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T-Shirt Business Owner Resolutions for the New Year

T-Shirt Business Owner Resolutions for the New Year - Threadsy

Nicole Rollender |

As a t-shirt shop owner, it’s that time of year when you review 2022 and plan for 2023 – and you’ll probably see areas you’d like to improve. Or, you may want to set some B.H.A.G.S. (that’s big, hairy, audacious goals). We’re here to suggest picking resolutions that can both accelerate your business ambitions and enhance your quality of life. 

But before we jump in, you might be thinking, “What’s the point? No one keeps New Year’s resolutions for more than a few weeks, right?” Statistics show that out of the people who make a resolution, after one week 75% are still successful in keeping it. After two weeks, the number drops to 71%. After one month, only 64% of people stick to their resolution. After six months, 46% of people are still keeping their resolution.

While people do abandon their resolutions, you don’t have to be one of them. There are a few common reasons people “fail” at their New Year’s resolutions:

  • 35% say they set unrealistic goals as their resolutions.
  • 33% failed because they didn’t keep track of their progress.
  • 23% simply forgot about their resolutions.
  • 10% failed because “they made too many resolutions.”

If you analyze the above statistics, your takeaway should be to select a few attainable goals, track your progress and keep your resolutions top-of-mind.

8 Realistic Resolutions for T-Shirt Shop Owners

Check out eight action-oriented resolutions you’ll be excited to take on in 2023.

1. Find more time by evaluating where you’re spending your time.

Most successful business owners agree: You can buy everything but time. Time is your most precious commodity, and wasting time is worse than even wasting money. Preserve your time by evaluating how you’re using it. Here are a few examples of common time wasters:

  • Online distractions, like constant email checking or social media rabbit holes
  • Spending too much time on administrative work
  • Wasting time by multitasking, rather than monotasking
  • Not setting your calendar up for success with tasks in time blocks

Not setting boundaries with clients who take up too much of your time. For example, the biggest time waster among people while working is spending 60% to 80% of their internet time on non-work-related tasks, according to Salary.com. That group might include you, and it might not. The best way to see where you’re spending your time is to log your activities for a few days, either on paper or using an app. 

You’ll discover if you’re constantly falling into a social media rabbithole or spending way too much time on admin work. Once you see where you’re wasting your time, you can take steps to eliminate those distractions, streamline operations or even hire some help.

Here are two free tools to try together:

Google Calendar: One of the most popular tools out there, it’s easy to use. You can access your calendar from any computer or mobile device. That way you can change or view your schedule from anywhere. You can also set up notifications so you get a pop-up message about what’s up next in your workday. 

Timecamp: This is a great tool to use along with Google Calendar, since it tracks your specific time spent on different tasks so you can see what takes up the most of your time. Timecamp even generates reports and statistics that show you where you’re “wasting” your time so you can make changes to your calendar.

2. Try outsourcing personal and business tasks.

It’s very common for entrepreneurs to shy away from hiring help or outsourcing repetitive tasks, even when their workload increases. New business owners often fear “paying” for someone to help with tasks they can do themselves. However, like with our first resolution, time is a precious commodity for a business owner like yourself.

Start with your personal needs to see if you can gain more time. For example, you can hire a service or a person to come in to clean your home, walk your dog or deliver your groceries. If someone cleans your home for five hours one day every two weeks, that’s five more hours back into your schedule. Once you’re comfortable with outsourcing some of your domestic duties, explore hiring a service or an independent contractor for help with graphic design, bookkeeping or shipping. 

Take a few days or a week to write down recurring tasks or areas that you’d like to hand off to someone else. (This is a good task to bundle with our first resolution to see where you can save time.) That’s where you can narrow the list down to tasks that either take up too much of your time or that you’d like to get some pro help on, like a graphic designer. Your accountant will also tell you that you can deduct these business expenses, making hiring help a win-win.

3. Declutter and organize your office space.

This might be one of the easiest resolutions you choose, but it’ll have a big impact. Block off a few hours to remove items taking up space in your office. Then, organize your office essentials and add some new art or plants to rejuvenate your space. It’s also a good time to think about your production workflow to discover any bottlenecks you can easily fix just by rearranging your decorating, packaging and shipping areas. In the new year, make it a point to put items back after you’ve used them or at the end of your work day so you can start fresh and ready to go the next morning.

4. Review your unfinished 2022 projects.

There are likely projects and goals that you didn’t quite get to the finish line. Make a list of these first: You might have planned to do research on new designs or products your target market might buy, or perhaps you aimed to create a video series on social media showing how to style your t-shirts with different accessories. Determine if each project is better left in 2022, or if you should move forward. 

