We’ve created a detailed step-by-step guide to walk you through all the important steps of starting your own clothing line business.
This guide is specifically designed for entrepreneurs who want to start their business in the print on demand industry.
First of, with the right mindset and determination, anyone can do it.
You don’t need a fancy graduate degree to be a successful print on demand seller.
As for any type of business, everyone starts from scratch. What are you waiting for? Let’s get to work.
- Quick SetUp
- Small to Minimal Upfront Investment
- No Inventory
- Low Prices
- High-Quality Printing
- Unlimited Color Options
- Many Clothing & Accessory Options
- Environmentally Friendly (reducing waste)
- No Minimum Orders
Find Your Niche
The most successful print on demand business identifies a problem and works toward fixing the problem, or you can follow what already works.
Pro Tip: Some of the best niches are the ones with high demand, a ton of websites, and a large number of competitors.
Ways To Find Your Niche
Pro Tip: Implement micro marketing strategy that is even more specific than a niche itself. Micro niches are generally found as long tail keywords. Micro niches are more likely to have fewer visitors but they are more likely to be extremely interested in your product(s).
- Appeal to a More Specific Target Group
- Better Google Rankings
- High Conversion Rates
- Effective Email Marketing
Here’s a basic example of a micro niche.
- Triathlon in Colorado
- Triathlon Training Camps in Colorado
- Women Triathlon Camps in Colorado
Write a Business Plan
Never underestimate the power of a business plan. A strong foundation is key to success.
Here are a few reasons why startups fail.
Here are the general basics of an ecommerce business plan.
- Company Summary – a general overview of all requirements and purpose of the business
- Market Analysis – analyze competition and develop target market
- Outline Products – choose products and designs
- Web Plan – include all details of what you plan to use to sell
- Develop Processes – include details of customer acquisition and scaling
- Marketing Strategy – mission, branding, and communication
- Financial Strategy – describe budget, funding requirements, and startup costs
Develop Clothing Brand
Crafting a brand for your new business is essential. With so many clothing brands, you need to differentiate yourself among others.
Brand is your company’s identity, it’s more than just a logo or a slogan, it’s who you are and what you stand for as a business.
- Builds Trust
- Maintains Credibility
- Promotes Recognition
- Generates New Customers
- Supports Marketing
Choosing a Fulfillment Center
A Print On Demand (POD) fulfillment company provides the printing and shipping of products to your customers.
Why would one want to use fulfillment centers? Print on demand fulfillment centers save you time so you can focus your energy on marketing, acquiring new customers, managing the business, and providing exceptional customer service.
Print On Demand Model
- Choose print on demand company
- Create a selling platform
- Upload designs
- Customer makes a purchase, the print on demand company prints the product(s)
- Print on demand company packages & ships the product directly to the customer
- You, as the seller, will pocket the profit margin based on shipping & production costs
Choosing a Selling Platform
CustomCat offers integrations with Shopify, WooCommerce, API, and CSV. Check the details below.
Your Shopify orders are automatically sent to CustomCat to be decorated and fulfilled. Orders are batched into our system every 2 hours.
We decorate the product using the art file uploaded to CustomCat and ship it to your customer in a white labeled package.
CustomCat then automatically updates the customer with tracking information for the order once it ships via Shopify’s API.
Once you have integrated with CustomCat, you can use our software to create amazing products to sell in your WooCommerce store.
The process follows the same steps as if you were selling with Shopify – orders are automatically sent to CustomCat, fulfilled, and shipped directly to your customer.
API for Automated Fulfillment
The major difference between API and Plug and Play Options (Shopify, WooCommerce, Etsy, and more) is customization. With API you make your website or the platform that you use to look the way you want with no limitations.
We suggest marketing and getting sales before considering to use the CustomCat API.
API stands for Application Programming Interface.
APIs are used by software developers and using this solution will require extra programming from your development team.
CustomCat’s API will automate sending orders from your online store or platform to our system without the need for any manual order submission.
Keep in mind that in order to connect to the CustomCat API, you will need to hire a software developer to handle it for you.
*CustomCat will not build your store or integrate the API for you. You don’t need the API to use CustomCat. You can manually submit yours via Order by CVS.
Get started here.
Order By CVS
CSV DocumentOrder By CVS is relatively the same process as API, just a tad different. You as a seller, input the orders manually. CustomCat has you fill out a spreadsheet with the order information. This must be done in order to print your designs.
Create a Design Collection
Whether ecommerce is your next step in your career or a side hustle gig, congrats! You are one step closer to launching your biz. If you’ve chosen CustomCat as the print on demand fulfillment service, you are now ready to start designing products.
Top Selling Products
Before you start the design process, here are a few of the top selling products that you should most definitely add to your list.
Pro Tips For Creating Better T-Shirt Designs
If you plan to design yourself – simplicity and originality is the key.
- Sketch your designs – create multiple variations
- Place the designs on different products & colors
- Create the right format of artwork
- Choose the right printing company
If designing is not your cup of tea, you may want to consider hiring a designer or check out some of these designer communities (Dribble, Behance, and more).
Validate Your Designs
Product validation: test the market to mitigate the risk before pouring your heart and soul into investment and resources.
Get Community Feedback
Get in touch with friends, family, co-workers, former co-workers, mentors, and classmates. Ask for opinions and suggestions.
Interview Target Market
The best way to understand if your products will sell is to talk to the people that the products are actually targeted for.
Post on Social Networks
Use the popular social media networks: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Don’t forget to check out these LinkedIn Groups below.
Use Online Forums
Kickstarter – is a crowdfunding platform for entrepreneurs to test the waters.
Open a Test Store
After you exhausted all the options above, and you have a pretty good idea that your designs will sell, go ahead and set up an online store.
Mocking Up Your Designs
Develop a Marketing Plan
To attract customers, you need to have an online presence. In order to have an online presence, you need to come up with creative ways to build brand awareness.
If you want to know more about how to build a strong presence, check out our blog – read about the TOP 4 ways to promote an online business.
If you are feeling stuck, there are plenty of resources to turn to. Join one of our Facebook groups to get inspired, hear about the latest news, and make new friends.
- CustomCat – Print On Demand Fulfillment
- CustomCat Shopify App
- POD Success Group – WC Fulfillment
- CustomCat WooCommerce App
Scaling with ecommerce store has never been easier when you don’t have to worry about physical space.
Good news! CustomCat ships internationally. If you are interested, visit our FAQs for more information.
We hope this information was helpful and you are now confident to take the plunge into the world of ecommerce. The decision is yours. A new adventure awaits.
What other topics would you like us to cover next? Leave us a line in comments below.