August '22

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M 2 0 2 2 A U G U S T G R A P H I C S P R O 8 9 • And you do all of this through the logoed apparel and prod- ucts you provide So, are you beginning to see what I mean about changing how you think about marketing, and your role as an entrepreneur? When you think like this, that you are a branding partner, you are thinking like an entrepreneur. When you think that you need to make 48 shirts today, you are thinking like a producer, a do-er. Both kinds of thinking are necessary in your business, espe- cially if you are an "army of one." e key to your success lies in the fact that you have to take active control over your time and determine how you make the most money. And then you must make sure that at least 50% of your working time, every week, is spent on that task. And there are only two ways you make money as an apparel decorator – your jaw is moving up and down as you are communicating with customers or your machine's needles are going up and down as you produce orders! 5 WAYS TO FIND NEW CUSTOMERS I promised you real strategies that you can execute to grow your business. Here are five strategies that I think you could do this year and have dramatic results. It does not matter if you have a storefront, operate from your home, or have a huge commercial operation. Do these things, and you will see growth. Remember when you plan to work on your business and not just in it, you will see growth. Your goal is to get specific and transform these ideas into actions. Do Your Homework! "Marketing research" is a meaningless phrase to many business owners. Or people assume that only big companies do market research. Let's make it relevant to your business with three simple questions: • What is the average dollar amount of your orders? • How much do your customers spend with you annually, on average? • How often do your customers place an order with you? With the answers to these three simple questions, you can then determine the dollar value of every customer and every sale. If your average order from a trades business owner (plumber, builder, painter, electrician) is $250, and they place orders three times a year, it makes sense that each of these kinds of customers is worth $750/year. If your "onesie" and gift customers spend about $50 once a year, clearly these customers are worth $50/year each. Which group of customers do you want to get more of, gift and onesie customers or trades people? Go back through your past years' sales. Take the time to do the "market research" to under- stand your customers. What groups become evident? What are their average sales? How often did they place an order? Do you see any spikes in activity based around something you did – such as a mailing, a networking event, or a show? You will see patterns emerge that will help you target more customers like the ones that are making you the best income. Once you know who they are, it becomes much easier to find more like them. By looking back over the past several months of orders, patterns will emerge that will help you know where to invest your market- ing time, money, and effort so that you can attract more custom- ers like your best groups of customers. High turnover industries = ideal customers, where garments are hard used or employees turn often, like restaurants, labor, construction, and landscapers. Replicate Your Top Five Grab your pen right now and write down the name of your top five customers, jobs, or orders. If you are struggling to name five, you may be new or a small business and that is OK! Write down at least one person or job. My question to you is this: Would you like 5, 10, 20, 50 more just like them? First, why did you write them down? Are they nice? Are they easy to work with? Do they pay on time? Does their design sew well? Was that order profitable, or really profitable? What is it about them or that order that made them "top five" worthy? Ideally, you picked a customer or job that provided a healthy profit for you. Now evaluate these top customers. What industry are they in? What was the order size? How can you connect with other customers that have some similarities to these top five? Market to companies and customers that have parallels to your top five customers, and you will bring more top five type work to your business. Why market to people that are like your "worst night- mare" customers? Stop marketing to them, completely! If they walk in, sure take the work. But 100% of your marketing mes- sages, efforts, and money should be going out toward top-five candidates! Identify Your B-E-L Look at your "Before Embroidery (or other decoration process) Life" to see if you have hidden opportunities. What are you interested in? With what groups are you connected, maybe even have some sway? Example – I should not sell to horse farms, 1 2 3

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