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Marketing your Embroidery and Garment Printing Business
As part of your business plan, you’ll also want to develop your marketing plan. Who is your customer? What market do you want to cater to? The options are almost limitless. Of course, to be successful, you’ll want to set your sights on one or two particular markets and direct your efforts toward those.
Every one of us has some sort of hobby or passion that absorbs a good amount of our free time (and sometimes it absorbs some of our not-so-free time). Try to tap into the marketplace for your passion or hobby. Some examples of good vertical markets would be – boat enthusiasts, horse enthusiasts, bikers, hunters, fishermen, any type of youth sports groups, dog shows, the list goes on and on. If you are involved in any of these pursuits (or some similar type pursuit) check out the opportunities to attend and set up a booth at one of their events.
A custom garment printed on demand will garner a much higher selling price than a generic event garment. If your window to sell is very limited, consider creating a couple of generic sample custom prints and take orders for the garments, promising a quick turn around time. Shirts at events like these can often sell for $25, $30 or even more, calculate the price of a priority mail envelope into the pricing and drop the prints into the mail the next day. Have your customers fill out the envelope so there are no address issues.
Include DTG samples in every order of apparel that you sell
If you already have an apparel decoration business, you already have a potential customer base for your new DTG printed garments. Whenever you deliver or ship an order to a customer, be sure to include a sample shirt printed on your DTG printer. It’s a good idea to print with your DTG everyday anyway, so why not develop a sample t-shirt that shows the quality you can print and offers ideas for reasons to have shirts DTG printed – such as – family reunions, golf tournaments, charity events, baby births, milestone birthdays (Lordy, Lordy, Look Who’s 40!) etc. A white t-shirt printed with a typical image may cost you $1.50 - $2.00, and you need to run the printer anyway! This is a great way to “harvest” more income from your existing customer base, while providing your customers with an exciting new product.
Use their logo from a business card or website to generate a quick, custom sampleIf your business model is more business to business (B2B) – like promotional products companies – then a slightly different approach will work. Invest in one of the inexpensive business card scanners (they are available for less than $150) and simply pick up business cards from prospective clients and generate a custom shirt with their logo on it and bring it in to them. This is a great ice breaker and can very easily open doors for you, maybe for even more business other than just your direct to garment printer. With a little cleanup you may also be able to pull this feat off from potential customers’ websites (be aware that most web graphics are only 72 DPI – so you may need to do a bit of software magic!).
Evaluate the t-shirts that you have purchased in the pastTake some time and lay out the t-shirts from your “t-shirt drawer” onto your bed. Look at the shirts and try to remember where, when and why you purchased them. In most cases, t-shirts are an “impulse” item. No one wakes up in the morning and says to themselves or herself that they are going to go down to the Wal-Mart and buy a t-shirt with “fill in the blank” on it. More than likely, you are going to be walking through the Wal-Mart and see that shirt with “fill in the blank” on it and decide to buy the t-shirt. By evaluating your own t-shirt buying habits you can get some insight into the reasons that folks buy them, which will help you to better market your DTG output. (By the way, make sure to put the t-shirts back into the drawer or your spouse will not be happy!)
The Secret is: you have to show them some output to generate interest!