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Last Updated on: 30th March 2024, 08:42 pm

You started all right with your t-shirt printing business with excellent product and print quality. You have managed to sell 35 t-shirts for $350, priced at $10 each. Let’s say you also get considerable orders in bulk and managed to make huge profits. Everything went fine until a customer complains about your inferior quality product and warns others to avoid buying from you. Ultimately, you failed in your custom t-shirt printing business before you could take-off to new heights.

What went wrong?

What happened is that you rushed into production and sales without any research and preparation and committed mistakes that you be aware of beforehand. If you are running a custom t-shirt printing company, you should be mindful of these mistakes and avoid them if you do not want to experience failure.

We will talk about mistakes to avoid while starting a t-shirt business and custom apparel. First, we will talk about the fundamental error which many people usually make. These tips are to know others’ mistakes, so keeping those in mind will help you avoid major issues later on.

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Top Mistakes in Manufacturing:

1. Too Many Rejects:

You can’t help but see a few t-shirts getting rejected during production or after it. Of course, you would love to see it vaporize, but to be honest, you can only reduce to some degree but never get rid of t-shirt rejects. Below are a few ways you can avoid getting frequent rejects.

  1. Probably the easiest way to sell it as at a lower price. This way, instead of completely dumping a t-shirt, you can make some money out of it. You can sell it at a little higher cost if the defects are not that visible. If you printed something wrong, you can either sell it to other customers or ask your client to accept it at a low price.
  2. Sometimes mistakes such as a missing number or missing graphics can be finished by redoing the print on it. Yes, it would take a little more time to finish than it should, but it will save you from the losses you had to incur for it.
  3. The next option is to repair the shirt if it could be done. Oftentimes, print mistakes are minor and can be repaired. You could even apply a second layer of transfer over the mistake to cover it up.
  4. The mistake could also be because of the poor quality of the t-shirt or the fabric, in which case, you can actually return the product and get a new one.
  5. The final option is nothing but to scrap it if the damage is too significant. Even better would be to donate it to a homeless guy.

2. Not Determining Your Production Quantity:

It is especially true for first-timer t-shirt printers, who would overproduce printed t-shirts, Thereby incurring unnecessary losses. It can be avoided by counting your t-shirts beforehand along with the transfers.

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Some may choose to pint extra t-shirts which they can sell somewhere else, but in reality, it stays in the inventory for a long time before getting sold; some even are wasted for no good reason.

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3. Assembly Line:

A lot can go wrong in the assembly line when it’s not well organized. Your items should move from production to shipping with minimal touchpoints between them.

Take orders through a multiple-step process is an inefficient process that leads to a significant waste of time, effort, and resources. It can be easily tackled by starting your day with large orders and moving to small volumes later.

4. Waiting:

Sometimes orders get stuck, and then there’s a long waiting period before it gets delivered to the client. That can be a big waste of time and resources. It could occur for various reasons, such as waiting for supplies, production bottlenecks, waiting for customer’s confirmation, staff shortage, and other reasons.

To reduce the waiting hours for orders, you should plan before the production process.

5. Inventory Management:

Inventory management yet another area where you could be losing your productivity. Almost all big businesses already have inventory management in place; small businesses often overlook it.

If you have an e-commerce store and offer same-day delivery, it’s natural to have some printed t-shirts in the inventory. Still, you would need someone to manage that, or you would either be stacking more than necessary.

Have too many pre-printed t-shirts in the inventory can typically lead to wastage. How much stock you need will depend on the number of orders daily, which you can track during your initial days of business. You can look at your sales history to find the right quantity of inventory you can keep.

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6. Production Process:

What could go wrong in the production process? Well, almost everything! You could either be adding more of what’s not needed and skip what’s required. The rule is you go extra for customers who pay you extra and skip for those who want it cheap. Take a good look at your production process and see if all the steps make sense considering your customer’s budget.

7. Plan your business:

Many people do not have any plans or preparation before starting a brand new company; They take it easy and buys machinery and equipment. Starting a business is not as easy as selling candies. First of all, you decide whether you want to be a sole proprietor or a corporation.

Plan about the whole business, like how you are going to store your product? How will you manage your accounts and billing? From where you will hire your resources? Get some knowledge about the DTG printing business. Learn about your state provision and formalities before starting a custom t-shirt business.

