T-Shirt Blog

Super User

Super User

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Tuesday, 30 December 2014 17:39

Thinking of Wholesale T-Shirt Printing?

     So you want to make money selling t-shirts? Cool! Screen printing can be a fun business. It's also a BUSINESS! So with that comes all the things that aren't fun about running one. What most printers realize at a certain point in their growth is that there is so much administration work that it takes time away from the press running. So concessions have to be made. Where will they (or YOU) spend their time and how can it be fun and profitable at the end of the day?
     As a running theme in my own life, I like to say find a balance. Now some shops are built for large markets and their presses are running non-stop. Accounting, customer service, marketing, art department and sales all have their own employees. So these shops must not stop the presses in order to keep the machine from collapsing.
     Most screen printers though do a little of everything. Unfortunately that means too many balls in the air and something will get dropped. So finding a balance for your screen printing business may benefit from outsourcing a little. I remember being hands on the entire job through the entire process and there's something rewarding about that, but successful shops grow to a point where one person cannot do everything. In order to avoid becoming a "too big to fail" company, where the fun seems to be sucked out of it and you can keep your hands on some jobs beginning to end, think of finding a wholesale printing company.
     Here's a quick plug, Logo My Stuff is also a wholesale screen printer. PinkWe have been printing for other companies since our roots in the early nineties. Back then, we began by printing for sporting goods companies that didn't have their own shops. Slowly we added brokers that just simply sold and didn't print at all. Over the years though, our reputation grew and gave comfort to other printers that we would print for them for whatever reason, while being honest and ethical in the process. We saw this opportunity as an avenue for us to fill in the gaps and build relationships in the printing community.
     Most businesses have one of two philosophies. Either the "Us against them" or the "we all in it together" attitudes. We are of the latter way of thinking. If businesses surround themselves with connections in the industry that operate the same way, it really doesn't make that much difference where the print jobs come from or go to. Those t-shirt companies keep getting a steady portion of the pie. Having this a the mentality of your print shop will help you slowly grow and no be continually gambling on getting big jobs and feeling like you have to be cut throat on your prices.
Maybe you want to find a good wholesale connection (HEY LOOK OVER HERE!!) or you want to print as a wholesaler yourself, either way is a great idea. Leave comments below and we surely will be happy to help.
     If you are wanting to become a contract screen printer, there are a few things that become different. Accounting and taxes have their nuisances. Different shops have different print philosophies as far as inks, mesh counts and feel, so you need to have good communication on those things. Also, consider how the relationship will be when it comes to your marketing. If you are printing for another shop that's close to you, be honest and open with them about how much you market to particular niches. If the shop really has a client base of Boy Scout troops, they would probably want to know that you have someone targeting those same groups. At the end of the day, if both sides are comfortable and sincere with each other, the relationship will only flourish. Then, both t-shirt companies can still have fun!

Monday, 10 February 2014 15:10

Marketing T-Shirts In The Snow

It's seven degrees here and it's not normal for our area of the country. There's usually a word war between southerners and northerners which starts out like this: (S) "It's so cold!" (N) "This is nothing, where I come from..." and let the hard feelings ensue. Really, for us, the weather is just a reminder that No one is buying custom screen printed tees. There are exceptions to every rule, by this time of year is slow for printers.
So the question for the industry is; "what do we do?" How do well sell a few more jobs to make it to that tipping point of spring? While it's a good time for maintenance and cleaning, it's a GREAT time for brainstorming and acting outside the box. Now, everyone has heard that it's easier to sell a job to an existing client than to a new one and that 's just what I'm suggesting. However, exactly what I'm suggesting is that we take a new approach. 
Idea copyEvery year, the small businesses come to us when they need their screen printed apparel or we market to them around the time that we know they will need them. What if we flipped the script, what if we sold them custom printed apparel when they didn't need them....in the winter. 
Hear me out. Normally, printers go hard and heavy in the mild and warmer months and then huge drop offs, even lay offs in the cold ones. With thinner work crews, the people still working full time take up the extra responsiblitlies, then back to their normal ones for the busy season. Effectively, leaving no real "extra" time in the winter for all the things that you say that you're going to do when it slows down. What we need is balance throughout the year. So print a little more in the winter and a little less in the summer. Then, slowly implementing growth. How do we do that you ask?
If our business model allows us to offer incentives to customers (which everyone's should), use them in the winter! Target a niche that you normally print for and market to them now, a give them discounts for printing in January and February. Some businesses won't be able to afford it, but some will. Any business that's had longevity knows that it is a marathon and not a sprint. If you can save money now, do it! Because what matters is your calendar year's bottom line. Marketing now, to those clients that will need custom printed t-shirts in a few months will save them money, balance our workload and allow for steady growth. 
Are you thinking outside the box? Share your ideas in the comments below and link to us too! :)

Tuesday, 31 December 2013 16:19

A T-Shirt Printers New Years Resolution

Wow!  It's January first and that means New Years Resolutions!  I mean, it's one thing to say "I'm going to start working out" then find yourself eating a bowl of lucky charms, but it's quite another when you want to apply it to business practice.  One lesson (that's a hard one learn) that keeps coming back up in the screen printing industry is that we can be people pleasers to a fault.  The customer is always right is a popular way of thinking in the business world, but in service and custom industries, often the customer needs consulting and to be led.  It's here that we can find ourselves taking the long way around and creating more work than need be.  Learning to keep things simple is the key to success and happiness in this market.
     Printing t-shirts is meant to be fun.  There, I said it!  It is.   The problem is, in business the fun becomes a mundane march to billing and recieving, billing and receiving....but, hidden in there is still the reason why we became t-shirt printers in the first place and we need to get back to that as an industry.  A screen printer that's keeping it simple and having fun will keep customers happy and the market thriving.  
     So,  how to we keep it simple?  I say, start with clean, simple designs!  I'm definitely NOT saying leave behind the high end work and don't offer it to your customers, but to show the the effective message a simple design can deliver by bringing up a few mega national name brands that do the same.  
     Now, for us printers.....get back to the basics.  Go back and learn printing from the ground up, don't just assume that because you've been doing it for ten years that you know exactly what to do in any given situation.  Humble yourself.  That's our t-shirt printers new years resolution.  Be humble, be simple.......and be awesome!