April '18

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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Vince DiCecco is a dynamic and sought-after seminar speaker and author with a unique perspective on busi- ness development and management subjects, primarily in the decorated and promotional apparel industries. With over 20 years of experience in sales, marketing, and training, he is presently an independent consultant to various apparel decorating businesses looking to im- prove profitability and sharpen their competitive edge. Visit his new website at, and send email to 12 || P R I N T W E A R A P R I L 2 0 1 8 YOUR PERSONAL BUSINESS TRAINER B Y V I N C E D I C E C C O A s a business owner, there's an excellent chance that you've been encouraged to join the local Chamber of Commerce or a community business or civic association. The invita- tion usually takes the form of a letter, phone call, or visit to invite you to be a guest at the next meeting. The fact that an organization had the wherewithal to introduce itself, and then pursue and court you is a good sign that the group warrants your serious consideration for membership. Why? Because it must really want you and, once you join, will do whatever it takes to keep you renewing your membership year after year. So, you finally succumb, attend a meeting, and join because you are convinced this will be the perfect way to network with other business owners and each of them will quickly become new clients for your decorated-apparel enterprise. Whoa, partner. Aren't you hitting the gas a little too heavy, a lit- tle too soon? There's work to be done between donning the "New Member" name tag and having every member of the group as a new customer. What follows are some simple yet powerful tips to get the most out of a business-association membership. By "the most," I mean becoming the go-to business when anyone is in the market for promotional products or decorated apparel. Let's explore, shall we? DO YOUR HOMEWORK I discovered via an internet search that numerous organizations tout the phrase "Membership has its rewards." And, indeed, it does. But only when you carefully select the one or two organizations that will yield the best opportunities for your business. There are many from which to choose. Perhaps the most logical consideration should be given to the local Chamber of Commerce. However, not all chambers are cre- ated equal. Some offer many of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce- recommended programs, such as the counseling and mentoring Joining a business organization is not enough Make Your Membership Rewarding

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