Owning and sustaining a business is a huge part of the “American Dream”. The start is the hardest part.
Standing for what you believe in and applying that to your business model are a great way to start, especially when it comes to apparel creation and aligning with the right people and materials. Shirts and other apparel are a great way to increase your visibility as a company and share you ideas. Unfortunately, an idea by itself will not create anything tangible without positive actions.
The first step after forming the idea to create a product is to create a budget. As a rule of thumb for purchasing… “if you cannot afford it twice, you shouldn’t buy it once”. When it comes to budgeting, think about your audience and what they are likely to afford. Average custom shirts sell for around $25 per shirt MSRP.
The goal of selling a product is to profit or at least break even in the beginning. Our personal expectation is to make around a 30-50% return on your investment to cover operating and marketing costs and further fuel your efforts. Creating a shirt around $15 cost would be the goal for a garment that will sell for upwards of $25. Higher quality shirts can sell for up to $50 and high quality hoodies can sell for upwards of $100. Your budget will dictate how creative your project can get, how many units you can afford to produce, and how technical you can afford to be. Ex. including multiple color prints, multiple locations, multiple designs within your orders.
We recommend that most of our customers think about forecasting for a quarter of a year so they can take advantage of price breaks and save money by not incurring as many setup fees from reorders. I highly recommend budgeting for at least 50 garments per order to take advantage of our first price breaks. Over several sizes (S-XL), this also allows for a healthy size spread. Most of the time, we try to make the size spread reflect a higher percentage of mediums and larges and a lower percentage of smalls and extra larges per order.
After budgeting, you will need to implement your idea with artwork. We have the ability to make your ideas a reality with our in-house graphic artists. Typically, we can have a full conceptual design made within about 3-4 hrs of designing. If you have artwork that just needs to be tweaked, we can typically finish a simpler design in about an hour. We normally charge $85/ hour for full concept art and $35/ hour for recreations. If you have artwork already, it is just a matter of making sure it is print ready. AI (illustrator) or PSD (Photoshop) files are required. Starting simple is most cost effective and I highly stress the value of limiting colors at first. It is important to have something tangible at first that people can touch and see, rather than having a more expensive product that is harder to earn a return on in the beginning of your venture.
Once artwork is submitted, print locations are settled, garments are picked, and quantities are confirmed, we will create digital mockups for your approval. Once the mockups are approved, we require ½ of the cost of your job as a downpayment to hold the shop floor for your job as well as ordering any blanks garments that we source for the job. We will produce your garments based upon the approved digital mockup within 7-10 business days of the downpayment and reach out when the garments are all done.
The rest is truly in your hands, once we complete your project. Most of our customers sustain their businesses by pushing themselves to share their visions with the world. We are simply a way to help you with that vision. With the right metrics in place and a way to connect with your customers, our “Superior” goods should supply the perfect need to your customer.
Running a clothing business, like any business, is a hard thing to do and is not for everyone. For those who take the bold step into the unknown, it is highly enriching. Focusing on creating a need for your garments to be bought and worn is the most important thing to do once you have created your tangible goods. Promotions and target marketing will help you gauge what to do next for your business. Hit the streets and the web and spread your style to the people of the world!
You will never know if you can do until you try. We are here as the ultimate resource to make it as easy as possible for you to build your brand and make it better!