Build Your Business: Management

The Web Store Playbook

August 21, 2017 |

In economics, there’s a theory called “opportunity cost,” defined as the potential benefits you miss out on when you choose one option over another.

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Blurring the Lines

April 20, 2016 |

When it comes to apparel, consumers have long been experimenting with
what they wear in their free time, in the office and for exercise. And
thanks to fabric technology and some of the performance properties
introduced in wearables, multiple clothing styles have become acceptable
in different environments.

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Trends Up Top

April 20, 2016 |

Headwear has seen a surge in action during the last two years, from an
emphasis on form and fit to style and color. In keeping with apparel,
headwear is incorporating all of the latest technical benefits to keep
wearers satisfied and comfortable.

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One-Click Colorization

April 18, 2016 |

Color editing and stylizing can be a bear of a chore to handle,
consuming lots of time to achieve a customer’s desired look on a
sublimation-friendly product.

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The Art of Email Appeal

April 18, 2016 |

I recently led a seminar in which I asked the audience a couple of
questions about spam email. In the interest of full disclosure, I
already knew the answers, but my motivation was to get attendees to
think.

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Easy Does It

March 15, 2016 |

In today’s marketplace, being a consumer is easier than ever. Online marketing and technology have revolutionized the way business is conducted and customer expectations. Understanding the new paradigm and incorporating it into your sales model is critical for success. 

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Pretty Meets Practical

March 15, 2016 |

It’s all about lifestyle when it comes to womenswear this year, with suppliers offering up-to-date, tailored-to-her looks fit for the gym, office and everywhere in between. 

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Are Custom Orders Costing You?

March 15, 2016 |

Custom work comprises the very thread of the decoration industry. It carries a high perceived value, which means you typically can charge a premium. The availability of new printing and embroidery technology now makes custom work not only feasible, but also profitable.

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IP Law: A Primer

March 7, 2016 |

Designer Wolfgang Joop once said, “Fashion is about suspense, surprise and fantasy. It’s not about rules.” With all due respect to Mr. Joop, most lawyers would disagree…

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Creating Your Dream Team, Part 2

March 7, 2016 |

Owning a business is hard work, so making sure you have the best employees is important. You need to have reliable, trustworthy people that want your business to succeed as much as you do. 

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What Apparel Decorators See When They Go to a Mall

February 8, 2016 |

I’ve done it. You’ve done it too. You are sitting there waiting for your spouse, mind wandering and bored, when someone walks by wearing a T-shirt. Your first thought to yourself is “Geez, who printed that? Look how off-center it is!” Once you start, you just can’t stop.  

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Use Tech to Build Trust

January 15, 2016 |

Too often, technology and people skills seem like they work against each other in a business environment. They actually should reinforce each other and help optimize customer service.

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Wearable (Bankable) Art

September 11, 2015 |

Regardless of whether a T-shirt is destined for a retail rack or created for a one-time event, the quality of the garment’s design can impact sales.

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Protect Your Rep

September 11, 2015 |

We live in a digital world, daily interacting both personally and professionally. Sooner or later, someone will say something about you or your business that isn’t flattering.

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The Online Fast Lane

September 11, 2015 |

Speed is a key factor in online sales success. The longer it takes to respond to a customer’s request or needs, the more likely he is to look elsewhere.

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Subbing It Out

September 10, 2015 |

One of the good “problems” associated with a screen-printing shop’s growth is reaching the point where it can no longer handle the current production load.

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Getting to Know HCS 2012

September 8, 2015 |

If you haven’t heard of the 2012 Hazard Communication Standard (HCS 2012), it’s important that you take the time to familiarize yourself with it as soon as possible. 

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Niching Down

August 7, 2015 |

A high percentage of all small businesses make a big marketing mistake. I don’t want to call it a fatal flaw, but it’s responsible for slowing growth, decreasing profits…

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Quality Control

July 31, 2015 |

Quality should be a lynchpin of any business. For my shop, it’s something that customers have come to expect and it has been a key factor in our success.

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Inside The Funky Fairy

July 2, 2015 |

As an embroidery instructor and consultant, I speak with many embroiderers who would like to start a business, as well as current business owners. Sometimes a business can sprout from the tiniest seed…

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Planning an Engagement

June 30, 2015 |

When it comes to email, I’m a bit of a fanatic. I’m fascinated by what works and what doesn’t. Sadly, most of what clogs our inboxes is junk that’s only worthy of deleting.

