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In 2016, I was so excited when I launched my T-shirt business. I had mapped out plans and strategies to get it all out for sale. I had plans to connect with influencers. I had plans to become the buzz in the fashion line. I had always wanted to own a line of ‘something’ in the fashion industry. I didn’t know what it was but tees, tops, under wears, bags, sandals, slippers and shoes were all I wrote down.

I remember training for bags but I lost interest. I decided I was going to outsource anything I was going to do.

But there were plans with no foundation. I failed to do the basic things I was supposed to do. I later learned what I did wrong. If you are planning to run a T-shirt business or any business, please read this.


I had learned about niche at that time and so I already told myself I was going to make t-shirts using tie and dye. It was fascinating because it was my first time going close to anything tye and dye. But what I failed to do was to test the market and see if there were potential clients waiting to buy from me.

I just assumed that it was going to look good and that people were going to buy from me. I concluded that the tie and dye T-shirt wasn’t so common and so people will love it. I thought wrong. No matter what product you want to create, it’s important you research and test the market to avoid wasting money and time.

I learned the hard way when I was creating the profitable blogger course. I had to create a sales funnel. If you had followed me, you will know I did a webinar and then a challenge.

2) Economic trends

This was one thing that hit me hard! I wasn’t paying attention to economic trends. Let’s just say I heard it but didn’t take it seriously. What I’m talking about? I started this business when Nigeria went into recession. It wasn’t even biting as hard as it is now but then I went ahead to start the business. Prices of materials doubled. Transport fares increased. Prices of tye and dye joined as well. The printing on the tees broke my heart as the printer hiked his price and gave me low quality.

Did I mention that the money that I used was loaned? All I started thinking of was an exit strategy. I also got my exit strategy wrong. I should have tried to sell off even if it was half the price. What did I do? I gave them all out and started wearing some of them. I was frustrated much! If I had studied economic trends and paid attention to it, I wouldn’t have gone into the business. T-shirts aren’t what people need to survive. Right now, people are managing 3-5 tees they got in 2016 and they look great in it. People are becoming financially intelligent, so they pay for what will add value to them immensely. You may want to rethink your product.

Read Also: 8 words that spell doom for your business

3) Sentiments

If anyone tells you “there is no sentiment in business”, you better believe them. It’s one thing that kills a business. So, I was paying attention to the needs of friends and family from my own pocket from my business money. I painted in my head that once I sell off at least 10 t-shirts by mid-month, I will make the money back. Foul! It didn’t happen. I kept on being sentimental till my eyes got red and I couldn’t handle it anymore. It dawned on me that I had put myself in a position I didn’t like. I had to pinch myself a bit. If you are a ” I love my family and friends. I will do whatever they want” kind of person, please stay away from the business.

4) Lack of sales knowledge

I hated selling. I didn’t like the idea at all. I didn’t know how to go about it and I wasn’t ready to learn. The business crumbled and I couldn’t do anything about it. Creating the profitable blogger course helped me a lot to learn these things. I learned the art of selling from my sales coach, Padebi Ojomo. She is a bad ass seller! I’m not kidding here. She can make you give her your last card in exchange for something. I am still learning. Learning is an art and like every other form of art, it needs consistent practice. So, learn how to up your selling game. That’s where the money is.

What other business pit holes do you think we should be careful of?

Are you in any of this mess? I will love to help.

Did this add value to you? I will love to read your thoughts.

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Hey She-boss! I am Joy (Ollie) and I am glad to have you here. I am a God lover who is dedicated to inspiring young creative women and living a fulfilled life. I hope you find my posts useful and don't forget to subscribe for more awesomeness! Thank you for reading!!!❤️


  1. Stuart John

    June 2, 2017 at 10:24 am

    Hi Joy,

    The same worse experiences happened to me. The most critical part was market research and I failed in this step. That came to me a big loss!

    But days later, now market research is the interesting part of my business and It’s making me a good revenue at the end.

    Your article is helpful for newbies, thanks. Keep sharing!

    • Joy

      June 8, 2017 at 9:20 pm

      Amazing. I am glad you found value in this post. Thank you so much for reading, John.

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