May '20

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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Page 28 of 68

2 6 P R I N T W E A R M A Y 2 0 2 0 2 6 P R I N T W E A R M A Y 2 0 2 0 HEAT PRESS Pressing Matters If circumstances don't allow you to even source screen print transfers, you can plan to move your transfer production completely in-house with just a vinyl cutter and a heat press. Heat transfer vinyl has its main use in personalized work or transfers where variable data is required but in dire circumstances, heat transfer vinyl can be used for any heat transfer job where you only need to print one or two colors. Once you invest in a vinyl cutter, invest in the top five colors of vinyl and have rolls stocked for special situations. Even when we're not experienc- ing a national emergency, you can use that vinyl on the shelf to deliver jobs quickly without waiting for another supplier to ship your product. HAVE A SUPPORT NETWORK I'm sure you heard more than once that "we are all in this together." I think that's a senti- ment that was shared by the decorated apparel industry long before the COVID-19 crisis. Find a group of like-minded decorators that are willing to share their experience and opin- ions on how to handle the challenges that face us all. You can find groups on Facebook and other online forums where decorators from around the world will help you with tech- nical, strategic and philosophical questions about your decorating business. The most difficult place to build redun- dancy is in your customer base. In good economic times, the message typically preached is specialize. Find your niche and service it well. But what happens when a whole industry is affected in the same way? You might not have any other customer types to focus on. I would suggest you take a couple hours and make a list of the differ- ent types of customers and industries that Above: Building a work from home plan and setup will help make the work easier. Opposite: The most difficult place to build redundancy is in your customer base.

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