March '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 9 M A R C H P R I N T W E A R 2 3 keeps you accountable, or a short-term influx of much-needed training for you and your employees, this option caters the most to your particular situation. Pros: These experiences are about you and your unique position. This is the ulti- mate in direct application to your business model, ability to ask specific questions, and custom-crafted content that specifi- cally addresses your needs. Schedules are often centered around your ability to work with the consultant, the goals are very specific, and progress is measurable. Con- sulting will give you the most chance for individual direction, attention, and com- plete follow-up on what you've learned and implemented. Cons: Depending on how much inter- action you expect and/or the type of in- struction you require, this can be the most expensive sort of education, and with good reason. It is very specifically made to suit your shop and must be responsive. Some consultants will offer a more limited, re- mote option for engagement, but that often works much like a technical service contract, with some limits on instruction and interaction time. For on-site visits, the cost of the consultation itself increases with travel and expenses generally includ- ed in the bargain. It can seem difficult to decide how to move forward when you find that you need instruction in some part of your decoration business. That said, it's never a waste to invest, even if that investment is primarily one of time, in your own ad- vancement. What you can do, what you know, and how you manage your shop and your work directly correlates to your ability to provide value, to remain effi- cient, and to reliably get things done cor- rectly, on time, and on budget. Though I encourage peer-to-peer learning, social media groups, videos, and forums alone can offer conflicting information that can con- fuse even as it offers options to the decorator determined to learn. Moreover, a side effect of having 'skin in the game' as it comes to paid content, is that your dedication to the process increases. Take a risk, find a method and an educator that applies to you, and put in that investment. Though I will always admit that experience was my best teacher, it has been greatly helped by having an understanding of your direction before you take your first steps. It's worthwhile to seek out education as the skills you learn and the con- nections you foster can serve you for a lifetime. PW Erich Campbell has more than 18 years experience as an award-winning digitizer, e-commerce manager, and industry educator. He empowers decorators to do their best work and achieve a greater success. A current educator and long-time columnist, Erich takes every opportunity to provide value to the industry. ELEVATE YOUR BRAND LUXURY LOOKS FOR PREMIUM PRODUCTS PW0319 STAHLS' ® FlexStyle ® emblems are a premium, lightweight alternative to embroidery. Decorate on demand with full color and detailed emblems that apply with only a heat press. • Premium luxury finish • Quick on-demand application • Multiple styles, unlimited colors | 800.478.2457 ijklmn

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