December '14

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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20 1 4 D EC E M B E R PRINTWEAR | 101 If your business plan reasonably projects to produce a certain amount of garments in a year, why not invest in a larger em- broidery machine right away? Why wait six months and risk spending 10 to 20 percent more on your equipment? All too often, apparel decorators purchase items in small quantities, which increases costs over time. Instead, plan out your needs and in- vest properly. Put the best negotiating tool in your hands and contact your vendors about vol- ume pricing. Ask how much you have to purchase to qualify for a discounted rate, and that potential large sale will immediate- ly open the eyes and ears of your vendors. If you have a history of purchasing from another vendor, share that informa- tion. Send copies of invoices and explain that you're seeking a new vendor. Share why you're in the market as well as your previous volume for leverage. This trans- parency shows you aren't filling someone with hot air, but you're here to make something happen. Get the vendor's at- tention right away with documentation and proof, and then watch the best deals fall into your lap. If you're new to the business, either make the initial investment with a bulk purchase or ask for a volume goal. Once you know where you need to be, you can work toward that goal and hold your ven- dor accountable. If you have the finances to make the bulk purchase at a later date, make the move then. As you prepare for the new year, re- member that you and your vendors are on the same team. The more shirts you sell, the more ink you buy. As you grow, so do your suppliers. Establishing a trusted and mutually beneficial relationship puts you in the best position for growth as your volume increases and the market chang- es. If you make your vendors money, they will be your best friends in the industry and have no issues taking care of you, too. pw

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