If it seems to you like everybody and his brother is selling t-shirts right now, you’re not too far off. T-shirts continue to be big business around the world. Despite so many big and small companies selling them, there always seems to be room in the pool for one more vendor.
There is a good reason for this. Actually, there are several good reasons. Three of them are explained below. They come from Plurawl, a New York boutique brand that creates LatinX t-shirts, hoodies, and artwork promoting authenticity within the LatinX community.
1. The Market Is Strong
Any business is only as successful as the market supporting it. If we can say one thing about t-shirts for sure, it is this: the market is strong. It has been strong never since the first graphic t-shirts were sold back in the 1960s. Just look at your own closet or dresser if you need proof.
Pretty much all of us have at least one or two t-shirts on hand. Some of us have many, many more. There are those among us who never wear anything but t-shirts and jeans. It is a way of life. It all adds up to billions of people who regularly buy t-shirts. That is a huge market.
Another thing to consider in this regard is that there are plenty of specialty markets to get into. A business owner looking to be a bit more targeted doesn’t have to settle for generic graphic t-shirts. He can go the cultural authenticity route, like Plurawl. He could also get in to the music scene, pro sports, pop culture, politics, etc. Even film and TV franchises have their own distinct followings
2. They Are Easy to Produce
In addition to needing a strong market, entrepreneurs also need to be able to produce their products as cheaply and easily as possible. T-shirts tick both boxes. Assuming a business owner does not want to pay for costly third-party printing, he buys plain t-shirts in bulk and then prints them himself. Doing so requires an investment in printing equipment, but the equipment pays for itself in short order.
There are multiple ways to print t-shirts:
- Inkjet and laser printing
- Vinyl heat transfer
- Dye sublimation
- Screen printing (silk screening).
Embroidery is also an option, but very few companies embroider t-shirts. Embroidery is generally reserved for golf shirts, polo shirts, bowling shirts, etc.
3. The Margin Is Great
Finally, let us talk about margin. Business owners understand that margin represents the percentage of total revenues that equals profit. This is best explained with an illustration.
If you started a company that earned $100 on its first day of operation, your total revenue for the day would be that amount. Now, let us say all your costs for the day added up to $75. Your profit would be $25. That works out to one-quarter of your total revenue, or 25%. That is your margin.
The margin on t-shirts is usually very attractive. They can be produced inexpensively and sold for quite a bit more than the business owner spends. As such, higher margins translate into higher profits. The higher a company’s margin, the more worthwhile it is to keep doing business.
The long and short of it is this: everybody and his brother now seems to be selling t-shirts because there is plenty of opportunity to do so. And where there is opportunity, there is money to be made. That is the bottom line. Anyone thinking of starting a small business could do a lot worse than selling t-shirts, that’s for sure.