If you are reading this document it is because you want to work and are excited about your project. Congratulations on the initiative !!

If I am confused and you are here only out of necessity, I advise you not to waste time and value other possible businesses that are more to your liking, for the simple fact that starting a business involves a very large amount of effort, and if it is done "Because there is no other", you are condemned to failure resoundingly, especially since the textile world is not only about selling t-shirts, behind there is a lot of research and work continuously.

I see that you are still reading, I am glad that it is so! Let's go through the first steps:

First Steps

It is not cheap or simple. If starting a business, even if it is an online store, were cheap and simple, everyone would do the same thing, and it is easier to fail than to succeed. Do not think that you can open an online store yourself with the help of your brother-in-law who is a computer scientist and that with your designs printed on T-shirts you will get lined in a few months, since you see more crappy designs on other well-known websites and yours are better .

Read. Plain and simple. We are going through years of crisis that do not bode well for better times, so if you want to sell you have to be better than your competition, and for this you need knowledge. With this knowledge you will avoid making unnecessary expenses, you will reduce costs, you will dedicate your time to what is most profitable and you will be able to offer better services. For that reason I urge you to spend hours and hours reading online, just ask yourself all the doubts you have and search in google, you will be surprised at the number of people who have already gone through your situation and who have asked the questions in forums that have already been answered.

Avoid making phone inquiries and keep reading. You may think that it is more convenient to call advisers, potential suppliers, etc. so that they advise you, but think that they are people who are working and are not going to dedicate the time that you would need and most likely they will “advise” you what interests them the most. So keep reading, and already with a good base, yes you can call and make specific inquiries, but you will already know more or less what you are talking about, and they will not be able to confuse you or take you to their land easily.

Not sure what information you should look for on the Internet? Here are some ideas:

  • Alone or with partners? If it is with partners ... friends and family better because they are more trusted?
  • Calculate the initial investment you will need (premises, online store, tax expenses, etc.)
  • Calculate monthly fixed expenses, fees for everything: rent, taxes, electricity, telephone, adsl, hosting, marketing, etc.
  • Find out if you are interested in more Autonomous or Limited Company
  • If you should stock or not stock products. Also look for "dropshipping."
  • Do you want to have your own clothing brand?
  • Do you want to make custom clothing?
  • Do you want to print your designs on t-shirts?
  • Which designs are legal to market and which are not
  • What types of stamping techniques exist, their advantages and disadvantages
  • Is it worth initially investing in a direct printer or plotter?
  • Is it worth having an online store?
  • Marketing campaigns, both offline and online
  • Daily management of orders, billing, stocks, catalog, etc.

Overwhelmed? Do not worry, step by step, I already told you that it would not be easy, and surely many of the things that I have just advised you to look for may not be of your interest or pleasure, but be clear that to earn money you will have to do not only what that you like a lot, you will also have to perform some tasks that are not so comfortable, the main thing is that you are excited and dedicate as much time as possible to everything.

I am going to give you our opinion and advice about what I have told you to look for on the internet, but do not rely only on it to make decisions, each particular case is different, so it is better that you find out more, see other cases and situations and get your own conclusions.

Alone or with partners? If it is with partners ... friends and family better because they are more trusted?

If it is financially possible for you, set up the business alone, why?

  • If the problem is that you are afraid of getting into something by yourself, it will be cheaper for you to go to the psychologist to remove your fear compared to how expensive it can go wrong if it does not go well with your partner.
  • At the beginning you will not have sales, so you can continue developing the business by yourself.
  • If you have a very trustworthy family member or friend, better not start with him, because if it goes wrong, it will not only end in closing the business, but you will lose a very good friend or relative. This does not always apply, of course there are exceptions, there are many very successful family businesses, but as they say, it is better not to mix business and family.

Calculate the initial investment you will need (premises, online store, tax expenses, etc.)

If you plan to open a physical store, study everything well, the location, if it is a visible area, easily accessible, busy, etc. As well as studying all the competition in the area, since they already have regular customers but you will have to win them over and if there are many similar stores, yours will have to contribute something different to the rest that attracts their attention enough.
Calculate the expenses that the rent or purchase of the premises will entail, but do not forget the opening licenses, the reforms, decoration, etc.

Calculate monthly fixed expenses, fees for everything: rent, taxes, electricity, telephone, etc.

You have to know how much you are going to spend per month, if you want to know how much you need to sell in order to cover the expenses. Take absolutely everything into account, if you don't count the small bills, at the end of the month you will be upset, it all adds up.

