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Passive income is a tantalizing prospect for everyone. Who doesn’t want to sit back and let the profits roll in? Of course, in reality, this takes time and effort to achieve — but it’s possible.
If you want a passive income business with a creative twist, an online t-shirt store is for you. Read on to learn how to achieve just that.
Choose an eCommerce Platform that Works for You
Firstly, you won’t sell any t-shirts unless you have a storefront to sell them from. This means finding an ecommerce platform that works for you.
The ecommerce platform you choose will vary depending on your own situation: budget, knowledge of CMSs, past experience, and so on. If you’ve got experience working with these platforms, you’ll know already which one works for you.
If not, take advantage of each platform’s free trial (most offer them) and get used to how they work. Some are more technical (such as Magento), so beginners might want a more user-friendly option such as BigCommerce.
There are lots of resources online and on ecommerce platform websites to help you learn the basics of running a store. These are usually free, so take advantage of them and get to grips with the basics before investing in a platform.
Find a T-Shirt Supplier that Meets your Needs
The t-shirt supplier you choose might vary depending on your brand. For instance, if you’re opting for a sustainable brand with an eco-friendly focus, you might want to choose a company that uses recycled fabrics or vegetable ink.
There are different types of t-shirt printers too. Some will print you a whole batch off at once, and it’s up to you to sell them. Others, on the other hand, print on demand when an order has been placed. These are more cost-effective, and make it easier for you to run a passive income business with as little involvement on your part as possible.
Once you’ve found a t-shirt supplier, make sure they are able to link up with your chosen ecommerce platform.
Most offer seamless integrations, although smaller platforms and/or design companies might require a Zapier integration to enable them to link up.
It’s worth mentioning that Teemill, a popular option for t-shirt sellers, includes an ecommerce storefront as part of its package.
Create T-shirt Designs that Reflect your Brand
While it’s entirely possible to outsource your design work (sites like Fiverr are great for this), you’re probably starting a t-shirt business because you have the creative flair and passion to create your own.
Peruse your print company’s guidelines to identify what specifications your designs need to be. These vary from company to company, and you might need to tweak your designs accordingly. Some places offer templates for ease of use.
Your design should also reflect your brand: material, style, ethos — these all go towards creating a distinct brand that will make your store stand out. The t-shirt industry is a saturated one, so a clear brand is crucial for making yours noteworthy.
Spend some time outlining what matters to you: are you eco-friendly? Are you aiming for a more streetwear vibe? Do you pride yourself on making your style accessible? All these will inform your brand and your t-shirt designs as a result.
Find a Pricing Structure that Gets You Profit
It’s crucial that you get your pricing structure right when you’re launching your passive income business. Your pricing should cover all the costs of your business, as well as including enough of a markup to let you make some profit too.
The price per t-shirt is easy to factor, but it depends on the type of printing company you use. A print fulfillment company only charges you per item, for instance, and does not charge any upfront fees.
Your pricing should cover the base price of your t-shirt as standard, but also the cost of your overheads too, such as your marketing and hosting costs. Your delivery costs can be added as an extra fee, so you don’t need to include these in your pricing.
Most businesses find they need to experiment with different prices before they find one that works. Once you’ve hit on a structure that lets you generate a comfortable profit, stick with it but revisit it in a year or so to see if you can improve it.
Get your Marketing Strategy On-Point
Passive income, by its very nature, requires a hands-off approach. Once you’ve built your online store, collected a good portfolio of t-shirt designs, and got those orders rolling in, your business will generate income by itself.
But getting those orders being placed in the first place requires a solid marketing strategy.
Indeed, marketing is perhaps the only part of your passive income business that will require your attention on a regular basis.
Your marketing strategy will involve one or more of the following:
Paid Ads: from search engine results pages to websites and social media, there is no shortage of space for paid ads online. These let you target those individuals who are most likely to convert for maximum sales too.
Social Media: use social media to build a customer community and connect people with your brand. It’s affordable, effective, and is perfect for promoting special offers or new product launches.
Content Marketing: one of the most important marketing methods in 2020, this involves creating blogs, videos, infographics, and other forms of content to draw relevant customers into your store. Follow SEO best practices to target appropriate keywords that get the right kind of traffic to your store.
Much of this, such as your content marketing, can be automated. Write enough content for a month or so and use a social scheduling tool to publish it on time
But you will still need to revisit your marketing on a regular basis. Target audiences change, new competitors come on the scene, and fresh content needs to be created, so it’s important to stay on top of it to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck.
It takes time, effort, and patience to build a passive income business from a t-shirt store. But follow the tips above and, with time, you’ll build a profitable business that gets you maximum profit with only minimum input.
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