5 Reasons to Start a T-shirt Business in a Bad Economy

Job Security Means Taking Matters into Your Own Hands.

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    As you’ve probably guessed by now, if you’re working for someone else, then your financial safety is not entirely in your own hands.  Your position or even your entire career field can be subject to whatever the economy has in store. 

    Worse yet, your security depends on the people making the decisions that control your job or career.

    If your day job is one of those that does better during a slow economy, then you’re in good shape.  You might even be working overtime and putting in more hours than you ever imagined.  But if you’re like many people right now, the cold reality of depending on your boss or politicians for your safety might be catching you off guard.

    For instance, the cruise industry, airlines, travel, events and some manufacturing jobs that depend on overseas supplies are feeling a BIG pinch. They’re the most likely to not do well in a 2020 downturn.

    There’s a Huge Shift in Industry Happening

    However, there are thousands of medical, manufacturing, security, and supply companies that are going to see a HUGE jump in demand. 

    Millions of small to medium businesses are finding out that they can’t rely on overseas supply chains.  They are leveraging enormous working capital loans to bring industry back home to where you live.

    Companies that have been competing with low-cost products from overseas will soon see a big jump in demand as the economy comes roaring back.

    So what are some great reasons for starting your own Apparel Business During these tough times?

    Custom T-Shirts are A Proven Recession-Proof Industry

    There are some industries that seem to do well regardless of what’s happing in the economy.  For instance, the custom apparel business is still going strong, with loads of new opportunities on the horizion. Having a Commercial Embroidery Machine right now is a big plus!

    Custom T-shirt Printing


    Specialty Printing


    Most custom apparel items will bring in somewhere between $10 and $20 per shirt in profit.  And very often you’re selling dozens of shirts or hats per job.

    And as a side hustle starting your own customer t-shirt shop will do two things:

    1. Allow you to make EXTRA money in the short term. So you can stash some cash in that emergency fund.

    2. Spread out your risk. If you just have the day job, then all your eggs are IN that day-job basked. With a t-shirt business on the side you’re working on an alternative. Another way to make that mortgage payment and beyond should something happen to Job #1.

    You’ve probably heard the phrase “multiple streams of income”?

    Having more than one way you make money means that if one is reduced or goes away, you have another source of income to pick up the slack.

    Getting Funding May be EASIER

    If People aren’t Investing in the Stock Market – What DO they Do?

    Let’s face it, most small businesses are started with a loan from F&F Banking – that stands for “Friends and Family”.

    It’s people you know that have money to invest in stocks or bonds that are most likely to invest in your business (if you need it).

    And when the markets are trending down many, many investors get scared and stop buying stocks.

    So, what do they do with that money?

    A down economy is the perfect time to approach them about investing in YOU instead!

    After all you can get professional custom t-shirt printing equipment or embroidery machines from about $6,000 to $25,000. To some investors that is an extremely small amount, but one they might be interested in because the markets are shaky anyway…

    You only need to make the case that you’re worth the investment and that your idea is solid.  And the banks like investing in small businesses that hold up well in a recession.

    You MAY Make Money in Taxes you Avoid

    There’s a reason why so many of the top 10% of earners in the US have a side business.

    And that’s because they can write off enough expenses that the business pays for itself… or comes close to.

    Here are just a few expenses that many side hustlers take as a tax deduction [we are not accountants, and this is not tax advice –you should speak to a professional about the following ideas]:

    There are some hidden gems in the tax code that may make starting a t-shirt business a winner even before you sell your first shirt.

    People are Looking for New Suppliers

    The custom apparel business is VERY stable, but in a down economy there may be some businesses that have to scale back because they haven’t managed their money or business quite well enough to thrive in a downturn.

    For example, some large screen printers that rely on t-shirt orders in the thousands of units may see those orders dry up in favor of smaller ones.

    Companies may want to order 12 at a time, or 50 at a time, and small businesses can often do those more profitably.

    And larger companies that buy custom t-shirts or apparel are usually pretty interested in meeting new potential vendors when money is tight.

    In times of change there’s opportunity and you may find this true of your local economy and your side business.

    Finance Rates are AMAZING

    Finance rates right now are about as low as they ever have been in the history of side hustling.

    What that means for you is that your monthly budget for equipment goes a LOT farther than it did 5 or 10 years ago.

    That makes a bigger and bigger difference depending on how much you are thinking of investing, but consider this:

    Right now, you can use .021 to .023 as a “factor”. That’s how you might estimate a finance payment for a piece of equipment. 

    A $10,000 DigitalHeat FX T-Shirt Transfer printer bundle is about $210-$230/month

    The DigitalHeat FX 9541 system would be about $308/month

    And the G4 DTG Printer would about $100 more than that.

    Since most t-shirt printers like we’re talking about here make $10-$20 per shirt in profit, your break even is between 20 and 50 shirts per month depending.

    The other way people are taking advantage of the super low financing rates are by adding capabilities to their custom t-shirt business right off the bat.

    When it was more expensive to finance equipment, startups used to just get the minimum they needed to start. Like JUST the Avancé 1501C embroidery machine, or just the G4 t-shirt printer.

    Now more people are giving themselves twice the chance for success by bundling 2 or more systems TOGETHER.

    Like the Stitch-N-Print system that combines embroidery and t-shirt transfers.

    Or the super popular combination of the OKI 8432WT transfer printer and the SpangleElite bling machine.

    The idea is that not all your customers are going to want just embroidery. Or just printed tees.

    People and businesses that buy custom apparel often buy multiple items of different styles.

    Wrapping it Up

    Starting any business is a risk. And there are all kinds of scary statistics about small business failure out there for you to find.

    But those figures don’t compare that to the number of times people lose their jobs.  Once recent study said that people are changing or losing jobs every 4.8 years. And of course, that goes up during an economic downturn.

    There are really no guarantees whether you work for yourself or work for someone else.

    So why not do both?

    Ready to start that business?

    Chat below, call us at 877-793-3278 or click the contact button below.