Top 3 Excuses People Say About Why They Can’t Start a T Shirt Business 

By  Cartess Ross


Starting a t-shirt business is fairly easy to do, but one must be willing to stop with all of the excuses. In this post, I’m going to address some of the common reasons why people say they can’t get started in the business; and then I’ll provide my response for how you CAN get started within the next 24-hours.

#1) I don’t have enough money saved up to start right now, or I’m broke!

Don’t let that stop you from getting started… It doesn’t cost any money to actually get started. Much of the equipment needed to get started won’t be needed till the end. For example, the heat press machine we use to press tees is literally the last thing you need. What good is the heat press machine if you don’t already have your design ideas sketched out?

You see, most folks don’t even have designs made up yet…. In fact, most folks don’t even know what type of designs they’re going to make, and many more don’t even know who they plan to sell their tees too.

So, here’s what I recommend.

Get started right now… Right where you’re at!!! It won’t cost you a dime to go find paper and pencil and start writing out your plan.

In other words, start sketching out those ideas you have in your head. Put it on paper. Just the act of ‘getting started’ puts you in business today.

Start drafting out a plan for who your audience is going to be…

  • Who are you going to sell to?
  • How do you plan to get your t-shirts out to the public?
  • Do you plan to put them in local stores?
  • Sell online?
  • Sell to churches?

Write it out…don’t just think about this stuff – put it on paper. This is what being a business owner is all about.

Planning is everything.

Start calculating all the costs so you’ll know how much money you’ll actually need to get started – you might be surprised that you can get started with much less than you thought.

Take your ideas/sketches to a screen printer so you can get an actual t-shirt made — that’ll inspire you when you actually see your design printed on a t-shirt.

You don’t have to have a t-shirt heat press to get sample tees made. Yes, it’ll cost you a few dollars more to get a handful made by a local screen-printer, but it’s much cheaper than spending thousands on all the equipment needed to get started.

Our goal here is to simply get your samples in hand so you can start showcasing them. It’s harder to get orders when you don’t have anything to show right???

Get some inventory on hand — have something to show. Have something to put online. Get some professional pictures of your tees so you can mail them out in the form of brochures to show potential vendors.

You won’t get far without anything to show…. One big order is all you need to get the money you need to purchase your equipment.

And if you really don’t have any money, don’t you think it’ll be easier to ask relatives and friends for a loan or investment in your business if you have an actual business and marketing plan written up?

Wouldn’t it be easier to get someone to invest when you can actually show them 3- 6 of your designs on an actual t-shirt?

I wouldn’t invest a dime in anyone’s dream if all I hear is a bunch of talk and no concrete plan.

Show them you’re serious, and a completed business plan is the best place to start.

One of our members did everything I just outlined here and someone ended up buying the rights to her designs and she didn’t have any equipment whatsoever.

But if she just sat around complaining about why she couldn’t get started, she would have never been able to sell anybody anything.

As you can see, there is SOOOOO much you can do in terms of preparation before you ever buy that heat press machine or printer.

Over the next few days, I’ll come back and post the 2nd excuse I hear most often and it ain’t even a real excuse… Just folks looking for a reason not to bet on themselves.

If you need hands-on help with starting your t-shirt business, check out our Protege300 program — space is limited for the free t-shirt website deal.


Cartess Ross

I will guide you through this process and provide you with proven strategies to help you build a t-shirt company. As one of the original pioneers to start selling t-shirts online 20 years ago, I've sold millions of dollars in t shirts to people all over the world. I founded TshirtRiches in 2007 to teach others how to turn their t-shirt ideas into a business. So if you're ready, hop onboard and let's make this money!

Cartess Ross

  • Hey Cartess
    Thanks for all the training and blog post you offer to help us. Take a look at my website http://www.SubconsciousLiving.com. Tell me what you think. I find the marketing a bit challenging. I have been trying Facebook and Google adwords pay per click. I have gotten a lot of like on Facebook but no sales yet. Nothing from adwords yet. One thing I would love to ask is to include a video of you doing adwords or some marketing where we can watch and see how it’s done showing some results like for your protégé website asavedlife.com.



    • hi Leo,

      Love your site…. Unfortunately, that info is reserved for the protege members. You just gotta continue testing, testing and testing. Also, tweaking. There are some great Google AdWords books on amazon that’ll get you going in the right direction. Also, look at DigitalMarketer.com, they have lots of tutorials that’ll help you on the adwords/facebook side of things as well.

  • Greetings Mr. C,
    Wow! I am grateful and impressed with your business operations. As a fellow African American, it warms my heart to see such professionalism and entrepreneurial spirit as you inspire and embrace Everyone to get to work on their dreams, as you strive to reach your own profit generating goals. Keep up the good work.


    • Thanks for the kind words Tracy, much appreciated. Stay tuned, much more is coming 🙂

  • Ryusei Garner says:

    Hey Mr C , I Recentyly Brought A Heat Press Machine And I’m Currently trying to start up my own tshirt business the only problem I’m having is I don’t know how to transfer my idea onto transfer paper (I know that sounds weird) but am I suppose to scan and print my designs on the paper from my printer ?

    • HI Ryusei,

      We recommend screen printed transfers. We do not recommend printing from a printer just for the sake of quality. You want to be in business selling products that will allow people to buy from you over and over again; as well as refer others to you. Sadly, printing from a printer will not allow you to do so.

      Once you have your designs created; you can send the digital files of the designs to transfer companies. They can take your design and screen printed directly onto the special release paper. There are no printers involved in this process. All the designs are printed by screen printing equipment. Once the designs have been screen printed onto the special release paper instead of directly on shirts. They’ll send you the transfers; which you’ll press directly onto the shirts using the heat press machine you’ve purchased.

      The cost of having designs printed will vary; it depends on the amount of colors you have in the design. The more colors you have in the design the more it will cost. If you’re starting with a limited budget; we recommend no more than 2.
      Another fact in cost of getting the designs screen printed will be determined by the amount of transfers you have printed. The less you have printed the more you’ll pay. The more you have printed the cost to have the transfers printed, cost drops.

      We have a source list available for purchase. The source list includes various companies to purchase custom, and pre-made transfers from a list of transfer vendors as well as vendors to purchase blank shirts.

      The price for custom transfers will be determined by the amount of colors you have in your design. If you are on a tight budget then I would recommend no more than 2 colors in the design. The more colors in the design the more it will cost to have the designs screen printed onto the release paper.

      If you would, please click the link below to purchase the source list.

      Or you can locate a local screen printer in your area to screen printed directly onto blank shirts you supply the screen printer to print on. It’s actually cheaper to purchase your own shirts and give to the screen printer. The price once again will be determined by the amount of colors in the design and how many shirts you have printed. You’ll need to locate a local screen printer in your area to determine prices.

      We have created a training course that will walk you through the entire process from beginning to end. There’s no reason in trying to figure all this out on your own, cut your learning curb in half! We’ve done all the hard work for you. All you have to do is take advantage of the blueprint we’ll provide, learn the material and apply it towards your business. This isn’t an easy task, this isn’t some get rich quick scam and it will require a lot of hard work if you expect to receive any type of results. Honestly, your results depend on you.

      Please click the link to check out the program we have created along with the pricing information.


  • Great post here. Honest, and straightforward. If you want it, go get it!

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