all the time. Also I don't go to the mall much at all, but on average I would say somewhere between 6-7 people/month come up to me when I'm out in public to ask about one of my shirts that I'm wearing.

I've probably sold 20 shirts since late last year this way.
 

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I can see that happening if you are wearing the tee in the right place at the right time.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hello,

I plan on starting out with about 50 to 100 per design. With screen printing the more you order the lower your cost so I at least shoot for 50-100. However, with that said that means my money is tied up in inventory so I have to get my product out there to move as fast as I can. :) What about you?
 

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i have decided to try 2 or 3 designs first... about 50 each...
i am worried too abt getting it out (selling it)...
hvnt really work out a plan yet.

screen printing is cheaper if print more?but will it be a good print? i dont really know...
 

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eightonecube said:
i have decided to try 2 or 3 designs first... about 50 each...
i am worried too abt getting it out (selling it)...
hvnt really work out a plan yet.

screen printing is cheaper if print more?but will it be a good print? i dont really know...
I went and looked at the work from the printer I plan to use so I would know what my shirts might look like or at least the quality of the screen print.
 

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eightonecube said:
screen printing is cheaper if print more?but will it be a good print? i dont really know...
Screen printing should give you a good result, but obviously that is going to depend on the individual printer you contract to do the print run for you.

Most printers will charge on a sliding scale where the more you order the cheaper it is (though some printers have a flat rate regardless of quantity, this is rare). The quantity you order should not have any affect on the quality, as all jobs should be treated equally regardless of the order size (that's part of the point of a sliding price scale - a small customer is profitable because they pay more per shirt, and a large customer is profitable because high volume means a lot of money... granted they won't be equal in the printer's mind, but a professional will do the best job they can on both orders).
 
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