Sign & Digital Graphics

Start Here October '19

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90 S T A R T H E R E 2 0 1 9 Embroidery design used; placement details; thread colors; and even backings. Create an internal order form that tracks all these details in the same way to make it consistent. Before you quote a reorder, make sure that you measured if and how much profit you made so that you can adjust your pricing if necessary. If you would like to dig deeper into the pro- cess of setting profitable prices, email me at and I will send you some pricing worksheets and tools. Time Management Skills Your time is your most precious asset. How you choose to spend your time will directly impact your earnings potential. Customers will take as much time as you let them. Learn to manage the sales process so that you are serving your customers' needs, answering their questions, and still getting paid reason- ably. Deliberately manage your time and streamline the different processes to be as productive as possible. Check your email twice a day, once sometime in the morning and once in the afternoon. Respond to customers and suppliers as needed, delete the junk, and move things that will require more of your atten- tion to a 'to do' folder. Once you realize that your email inbox really is filled with 'to do's' that other people want to assign to you, it is easier to use it as a tool to help run your business, not absorb all your time. Order inventory twice a week. Simplify your inventory process by combining orders and then ordering inventory for several customers at the same time. You will also save on shipping. If a customer must have something sooner than that, charge them a rush fee and 100 percent of the shipping that will be incurred. Unpack and sort inventory once or twice a week instead of every time a box arrives. Deliver orders once a week on a designated delivery day. Create an internal inventory log to organize and track what you need to order, when it is ordered, from whom, and when it arrives at your business. Business Essentials Get a phone number, an email address, and voicemail for the business. You also need at least some sort of web presence, even if it is just a free business page on Facebook. If someone cannot find your business on their smartphone, you may as well not exist. Invest in multiples of the hoops you use the most often. You will also need a system to handle the bookkeeping and finances for your business. You also need a marketing plan to help you get in front of people that need decorated apparel and products and you need to be able to communicate with them in order to win the sale and ultimately get paid. If you do just one thing a day to build awareness of your business, you'll make a minimum of 365 impressions on your market. It can be as simple as pinning (Image cour- tesy of Stitch It International) Here are all the steps, in order, for a single embroidered shirt: • Chat with the customer about their order, take the order • Order the shirt • Receive and unpack the shirt • Check the shirt for right style, color, size; and check that it is stain and flaw free • Program or load embroidery design on computer • Send design to embroidery machine • Thread colors on the embroidery machine • Program colors on the embroidery machine • Sew out sample • Stabilize the shirt • Hoop the shirt • Attach the shirt to the embroidery machine • Embroider the shirt • Remove the shirt from machine • Unhoop the shirt • Trim the embroidery and stabilizer • Fold the shirt • Create an invoice for the shirt • Notify the customer that shirt is ready • Chat with the customer when shirt is picked up • Get paid

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