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Discussion Starter #1
The ones I find most true for the t-shirt business surprisingly aren't #1 or #2, but #3, #6 and #7.

#3 could translate to "I showed all my friends and they said they would buy my t-shirt". That does not equal market demand for your product.

#6 could be translated to "I put my designs up a month ago, but I haven't sold anything yet". I think this really should be the number 1 reason. There really should be MANY more posts in the T-Shirt Marketing forum ;) Unless we're all selling 100's of tees per month.



1. Inadequate planning of the business

2. Insufficient initial capital for start-up period and development stages due to inadequate planning

3. Mistaken estimate of market demand for product or service

4. Lack of management ability

5. Failure to select and use appropriate outside professional advisors

6. Inability to market product or services effectively

7. Over dependence on a single individual or on a predicted specific event

8. Failure to understand capital requirements of a growing business

9. Poor timing of expenditures due to poor planning

10. Expedient rather than reasoneddecision-making
(Source: Terry Collison Partner Blue Rock Capital VC's - © 1993 COPYRIGHT BY TERRY COLLISON)
 

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Rodney are you saying that if you don't sell shirts online your first month you're gonna fail? I'm new at this but to me it seems like the first month is mostly for marketting and getting your name known rather than selling shirts.

Or are you saying that people don't take the steps to improve and market their site and then that leads to failure?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Or are you saying that people don't take the steps to improve and market their site and then that leads to failure?
Yep, that's exactly what I meant by my translation of #6.

I'm new at this but to me it seems like the first month is mostly for marketting and getting your name known rather than selling shirts.
Then you're already ahead of the game :) Some think that they should be selling 100 t-shirts their first month just because they put a cool website up.

Traffic and customers have to come from somewhere. It takes time, and more importantly marketing effort and work to get customers to your website.
 

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1 month? I was figuring that 6 months would be a reasonable length of time to get the word out via whatever marketing efforts I can figure out.

It would be interesting to hear some of you old-timers discuss the amount of weeks/months it took you from initial startup to legitimate, consistent selling figures.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
1 month? I was figuring that 6 months would be a reasonable length of time to get the word out via whatever marketing efforts I can figure out.
You're right about 6 months. My point with the "1 month" example is that some people also have unrealistic expectations on the timeframe. I've seen people that were truly concerned when they hadn't made a sale in after they launched a month before.

Unless you did a super media blitz, ad campaign at launch, then I would say 6 months is a more reasonable timeframe to expect results.

But again, you can only expect those results in 6 months IF you have done your promotion/marketing homework.

Basically, you can't just put up a pretty website, tell some friends and wait 6 months wondering where the customers are. You have to constantly market and promote your business.
 

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I agree - six months at least.

I was off to a slow start with my first CafePress store - being too busy with a little thing called cancer (I'm okay now!).

What really got me going was the 2004 election - folks liked my campaign merch and bought plenty of it. Sales have been growing since.

Important to note: I've known a number of very good artists who've opened up CafePress stores. Their graphics are great - they've got the goods. But, then they sit back and wonder why the money isn't rolling in. And right away. Then they become discouraged and give up on their stores.

It's very similar to those who build websites, then sit back and wonder why they don't have more traffic.

Yet another analogy and your moment of Zen: It's like planting a rose bush. If you don't keep watering it, making sure it has enough sun and fertilizer, and otherwise tending to it day after day, week after week, and so on... the thing's going to dry up and die. Simply planting the rose bush is not enough.

chm
 

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# 6 and #7 are dead on. In my last online business I depended way too much on 2 specific people. I figured theyd keep buying forever and at the same rate if not more. Boy was I wrong. And as for #7 if you dont market preoperly you will go no where.
 

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I actually agree more with the original list, which puts the top three reasons as "Inadequate planning of the business".

So much of the rest of the list just comes back to that one.
 

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I think the biggest one is: Person is not suited to being a business person, for a whole slew of reasons.

I think most first time business fail because 70% are not suited to it. Just as a big chunk of college dropouts should never have started in the first place (or swap "college" for 'marathon runner", "parent", "rock star").

Some people are just not good at certain things. Not everything is learnable...you have that spark in that random area, or you don't. You can learn French. You can't learn "being sensible", "a sense of humour", kindness" etc......some traits, including innate business skills, cannot be learnt wholecloth. There needs to be the innate personality to suit.
 

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A PS to that previous post: what if your overwhelming interest is design, and you are genuinely good at it? Are there companies etc that take on people just to design Ts?

That probably sounds like a very dumb query to the initiated, but I've come to this path completely unexpectedly, and know zilch at this point. So, I beg the indulgence of the experienced members of the forum.

Incidentally, this forum is invaluable in the help and information it offers. Thanks indeed to those concerned, and to the posters with knowledge and experience who are so willing to share it with people like me.
 

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Ross B said:
Awhat if your overwhelming interest is design, and you are genuinely good at it?
Well then you can just design, submit to threadless/ the french version of threadless/ camisteria and hope you win the cash they give you. Or you can partner with someone who has a pretty new clothing co and divide the work. Other than that, you can always get a crappy 9-5 where you design what they want you to.
 

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If I had to depend on my web site to sell tees I would be sitting here playing poker all day waiting. I use my websites (3) as a back up to show my clients what I have to offer. But first I knock on their doors. There are some successful websites out there that sell tee shirts, but I would bet they have been there a while and have great search indexes
 

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monkeylantern said:
I think the biggest one is: Person is not suited to being a business person, for a whole slew of reasons.

I think most first time business fail because 70% are not suited to it. Just as a big chunk of college dropouts should never have started in the first place (or swap "college" for 'marathon runner", "parent", "rock star").
This statement zero'd in on the single highest truth I've learned in almost 60years....
"Just because you can afford to build a Race Car, Doesnt mean You can Drive it!!"
 
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