Garage Boys Galore!

Screen printing tee shirts is one of those businesses that everyone seems to think they can make money at. If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say: “I have a great idea for a tee shirt!” I would not be writing this article right now.

I don’t mean to be insensitive or sound like some pretentious know it all. It is just the fact of the matter. And we all know very well that many successful screen printing shops have started in someone’s garage but many screen printing businesses also have failed in someone’s garage. I suppose it really comes down to people’s preconceived ideas and beliefs in regard to screen printing. To many, it seems like an excellent business to start if you have very little or no money at all. Now we all know that isn’t the case. That doesn’t mean it can’t be done, because it has. It means that sometimes it takes more than good business and sales skills to be successful. Many screen print shops fail due to inferior quality work or the inability to produce product by set deadlines.

Another very important reason people are interested in printing tee shirts for profit is all around us. Tee shirts are everywhere. The next time you are out at the local mall or supermarket take a look around you. Chances are that a majority of the people you will see are wearing some type of printed garment. So there is a false impression that it is easy to produce and market a brand of logo wear. Just like it is sometimes faulty print work that can sabotage a screen printing business, so too can jumping into a branding project without doing your marketing research and making sure you have the capital to push the product line. Many brands of logo wear are successful and very profitable only because of the marketing behind the product.

It is important to understand that it takes a balance of printing skills, business skills and marketing that will ultimately determine the level of your success. It may be obvious at this point that having money to invest into the business at the time of startup will be of the greatest help. It is true that it takes money to make money when it comes to manufacturing a product for consumer use. If you have the right tools to do the job and the right tools to promote your business then most anyone can build a profitable screen printing shop.

It is the nature of the printed garment industry that there always seems to be room for one more printer. That may be another factor in the popularity of starting a screen printing business. Try to Google screen printers in your local area. I would bet there is a pretty good amount that will show up in the search results. And let’s not even mention all the Google ads you will see for online screen printing services. Today’s printed garment market is more competitive than ever with the introduction of online printing services.

The custom printed garment industry is basically a cut throat business. There will always be someone who is willing to print for less than you. In any economic state the screen printing business is such that there will always be a lot of talk. A lot of inquiries and price quotes with few that actually go anywhere. You will give price quotes on jobs only to be told later that, “although your pricing is very competitive, we have found the product for less with another printer”. This is normal.

So be forewarned moms and dads, brothers, sisters and strangers alike. Screen printing for profit is much more than a hobby or a home project. It is an endeavor that requires dedication and determination.

Thanks for reading!

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4 Responses to Garage Boys Galore!

  1. Mike says:

    I couldn’t agree more. I started for all the reasons above and have known many try to mirror what I do. What you can’t mirror always is determination and with out that you’ve got a hobby. Anyway 25 years on every year is better and the drive to improve is still there thats why I’m surfing the web looking for tip’s even after 25 years.

    • Very cool. Thanks a lot for making a comment and leaving your input. I appreciate your determination to keep learning too. I certainly don’t know all there is to know about screen printing either. It’s a great habit to keep looking to learn. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. cuantasvacas says:

    After reading this great summary of what’s around the business, I can say that it has encouraged me to go ahead and give my dreams a chance. Thank you and please keep doing it that way!!!

    • Thank you! It’s my pleasure to help out and share information. Check out the Catspit website for a lot more free info on screen printing. Link is in the navigation menu at the top. Good luck! Thanks for commenting!

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