January '18

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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46 || P R I N T W E A R J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 8 S o, you want to start a screen- printing business? The garment screen-printing business is a multibillion dollar industry, and it can be relatively inexpensive to start a small operation. Yet many people don't understand what it takes to get started. On top of that, the learning curve is often discovered after the purchase of expensive equipment. But, starting a screen-printing business is possible with planning, the right equipment, and knowledge. THE BASICS As you might imagine, there is more to making it in business than just the screen printing itself. The first step to develop- ing a business plan is to take time to think critically about your idea and entrepre- neur spirit. Ask the critical questions: why, what, how, where, and who? The what is usually not the hard part. The what is the screen printing or decorating itself. It's im- portant to be able to describe how you are or will be different. Why is a little harder to put your finger on. Why is not necessarily about money or profit but the thing that inspires us and those around us. Screen printing is a competitive industry. We must think through why we are going into business. If you don't know where you're going, it won't matter how you get there. Picture your business in five to 10 years. Once you know where you are going, your values serve as a foundation for deciding who's going with you. Choose principles that you can expect your team to live every day. Your values are what you do and how you do it. If you are creative and you've caught the entrepreneurial bug, screen printing garments might sound like a good way to earn a living. Fortunately, a garment screen-printing business doesn't necessarily require a massive setup. There are screen printers around the world of all shapes and sizes, from small one-man operations run out of the garage to hundreds of automatics with thousands of employees. Before you strike out on your own and get ink under your fingernails, there are some important Jump in with both feet! Startup Screen Printing 101 B Y L O N W I N T E R S

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