Plan Everything


The planning process may be one of the hardest steps in creating your t-shirt brand, but it is arguably the most essential step to creating a successful business of any kind. As the old saying goes, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” The following guidelines can be used as a basis of what to plan and how to plan it effectively.


1. Setting Goals


A major part of planning for your t-shirt brand is goal-setting. You need to know exactly what you’re looking to accomplish with your brand in order to make progress. One of the best methods for setting goals is the S.M.A.R.T. method, which stands for:


The “who,” “what,” “where,” “when” and “why”


Can be measured in numbers


Realistic; Possible to be reached with effort


Resonates with you and inspires you


Has a deadline or time limit

Tip: Stay Relevant

One of the most important aspects of the S.M.A.R.T. goals acronym is the ‘R’ for Relevant. You have to set goals that are attainable, but which are also relevant or inspirational. 

S.M.A.R.T Goal Setting

A goal of selling two t-shirts in your first month may be easily attainable, but it’s completely uninspiring and the payoff is really weak, so you may not be motivated to achieve that. On the other end, setting a goal of 300 t-shirt sales in your first month may be inspiring, but it is most likely an unrealistic target (assuming you’re not running a million-dollar promotion campaign or you’re not a celebrity).

Setting a goal of 300 t-shirt sales in your first month may be inspiring, but it is most likely an unrealistic target

JANUARY: Sell 10 T-Shirts
FEBRUARY: Sell 15 T-Shirts
MARCH: Sell 30 T-Shirts

We can’t tell you exactly what your sales goal should be, but if you’re just starting out, a sales goal of at least ten t-shirts sold in a month should be both reasonable and inspiring enough. Of course, selling ten t-shirts isn’t anything to brag about, but achieving that simple goal should give you the momentum and confidence to sell at least 15 t-shirts the following month, and then 30 t-shirts the month after that. And then after several months of building your brand exposure and reaching previous sales goals, the goal of selling 300 t-shirts in a month will be pretty realistic.

It’s good to set product sales goals for your brand, but you also need to consider other goals that may help increase your sales. Here are some questions to consider when setting goals for your business:

How many t-shirts do you want to sell this month?

How many retail stores do you want your t-shirts to be sold in, and by when?

Which trade show or event do you plan on exhibiting at 6 months from now?

What magazines do you want your brand featured in 6 months from now?

Tip: Write Your Goals

These four goals should be sufficient to get you started and working in the right direction. Make sure to actually write or type your goals so that they’re easier to remember and work toward.