January '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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1 6 P R I N T W E A R J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 9 BUSINESS BUSINESS MANAGEMENT MANAGEMENT Your Personal Business Trainer tiate with customers on the company's behalf, and taking the time to solicit team members' opinions and ideas are some of the better ways to motivate today's employees. The bottom line is it's what you do more than what you give that matters. OVERCOMING FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN "GLOCALLY" I still marvel at the understatement that September 11, 2001, changed the world forever. What I don't understand is how, more than 17 years later, business leaders continue to allow the fear of the unknown stifle their economic growth. We've become so fearful of what could happen that it causes critical decisions to be put off, pragmatic expansion to be postponed, and has reduced the term "calculated risk" to an oxymoron (as in, if you bothered to make the calculations, you wouldn't dare take the risk). So, what contributions are today's business owners being asked to make to fight the war on terror and mayhem? In World War II, there were sacrifices asked of Americans to conserve resources, volunteer services, and invest in the cause. Flash-forward to today and I don't see where we've been asked to do much of anything except sit and worry about when another horrific act may occur. I am not suggesting we be foolhardy in the way we run our businesses but, on the other hand, we shouldn't allow the prospect of in-the-street protests, workplace violence, or any other unforeseen calamity cripple us. For certain, the war on terrorism and unfair trade agree- ments and tariffs are global, but by dealing with the threat locally, we will be contributing to an eventual victory. Call it "acting glocally." Haven't you heard someone say, "Of course, all of these plans could change in the event of another attack"? Why can't we be thinking, "Even with the assumption that there will be another national tragedy, this is a sound plan with which to go forward and grow our business." There is no better time to adopt a "plan for the worst and hope for the best" mentality. The next time you are thinking of mak- ing a significant business decision—to hire more people, to move to a bigger facility, take on a new product line, or venture into a new market—try to forecast its impact on the company with and without a national emergency. Rarely have I analyzed a pos- sible scenario when the best thing that could come of it and the worst thing that could happen had anything to do with world events. It had everything to do with the conviction of, commitment to, and wisdom behind the decision. Educate yourself on how technology might enhance your offering rather than allowing technology to supplant your very existence and purpose. In other words, don't get Amazoned out of business. If you make a concerted effort to develop a genuine, deeper personal relationship with your prospective and current custom- ers, rethink the way you reward your em- ployees in a less tangible and more inter- personal manner. Shake loose the shackles of fear of the unknown and use common sense. You will be setting a positive example for your community, the industry, and the world about the best way to grow a busi- ness. Good luck! PW Vince DiCecco is a dynamic and sought- after seminar speaker and author with a unique perspective on business develop- ment 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 improve profitability and sharpen their competitive edge. Visit his new website at, and send email to

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