July '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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Page 22 of 68

2 0 P R I N T W E A R J U L Y 2 0 1 9 2 0 P R I N T W E A R J U L Y 2 0 1 9 EMBROIDERY Stitch Solutions J e n n i f e r C o x But what do you do when you have a marketing problem? How much time and money are you spending to create a mar- keting solution? You cannot solve your marketing problem by doing the things you are right now. Repeating whatever you are (or are not) doing today generates the same results tomorrow. FIXING THE ISSUE One of the most successful ways to change up your marketing is to stop talking about your products and start sharing stories that demonstrate how your products solved problems for your customers. These stories are more likely to resonate with people, providing your business with a much more effective approach to marketing. It is all too easy to talk about what we do in the most obvious of terms. A customer comes in and says they want some shirts. You ask them what kind, how many, what color, what sizes, and what they want on the shirts. They may or may not place the order, depending on if they can provide all the specifics that you need to get and make the shirts. In another scenario, you ask the custom- er what the shirts are for as your first ques- tion. How the customer answers is then used to guide the rest of the conversation, influencing what products you would rec- ommend, what decoration options will make the most sense and what the produc- tion timing will need to be. If the customer says they need 100 shirts for a race in three days, that is going to be a completely different conversation than if the customer says they need 36 shirts for an employee trip in about a month. When you take your cue from the cus- I t is easy to tell when you have a problem with your embroidery machine. It is super easy to tell when you have a plumbing problem. It is usually more than obvious when you have a problem with an order. But what are the signs that you have a marketing problem in your business? One sign is not bringing in new orders with any consistency. Another sign would be that you are not able to easily engage in conversations with people that do not know about your business. The scariest indication that you have a marketing problem is that you frequently lose out on jobs, even when you quote it lower than you thought you should. When you have a problem with your embroidery machine, you spend time and money to get it back into top form. You bring in a machine technician. You run sewouts. You hold off on producing orders until the machine is running properly rather than putting out poor quality work. A plumbing problem brings everything to a halt. Without functional plumbing, you are dead in the water. You may have to put in a considerable amount of time and effort just cleaning things up. Then you have to hire someone or get the parts needed to make the necessary repairs. And if you do the repairs yourself, at least in my case, that usually requires at least two trips to the hardware store and multiple attempts at fixing the issue before there are no leaks and everything is put back to rights. When you have a problem with an order, you either fix it or replace the goods and do the work again. Both options cost you time and money. Either way, you do not ignore the problem. You fix it. How Do You Know? IF YOU HAVE A MARKETING PROBLEM If you would like some ideas for ways to market your business for less than $100, email me at and I will send a list to you.

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