Do you ever see print tees with a snarky phrase and think, “I’m funnier than that?” Sure you do. Why not? You and your friends have come up with a million different bits of funny word play. Or maybe you’re an artist bent on parody or funny juxtaposition. Maybe you just have a taste for the raunchy side of apparel. Whatever the case, don’t give those ideas to some novelty t-shirt site to exploit, and certainly don’t let your ideas disappear into the ether. Turn your snark into a side hustle. Here’s how: 

 

Step 1: Determine a budget

 

First thing is first: what is your budget? You are going to need seed money to buy your first round of t-shirts. Figure out how much you have invested in each t-shirt, and mark them up to make a profit, usually in the ballpark of 50%, but it depends on your situation. The lower you can suppress costs, the more profit you’ll make. If you shirt costs an arm and a leg, you won’t sell many no matter how good it is. 

 

Step 2: Order smart

 

When you order, make sure to order wisely to get the most bang for your buck, and as a result, profit. Do a little reattach and see what size spread (the number of small, large, extra large, etc.) would be best for your target audience. You will come across the dilemma of order quantities. On one hand, you don’t want to commit to too many shirts before you know if they’ll sell. On the other, you will get lower rates with larger orders, and as a result, can offer your shirts for less, making them easier to move while maintaining your profit margin. 

 

Step 3: Start small

 

Once you have your first wave of shirts, hit the streets, figuratively and literally. Get a table at your local flea market. If you have a niche t-shirts, for something like zombies, find a convention or gathering of like-minded genre fans to show your shirts. Use social media to build a buzz for your products and grow your brand, with the ultimate end goal of…

 

Step 4: Grow your reach

 

…growing your reach and expanding to web commerce. Once you get the cash flow going, resist the urge to pocket it or spend it on personal items right away. Use that money to order more inventory, to grow your catalog of styles, and to open an eCommerce store. You can use social media and targeted web marketing campaigns to drive sales, and who knows, you make take your side hustle and transform it into your new day job. 


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