June '21

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M 2 0 2 1 J U N E G R A P H I C S P R O 7 5 new products you bring in, it takes fewer people to be productive, and makes your space more profitable. THE CUSTOMERS Knowing your customers has been talk- ed about forever, but it is important. Knowing your customers and their needs is another form of data analytics that help you take controlled, calculated risks. Talk to your customers. Get to know them. What do they wear? What items do they use in their line of work? What are com- mon items that everyone uses? How often do these items need replacing? Knowing all of this information gives you a head start on picking new items that will most likely have an 80% success rate versus not studying your customers and picking a new item with only a 20% suc- cess rate. Your basic research is the cheap- est and most valuable information that you have. If the item is used often or is popular, guess what happens? Your sales naturally increase out of the gate and be- come steady. Once you understand your customers, you can work on a marketing plan to ed- ucate them on your new product(s) that you offer. Everyone works with a different size marketing budget and that is OK. No matter your size, you should always look to gain the largest return with the least amount invested. For example, our company did $2.4 mil- lion last year and spent around $20,000 on marketing, which is under 1% of our gross sales. Focus on selling a quality product with top-notch customer service and turnaround time. Once you have built pricing for your new products, create sales flyers for them right away. You can add these to your website, give them to customers as they come in, email them to customers, and post them on all of your social media platforms. Think about all of the differ- ent ways to promote simply with a sales flyer. Another great way to promote a prod- uct is to existing clients. If they spend a certain amount with you, throw in a free gift with their logo on it using the new products. Spending $10 to $20 to pro- mote directly with that customer can lead to a $250 to $1,000 order in most cases, but you will never know that if you do not try. It is easier to promote to an ex- isting customer than a new one. That is another simple low-cost way to promote a new product. Radio, TV, and SEO for websites are great tools, but costly, with no guarantee on your return of your investment, nor do you know how many people or who will walk through your door to order based on those ads. So, it is important to market to who you want as a customer. Remember, if you want to be successful with a new product, you have to put the time in and do the research, which can take a lot of effort. But in the end, you will typically create stronger sales and im- prove your profits per item that you want to bring into your customers. GP HOWARD POTTER has been working in the promo- tional industry for 17 years, from designing to build- ing brands and a family-owned business. He is the co-owner and CEO of A&P Master Images LLC with his wife Amanda. Their company offers graphic de- sign, screen printing, embroidery, sublimation, vinyl graphics, and promotional items. Howard, his family, and the business reside in Utica, New York. For more information, please visit

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