October '15

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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60 || P R I N T W E A R O C T O B E R 2 0 1 5 ing with whatever customer request walks in the door. Having a few markets to target, however, can help sharpen the sales pitch and will keep you from stocking items that may not sell. A key plank in your profit platform is to find good suppliers for the items you will decorate. A supplier with a good selection, reasonable prices, and reliable delivery times is crucial. You also want to find sup- pliers who aren't constantly changing their garments on a whim and who offer consistency in size and dye lots from each brand. Nothing is worse than showing a customer a sample and then having the purchased garments turn out to be a different color or fab- ric than what was originally discussed. It is also wise to always apply for wholesale pricing as that will get you the best pricing options and give you more room in the pricing you offer to your customers. FIND YOUR CALLING After you've determined your tech- niques, decided what you want to offer, and secured your suppliers, the next item on the agenda is to find your target market. Most likely market size and reach was considered when you were deciding what you wanted to sell, but now is the time to narrow your focus and determine how and where you will sell your goods. You may want to sell locally through a brick- and-mortar store, although some decorators make a very good living selling at craft and trade shows, or setting up a booth at specific events related to their target market. Other decorators will sell online. The trick is to determine where your market is and then make sure you're there as well. Keep in mind that a hobby or connections you've already made in your community, whether in the real world or online, may be helpful in determining your market. If you like riding horses or showing dogs, for example, you may target your pro- motional wearables to that market. If you're friendly with members of the lo- cal PTA or school board, or know the people who manage a local charitable event, you may want to capitalize on those contacts and let your acquain- tances know that your company is now offering promotional wearables. Almost every group and organization is looking for wearables that members can wear or carry to claim affiliation. Your job is to provide the expertise needed to create these wearables, and to make it easy for people to buy what you create. Shop for suppliers that offer not only good prices and re- liable delivery but substrates that may appeal specifical- ly to your niche. (Image courtesy Choice Custom Apparel LLC, Appleton, Wis.) PROMOTIONAL WEARABLES

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