Custom Printed T-Shirts Business Plan

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Your T-Shirt!

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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