November '14

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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STITCH SOLUTIONS by JENNIFER COX | | | | 6 4 | Printwear N Ov E m b E R 20 1 4 Jennifer Cox is the president and co-founder of the National Network of Em- broidery Professionals (NNEP), a professional organization for apparel decora- tion business owners. NNEP supports the success of NNEP members with best practices, ideas, sources, solutions, volume-buying benefits, and services. Cox was recognized as a Top 50 Small Business Influencer and Community Choice Leader by Small Biz Trends in 2013, is recognized as one of the industry's "Most Creative Thinkers," and repeatedly ranks in the top 40 on the industry's "Power List." Reach her at or go to I n every industry, annoyances happen day after day. Here at the National Network of Embroi- dery Professionals, we're in a unique position to hear about our industry's annoyances—from owners of part-time, home-based businesses to owners of 400- plus head shops. What's most surprising is our gripes are consistent, no matter the kind or size of business. Here's a list of the top pet peeves of embroidery and apparel decoration business owners as well as some suggestions on tweaking your universe to reduce or eliminate these frustrations. 'Just make it look good' How many times have we heard that exact phrase from our customers? I'd say far too many to count. This rates at the top of the pet peeve list because it leaves us hanging. The customer is essentially asking us to read his or her mind to decipher expectations and somehow make those unknown expectations appear in thread and fibers. To get the information you need to meet and exceed expectations, you must be proactive and ask questions. In fact, here is a sign we posted in our sales area to show customers all of the infor- mation we need: an embroiderer's Confession The biggest pet peeves and how to handle them

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