May '16

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 28 of 122

24 || P R I N T W E A R M A Y 2 0 1 6 Jennifer Cox is the president and co-founder of the National Network of Embroidery Professionals (NNEP), a professional organization for apparel decoration busi- ness owners. NNEP supports the success of NNEP mem- bers with best practices, ideas, sources, solutions, vol- ume-buying benefits, and services. Cox was recognized as a Top 50 Small Business Influencer and Community Choice STITCH SOLUTIONS B Y J E N N I F E R C O X Leader by Small Biz Trends in 2013, is recognized as one of the industry's "Most Creative Thinkers," and repeatedly ranks in the top 40 on the industry's "Power List." Reach her at or go to W e work with embroidery and apparel decoration business owners all day long. One of the things that constantly surprises me is the number of these business owners that do not use any sort of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool, system, or software. After hearing this again and again, I started wondering why this business essential is not widely adopted in our industry. Here's what I theorize happens. When we launch our business, we start building our list of cus- tomers and contacts. This is our initial mailing list. At first, it is easy to communicate with these people because there are not all that many of them. We know each and every one of them as in- dividuals. We can recall details about them, their order, when we last met with them, and even project their upcoming needs with confidence. You connect and respond as needed and it is not chal- lenging. You feel that you are on top of it all, and that nothing will slip through the cracks. Then, as your business grows it's harder to remember every sin- gle customer; you cannot recall everything that you need to know about a customer or an order with 100 percent accuracy. It is hard to remember all the details of conversations with customers, and it is even harder to keep the order details straight. Relationship Management The Importance of CRM Systems When you first get started, it's easy to re- member each client and order. But, when your busi- ness grows it gets increas- ingly difficult to keep track of hand writ- ten or, worse yet, remem- bered or- ders. (Imag- es courtesy the author)

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

view archives of Printwear - May '16