April '23

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 26 of 104

2 2 G R A P H I C S P R O • A P R I L 2 0 2 3 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M A P P A R E L D E C O R A T I N G you have employees, seek their input on ways that production can be improved, or ways to reduce any issues that impact their ability to get their work done effi- ciently. If you are a one-person operation, think about how you can improve your workflow. Be consistent, even when you're busy It is all too easy to skip the routines that make a well-run business when things get busy. Wondering if you can skimp on the backing on this run of shirts, as you are almost out? Order the backing you need and run the shirts correctly. Otherwise, you risk them puckering in the wash and creating an unhappy customer. You may think that you do not have time to inspect a batch of shirts before you run them, only to find out that they are the wrong color, the wrong products, or the wrong sizes. ere go your profits. As they say, haste makes waste. Ask for referrals Ask your customers for referrals. is is one of the best and most profitable ways to grow your business, as you spend no money to bring in more sales. Add a line on the bottom of your paperwork, invoices, proposals, and emails, as well as on your business cards and website. Say something along the lines of "We grow our business through referrals from sat- isfied customers. Please let your friends and colleagues know where you bought this custom order." Make the call Call your customer about 30 days after they received their order. Ask how the shirts/products are holding up, and ask if they need to add anything else. is is also a great opportunity to ask for a referral using the following strategy. Ask the cus- tomer, "Who has noticed your new shirts (products)?" After the customer answers, then say, "Do you think (person they named) would like some new (products), too?" e customer is probably going to say something along the lines of "How would I know, ask them?" Get that person's con- tact information from your customer and follow up with them on this referral. Quarterly checkups Running a business involves a lot of mov- ing parts between customers, products, staff, facilities, paperwork, supplies, etc. Create a plan or schedule to take 30-60 minutes each month for a quick assess- ment of one "moving part." For exam- ple, in January, look at your inventory of threads, bobbins, needles, and stabilizers. If everything is where it should be and you have what you need, great. Cycle back to this in April, July, and October and see if you need to order anything. In February, look at your workspace. Do you need to change anything, move anything, or fix anything to make your production flow as efficient as possible? Are there display windows to update, light bulbs to replace, or updated hours to put in your voicemail message? Does the front window or door need a good cleaning? Are there piles of customer files or catalogs that need to be put away? Circle back to these facility-re- lated things in 90 days. Pick something else to look at in March, such as equip- ment cleaning, servicing, and long-term maintenance. Revisit this again every 90 days. Small chores and maintenance done frequently make for a better-run business, and a better-run business produces higher profits over time. Monthly financials Review accurate and current financial statements every month. is should take less than 30 minutes each time. If some- thing is getting off track, you are likely to spot the change with a month-to-month awareness of your company's financials. Minor issues can be spotted and addressed before they become major issues. Are you spending more money to keep an old copier running than it would cost to get a newer, smaller, more efficient one? Ask me how I know. Implement these simple strategies to improve the profitability of your busi- ness. Whether you operate your business by yourself or you have a staff, knowing what is working well, and what is not, pays off in the long run! GP (Image courtesy Adriane Cropley, Rocking My SewJo LLC)

Articles in this issue

view archives of GRAPHICS PRO - April '23