Screen printing t-shirts | Couple Wealth
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Screen printing is really cool and fun, which is why it makes for a lucrative option for people who want to own and operate their own business. Not only is it fun, but you can make some extra money by selling your creative products.

Based on how much you can invest, you can easily start a single-handed screen printing business. People who want to start their own business but are tight on the budget can start with a single piece of equipment in a small space such as a garage or a basement.

Over time, it is possible to scale larger by adding more pieces of equipment and hiring people to help you.

What is Screen Printing?

Screen printing basically means printing various designs on different types of materials. This can include paper, glass, clothing, wood, plastic, metals, and even Chinaware. Actually, screen printing can print on almost any surface.

One of the most common types of screen printing is for t-shirts. If you have a creative design, you can transfer that from a digital concept to a physical t-shirt. Everyone need shirts, so selling a funny or inspirational t-shirt could be a great way to earn some extra money.

Another idea is to screen print onto coffee mugs. There are plenty of people who drink coffee daily and they would enjoy a unique mug.

Benefits of Screen Printing

One of the benefits of screen printing is that it lasts long and can be durable. Screen prints on t-shirts do not fade away and can last as long as the T-shirt. This makes it a great product to sell since it isn’t hard to produce good-quality t-shirts.

Another benefit is that it does not cost much to start a screen-printing business. With a small investment in a printing machine, you can easily get up and running quickly.

You also do not require too much technical know-how to start a screen printing shop. Even without graphic experience, you can outsource the design to a freelancer and then just screen print them.

What Do I Need to Get Started?

To get started, you will need a computer for designing prints along with some creative and unique graphic ideas. You need the knowledge of design software such as Photoshop or Coral Draw, if you want to do it yourself. However, this is not mandatory as you can outsource the designs or buy the graphics.

If you are not very creative, it is certainly possible to hire a graphic designer to help get you started. Just give them an idea of what you are looking for, and they can create the digital art for you.

Be careful not to infringe on copyright laws, so be sure to design something unique. If you are hiring a graphic designer, make sure they know it must be unique and not include copyrighted material.

You will also need a printing machine to transfer the design to the t-shirt. This can be as simple a small, single shirt printer, or a much larger model.

You also need the skills to operate the printing machine and graphic designing skills. Operating the printing machine and controlling the printing process is not very technical and you can master the process in a day or two.

Finally, you will need the materials to actually print onto. You can print on tote bags, phone covers, cushion, pillow covers etc. and start selling these items online or offline. One of the most lucrative businesses within screen printing is T-shirt printing business, so you’ll need to buy some blank t-shirts.

Things to Know Before Starting a Screen Printing Business

Most of the large businesses that we see today, like Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon, were started in a garage. Therefore, you can start small and grow larger over time. But before you can start your own screen printing business and invest in the equipment, you must know the nuances of this business.

Due to the fact that the screen printing business can be started on a small budget, many wannabe entrepreneurs jump into the screen printing business with little to no knowledge and experience. This might lead to failure.

However, if you too want to start your own business, here are a few tips on how you can start your own home-based screen printing shop and start running in little time.

Finding the Perfect Space

If you want to operate your screen printing business in your home, you will need at least a 20 square feet space to comfortably set-up a small screen printing shop.

It should have enough electrical hookups, water to wash-out screens, and storage space to keep small equipment, products, supplies, and ink. Another thing to think about is making sure you have adequate ventilation.

Find a spot that will be dry and clean because moisture and dust can interfere with the printing and curing process.

Get to Know Your Equipment

You can choose from a myriad of tools and equipment for your screen printing business. Just for printers, there are various types of manual to automated versions. There are a wide range of single print to multiple print setup options.

To determine what’s best for you, you will have to research all the equipment options and consider what makes the most sense. Besides the technology, you have to see if it fits in your space and also your budget.

To get started, you will need:

  • A printing press
  • A t-shirt design software
  • Screens with a variety of mesh counts
  • Various types of ink
  • Cleaning chemicals
  • Dryers and flash units for curing
  • Exposure unit to create screens
  • Drying racks
  • Washout booth
  • Printer to create printing film positives

Learn Your Craft

Before you start taking orders you need to make sure that you can create high-quality prints without flaws that can withstand several cycles of washing.

For that, you have to get familiar with your equipment and work-station. Your first print shouldn’t be for a client. Test it out for yourself and plan to spend some money on test prints. However, you can check out a number of tutorials online to learn the techniques to create your own prints, it’s not that difficult to learn.

While you get better, you have to try out various other equipment and techniques as well. Such as, you can try working on various substrates as well as various types and inks. Plus, you should try inks from various manufacturers and find out which best fits your needs.

Know Your Niche Market

After you are well-versed with your equipment and adept in the screen printing process, it’s time to get to know your customers and your niche market.

Many businesses make the mistake of trying to appeal to all customers and basically anyone who will pay for their prints. However, that is generally not the best options in the long term because you are too broad.

In order to create a sustainable business, you need to develop a business that meets the needs and demands of your niche market. Start by figuring out your niche and then making sure there is demand.

For example, you might decide that you want to focus on people who love to go camping. You can then create t-shirt designs that are based around camping and it will be easier to market to that group of people.

Devise a Marketing Plan

The biggest part of starting your business includes creating a strategic marketing plan. You have to create a marketing plan that’s consistent with your niche market and reaches your target audience.

If you are serious about your business, you’ll want to create a brand for your business with a logo, a webpage, and other marketing materials. This will create the desired brand image for your target customers.

It is a good idea to employ both online and traditional marketing channels to build your customer base. Your marketing arsenal should involve social media marketing, partnering with local businesses, and printing sample giveaways. Get creative with how to not only attract new customers but also retain old ones.

Selling Your Products

As mentioned above, you can screen print on almost anything. Thus, with the screen printing business, you can produce poster prints, T-shirts, tote bags, or even mobile phone covers. Once you have your products, it’s time to start selling.

You can set up a brick and mortar shop to sell your products but that can be costly to pay for rent. Another option is to partner with local stores to sell your products on their shelves.

A great way to sell your products is through an online store or by using third party sites like Amazon, Zazzle, Etsy, or eBay. You can then sell either directly from your online shop or through your own website.

Selling direct can be difficult, especially when you are new. The key is to not give up and keep selling!

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