June '15

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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42 || P R I N T W E A R J U N E 2 0 1 5 Capture the Hospitality Market B y K r i s t i n e s h r e v e How small businesses can compete in the niche T he hospitality industry is a prof- itable market for a decorator, but it's often seen as the prov- ince of larger companies. To some extent, this is true. Larger hospitali- ty chains often want to receive their deco- rated garments from the same company for a consistent product and look. Smaller companies also may have trouble handling the demands of a larger hotel or restaurant chain. Some orders are simply too big for an embroidery shop that only runs a few heads or employs a small staff, but this shouldn't prevent smaller shops from pursuing jobs within the hospitality market. With the right niche, even small shops can compete in the hospitality market. FIND THE RIGHT CLIENTS Before creating a list of potential hospitality clients, consider the ca- pabilities of your business. What sets you apart from your competi- tion? What can you offer hospitali- ty clients that other companies can- not? What is your potential work capacity, and how willing are you to grow and expand if demand for your work increases? These answers will help you de- cide what clients to pursue and what cli- ents should be left to larger embroiderers. Once you've established your strengths and work capacity, you're ready to find po- tential clients. At first glance, it seems that the big fish in the hospitality industry are the chain hotels and restaurants, but it's possible to build a profitable business by serving boutique hotels, bed-and-breakfasts, or Kristine Shreve is the director of marketing for EnMart and parent company Ensign Emblem. She devel- oped and writes the EnMart Embroi- deryTalk Blog at and the SubliStuff blog at www.sub- She additionally main- tains the EnMart Twitter feed ( and Facebook page ( Reach her by email at A small shop can break into the hospitality market by fo- cusing on bou- tique hotels. (All images courtesy Edwards Gar- ment)

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