The reason anyone enters into business is to make money and the t-shirt printing or embroidery business is no exception; even if you totally love what you do, you still need to get paid.
This is especially true for people in the garment printing, rhinestone design or embroidery business; the bottom line is just that, the bottom line! You want to sell as much of your product as possible.
Increasing sales, as well as realizing the biggest profit from each sale, is what distinguishes a successful business from one that is stagnant or (heaven forbid) failing.
The key is to appeal to the broadest possible range of people and companies. This can be accomplished by identifying growth markets, predicting trends and the needs of customers.
No, it doesn’t require a crystal ball. Finding growth markets means understanding what your customers want to buy and how to adjust your product line to respond to those demands.
In the garment industry, there are several opportunities for future growth. Here is a list of a few:
Although advancements can come from just about anywhere, there are two fundamental categories of growth markets as they relate to your custom embroidery company, digital T-shirt printing or rhinestone transfer business: existing clients and new customers.
One of the best places for growth is with your existing customers. They illustrate how far you have come to this point; the people and companies with which you already developed a business relationship.
Keeping faithful customers happy is the foundation of any successful business. Ignore them, and you put your entire enterprise at risk!
In addition, reaching out to existing customers makes good business sense and can be easiest on your budget. It is also the most cost-effective, since they can let you bypass the step of getting the word out; they already know who you are and what you offer.
The strategy for cultivating your current customers can be twofold: either entice them to buy more products or spend more on what they are already buying. The challenge is asking them to do one, the other, or both.
Adding extra value to your current product line requires thinking outside the box and a bit of creative inspiration.
For the commercial embroiderer, nothing is as predictable as the logo on the left-breast pocket. To shake things up for your customers, you have to be willing offer them something different.
One way to maximize your existing customer base is by changing design techniques. For example, place logos and images can on different parts of the garment, other than the usual left-breast pocket. Consider the cuff, sleeve and back yolk to mix your lineup a bit. Or maybe expand into a Mixed Media approach with both embroidery and rhinestones.
Design techniques do not need to be limited to a single design; a second logo, web address on the cuff or collar can transform an ordinary shirt, normally selling for $16, into a higher-value item for which you can charge significantly more. For hats, an additional hooping with a design on the back, and you can sell the unit at a premium.
Updated logos are another way to provide existing customers a reason to buy more higher-profit items from you. With employees working longer hours and increasingly doing things with friends and family directly from work, casual wear emblazoned with a company design has become a large part of an employee’s attire.
Stylish tone-on-tone logo designs are a perfect way to stay tastefully dressed outside the office, without feeling like a walking billboard. It can also be a timesaver since the employee doesn’t have to go home to change before doing other things.
The more a company shirt becomes a regular part of an employee’s wardrobe, the more shirts the company will buy—resulting in more sales for you.
What is a better way to know what your customers want than to ask? By having a conversation with your best clients, the ones that come back to you frequently, and learning about what you can do for them, you can see how to better fulfill their needs.
No matter how long you have been in the industry, you will have more experience in garment decorating than your client. Don’t expect them to feel as excited about your business as you do, but you can be guaranteed one thing; they care about what you can do for them!
By being an expert in the garment industry, you will be expected to work with your customers on recommendations, suggestions and ways your business can improve theirs.
In business, you will be required to wear many hats (so to speak), and the most notable is that of teacher. Educate your client as to the benefits of choosing quality, in materials and design, and the reasons why you should be their first choice.
The best way to increase your garment decorating business is by refining a solid base of loyal customers; companies and people who are always coming back for more like our embroidery supplies business does at Colman and Company.
Do you have a powerful way to increase sales from your existing customers? We would love to hear them! Let us know in the comments.
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