GRAPHICS PRO

July '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 L Y G R A P H I C S P R O 6 7 your business cards and encourage them to share them when and if the opportu- nity ever presents itself. Sweeten the pot by adding a 10% "twofer" coupon on the back of the card — 10% off for the new customer, and 10% off for your existing customer on their next order. Just make sure that the customer's name is noted on the cards that you hand to them. Look through your orders to see which were ideal for your business — they hit your profit goals and the order size was right for your equipment. Can you iden- tify other possible customers that would have the same kinds of needs? If you have a great order for a local construction com- pany, why not reach out to other construc- tion companies and see if they are inter- ested in the same products? Explore ways to replicate your best jobs by reaching out to similar businesses in your area. Show examples of the work you did for your ex- isting customers and post photos of these orders online. GROWTH STRATEGY 4: ADD PEOPLE One of the best pieces of business advice I ever received was to never duplicate your- self. I cannot tell you how many times I have thought, "I wish there were two of me," when I was trying to get an order done by a deadline, so this advice might seem counterproductive. Here's the secret of this advice: Figure out what you are best at in your business, and own that space. Add people to do the other jobs, not the job where you shine the brightest. If you love running the ma- chine, hire someone to do the bookkeep- ing, ordering inventory, and paperwork. If you love meeting with customers, hire a machine operator to fill the orders. Even adding a part-time person, maybe a local high school or college student, to sort in- ventory, trim, fold, and pack orders for a few afternoons a week would give you the help you need to get things done without losing your mind. I hated wrangling the bookkeeping for our business. It often got away from me, and then I had to devote hours to catching up before the next quarterly fil- ing was due. Bringing in a bookkeeper to keep things current was a game-changer. It took her only a few hours a week, and our information was always up to date af- ter that. As a business owner, business growth is usually our goal. Wishing for growth is not going to get results. Forming a plan about how you want to grow and then implementing it over the coming months is the way to continue to build and grow a healthy business. Let's get growing! GP JENNIFER COX is one of the founders and serves as president of the National Network of Embroidery Professionals (NNEP), an organization that supports embroidery and apparel decoration professionals with programs and services designed to increase profitability and production. You can contact her at jennifer@nnep.com.

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