Find out if you are interested in more freelance or limited company

If you are the only person who will be in charge of everything, you can choose a self-employed or a sole proprietorship. If you are several, the simplest option is a limited company, although there are also other options such as a community of property. Here the best thing is to let yourself be advised by your trusted manager.

In summary, the most “economical” thing is to be autonomous, since you will have to present less documentation to the Treasury and the fees of your manager will also be lower, in addition to the savings of having to create an SL.

If you do not like creating invoices with your name at all and you want to give it more seriousness, you can choose the SL or SLU, but from the outset you will need to have € 3006 to open a bank account and associate it with the company, and it will mean more procedures and greater fee from your manager.

SAVING TIP: Do not get carried away by what the first manager tells you if he wants to charge you the typical € 1000 that usually indicates between a notary and "administrative procedures", you can create the SL yourself for between € 100 and € 200, paste A look: https://brigomp.blogspot.com.es/2011/07/creando-una-empesa-en-24-horas-por-100.html (Now do you understand why I tell you that you have to read a lot on the internet? Neither consultants nor notaries will tell you about this, because none of them are interested in stopping winning)

It is often said that while less than € 40.000 per year is billed, it is usually more costly to be autonomous, but it is a very relative figure and with many factors to take into account, it is better if your advisor advises you on this point.

Do you want to have your own clothing brand?

If you are entering the textile business and you already want to start with your own brand, I am not going to tell you that it is impossible, but it is quite risky, because it implies re-labeling the clothes and therefore you will have to buy a certain quantity and stock it. Keep in mind that these products will not allow returns as they are already manipulated and relabelled, so if you do not sell them, you will lose the investment.

Therefore it is better that you start testing the waters without relabeling and once you see which products are sold and which are not, then you can rethink it. Most likely, you will be surprised and sell what you least expected to sell, it usually happens.

When the time to venture finally arrives and you are clear about it, contact us and we will offer you our services.

It is convenient that you register the trademark soon, so that in the future you do not find yourself with the surprise that someone has registered it with no good intention and you end up with lawsuits.

SAVING TIP: Registering a brand or company name is not as expensive as you might think, you will probably hear figures that are around € 1000, but if you search online you will end up finding companies that will perform the service in a very reliable and economical way, such as https://www.imarcas.com which will be around € 150

Also take the opportunity to buy the internet domain, since sooner or later you will end up having your own online store and buying a domain is very cheap, around € 6 to € 10 a year, so there is no excuse.

Do you want to make custom clothing?

The same applies here as in the previous point, do not go directly to it without having previous experience. You have to know this world very well before starting to manufacture without further ado.

Once you have studied it well and want to get started, contact us and we will offer you our services. You can have your own custom clothing from orders of 1000 units.

Do you want to stamp your designs on t-shirts?

If you are a good designer and you consider that you can sell your work, you are in luck, because they probably have a lot of outlet and with some help from social networks you can become known and obtain product sales with a very good margin. Of course, before opening an account on devianart-style pages, publish some of your work and thus you will be able to get feedback from people who do not know you, because for you your designs are probably the best, and your family and friends will hardly suit you. to say that they do not like something, and there is nothing like the opinion of strangers that is totally impartial. Also they will probably give you advice and learn a lot.

If you want to get good margins, it is best if they are 1 or 2 color designs, because with certain printing techniques it will be very economical.

If your images are very colorful and degraded, you will have to resort to other techniques, in which to get a good price you will have to buy a certain amount at least, or you will have to sell them with less margin or put them at a higher price.

Keep in mind that you will also need to invest. To start you can choose a men's and a women's t-shirt, for which we recommend that you do not go for the cheapest one, saving here can make your design lose a lot by being on a low-quality shirt, in the end your success will depend of the quality of your design + quality of the garment. For this reason, we recommend the Braco T-shirt, since it is a quality product, 100% combed cotton, with a good thickness of 180g / m2, with a 4-layer collar and reinforced neck and shoulder cover seams.

Do not think that you can send your designs to a distributor so that they can print the shirts according to your orders and that one by one send them to your customers, because only the process that it would entail is so high that you would have to increase the price so much that it would be unsaleable.

Keep in mind that you will have to order a minimum quantity depending on the technique that is going to be used.

You can also study the option of acquiring the necessary machinery to take care of the stamping yourself.

