How to start a t-shirt printing business at home?

Have you ever dreamed of starting your own business, working on your own schedule and most of all choosing when to take your vacations? Do you love t-shirts? Do you enjoy customizing your clothes?

Well, good news! In this guide, I will explain to you how to start a t-shirt printing business at home.

Create a business plan

You might ask yourself this: I thought that this article is about how to start a t-shirt printing business at home? Not about some business paperwork! Believe me, this is one of the most important steps to determine your success.

You need to identify the people you will be targeting by selecting the regions, ages, sexes and also their capital. If you are living in the US, you will definitely not target people in Indonesia.

Buying from a local store will be much cheaper and perhaps of better quality too. At this phase, you might put in place your marketing strategy. The easiest way to get potential customers is to ask your friends on social networks to share your brand’s page.

You can also start an online survey to ask people about what they would love to buy. According to the results, you can decide on your market.

Eventually, simulate the sales depending on your market search to have an idea of the profitability of your market. Put also into place worst case scenarios. For this step, you can ask for personal advice from people you know. You can ask for people who succeeded and ask them how they started.

Steps to create a business plan

Check your finances

This step is normally included in the business plan. However, I prefer to put it into a sperate section to emphasize on its steps.

Once this step is done, you need to check your financial situation. I personally recommend avoiding getting in debt to start your business. Depending on your budget, you can identify the machines, the garnishments you will be able to buy.

Eventually, adjust your business plan according to your finances. Again, there is no need to go in debt to start. With 500$, you have plenty to start a small unit.

Required equipments

Now, it is time to present you the hardware you will need. You are a step closer to know how to start your t-shirt business!

You might have guessed it, for a t-shirt business you will, of course, need a heat press machine. This will be one of the backbones of your business.

In my opinion, it is a good way to start by standard machine without too many options to learn how to use it. This is also a safe way to validate your market concept. Since this will be your dream home business, be careful where to put and use your heat press machine.

It can reach high temperatures. Without proper precautions, severe burns and injuries can happen. So, keep it out of the reach of children. When you buy a heat press machine, be sure to take one with good customers reviews, most importantly good customer support and clear user manuals. I can’t emphasize enough on customer support and user manuals.

Alongside your heat press machine, you will need to buy heat transfer sheets, this is one of the must-have raw materials for your business. Since the quality of the prints will highly depend on it, I recommend selecting a high-quality transfer paper.

Missing a print means wasting not only a transfer paper but also a t-shirt which is also one of your main raw materials. Selecting the t-shirts fabric will highly depend on the outcome of your business plan. If you want to provide high qualities garnishments, the t-shirts have to be of high quality.

The last element for your business is a printer. Since you will be printing your designs on the heat transfer sheets, I advise you to go for a good quality printer either ink based or a laser one. Don’t go cheap especially on this one!

Finally, you will need to have a collection of images to print on your t-shirts. You can contact some freelancers online and pay them for some cool designs.

Selling your products

Now that I talked about everything it is time to know how to sell.

Well, good news people! With the globalization and expansion of e-commerce websites, it became so easy now to create and sell your goods online.

There are many choices such as Shopify, eBay, and Alibaba. Essentially several criterions are critical for making a good choice. First, you need to check the stock size with which you will start to make a profit and the plans the platform offers you.

Second, check the payment possibilities for your customers. Don’t forget to check the fees of the platform and the payment plans, if it is a monthly payment or a percentage for each sale you make.

You don’t want to end up giving all your profit to the e-commerce platform for a long time. Another strategy in the short term consists of building a website alongside your t-shirts brand.

Customers will come from the e-commerce platform and from eventually Google searches. Eventually, this can be helpful if you decide one day to switch from a platform to another.

In the meantime, your website will keep generating sales even though they are not as important as the ones from the e-commerce website.

Selling your T-shirts online

General advices

You might ask your self I know everything about how to start a t-shirt printing business at home.

In practice, I advise you to start really small, buy good materials but not the best ones. Again, as I said earlier, there is no need to go in debt to start your business. Also, there is no need to leave your job to start your business.

You might want to try to validate your business plan during your week-ends, see how everything comes together. Most of all, you may by the end of the day hate what you are doing. Let’s hope not.


Hopefully, through this article, you are starting to understand how to start a t-shirt printing business at home.

To summarize, you need to create a business plan, find suitable hardware for your budget and finally, find a platform to sell on.

If you want to see our best selection for heat press machines destined for small business, then click here!

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