Printwear

June '15

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 5 J U N E P R I N T W E A R || 45 uniform or embroidery company. High- light your flexibility in scheduling, quality, personalized service, and products. The idea is to emphasize what sets you apart. Keep in mind that seasonal flexibility is a big selling point for a small embroidery business. Many hotels, restaurants, and oth- er hospitality venues have a busy season and a slow season. A small decoration shop can offer flexibility by ramping up its employee roster and adjusting the production sched- ule to facilitate seasonal business in a way that a large decoration shop cannot. Flexi- bility in order size also comes into play. A small embroidery shop can better accom- modate two- or three-garment runs, a job size that may not appeal to large embroi- dery businesses. This is a huge selling point for a business with seasonal staff or substan- tial employee turnover. And don't just focus on apparel. Restau- rants and hotels often look for more than just decorated garments. Many restaurants sell customized glasses, plates, or other sou- venirs, and hotels usually have gift shops that offer decorated items for travelers. Hotels and restaurants need name tags and identification badges for employees, as well. An embroidery business that also offers sublimation is well positioned to service this type of business because it can decorate those identification and gift items. If you're a small shop that can't entirely capture a hospitality vendor, consider part- nering with a large embroidery business to handle the overflow. Many embroidery shops partner with smaller businesses to handle one-offs and other low-run jobs. Contracting out work also allows a smaller business to increase its workflow and mar- ket share without investing in new equip- ment until revenue flow is established. Ultimately, illustrating that your busi- ness can create more than embroidered polos is a huge selling point. Show clients that you're willing to help them increase their sales, and it could be what gets you in the door. the bid list. The letter should list your capa- bilities, stressing that you can handle quick turnarounds and small orders, and provide references from similar clients. If the pros- pect adds you to the bid list, be prepared to produce samples of your work on request. Make quantity a priority and don't limit your market. Proper research of the local markets allows you to pinpoint the venues that are single-proprietor establishments or those that are willing to consider working with another small business. Once you've established a list of prospects, create sam- ples of what you can do for each business and set up an appointment to talk to the decision-maker. DIFFERENTIATE YOUR BUSINESS After securing appointments, create a pro- fessional presentation, such as a brochure or press kit, which includes information about your capabilities and experience as well as testimonials from similar clients. A brochure or press kit is also a great place to emphasize why your shop is a better choice than a large

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