Which designs are legal to market and which are not

It is not legal for you to print images, logos, drawings, etc. with copyright. It is normal that you think that you can make money selling shirts with images of SpongeBob, Adidas, NBA, etc. but you are taking too high a risk that it will not compensate you at all, and sooner or later you may find yourself in great disgust. To sell these products you will have to previously obtain the corresponding licenses.

There is also what is called FanArt, which are drawings that are based on other known designs but that are modified so that they do not remain like the originals. For example, let's say you draw a Mickey with different shapes, lines, strokes and colors adding details like a bow. It would be known that it is Mickey but it would also be noted that it is not official Disney. Here the issue of legality is very complex and also varies according to the laws of each country. I advise you to read this note from Redbubble:

https://help.redbubble.com/hc/es/articles/211725823-Limitaciones-y-excepciones-de-los-derechos-de-autor-y-de-marca-

On the other hand, you can also try to protect your designs by registering them officially or on sites like https://www.safecreative.org/

What types of stamping techniques exist and which is the best for each case and situation

There are many techniques, and although they all serve the same purpose, each has advantages and disadvantages. Here is a summary in which we indicate even approximate rates so that you can draw your accounts.

Serigraphy:

It consists of: It consists of transferring an ink through a mesh stretched in a frame, the passage of the ink is blocked in the areas where there will be no image by means of an emulsion or varnish, leaving the area where the ink will pass free.

Quantity: Minimum 25 units.

Color fidelity: 99%. Keep in mind that the personalization will be more expensive with the more colors the image has.

Recommended for: It is the most chosen technique from 25 units since it is cheaper the more quantity is ordered and it respects the colors providing a final result of excellent quality.

Garment requirement: This technique is not recommended in fleece fabrics since the fabric tends to expand the ink, losing quality.

Vinyl:

It consists of: It is a cuttable plastic material of a single color that is ironed on the garment.
Quantity: From 1 pc. up to a maximum of 25 pcs.
Color fidelity: Consult the list of available poliflex colors.
Recommended for: Small quantities with simple designs of maximum 3 colors.
Garment requirement: None.

Embroidery:

It consists of: The customization is done by sewing thread directly on the garment or on a heat-adhesive patch, which gives a very integrated and elegant finish.
Quantity: Minimum 20 units.
Color fidelity: The color gamut is very wide, but embroidery is limited to a maximum of 15 colors.
Recommended for: Company logos, sporting events, shields of any subject, etc.
Garment requirement: It is recommended to embroider on high quality garments (minimum 165gr / m2)

Silicone transfer:

It consists of: Images or photographs are printed in full color on a high-resistance silicone sheet that is subsequently ironed on the garment, transferring the silicone to the fabric thanks to the heat.
Quantity: From 1 pc.
Color fidelity: 99%
Recommended for: Events such as hen parties, birthdays, meetings, etc. since it is a fast and very economical method.
Garment requirement: Only 100% cotton white garments.

Direct printing:

It consists of: A special printer is used that prints in high quality directly on the garment.
Quantity: From 1 pc. up to 300 pcs.
Color fidelity: 90%
Recommended for: Designs in full color cheaper than screen printing by saving you screens and photoliths. Requires a high resolution image in PSD or PNG with transparent background.
Garment requirement: Can only be printed on high quality garments (minimum 165gr / m2)

Digital printing:

It consists of: We carry out digital printing on a sheet of white vinyl that we later cut and iron on the garment.
Quantity: From 1 pc.
Color fidelity: 99%
Recommended for: Small, full-color logos such as football badges, company logos, etc.
Garment requirement: None.

Sublimation:

It consists of: The printing is made on a special sheet that does not absorb the inks specially designed for this technique, and later it is ironed on the garment, which causes the polyester to absorb the ink, ending with an excellent visual finish that is not appreciated. touch.
Quantity: From 1 pc.
Color fidelity: 99%
Recommended for: Sportswear as it does not cover pores and is therefore breathable.
Garment requirement: Only for 100% polyester white garments.

General notes about textile customization:

  • The durability of all customization systems is similar, you simply have to be careful when washing and ironing, such as washing in cold water, do not use the dryer, and iron the garments inside out.
  • We only perform customization on garments that you purchase from us, we do not accept customization requests on garments purchased in another store.
  • It must be borne in mind that except for the Vinyl technique, none admit that the seams are stepped on.

Is it worth initially investing in a direct printer or plotter?

