October '16

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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74 || P R I N T W E A R O C T O B E R 2 0 1 6 BUSINESS MANAGEMENT How can I successfully run a business out of my home? Home-based businesses are one of the fastest growing business segments at the mo- ment and can be a great option for apparel decorators because of the low inventory and startup costs involved. The most important aspect to creating a successful at- home business is to always remain professional. For some, this might go without saying. However, this can be difficult for many because of the comfortability of being at home. To keep your business separate, dedicate a work area and develop a schedule. If you have an extra room in your house or space in your garage, designating this space for work can keep you organized and on task. Likewise, a set schedule can be helpful in maintaining consistency. Other things to consider when trying to keep your business professional and sepa- rate from your personal life are bookkeeping, email, and telephone. Keep your com- pany's expenses separate from your personal expenses, and be sure to track all your hard work. Consider setting up a website and using a professional domain with a corresponding email address. Lastly, consider all the technicalities of starting a home-based business. Check with your local government to see if you need any special permits. You may need to pur- chase a rider on your homeowner's insurance to include your business. Familiarize yourself with all the tax laws that may apply to your business, and consider hiring a qualified professional to advise you in the process. JODY MAZADE, HOWARD SPORTSWEAR GRAPHICS EXPRESS INC. What should I look for in a new equipment purchase? There are a lot more factors than the features touted in the brochure that should be part of your decisions. It's the intangibles that make some of the biggest differences. You need to make sure you have the proper technical support, repair staff, avail- able parts, documentation, learning materials, and a robust user com- munity if you want the best expe- rience from your new equipment. An unsupported piece of hardware or one that is incredibly costly to service and repair in your particular area will be a headache, even if the price is great and the initial experi- ence after install seems fine. ERICH CAMPBELL, BLACK DUCK Make sure you have the proper technical sup- port, repair staff, and available parts, among other things, before purchasing a new piece of equipment. (Image courtesy STAHLS')

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