I’m fortunate to work in an industry with very little barrier to entry. I’m also fortunate to work for a company that has taken the time and devoted the resources to making it as easy as possible to make those barriers even more insignificant. Many entrepreneurs are drawn to our industry because the start-up costs can be under 1k.
Here’s what you need:
The steps are simple. After you purchase your vinyl cutter and heat press, you can register a FREE account on CadWorx Live. Login to CadWorx and find a design. You have thousands of pieces of Clip art to choose from and hundreds of different templates! Customize the design with your own text and send the design to your Clipper vinyl cutter. The Clipper will cut out your design in the Heat Transfer Material of your choice. Once it’s done cutting and you’ve weeded away the excess material, take the design to your Heat Press and heat apply to your T-shirt!
What makes my industry great is that it is as much fun to make custom shirts for yourself, friends, and family as it is to sell them to your customers! For under 1k, you can either have a fun hobby (and probably less expensive than my wife’s hobby of shoe collecting) or a legit, profitable business!
Fair pricing is very tough in our industry. Competition is fierce! Shops range from a spare bedroom, to a brick and mortar storefront to a tens of thousands of square foot production facility. Obviously not everyone will be able to offer the same prices.
Pricing your jobs should be done on a regional basis, not national. However, people from all over the US and beyond will be reading this article, so it’s difficult for me to be able to recommend pricing and have it be applicable to everyone. As that is the case, the best i can do is give baseline recommendations. You will have to work to establish pricing that your local market is willing to pay! That price may be higher or lower than the pricing I have below.
The recommended pricing I will provide is for a Single Color Shirt (Cadcut), a Digital Shirt (Solvent / Eco-Solvent Print/Cut, DTG), Banner and general Decal. Single color and Digital Shirt pricing is based on a 4×4 left chest and a full back print. I’m also included a $3 base garment cost. Banner is priced per square foot and is fully finished, including Grommets and Hem Tape. Decal pricing is also priced per square foot and is unlaminated.
Single Color – $12.80
Digital Shirt – $14.73
Banner – $6.30 / sq ft
Decal – $9.27 / sq ft
This recommended pricing is from a national survey we did for our Ultimate Pricing Calculator. Our Pricing Calculator is a free tool we created to help our customer determine their actual costs and to help calculate profitability of various jobs.
How does this pricing look to you??
If you have a vinyl cutter, odds are you’re using at least one of Heat Transfer or Sign Materials in your business. If you’re not using both, you’re missing potential profit opportunities! It took us at Imprintables Warehouse a while to realize that. For years, we sold only the Heat Transfer materials, and did quite well at it. Our Spectra Eco-Film is one of the most popular Heat Applied Materials on the market.
Imprintables Warehouse added Duracal 530 to our line up around 2011. We knew that our customers already had the equipment needed to use the material, we just had to make it available to them! If you have a vinyl cutter and a heat press and have been working with Heat Transfer materials, you really need to try this material. I’ve told many customers over the years to include a decal or two with their heat transfer jobs. The perfect time for this is with a corporate logo or a team sport. After you cut and apply your logos to your polos or jerseys, put in a roll of sign vinyl and cut the logo again. When your customer comes in to pick up their order, hand them them decal you’ve created for them as a complimentary gift. Odds are, you’ll see an order in the near future!! Your cost is only the few minutes it took you to load the material in and prepare the sample. Material cost is pennies.
Add on sales are a big business. Introducing a new product to your existing customers will bring in some extra cash to you and your business!