September '15

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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32 || P R I N T W E A R S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 5 the extent that some groups don't have new uniforms until four games into the season or drop orders in search of a decorator who can get it to them quicker. Another issue for decorators is the fact that they do not typically deal directly with the booster clubs, instead leaving the contact to distributors. Some shops are ap- proached by the schools and organizations themselves, in which case the shop owners must refer them to their dealers or work di- rectly with the dealers. "They may see our products online, they may call us directly, but the dealer obvious- ly has an idea of who the schools and boost- er clubs are," Krebbs said. "They generally have a very good relationship with their schools and booster clubs, so it's up to us to work with the dealer and convey that to the end user." There also is a balance that the shops must strike between making sure their end users can afford the products under budget con- straints that only seem to tighten every year. To do this, many decorators offer discounts or competitive pricing in negotiation with their dealers and the schools, especially for those who may not have as much funding available for uniforms or equipment. How- ever, to keep the orders profitable, some businesses may have to negotiate with their end users who want their products for a huge discount or even for free. Conversely, in order to keep prices compet- itive and reasonable, other businesses try to offer special deals and combinations. "We do bundles and they can have the boxer, T and headband," says McCarrell of Boxercraft. In addition to negotiating affordable deals for the schools and clubs, some busi- nesses also prefer to remain price competi- tive. However, practitioners and dealers of- ten find that delivering with the mindset of exceeding expectations is enough to garner local attention. "I personally have found that just doing a good job, the groups you are working with usually leads to another lead," Eagan said. "Sometimes in the past I have done email campaigns, but it has not really seemed to be worth the time spent," Eagan said. "In any area of this business, I feel as if you do a good job for current customers, more cus- tomers will come." School clubs and student athletes across all age groups often face restrictions for customizing apparel, to the extent that crop tops and shorts are the only pieces where students have leeway. (Image courtesy of JB Bloomers) BOOSTER SALES BOOSTER SALES

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