It is very likely a good investment, as it is something that will differentiate you from the rest of the stores in your area, since the investment to be made is quite high and they do not usually take risks.

The point is that everything depends on your previous experience, if it is something new for you, you run the risk of buying something very expensive and that later you do not know how to use or get a good performance from it.

If you have already had some experience and have money to invest, first of all catch up, read a lot on internet forums, and do not base yourself on messages from 5 years ago, because technology advances so much that better products emerge every day and more economical. Do not rush into your decision, take into account what type of customers you can sell to first see what type of machine to buy, because it is very different to buy a plotter than a DGT printer.

In addition, you will most likely need more than one machine depending on what you want to do, you will most likely need a thermal iron to stamp the vinyl or fix the ink. If you need a thermal iron we can offer you the best brand, Poli-Tape.

It is best to start working with Vinyl, as it is the most demanded and easy to use. If you need to purchase vinyl, it will not be necessary to buy complete rolls of all colors, as we as wholesalers offer you the possibility of acquiring it by the meter and we only sell Poli-Tape vinyl, which is the most reliable brand.

Is it worth having an online store?

Of course yes! You have to have a presence on the internet, but if you don't have the time or resources you don't have to start directly for everything, you can start by buying the domain .com or .es with the name of your company as soon as possible to reserve it and avoid it buy others and use the e-mail under your own domain that always gives more personality than not using an @ hotmail.com.

Later you can make a simple web page as a presentation of the company, in which you indicate what you do, what services you offer, and indicate the different forms of contact, telephone, e-mail, form, etc., with this you will gain cache and more credibility when people see that you have an internet presence.

Later when you consider it appropriate and you already have the resources, open an online store. It is something already at another level, because you will have to dedicate a lot of time, do not fool yourself into thinking that it is something easy to do, cheap and that then it is to sit and wait as the orders arrive, the reality is very different. You will have to look for someone to develop the online store for you, and here it is time to spend money, do not think that you can have an online store that your brother-in-law or a friend makes for you, because between "there is trust", that he will do it "in his time free ”and that will probably charge little, because its interest will be minimal and almost certainly it will end up being a project that starts but will be left half, you will have lost time and money. You have to trust professionals and propose your project to them and there are several important points to take into account when explaining that you will be in the textile world so that they take it into account when making a budget, you do not have to take anything for granted , because webmasters are technical and as such they will limit themselves to doing what you tell them, no more and no less. It's like when you go to the mechanic and ask him to change your wheels, don't assume that he will also replenish the brake fluid and change the oil, they are different things and you have to pay for everything, tell them what you need:

  • Have a control panel where you can register more products yourself.
  • That your products have combinations of sizes and colors
  • That a product may have different prices depending on the color and size (eg the cheapest white ones and the most expensive 3XL ones)
  • That the products have different prices depending on the purchase quantity, for example unit, pack or complete box.
  • That products must include images of all available colors.
  • It must have a simple design, in which it must stand out above all the product, and that it has very good usability (easy to understand and to be able to buy with a few clicks)
  • Latest programming technology, since everything progresses so fast, that you cannot allow outdated systems to be used, since in a short time you will be limited by not having support.
  • Designed with SEO in mind, in such a way that it is easy for Google to understand what content your page has and that it can index it without problems and they can locate you. Therefore, avoid any programmer who tells you to program it in "flash" because it is very attractive, because the flash is not indexed by google, and if they do not find you, you will not sell anything.
  • With different forms of payment: Credit / debit card, PayPal, Bank Transfer, Cash on delivery, etc.

Lately, carts like Prestashop and Magento are very fashionable. If you are not going to want to dedicate a lot of resources or effort to the online store, the best option will be Prestashop, since it is much easier to install, configure, the learning curve is less due to having a more intuitive control panel and it will be cheaper. If you want a serious and future-oriented project, because most of the sales you plan to obtain from the internet, go for Magento, it is much more versatile and configurable and has many advanced features that the rest of the carts envy. Magento is the most used worldwide.

Keep in mind that you will also need to hire a transport agency to ship your orders. You will have already read that we offer the dropshipping service, but we recommend that you have your own transport agency and thus have total control over it, monitor the deliveries of the orders and you can offer the payment method Cash on delivery.

There is no perfect transport agency, nor will the most expensive ones do their job 100% well. Normally depending on the area, one or the other works better, so if it is possible for your volume of business, contract with at least a couple of agencies to offer them in your online store so that the client is the one who chooses.

