October '16

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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Page 27 of 102

2 0 1 6 O C T O B E R P R I N T W E A R || 23 Our business was located in a college town. We learned that A) all the students went home; B) even the local families were not shopping locally; and finally, C) I would NEVER give up that weekend of decorating our home with my family again. If you have traditions and things that bring you joy, peace, or sanity during the holidays, do not give them up often or easily to possibly get more business. Build them into your schedule and work around them. An order for another dozen shirts can fit into the schedule, but on your terms. It is your business. We've all been taught that the "customer is always right." During this quarter, we tend to let customers get even more demanding than usual. You need to set the expectations for when orders will be done that will also allow you to at least sleep and eat occasionally. Just because the customer says they want it tomorrow does not mean that your only option is to work until the wee hours to make that happen. Ask customers when they really need the order by, as your production schedule is booked through [fill in date at least five days away]. If they need their order sooner, impose a rush fee to make that happen. The people that have a real dead- line will pay for it. The rest will back down and accept the schedule you have defined for them. Very few people will walk away without placing the order. Running yourself ragged to meet a never-ending series of shorter and shorter deadlines is not sustainable. You will make mistakes that end up cutting into your

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