Printwear

October '18

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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46 || P RI N T W E A R O C T O B E R 2 01 8 HOW TO P rint wear chatted with so me of the industry's savvy business players to explore what it takes to build and brand a business fro m the ground up. Fro m brand identity and questions you should ask yourself to creating a mission state ment and beco ming credible in the eyes of your audience, there are a lot of moving parts to consider. Let's get do wn to business. T H E B UIL DI N G BL O C K S First things rst, you must identify a fe w critical ele ments before you hit the ground running with products or services. As an entrepreneur, you want to make sure you de ne who you are as a business, what ser- vice or good you will offer, and ho w that solution meets the needs of your target cus- to mers. These central pieces of identifying infor mation make up what's kno wn as your U VP or unique value proposition. Vince Di Cecco, Your Personal Business Trainer, says every business should strive to uncover this infor mation, but that it's " more than just a co mpetitive edge or doing the usual things better than everyone else." It's about clearly addressing, bene ting, and satisfying the greatest un met need in the market. Di Cecco adds that often a business for ms its U VP based on other co mpanies, even ones outside its target market. Take a mo ment to think about so me successful co mpanies you're fa miliar with and consid- er taking bits and pieces fro m here or there to build a ne w U VP with all the satisfactory aspects you wish to develop. Beyond that, perhaps in a market that's heavily saturated, you need to pinpoint what your co mpeti- tion isn't doing and use that as your unique advantage. Before you can offer solutions to the needs in your target market, you need to con r m you have access to the resources to do so. Greg Bro wn, Citadel Brands, says, " Many people have great ideas but being able to deliver products consistently cre- ates longevity. Inventory invest ment starts the process, but replenish ment of inven- tory builds the branding opportunity." Whether you're looking to be an apparel decorator, a product manufacturer or sup- plier, or a consultant in the industry, it's i mperative that you kno w the who, what, where, and when of the resources you rely on to run your operations. If you're a decorator, are your suppliers and equip- ment manufacturers readily available for any re-stocking or maintenance questions? Do they offer quick shipping? Where are goods co ming fro m? If you're a manufac- turer or supplier, are you churning out enough product to keep you sustainable? As a consultant in the industry, helping other businesses build, are you educating yourself and staying current on what's hap- pening in the market? In all of these efforts of nding un met needs and offering solutions, you can't for- get about the custo mer experience. Ho w do you want custo mers and potential cus- to mers to perceive you? Bruce Acker man, Printavo, says building a brand is about establishing an essence, en- ergy, and an experience you want to co m- Successfully B UI L D & a Business B Y AL E X A N D R I A AR R O Y O

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