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Build your ‘CustomInk Alternative’ Printshop today

by Mariya Parackal
custom ink

T-shirt printing is highly popular these days, and many people have done a good business out of it due to the huge demand in the market.

When we look around the local businesses, we can see screen printing is used to work with local schools, businesses, sports teams, and volunteer organizations to create customized t-shirts and other apparel.

If you are running an offline printshop, it will be hard to get a better revenue compared to the online printing businesses. No one is aware of your shop if your business is not online. So, it’s necessary to move the local printshops to online like CustomInk.

If you are planning to move your local business to an online business, then we have an online printing application for you. Using our online printing software you can easily start your business online.

Customers and organizations can sometimes be intimidated by the t-shirt making process. By making the process seem easy and visually interactive, users are engaged instead of putting off. 

When competing, smaller businesses shouldn’t see it as “taking on CustomInk”.  Operating a business that is too focused on a larger competitor will just encourage replication and recipe for disaster.

Smart challenges to address consist of differentiating your business. You should strive to offer low prices, an effective design editor, and great customer service, but small businesses can come out even further ahead when focusing on their own unique strengths.  This usually includes quality, flexibility, and developing personal relationships. This can help small businesses carve out a niche even in the most competitive markets.

CustomInk started up in 1999 offering custom shirts and has grown due to its innovative business model and powerful t-shirt design editor. As a result, CustomInk crossed $400 million in annual revenue last year in 2019.

Chances are larger companies could have you beat on price. Other factors you can compete on our specialized value and service. Possessing the flexibility and adaptability needed to meet the needs of your customers will help you rise up as a lovable business.

6 Steps to Start an Online Printing Business like CustomInk

online printing business


Whether or not you currently have a small local print shop, you serve as a middleman, or you already operate solely online,  make sure you do not build anything large scale in the beginning. Building a website from scratch – especially one consisting of multiple features and advanced editors – can quickly cost your business.

After you launch this business, you should also expect to make changes according to your customers’ wants and needs. By not putting in all your resources in the beginning, you can easily make changes down the road. Consider using a premade script, especially in the beginning (but make sure it is open source so you can alter it later without issues). 

An example of a complete solution (one that includes e-commerce and design editing capabilities) is iScripts PrintLogic. This online design and printing software can give you all the features you need at a significantly reduced price and timeframe compared to building from the bottom up.


If you haven’t already, you should define your target and only sell to them. Don’t try to be too many places at one time or plan to sell to the masses.  Dedicate your attention to a specific niche.  Once you conquer there, you can move on to higher levels and develop more products and services. Aim high, but make sure the target is right.


How many things are there on your “to-do” list? “Which ‘to-do’ list?” you ask.  You could try a multitude of different marketing techniques, but which ones are most important? Which ones can you already do well?  Instead of learning a variety of new skills and spreading yourself (and resources) thin, focus on your strengths and simply work up.  Always focus on what makes you the least amount of effort first. If you lack the ability to move further beyond this point, you could also consider outsourcing some of your efforts to get the biggest bang for your small business buck.


Be more personable than the big guys. Typically larger companies do not have as much time for one-on-one customer interaction.  Hear your customers and respond in a friendly and helpful manner. Go above and beyond (but within your own means). Sometimes this is your best marketing investment as a small business.


While you may be peeved that larger competitors have more leverage to gain contracts and reach larger organizations, don’t let their actions guide your own strategy. By reacting instead of innovating, you will always be a few steps behind.


It is almost a guarantee that your customers will be checking up on your social networks and reviews before doing business with you.  Trust is a segment all its own – from online reviews and comments to forums and social media, all eyes are on your business.  This is also an opportunity for your company to shine.

How Does a Local Printshop Compete with New Players?

Choose Printing Methods 

There are various types of T-shirt printing methods that you can use if you are just starting out. However, make sure that you are aware of each’s pros and cons so that you can finalize the techniques that will suit you the best. Listed below are some of them that you can consider using: 

  • Screen Printing
  • Direct To Garment Printing
  • Dye Sublimation Printing
  • Heat Press Printing
  • Vinyl Cut Printing

Another thing that you need to take care of is the customization that you are going to provide as that would help in attracting the customers. You can also check at the Vistaprint business model and how does it sell its digital printing products.

Furthermore, here are some of the ways in which you can ensure that you are still in the game:

Add a personal touch to the process & invest in customer service

Customers are the people whom you are going to impress in order to boost your sales. It is necessary that you do a little bit extra when it comes to customer service in order to keep them satisfied with your services. There are a lot of ways in which you can improve the marketing of your store. Here are a few things that you can do:

  • Update the shop displays 
  • Provide personalized cards and pamphlets to your customers
  • Utilize the online platforms and start showing personalized ads to your customers 
  • Host events and provide offers & gifts
  • Improve your packaging

Connect with schools through unique payment methods 

One of the best ways to reach out to more people is through schools. Collaborate with schools to provide them with customized school T-shirts and develop a user-friendly payment method. With this, you will be able to sell your products on a big scale. 

Provide several product options and streamline the inventory process

Timely delivery is extremely important in order to build trust among your customers. Ensure the following things when you are venturing into the business:

  • Train and prepare your team in a way that they can handle the orders independently 
  • Make arrangements with the drop-shippers so that you can sell the products
  • Get associated with a logistics company for storing items

Develop DIY designer tools

Develop a design tool where the clients can experiment with templates, colors, and new designs. This would help in engaging your customers more. Create a web-based application where the user can customize the products according to their choice.

Help out your customers with design touch-ups

In order to increase user engagement, you can always help out your customers with coming up with out-of-the-box designs of their choice. In this way, they would connect with your brand more.

online printing software

A professional but reasonably priced CustomInk clone script can provide you with nearly the same features and benefits, while also giving you the ability to scale in the future and not to mention, saving you thousands in the early development stages. And thus you can start an online t-shirt printing business effortlessly.

How to Use Solution Like PrintLogic?

If you are planning to create a similar platform like CustomInk or Vistaprint, Buy our Online Printing Software PrintLogic. 

iScripts PrintLogic is an affordable software while also being very easy to set up and use on a daily basis.

Take your printshop business online, or integrate it with your existing printing website and give your customers a way to design their own printable products online.

Hope you are now aware of the small ways in which you can compete with the brands like CustomInk and ensure a smooth business flow.

Have questions about iScripts PrintLogic? If you are confused about How does it work with your existing business or online business idea, Call us at (312) 423-6728 with any questions you may have or send an email to sales@iscripts.com.

Check out the iScripts PrintLogic Demo.

iScripts PrintLogic Live Demo

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