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Clothing & Fashion Design icon Custom Printed T-Shirts Business Plan

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Your T-Shirt!

Executive Summary

Opportunity

Problem

Imagine the ability to create a totally custom shirt. You choose the material and style of the shirt, and then the image or graphic you want on the front and/or back. This is the ultimate form of expression. There are no limits to what you can communicate. Some people might show their fanaticism for a particular sports team, others a musician. Or you might have a social message or cause on your shirt. Whatever you may decide, you can print any image on your shirt. 

Solution

Your T-Shirt! is an exciting new business that allows people to custom design a shirt (specifically the design on the front or back) any way that they would like. By intelligently leveraging cutting edge technology, Your T-Shirt! will harness the power of computer sublimation to allow custom shirt printing in production runs as small as one unit.

Market

Your T-Shirt! has segmented the market into two groups, organized by the type of product that they purchase. The first group is customers that desire an already created graphic image to be placed on the their shirt. The second group are those that prefer custom artwork to be placed on their shirt. Your T-Shirt! has decided to divide the market by the products that they purchase because it offers an intuitive, easy method of targeting the two different groups. An additional reason for segmenting the market based on the two products is because the demographics for the buyers of the two products are distinct enough to group them separately.

Competition

Your T-Shirt! has identified three competitors, two are local companies, the third is an Internet-based shirt designer.

  • T-shirt World — This local competitor specializes in silk-screening. 70% of their business is silk-screening with the remaining 30% sublimation. They require a minimum order of 10 with a 2-3 week lead time. This company only uses pre-existing designs for their silk-screening and for sublimations you must use their artist.
  • Shirt Shack — This local retailer is geared toward organizations or teams with production runs of 20 or more. They do fairly good work but are rigid regarding custom work.
  • Design House — This is an Internet-based retailer that primarily offers computer sublimations. Design House has a catalog of approximately 200 images for the customer to choose from. They do allow customers to use their own graphic. The quality of the sublimations is mediocre at best because they can only use off the shelf technology.

Why Us?

Our mission is to offer the finest in custom shirt sublimation production. We will offer customers the best product at the best price. Customer’s expectations will always be exceeded.

Expectations

Forecast

We are going to grow our business to start making a modest profit in year 3. Our name will become synonymous with high quality fashion forward T-Shirts. Everyone will come to us when they want to wear something custom made. We will be able to pay off friends and family by year 5. 

Financial Highlights by Year

Chart visualizing the data for Financial Highlights by Year

Financing Needed

We will be getting a total of $84,500. David will be contributing $19,500 of his own money. We have a loan of $65,000 which will be fully paid by year 5. We will make a small profit starting year 3 and will consider taking on more staff by year 4 or 5 after we pay off the loan completely. 

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Opportunity

Problem & Solution

Problem Worth Solving

Imagine the ability to create a totally custom shirt. You choose the material and style of the shirt, and then the image or graphic you want on the front and/or back. This is the ultimate form of expression. There are no limits to what you can communicate. Some people might show their fanaticism for a particular sports team, others a musician. Or you might have a social message or cause on your shirt. Whatever you may decide, you can print any image on your shirt. 

Our Solution

Your T-Shirt! is an exciting new business that allows people to custom design a shirt (specifically the design on the front or back) any way that they would like. By intelligently leveraging cutting edge technology, Your T-Shirt! will harness the power of computer sublimation to allow custom shirt printing in production runs as small as one unit.

Target Market

Market Size & Segments

Market Segmentation

Your T-Shirt! has segmented their market into two distinct groups. As mentioned previously, the two segments are grouped by the type of product they chose. Although Your T-Shirt! is dividing the market by product type, it is effectively dividing the market by age as well since the customers who purchase the custom artwork shirts tend to be older than the group preferring the ready-made graphics. While this is not a hard and fast rule, it is a fairly accurate generalization.

Graphics — This is group purchases a shirt and has an existing graphic placed on the shirt. This is the less expensive option and lends itself to low production numbers, as low as one, since there is not the inherent expense of artwork creation.

  • Ages 14-25
  • 69% are students
  • Median individual income is $26,000
  • Go out to eat 3.4 times a week
  • Listen to 3.6 hours of music a week

Artwork — This segment prefers having custom artwork created and placed on their shirt. They generally have the image or style in mind and will direct the artist to create it. Occassionally when the customer will not have an exact image in mind but will rely on the artist’s skills to help shape the work. Some of these customers will use Your T-Shirt!’s partner artist, others will have a friend or other service provider develop the art.