We can recommend some transport agencies, but as I indicate, none is perfect, and you may be better off with one or the other. If you need cheap rates, consult Envialia, if you are going to move larger packages, talk to Tipsa, and if you want to show a transport agency that generates trust in your clients by its well-known name, talk to Seur.

You have to try that deliveries are always made as soon as possible, it is something that your customers will appreciate.

Regarding the payment methods, you should include all that are possible for you, since the more diversity you offer, the more likely they will pay for the order, and if, for example, you get a credit card payment error, you can choose another alternative method.

  • Credit / debit card: More and more people use their cards to pay for their purchases, but the truth is that in Spain we are still a bit suspicious and it is difficult for us to place orders by giving such information. It also has the downside that banks have been putting so many security systems for fraud issues that in the end many customers find it difficult to complete the order when they find that they have to activate their card in their bank to make purchases online, or use another Additional PIN, SMS verifications, etc.
  • PayPal: It is more popular every day, thanks to its simplicity of use and high security and guarantee for buyers and sellers. They take a good commission for the management (3.4% of the total amount of the order + € 0.35 fixed). Even having to assume this commission, you should offer the option, it is better to earn something less, but make sure you earn it.
  • Bank transfer: Few clients use it, since they have to carry out more procedures, they are the ones who have to assume the costs of the transfer and on top of that it will take longer to receive their order since it is necessary that you wait to see that the payment has arrived correctly, which usually takes 1 or 2 days.
  • Cash on delivery: This is an option to think about it a lot, since you assume the risk of sending an order and then the customer rejects it for no reason, you can kick a lot, but in the end you will be the one who pays outbound and return shipping, apart from the work done. But on the other hand, as I indicated, we are in a country of distrustful people, and there is a very high percentage of visitors who will choose this form of payment if you offer it before having to enter their Visa information.

SAVING TIP: In any case, you can always add the commissions that the different entities charge the client, since for the client it will be a few cents, but at the end of the year it will surely mean a few hundred euros of savings.

Marketing campaigns, both offline and online

Depending on your business, you will have to make yourself known in one way or another.

If you have a physical location and offer services such as textile customization, I recommend that you go out and find clients and offer them your services, that way you can have a good, almost fixed, monthly order entry base, and not depend exclusively on people passing by. ahead of the store.

If you want to build trust, we recommend that you deliver personalized catalogs with your company logo and your contact details to all potential potential customers.

You can also advertise in local magazines and guides, but be careful with expenses, it is preferable to try and not make very exaggerated investments.

Even being a local, try to have some presence on the internet, either with your own website as a presentation, or free services such as registering on Google Maps / Places, some business directories and social networks.

If you only have an online store, do not spend any money on "local" advertising, the typical discount vouchers, newspaper advertising, distributing mailbox advertising, it will only serve you to spend money, simply because people cannot click on a printed paper , and they will hardly save the publicity for when they get home to enter your online store.

You should dedicate your advertising budget to advertising online. You can carry out Adwords campaigns, sign up for product comparators, etc., and don't forget about social networks, they can be a very good ally, especially if you sell personalized products with your own designs, it will be a key tool to give you to know for free.

Daily management of orders, billing, stocks, catalog, etc.

As long as you don't have much movement, you won't need much, it may be enough with some separate tools for each task, and if you have an online store, from there you can also control most things and even create invoices for your clients.

From x number of orders, you may look a bit uncontrolled, and here it is better that you invest in a good ERP, a software that brings together everything and with which you can take control of your company. Without a good ERP, you may be losing money with each job and not realizing it. We use Gesplanet from Info-ges.

Endnotes

Thank you for having read our document, I hope they have served you even 1 or 2 ideas, comments or tips to guide you through your new adventure.

Keep in mind that everything mentioned is based on our personal experience over almost 20 years in the textile business, but it does not mean that everything we indicate is the most accurate. Each situation is different and many times what is good today, not tomorrow, that is why always contrast opinions, data and information from different sources and people and obtain your own conclusions and decisions.

I repeat the same thing as before, never stop reading on the internet, you will be surprised by everything you can learn for the day to day in your business and you will always be up to date.

I know that I have been quite direct, and I do not intend to discourage you at all, on the contrary, this text has been written to help you not to make mistakes, not to waste money on certain things and to help you to be successful, so take heart and good luck!

The Rafasshop team
www.rafasshop.es