I'll be brave and try to go through the listBodhiGear said:I am thinking about a t-shirt business and have some questions for everyone...
- How long have you been in business?
10 years next year.
- What portion of your day/week/month do you spend on your business (in other words, is this your primary source of income, a hobby or are you striving to make this your primary source of income)?
It is my primary source of income since about 3 years ago. Before then, I either worked full time and went to school full time and did the internet business full time (yep, all 3 is a lot of "full times" ) or I worked full time and did the internet business full time (40 hours+ a week at both).
- How do you market your shirts -- face-to-face, over the internet, both, other?
At this point, 100% online with some help from the offline media. However, I'm hoping to do more offline stuff next year.
- To whom do you market your shirts? How do you define and identify your target market?
To anybody that will buy them I mostly use search engine marketing, word of mouth, viral marketing, and product branding. I also done an ok job at getting my site(s) noticed by the offline media like newspapers, radio, magazine, tv, etc.
- How do you advertise? What is your most successful form of advertising?
I use my sites for advertising I actually get customers that tell me they found my site at t-shirtcountdown. I also have an affiliate program and I've used Google Adwords/Yahoo Search Marketing. The most successful has been media mentions (free), word of mouth (free), and search engine marketing (free).
- How are you organized -- sole proprietorship, corporation (C or S), partnership?
I'll probably incorporate next year.
- Did you have any business-ownership experience before you started?
- If you are in the US, what do you do about sales tax? How is the collection of sales tax affected if you sell face-to-face vs. over the internet vs. a combination?
Not sure what you mean by this? You should probably talk to your State Board of Equalization if you have questions about how to collect sales tax.
Either way, you have to collect for any customers in your state of business and file/pay taxes either quarterly or once per year. When you get your resale permit, they'll tell you all the details.
- Why did you start your business?
Somebody asked me if they could buy a t-shirt before I had one made.
- How much money did you have set aside when you started?
- What is/was your breakeven point -- how many shirts did you have to sell before you started to make a profit?
My first batch of 25 shirts.
- What else do I need to know?
Good luck with your business!