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These are things that are worth your time and money to get someone to consult with you on. A lot of this content is to educate you on the basics of what you need to do.

8. Solitary work can’t benefit you:

In a custom t-shirt business, all the works cannot be done single-handedly. You need to hire resources. There will be many units like production, artwork, administration, billing, sales, marketing, etc. You cannot look after all the units.

Hiring resources will be a significant benefit to keep the company running and be profitable at the same time and someone you know exactly what they’re going to be responsible for.

In a T-shirt business, printing is the part many people take quickly. People buy DTG printers but do not have enough knowledge of creating printing art. The machine does not make the images for you. Hire a freelance designer at the beginning, not a permanent one.

Take trials because designing is the core part that will increase your sales. As you don’t know the customer demand, keep researching what is in trend.

You can find many blog posts telling about a description of all the jobs and business profile, or creating a list for which people do what job! But what they left you can find here.

9. Capital flow:

Cash flow is the biggest thing that causes plaque in your business. Getting orders can be found easy than delivering them. If you are struggling for money from the beginning, and in that case, you get a reasonably sized order, it will cause distress.

For bigger supplies, you should have raw material in stock in a large amount. To run your machines, you need ink, cleaning supplies, cutting, and stitching tools. Always contact those people who can supply you with raw items whenever you need them in an emergency.

As custom apparel businesses are very profitable, many people want to start. Whenever you begin the DGT business, you need to calculate how much money it will need to, begin second, how you’re going to pay your bills for purchases. Do you have enough money in your account to get started? If not, how will you manage or let loan?

With cash flow delivering initial orders can be the biggest challenge. So be prepared to face all. While running the business, you can find other investors you need to build up a referral business. By doing this, you increase the probability of long-term success.

10. The Swing:

Up and downtrend in the business is expected. To make it constant, focus on your sales, production, and marketing. Suppose you go out and make sales calls, and you get a few orders so that you will be engaged for that order. After delivering, you will again start sales calls. While you were engaged, you haven’t made any sales calls.

That will make your income fluctuates. So the sale and production should run simultaneously. Be creative about your marketing. Marketing plays a vital role in increasing your sales.

SEE ALSO:  How to Reduce the Turnaround Time at Your Screen Printing Shop?

Creative marketing will help you to find customers, as they will get attracted. Take a good look at your marketing process and see if all the steps make sense considering your customer’s budget.

11. Salutary Work:

Never false promise your client that you can’t produce. It’s better to under-promise and over-deliver. Never promised the clients by a specific date without knowing if your production team can complete it at the promised time.

Though money-making is essential, you also have to make a relationship with the customer for a lifetime. So to get numbers of customers sometimes, the salesperson takes the order’s advance. If you know, one t-shirt takes 30 days to get delivered, then never make a false promise to deliver it before 30days.

This kind of activity hampers a company’s reputation and lowers your customer, sometimes this kind of situation causes scramble. To deliver on time, you need to work overtime and spending a lot more than you budgeted for shipping. By which you end up not earning any profit off the order.

12. Product Quality:

Good Quality is essential. When People spend their money on your product, they expect a product that is value for their money. Because the only thing the customer cares about the end product. So never cheat your customers, as already said customer relation is for a lifetime, once customer likes your product they will come back to you with more orders.

Even they give other people reference to buy t-shirts for your company. Take a good look at your production process and see if all the steps make sense considering your customer’s budget.

13. Taking Advice:

Always take advice from people who are already in the same business. They can provide you real-time advice from their own experiences. Taking advice from people who don’t know anything about the t-shirt printing business will conflict with your mind and, hence, waste your time.

14. Equipment Management:

Cleaning your machine is important. Even if you have a long day of printing, you should always get time to clean those. If your day ends at 5 pm, stop printing at 4:30., you have the time for your equipment maintenance.

If it’s not done, when you come in the next day, you” ll find dried, hard ink all stuck over mechanical. That is preventative maintenance. By this maintenance of every single day, your machine parts will last as long.


Hoping the above tips can help you get some idea about what not to do while starting a t-shirt business. Keeping these little things in mind, your company will runway long years with profits.

Always be happy to help your customers. If you have any doubts, posts your queries in the comment section below.

Spread the love

Do you have printers? Are those printers sitting idle?

Become a Print-on-Demand dropshipping app like Printful or Printify. Dropship your merchants' orders.

Know more

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