Once you know it’s worth finishing it, create a plan, and a timeline and dedicate resources to its completion. For example, to start figuring out which designs check out Google Trends or Think with Google’s Shopping Insights Tool to review trending products, styles or colors. Since you’ve already started certain projects – or at least put them on your radar – take that amazing momentum into 2023 and make plans to complete those projects.

5. Laser-focus on your ecommerce website… so you can sell more.

Do you have a website? If as a newer t-shirt shop owner you don’t, here’s your big goal to reach in 2023. If you have a website-in-progress, put special emphasis on completing it so you can enjoy the branding and financial rewards. If you already have a website, a must-do resolution should be to review its functionality and design to see where you can make tweaks to improve it for your customers.

Here are a few areas to consider:

Is your site ecommerce enabled, so people can easily find and buy items from you? If yes, can you reorganize your products or change the photos or product descriptions? Take time to see how many steps it takes for a buyer to place an order and see if you can reduce them.

If you don’t have an ecommerce site, it’s time to take a look at how you can get that up and running. Not sure where to start? There are a few reputable apparel-specific ecommerce vendors you can reach out to: InkSoft, Printavo, OrderMyGear, DecoNetwork and Spirit Sale.

Do you have antivirus/antimalware and advanced threat protection (ATP)  software running on your site? You should know that 30,000 websites get hacked each day – and 43% of cyber-attacks target small businesses like yours. Talk to an IT pro to see if you’re fully covered and if not, what products will work best for your needs.

Is your website due for maintenance or a design upgrade to keep it from looking dated? Keep up with your competitors by giving your website a facelift. Whether you DIY it with a new template or hire a professional, the money and time you invest will be well worth the effort.

How fast does your website load on your computer or mobile device? The recommended load time is two seconds.

Google recently said, “We aim for under a half-second.” Try out Google PageSpeed Insights, which scores your site speed on a scale from 0 to 100. The higher your score, the better your website performs. Even cooler? The tool can test the experience for users from a laptop and from a mobile device. You’ll get specific performance and SEO ratings so you can see where you need to focus attention.

Do you have a regular web developer you can rely on for maintenance? What about if you should have an emergency that could hold orders up? Having someone you can text during urgent downtime can save you money and time.

Do you sell items on other platforms like Amazon or Etsy? If not, research if you should set that up, if that’s where your buyers are. There are lots of YouTube videos and inexpensive courses where you can learn the basics of selling on these platforms.

6. Meet with your CPA.

If you don’t have a CPA, get one. They’re much more than a bookkeeper or a professional who files your annual taxes or other financial documents. A good Certified Public Accountant is also a financial advisor you can count on to work for your company’s best interests, as you grow. Running a business usually has tax advantages if you know what they are and you structure your business accordingly. Start off your year by meeting with your accountant to review your previous fiscal year and 2023 so you can create a solid plan to make this your most profitable year yet.

We also recommend resolving to lean on your accountant more than you have in the past. This person and their team can help you with so many things, including:

  • Recommend the right business structure (sole proprietorship, LLC, corporation or partnership) for your t-shirt shop
  • Recommend the right accounting software you should use
  • Providing insights into how to track your business expenses
  • Ensure your independent contractors are classified correctly (and not as employees)
  • Provide advice on estimated tax payments you should make throughout the year
  • Compile and submit your taxes and business paperwork to the IRS
  • Help prevent IRS audits, and guide you through one if it happens
  • Help you create financial forecasts and business budgets.

7. Create or beef up your IRA.

We’re all hoping to retire one day, and life isn’t getting any cheaper. Talk to your CPA or financial advisor to understand how these savings can help you if you don’t already have an IRA. Generally, Traditional or Roth IRAs are a good starting place when you’re opening your t-shirt shop and also want to start saving for retirement. A SEP IRA is a good long-term option if you don’t plan to hire employees and you want to maximize your contributions. 

8. Look at efficiency and your customer’s experience.

Efficiency and your customer’s experience really go hand-in-hand. By creating a more efficient ordering and production system, you’re really helping to make your customer experience better as well. By finding ways to improve your processes you’ll likely reduce stress and increase your profits. At the same time, it can reduce the time your customer waits to receive their decorated apparel and increase their satisfaction!

Take Time Now to Set Your Goals for 2023

If you’re a t-shirt shop owner, then you know year-end can be a really busy time for you. But this is also an important time to set your goals for next year and what you want to accomplish. By doing this, you’ll be setting up your business for success.