Printwear

October '13

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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On the Promo Products Scene The importance of the diversified offering b y C a r ly Hollman-Long P romotional products are items, in our industry, both wearble and non, that help to reach either clients, potential customers or employees. They are often small items with a practical or functional use. In reality, most decorators offer promotional products in one aspect or another. Tom Goos, Image Source, also believes it is becoming more common for small boutiques to offer promotional products directly to their end-user. However, really offering these goods and working to make them a consistent part of a business is a little rarer. "I believe a lot of decorators dabble in the promotional products market, but many don't spend the time they should on these types of products," states Don Sanders, SellPromoProducts.com. While focusing your efforts on your strengths is, of course, a solid business plan, diversifying with a variety of both wearables and non-wearables not only expands business opportunities but the bottom line as well. A mixture of products which represent a given brand help to create the most successful campaigns. (Images courtesy Image Source) 30 | Printwear PW_OCT13.indd 30 Why sell? So why take the plunge into unfamiliar products? One main reason is that customers are probably already interested in the goods, you just don't know it yet. As Chris Harris, TSF Sportswear notes, the inclusion of these products allows a business to act as a one-stop-shop, and the glory of smaller promotional products is they act as add-on purchases. David Hawkes, Roland DGA Corporation, also notes that it is more typical to sell promotional products in tandem with apparel orders. "It's like when you go to the grocery store for eggs and end up putting more items in your basket," Harris adds. The biggest setback for expanding current business is often a lack of communication or fear of asking clients if they would like to increase their orders. A fear, says Hawkes, which is often unfounded. "At the end of the day, customers appreciate learning about new options and interesting ways to promote their brand." By asking clients if they're in need of a particular product to complement their standard apparel order, you may help close a whole new sale. The worst case scenario is that they say no. And, if they're not interested at this point in time, their needs may change in the future. Knowing that it is an option will likely open up a conversation within their own organization. These products also serve to increase revenues. Of course, more product means more potential sales and clients, but in this particular instance, it can often times lead to a higher markup. "On average, I was able to do about forty three percent [markup] for promotional products. The price on apparel is much more sensitive," Sanders explains. This added variety can help keep apparel-based businesses working under strained October 2013 9/17/13 9:07 AM

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