Start Here October '18

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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70 S T A R T H E R E 2 0 1 8 "These printers are meant to last if you take care of them," Sumner says. Also important for wrap shops, and any business in fact, is marketing. Wrapix used to purchase Google ads but now relies heavily on social media and word of mouth, Sumner says. "For us, word of mouth has been num- ber one," Sumner says. "We build a good personal relationship with our customers. That's our best form of marketing. They refer us to their friends and contacts." Providing good customer service and interacting well with others will help estab- lish that good relationship, Jen says. "The most important thing is creating a brand for yourself and your company and getting clients first before you open your company. Make sure you network and build some sort of clientele," Steve says. Once a client base is achieved, the prof- its will come soon enough, Pate says. "This is a fast-growing industry, so being stagnant can leave you quickly behind," Pate says. "In the end, it's all about being nimble and maintaining an educational mindset to stay current with the latest equipment, materials and install techniques. This helps ensure quality and profits as well as keeps the whole process fun and interesting." Sumner estimates one to three years for a profit margin, depending on location, the work that is brought in and existing clientele. He saw a return in his business within three years, he says. "Profit is dependent on how fast you get up and running," Sumner says. "The learning curve on printing can be a long one. Start small and don't try to take on a fleet of 100 cars on your first day, because it's not going to work well." Jackson says production areas flow off of the design and machine space so that graphics com- ing off the machines go to drying racks, then the laminator, then the production tables. Once jobs are finished they are stored on metal racks while waiting for installation or another rack at the front when waiting for pick up. Large tubes on wall racks, with a sheet of coroplast across them, makes for a simple way to store large graphics flat, and out of the way, while waiting to be installed. Visual Horizons' back shop space is approx. 4,500 square feet and accommo- dates a full city bus. They can pull in multiple vehicles if needed. "We try to keep all of our vehicle install equip- ment (ladders, scaffolding, and lift) and our install tools and chairs neatly stored. Bright overhead lighting is also very important for our installs, Jackson says. WRAPS

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