  • Ages 24-43
  • Median individual income is $42,000
  • Go out to eat 2.7 times a week
  • Listen to 3.3 hours of music a week
  • 18% are using the shirt as a form of communication for a cause or a message

4.2 Target Market Segment Strategy

Your T-Shirt! has chosen these two market segments because their demographics (reasonably young) have the highest likelihood of purchasing a custom shirt. Both of these segments are reasonably young. This is important because most of Your T-Shirt!’s products are T-shirts and younger people tend to wear them frequently.

Music is also an important interest for the target markets since both segments listen to and watch more than average amount of music. T-shirts are particularly popular at music events. This phenomenon may be explained in part by the expressive nature of both music and T-shirt graphics. Your T-Shirt! will provide a form of expression, allowing each customer to choose what aesthetic or idea they want to communicate.

Lastly, the business will be located in Seattle which has a young, hip scene. There are many music and other venues that cater to Your T-Shirt!’s demographic and these will be useful in developing awareness of Your T-Shirt!

Competition

Current Alternatives

Your T-Shirt! has identified three competitors, two are local companies, the third is an Internet-based shirt designer.

  • T-shirt World — This local competitor specializes in silk-screening. 70% of their business is silk-screening with the remaining 30% sublimation. They require a minimum order of 10 with a 2-3 week lead time. This company only uses pre-existing designs for their silk-screening and for sublimations you must use their artist.
  • Shirt Shack — This local retailer is geared toward organizations or teams with production runs of 20 or more. They do fairly good work but are rigid regarding custom work.
  • Design House — This is an Internet-based retailer that primarily offers computer sublimations. Design House has a catalog of approximately 200 images for the customer to choose from. They do allow customers to use their own graphic. The quality of the sublimations is mediocre at best because they can only use off the shelf technology.

Another minor source of competition comes from home kits that turn your ink jet printer into a T-shirt making machine. While these kits do offer some competition, the image quality is not good, therefore this will only appeal to children or the home hobbyist, someone not very concerned with image quality. 

Our Advantages

Your T-Shirt! has two advantages that will use to their advantage to achieve market penetration.

  • Large catalog of graphics — Your T-Shirt! is developing several strategic relationships with existing graphics companies that have an extensive images catalogs. It would be difficult and expensive for Your T-Shirt! to create their own library of graphics but by developing relationships with companies who own existing libraries, Your T-Shirt! is able to offer its customers an expansive array of imagery. Your T-Shirt! pays a royalty for use of these graphics.
  • Quality of the sublimation — Due to its networking contacts at Hewlett-Packard, and the use of prototype technology, Your T-Shirt! will be able to produce sublimations of much higher quality than any of their competitors. This gives Your T-Shirt! a fantastic competitive edge. At some point within the next two years this technology may be available to the public, however because of the close contacts Mr. Inkler shares with HP, Your T-Shirt! will always have cutting edge technology available, well in advance of any public release.

Keys to Success

Keys to Success

Our keys to success is: 

  • Leverage cutting edge technology as a competitive advantage.
  • Exceed customer expectations by offering high quality products at reasonable prices with quick turnaround times.
  • Employ careful financial and accounting analysis to ensure efficiency and proper controls.
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Execution

Marketing & Sales

Marketing Plan

The marketing campaign will seek to increase visibility for Your T-Shirt!, emphasizing the ability of the customer to completely customize their design. Your T-Shirt! will use several different venues to communicate this message.

  • Advertising — Your T-Shirt! will run ads in several teen/young adult magazines whose readership demographics are similar to Your T-Shirt!’s.
  • Youth events — Many different events will be sponsored as a means of increasing visibility. These include but are not limited to music festivals and sporting events along with the new genre of extreme sporting events.
  • Student groups — Your T-Shirt! will attempt to gain awareness of the different student groups who actively purchase shirts for their members. Awareness will be achieved through a combination of sponsorship of student organization events as well as advertisements in magazines that specifically target this demographic. 

