T-Shirt Business Plan Template & Guide [Updated 2022]

T-Shirt Business Plan Template

Written by Dave Lavinsky

T-Shirt Business Plan Template

Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 5,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their t-shirt businesses.

Get our t-shirt business plan template and step-by-step instructions to quickly and easily create your business plan below.

How to Write a T-Shirt Company Business Plan

Use the links below to learn more about each key component of a business plan and what to include in each section of your plan:

T-Shirt Business Plan FAQs

You can download our t-shirt business plan PDF template here. This is a business plan template you can use in PDF format.

A business plan provides a snapshot of your t-shirt business as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategy for reaching them. It also includes market research to support your plans.

If you’re looking to start a t-shirt business or grow your existing t-shirt business you need a business plan. A business plan will help you raise funding, if needed, and plan out the growth of your t-shirt business in order to improve your chances of success. Your t-shirt business plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your company grows and changes.

With regards to funding, the main sources of funding for a t-shirt business are personal savings, credit cards, bank loans and angel investors. With regards to bank loans, banks will want to review your business plan and gain confidence that you will be able to repay your loan and interest. To acquire this confidence, the loan officer will not only want to confirm that your financials are reasonable. But they will want to see a professional plan. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate a business.

Angel investors might also fund a t-shirt business. Angel investors are wealthy individuals who will write you a check. They will either take equity in return for their funding, or, like a bank, they will give you a loan. Venture capitalists will not fund a t-shirt business. 

create t-shirt designIn order to determine which t-shirt business is best for you, you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are my passions?
  • What do I enjoy doing?
  • Do I have funny slogans to share?
  • Who do I want to serve?
  • How will what I'm doing help someone else?

If you don't have a specific passion, then consider starting a t-shirt business that is related to your current job or another business that you have been thinking of starting.

Your goals for starting a t-shirt company will depend on what your long-term plans are for the company. A successful t-shirt company should always have its next steps planned out so that it is achieving its short-term goals while also working toward its long-term targets.

Before starting a t-shirt company, you should have a solid idea of what kind of t-shirt designs you would like to sell. Then determine whether there is demand in the market for your product. You can conduct this research by speaking with potential customers or reviewing existing online stores selling similar products.

A t-shirt company will typically have some combination of the following goals. These include:

  • Increase revenue
  • Grow market share by acquiring new customers or increasing customer spending
  • Reduce overhead costs
  • Improve gross margin
  • Decrease operating expenses
  • Achieve profitability
  • Grow employment, expand capacity to fulfill orders, and/or increase output

In addition to these goals, a t-shirt company wants to maintain cash flow. The cash flow from the t-shirt company will help it continue operations and grow.

When creating your business plan, include all aspects of how you will operate your t-shirt business. At the minimum, include information on how much money it will cost to start your company, what equipment you'll need to get started, and how many shirts you'll need to sell each month or year in order to become profitable.

Your tshirt business plan should be updated whenever your company experiences significant changes. These might include:

print on demand shirts

  • A change in leadership
  • The introduction of a new product line
  • Changes to manufacturing or distribution methods
  • Changes to products or services offered
  • Changes to pricing structures
  • Changes in cash flow or revenue projections

If this is your first business plan, then it should be updated annually. After your t-shirt business has been operating for one year or more, then the business plan should be updated every two to three years.

Starting a t-shirt business is easier than you might think. You can start your t-shirt business part-time while working another job, or you can quit the job now and work on the t-shirt company full time.

To get started, conduct market research to determine whether there is demand for your t-shirt business idea. You can conduct this research by:

  • Talking to customers and potential customers about their t-shirt needs
  • Asking friends and family members what kind of t-shirts they would buy
  • Surveying your friends and other acquaintances to determine various sizes that should be available
  • Checking existing online t-shirt stores for products similar to yours

You should also create a business plan that has the goals and information of how you will operate your t-shirt company before you get started. You can either create a business plan or use an online template to get the job done.

The two most common methods for t-shirt printing are called screen printing and direct to garment (DTG).

Famous brands of screen printing presses include Gerber, Wohlenberg, Heidelberg, DMLS. You can also rent a screen printing machine or purchase used equipment.

A DTG printer is more expensive than a screen print press, but it has cost savings associated with it. The average price of a DTG printer ranges between $10,000 to $25,000. 

The most important aspect of starting a t-shirt business is ensuring that you have demand for your product. You must be able to sell your t-shirts at a price that you can make a profit on each shirt.

Your other major concern should be selling directly to the customer, rather than through distributors. The more hands between you and the end consumer, the less money you will make per t-shirt sold.

A t-shirt business can make a lot of money if you have the ability to design, market, and sell quality t-shirts. Generally speaking, it's best to start small by selling locally or regionally before expanding your efforts further afield or internationally. Some businesses have grown to be worth millions of dollars by selling t-shirts online, in retail stores, and through sports clubs.

The t-shirt business requires little initial capital to start, although your t-shirt company will need to secure funding before becoming profitable. Depending on the size of your t-shirt business, it could take between one month and several months to break even.