April '22

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G R A PH I C S - PR O.C O M 2 0 2 2 A P R I L G R A P H I C S P R O 9 3 reason they stayed with us all those years. We were called true craft persons. What is important is that you nd a way to dif- ferentiate your business without lowering the price. If you don't, your prices will have to continue going lower to constantly beat that new business who wants to beat you on price. ORDERING INVENTORY Create an ordering schedule. It may be once a week or once every two weeks or more often. Order on the same day and around the same time. Let your clients know your ordering schedule and a dead- line to get orders to you. is will allow you to control your shipping costs. Any additional orders clients and customers need that are not on this schedule will re- quire a special ordering charge. You may want to even post your ordering schedule for everyone to see. You will need to make exceptions when appropriate, but you have the obligation to yourself to control costs and most everyone will understand this need. Most of your customers will have the same need, but not always the control of when they have to place an order. Remember, you're in a personalized product business. ere are many special needs and schedules you must address. A business that just puts products on the shelf and customers do all the research and selection on their own is a very dierent business. You will put in a great deal of research time for customers. Your pricing and guidelines you have to follow to make a good living is very dierent from these other retail stores. ere may be times that you need to remind certain customers of this fact. Your pricing will need to reect the substantial sales and ordering time cer- tain customers will require. I love this industry because of the cus- tomers' challenges, changing product lines, advancing technology and the op- portunity for creativity. It is never boring; our competitors are helpful friends, and we love our clients. Many became friends for life. Enjoy your business and help make this a great industry to be a part of. Ask your customers for photos of how they used the product you personalized. When it's possible, attend events where awards and other products you made are presented. It's always great to see your impact. GP BOB HAGEL recently retired after owning Eagle's Mark Awards & Signs for 18 years in Southern Cali- fornia. While owning the business, he offered a full line of personalized products using laser engraving, sandcarving, and full-color UV direct print on prod- ucts. Today, he consults on starting and expanding personalized businesses and on improving produc- tion ecienc and ualit. e can e reached at asering and working on customer products takes great care and presents challenges that reuire careful pricing to make a profit.

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