Sales Plan

The sales strategy will emphasize the fact that ordering a shirt from Your T-Shirt! is a very easy and pleasing experience. The sales effort will work on the continual development of the website, the main tool used for ordering. It will be quite important to have a friendly, easy to use web interface for two main reasons. One, there are so many choices available that it could become daunting to the customer. The second reason is that a large portion of sales will be placed on the website. It is imperative to make it so easy that people don’t stop part way through ordering due to cumbersome or difficult instructions. The website embraces the philosophy of making the experience so easy and pleasing that the customer comes back to buy more.

Your T-Shirt! will also rely on three other factors to help boost sales. The first is exemplary customer service. Having excellent service will provide the customer with the feeling that the business is looking out for the customer’s interest. Second, when a customer places an order, they will probably be excited to see the finished product, so Your T-Shirt! will ensure the fastest turnaround time possible. Lastly, sales will be boosted by offering customers a high quality product. We will use high grade cotton shirts and state-of-the-art sublimation printing materials.

Operations

Locations & Facilities

We are going to have a small store front with one computer where our customers can put in their own designs. We will have a counter and cash register for those who would like to have help. It will be set up somewhat like a fedex kiosk, most of the work will be done online and offsite at HP. 

Technology

Your T-Shirt! will offer customers a variety of options for creating their own custom shirts. The majority of orders will be for t-shirts, however other style shirts will be available. Your T-Shirt! has developed a strategic relationship with Hewlett-Packard (HP) printer division. We will use their printer sublimation technology that allows a computer image to be applied to a shirt in a high quality, high resolution, economically feasible manner. This technology creates an image durable enough to withstand thousands of washings. Its photo-like quality, due to significantly higher printer resolution than anything on the market, will show off any image. The technology is cost effective enough to offer customers the ability to order just one unit. Most other competitors’ costs prohibit printing custom shirts in one-off production runs. Finally, the customer may choose from an extensive library of existing images, supply their own image, or have an artist create an image for them

Equipment & Tools

The store will have a computer kiosk for customers to access the graphics catalog. The customer can then place the order online or take the information to an employee to place the order.

Milestones & Metrics

Milestones Table

Milestone Due Date
Hire in store employee
Jan 05, 2019
Hire a bookkeeper
Jan 08, 2020
Store Build out
Aug 08, 2020
Website Completion
Nov 22, 2020
Hire a Graphic Designer
Dec 12, 2020

Key Metrics

Our Key Metrics are: 

  1. # of page views and shares on Facebook
  2. # of tweets and retweets on Twitter 
  3. # of Customers in a month
  4. # of higher priced custom t shirts 
  5. # of searches for our websites 
  6. # of customers calling for more info 

 

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Company

Overview

Ownership & Structure

Your T-Shirt! is a start-up organization. It has been formed as a Washington registered L.L.C. by David Inkler. The L.L.C. formation was chosen as a way to minimize personal liability issues for the owner and avoiding the double taxation found in traditional corporations. 

Team

Management Team

Your T-Shirt! will be led by David Inkler and is not his first t-shirt venture. While in college David produced and sold tie-dye shirts. This early business experience gave David valuable insight into the market, the products, and the customer’s needs and desires. Since leaving college David worked in Hewlett-Packard’s printer division, and it was this experience that provided useful business and professional contacts within the shirt sublimation technology industry that he is currently leveraging. After three years in marketing at HP, David went back to school to earn his MBA. David will use his educational skills, his technological business contacts, and his previous shirt industry experience to make Your T-Shirt! profitable. Sales forecasts indicate that Your T-Shirt! will achieve sterling sales for years two and three respectively. Net profit will correspondingly be untarnished.

Personnel Table

2020 2021 2022
Graphic Designer $33,600 $34,272 $34,957
David $31,200 $31,824 $32,460
Bookkeeper (0.67) $31,200 $32,500
In store employee (0.33) $33,600
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Financial Plan

Forecast

Key Assumptions

Our key assumptions are: 

  • There are people with disposable income that will be interested in buying custom t-shirts 
  • People  like wearing shirts that say something as a fashion and personal statement. 
  • Our customers will find us on our website 
  • Our customers will appreciate the convenience of getting t-shirts shipped to their house and will be willing to pay for it. 

