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The T-Shirt Academy

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Hack the Market: How to Choose the Perfect Niche for Your T-Shirt Business

In the t-shirt business, like all other businesses, it is very important to define your niche. Niche is your target market or a highly focused, specific type of people that you want to sell your products to. Bear in mind that you cannot sell to everybody. Attempting to do so would just waste your time and make your brand forgettable. First of all, what is a niche? “Teenagers” is not yet a niche because there are so many kinds of teenagers on this planet. That’s still not focused enough. Selling t-shirts to all types of teenagers is very risky because you’d still be shooting at random teenagers. And that’s a total waste of time. However, “female teenagers aged 14-18 who love Nirvana and Doc Martens” is a niche. So is “geeky male teenagers aged 14-18 who prefer reading science books over parties”. Having a niche means you can draw a clear picture of your market. From what they’re wearing, what colors they like, what music they listen to, where they hang out, and the most important of all…what things they’re willing to pay for.

The best time to define your niche is before you even start creating your t-shirt designs so that when you’re done printing your shirts, you’d have a pretty good picture of whom you’re making your t-shirts for. The reason for this is simple: It’s impossible to sell marketable shirts without knowing your market. Try it and it’s damn near impossible! The worst thing could happen if you skip this step is that you’d have hundreds of shirts not selling because you don’t know how, to whom, and where to start selling them! If you don’t identify your niche early on, I guarantee you’ll have a severe case of regret. In trying to figure out what went wrong, you’d be working backwards; tracing your steps, until you realize that what’s missing all along is a defined niche.

I’m sure this is not the first time you read about the importance of finding a niche. It’s like listening to a broken record. Of course you know the importance of finding a niche but the hard part is in actually identifying them! The truth of the matter is, it’s not an easy peasy thing to do but the good news is that it’s not rocket science, either. Here are some steps on how you can choose your perfect niche to help you in your quest.

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Plan and Research Your T-Shirt Business Like the Big Guys

In order for you to become successful in the t-shirt business, you have to do what the big guys are doing: Being totally nuts about t-shirts until they’re on the verge of lunacy! This is not an exaggeration, folks. Starting a t-shirt business is not as easy as 1,2,3. It is as hard as 1 to 1,000. The idea or concept for a t-shirt store is just step 0. When you are planning to actually turn your dream of having a t-shirt business into reality, your first step is planning and research.

You need to be meticulous and obsessive about this step before even diving into creating t-shirt designs. In this step, treat it as if it’s a thesis in college. Before anything, read as many t-shirt business books and listen to as many t-shirt business podcasts as you can because these are the tools that will prepare you for battle. Once you’re confident about your knowledge in the t-shirt business and business management in general, it’s time for the actual nitty-gritty planning and research of your t-shirt business. Some newbies do not obsess in this step and that’s probably the reason why they close even before they reach their first anniversary. If you want to be successful in the t-shirt business, don’t act like a newbie, act (and think) like you’re one of the big guys!

Here are the things the big guys work on before they start their t-shirt business.

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