In the economy’s tough situation nowadays, people struggle every day to meet every need of each family member. We work hard every day but still, it’s not enough. So in order to support our needs, we find ways to make things possible to achieve. Our needs, wants, desires and dreams are what all of us have in common. Everyone these days, even if they do have a good job, still wanted to have a business. For business is not just a way to wealth but a way to pursue life’s dream and personal fulfilment.
Thinking of what business is good to start with, printing business is one. Printing business is in demand because a lot of people now loves to give a personalized gift to their loved ones, like personalized shirts, pillows, mugs or anything that they want to be more special. Aside to that reason, even of this economy’s tough climate, one thing remains: clothing is still a basic need. And when people buy one, especially the young ones, they always prefer printed ones with good quality and design. But putting up this business is not very easy we need capital, we need money.
In starting up a business, there’s one thing that’s holding us back, lack of money. Banks are always reluctant to lend for start-ups who haven’t proven anything yet. And it’s hard to borrow from friends and relatives when you have nothing to give as collateral. Now, is it possible to start a printing business without money involved? How could this be done? Let me tell you one thing, money is not the only thing we could use as capital, or at least not directly. Our skills and ideas are the most important and the best capital we can invest in a business. Money is nothing without your skills, but skills can manage without money, the best thing is, skills could make you earn your money needed.
Here are Some Suggested Techniques on How you Start T-shirt Printing Business From Scratch
- Keep your current job – When you think of starting up this business, do not jeopardise or drop your family’s future by giving up your job. You can start your printing business while still providing for your families needs.
- Design a business plan – Before you start your business, have a detailed plan first. Plan carefully about how you will run your business. Keep in mind that putting up a business without money is not an easy path, so make sure not to have a wrong start.
Answer this questions as you plan your business:
- How much will it cost you to provide your product? You will start without money but earn the money instead.
- How much charge will you give to your clients? When charging for your profit, make sure you charge only enough not to hurt their pockets.
- In what way your product could compete? Analyse how you would compete fairly with your competitors.
- Who are the people you will be working with? Work with people to whom you can trust enough.
- Who are your competitors? Know them well so you would know how they work.
- Research and test your ideas – Because there’s no money involved here, your ideas on how to start are very important. You might like to consider some suggestions below:
- You can start as a broker or serve as a middle man – Maybe you can find some people/organisation in your place who need some printed custom shirts for a group gathering. Like youth organisation who need a bunch for a sports league, or a church organisation who need custom shirts for a certain event. You can approach them to offer help, you can help them find a good printing shop. But you need to put a small charge or percentage of course. Ask for a down payment, at least half. Buy the shirts and go to the printing shop, have the shirts printed. If the remaining money isn’t enough now, you can ask the printing owner if you can pay your balance after you deliver the shirts and collect all the remaining balance. Be sure to stand your word. After the deliver and collect portion, BOOM! There you have your percentage now.
- Sell a product – Look for things which you think you don’t need anymore but others could still benefit from it.
- Offer a service – Think of something you can do. Like for instance – paint, decorate, programme a computer, etc. Offer a thing that you can do to the people who you think that needs that service.
- Get customers who are willing to pay you upfront – or can be through an instalment method. So your cost is always covered.
- Commission base – Create a new shirt design and negotiate with local printing shop. Ask for a commission in every shirt you sold. But this technique is only advisable during peak seasons like a fiesta – a very good example is during Sinulog Festival. This is a very common strategy for locals here in Cebu. Market your designs in social medias and other connections. Let your partner do the printing and distribution. Make sure to specify that all orders must be picked-up in your printing partner’s shop. You can distribute the items but it’s optional. I suggest to let your partners do the job for your convenience.
- Try On-demand T-shirt Printing Technology – It is a very common strategy in the US, wherein anyone could have an instant online store for their custom t-shirt designs. All they have to do is to design and publish it in the online store, market it to their friends, social media and in and any online possible markets. They have a standard pricing and you can set your own including with your target profit. So if the price of the shirt + print is 15$ you can price it as 20$ and once sold, you get 5$ as a profit. So simple, right? What I like most about this service are: it doesn’t require any capital, no inventory and they will be the one who does the shipment and printing.
“Remember that the money you earn from this techniques is the foundation of your own business, so keep it and save till you earn enough to start your own.”
- Ask for help – Nobody gets their success on their own. Everyone succeeded because, in one way or another, they had asked for help from people they can rely on. So don’t be afraid to try asking, if they won’t, well at least you tried.
- Grow some passion and determination – You need this two for the success of your business. Remember that when you love what you are doing and you have the determination to succeed. You will always find your way out, even how difficult it is to start without money.
Now, as you start your own t-shirt printing business without capital, you will realise that this is a very difficult path to walk. Easy if we start with enough or plenty of reserves. We all can find ways throughout the darkness to achieve. But remember that we can always start crawling on the ground, work hard, learn from mistakes and failures, have perseverance and dedication so we can fly high up in the sky and feel the sweetest success having the business we can proudly call our own sweat and blood.