Revenue by Month

Chart visualizing the data for Revenue by Month

Expenses by Month

Chart visualizing the data for Expenses by Month

Net Profit (or Loss) by Year

Chart visualizing the data for Net Profit (or Loss) by Year

Financing

Use of Funds

 Your T-Shirt! will incur the following expenses for start up:

  • Two Apple Macintosh computers — These will be high end models and utilize the following software: Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, Macromedia FreeHand, and QuickBooks Pro.
  • HP XX Laser Printer — This is a prototype printer not available to the public.
  • In-store computer kiosk — This allows customers to view options for shirts and existing imagery.
  • Website — This will be used for information disbursement as well as ordering.
  • Shelving display unit — To display assorted graphic images on paper for easier viewing.
  • Broadband Internet connection.
  • Two desk/chair/office supplies sets.
  • Small shirt inventory — Inventory will be kept small to lower overhead. This will be accomplished by using a shirt vendor who is one shipping day away, effectively using a just-in-time (JIT) system for managing inventory. 
  • Heat application unit — To make the sublimation transfer.

Start-up Expenses

Legal $1,200

Stationery etc. $200

Computer equipment $6,200

Office furniture $1,000

Sublimation heat transfer unit $2,000

Wesite development $6,500

TOTAL START-UP EXPENSES $17,100 

Sources of Funds

We will need a total of $84,500. David will give 19,500 of his own money. He secured a loan for $65,000 for the startup expenses. Since we are able to break even by the second year, and make profit on the third year. He will start hiring more staff to up the sales by year 5 after he pays off the loan. 

Statements

Projected Profit & Loss

2020 2021 2022
Gross Margin $84,250 $147,500 $216,000
Operating Expenses
Salaries & Wages $64,800 $97,296 $133,517
Employee Related Expenses $12,960 $19,459 $26,704
Marketing $3,000 $3,000 $3,000
Rent $12,000 $12,000 $12,000
Utilities $3,300 $3,600 $3,600
Insurance $3,000 $3,600 $3,600
Website Server $1,800 $1,800 $1,800
VoIP + Interent $2,400 $2,400 $2,400
Amortization of Other Current Assets $0 $0 $0
Interest Incurred $2,422 $2,023 $1,609
Depreciation and Amortization $996 $996 $996
Gain or Loss from Sale of Assets
Income Taxes $0 $0 $0
Total Expenses $190,928 $293,675 $405,225
Net Profit ($22,428) $1,325 $26,775

Projected Balance Sheet

Starting Balances 2020 2021 2022
Cash $56,400 $18,971 $11,689 $24,982
Accounts Receivable $27,324 $26,550 $38,880
Inventory
Other Current Assets $1,500 $1,500 $1,500 $1,500
Total Current Assets $57,900 $47,795 $39,739 $65,362
Long-Term Assets $9,960 $9,960 $9,960 $9,960
Accumulated Depreciation ($996) ($1,992) ($2,988)
Total Long-Term Assets $9,960 $8,964 $7,968 $6,972
Accounts Payable $536 $21,645 $21,448 $29,896
Income Taxes Payable $0 $0 $0
Sales Taxes Payable $0 $0 $0
Short-Term Debt $9,782 $10,181 $10,595 $11,027
Prepaid Revenue
Total Current Liabilities $10,318 $31,826 $32,043 $40,923
Long-Term Debt $55,218 $45,037 $34,442 $23,415
Long-Term Liabilities $55,218 $45,037 $34,442 $23,415
Paid-In Capital $19,424 $19,424 $19,424 $19,424
Retained Earnings ($17,100) ($17,100) ($39,528) ($38,203)
Earnings ($22,428) $1,325 $26,775

Projected Cash Flow Statement

2020 2021 2022
Net Cash Flow from Operations
Net Profit ($22,428) $1,325 $26,775
Depreciation & Amortization $996 $996 $996
Change in Accounts Receivable ($27,324) $774 ($12,330)
Change in Inventory
Change in Accounts Payable $21,109 ($197) $8,448
Change in Income Tax Payable $0 $0 $0
Change in Sales Tax Payable $0 $0 $0
Change in Prepaid Revenue
Investing & Financing
Assets Purchased or Sold
Investments Received
Dividends & Distributions
Change in Short-Term Debt $399 $415 $432
Change in Long-Term Debt ($10,181) ($10,595) ($11,027)
Cash at Beginning of Period $56,400 $18,971 $11,689
Net Change in Cash ($37,429) ($7,282) $13,294
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