October '15

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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82 || P R I N T W E A R O C T O B E R 2 0 1 5 Business Management How important is social media marketing to my business? In a word, critical. If you want to be invisible, keep ignoring your digital me- dia marketing on the prime social media platforms. It's proven that consumers, now more than ever, are researching on- line before buying. You may not like it, but millions of people and more impor- tantly, thousands of potential buyers, are looking for you online. Your involve- ment with social media platforms also greatly influences where your business ranks on the search engines. In reality, prospects and potential buyers are also judging you, your business, and the ser- vice you provide based on your digital media presence and your engagement with social media platforms. JAY BUSSELLE, IDEA CUSTOM SOLUTIONS What anti-virus software do you recommend? I am currently running AVG Free ( on all of my ma- chines. It has been solid, takes up very little memory and resources, and keeps itself up-to-date with automatic up- dates. And as an added bonus, it's free. KELLY "RAGS" RAGLAND, RAGS TO STITCHES PRODUCTION ue to lose a significant number of jobs to the competition because of a lower price, I suggest you do some soul searching. Here are some questions you should con- sider: • Did I take the time to listen and fully understand the level of quality, ser- vice, and delivery the customer was looking for before I quoted the price? • Did I over-engineer the propos- al—e.g. plan to use higher quality materials than the customer needed or include some other aspect of service that the customer never asked for? • Are my costs for the specified job excessive—either in cost of raw mate- rials or labor? • Did you adequately explain the plan and process—all the things that you would be doing for the customer—in filling the order along with communi- cating the price? Notice that not once did I entertain the possibility of lowering your gross prof- it margin. Once you are convinced your costs of goods sold are in line with the in- dustry average for your geographic area, hold firm on the prices you need to charge to be profitable and remain in business. Even if all things are equal, people will buy from people who they like, trust, and with whom it is convenient to do busi- ness—and rarely are these things equal. Smart businesses make sure all things are not equal. If a customer approaches you saying, "I can get the same stuff down the block for cheaper," ask yourself why they are still in front of or on the phone with you. Most likely, they really want to buy from you because of something you can provide that they cannot get elsewhere. Establish a value for what sets you apart from the competition and convert your higher price as a reason why they should buy from you, because it is exactly what they were look- ing for. VINCE DICECCO, YOUR PERSONAL BUSINESS TRAINER Q & Q & Q A & A &

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