October '13

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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economic conditions. "The apparel market segment often has high-volume requirements," states Hawkes. "That's great when the economy is good, but if a decorator's business is dependent upon a limited number of customers, they carry a great risk." He concludes with the point that versatility is the key to longevity. Finally, and perhaps one of the best motivators for adding promotional products: the category's absence can potentially open the doors for competitors. "The bottom line is, there are companies out there offering both types of products," Harris rationalizes. "You may end up on the outside looking in if you're offering just apparel or just gadgets." Hot ticket Once it's decided to include promotional goods in your offerings, it becomes important to expand customer-base as well. While existing jobs will most likely offer a wealth of opportunities, there are scores of untapped clients. The first step in building this base is to become educated on the goods available. "Do your research," says Hawkes. "Find out what's selling from a variety of suppliers." With hundreds of thousands of options on the market, determining what's hot right now, as well as effective, is crucial to success in this very busy marketplace. From here, get samples. As with apparel, this helps clients picture their own logo on the goods and the im- pact the additional order can have. It is important to note, however, that it is not necessary to keep every available product from a catalog on hand, or even know the specifics of every item on the market. This is not only unrealistic, but overwhelming. And, a campaign of poorly-organized products is hardly the way to find lasting clients. As Goos notes, one superior idea can often replace several mediocre ones. "Wouldn't you rather receive something targeted to your needs that you find functional and useful versus something generic?" he asks. To help combat a convoluted or misguided sales pitch, it is crucial to truly understand your client's needs and the in- The Best Deals Come Naturally. Save Now on Polos and Fleece! • Perfect for Special Events • All Sizes | All Colors | One Price Fleece Style 1650 & 5650 Now $32.00 (P) Polos Style 1600, 5600, 5640 Now $14.00 (P) • Order Now for the Best Selection, 800.253.9885 * All Sales Are Final & Non-Returnable EDW2162-TRUE_PrintwearH081913.indd 1 PW_OCT13 Ads.indd 31 Use Info # 116 | 31 8/20/13 10:03 AM 2013 October Printwear 9/18/13 11:57 AM

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