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A Business Software Roundtable — Part 2

April 6, 2015 |

In Part 1 of our three-part series, Impressions spoke with four companies about the general direction they feel shop operating system technology is going. Here in Part 2, we continue our discussion, and focus in on specific products being offered, and what special features they have.
 

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Online Search: An Update

March 16, 2015 |

Gone are the days of Internet keyword-driven search. It was sweet while it lasted, but during the past two or three years, a big shift in Internet-driven searching has taken place.

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Pushing Boundaries

March 9, 2015 |

Success not only comes when you can creatively and efficiently deliver on promises to your customers, but also when can push the limits. 

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Social Work

March 3, 2015 |

Social media is about reaching out to your prospects and customers, and connecting with them in a meaningful way.

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Rolling the Dice

January 12, 2015 |

Sometimes, an opportunity comes along and you just have to take it. Whether it’s a sure bet or a leap of faith, a new and different path can pay off handsomely. Such was the case for Scott Dortch, president of Royal Pacific of Las Vegas (RPLV). 

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Ready to Start an Apparel Line?

January 12, 2015 |

If there is one notion you want to understand completely before you leap off the high diving board, it’s how big and deep the pool below will be. Don’t just launch yourself and hope you’ll make it.
 

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What’s Your Customer Worth?

December 22, 2014 |

It seems some decorators have a love-hate relationship with their customers. They love getting the orders and collecting the checks, but they hate the process of finding customers, qualifying them and working through the order process.  

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Home Work

December 22, 2014 |

What Paul Costanzo did with his home’s 1,500-square-foot walk-out basement is the kind of project people dream about on all those home-improvement shows.

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Are You Guilty of Greenwashing?

December 22, 2014 |

Have you heard the term “greenwashing” before? While “whitewashing” is defined as a coordinated attempt to hide unpleasant facts, greenwashing has been coined to describe the effort a company may make to appear to be sustainable and environmentally friendly, but, in fact, their efforts don’t really add up to any substance.  

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How to Maximize Your Screen Printing Profits

November 25, 2014 |

Before you can reap more profits from increasing your business, it is important to review your current system so that you can take advantage of more volume in the future. It is better to refine your process prior to adding more business because an increase in volume doesn’t necessarily mean an increase in profit.

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Story Telling

November 24, 2014 |

As decorators, we’re faced with the challenge of letting prospective and actual customers know why we’re the most trusted and valuable choice to create their garment graphics. This is no small task.  

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More Than Luck

October 6, 2014 |

When Elaine Hayward came up with the concept for her decorated apparel business, Absolutely Specialties Inc., she was looking for a way to balance her roles as a stay-at-home mom and (at least) part-time worker.  

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Printing Profits

October 2, 2014 |

As with any type of screen printing, there are pros and cons to contract work. The key to making it pay is being aware of what they are and gearing your operation to meet the challenges. 

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The Music Man

September 8, 2014 |

It all started with some T-shirts – or the lack thereof. Ask Greg Szechenyi how he got started in the decorated apparel business, and the diehard musician will tell you he just needed some shirts to promote his band. 

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Creating a Sales Funnel

September 3, 2014 |

Large quantities of people will come to your website, but only a few will leave as new customers. Your job is to design a funnel process that delivers a steady stream of profitable customers for the business. 

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Home Work

August 11, 2014 |

What Paul Costanzo did with his home’s 1,500-square-foot walk-out basement is the kind of project people dream about on all those home-improvement shows.
 

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The Importance of Your Supply Chain

June 2, 2014 |

There is one thing in common that all shops in this industry share, and it is the reliance on our supply chain. We all need ink, screens, emulsion, shirts and a multitude of other products to keep our shops going.
 

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Fighters and Survivors

May 5, 2014 |

While Tees By Tazz continues to carve a solid niche for itself in the decorated apparel world, the story of how the Loveland, Ohio-based shop came to be is defined by owner Tazz Ringel’s relentless will and determination. 

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Race to the Bottom: Pricing Wars

May 5, 2014 |

Having your customer base suddenly dry up because another company is slashing its rates seems shockingly unfair and can quickly get anyone’s blood boiling. So what’s going on here and what can you do about it? 

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The Great Inventory Debate

April 7, 2014 |

I recently was challenged via Twitter by Patti Keegan of Keegan Tees, located in the awesomely named city of Effort, Pa., to discuss the pros and cons of using purchased goods versus customer-supplied goods.
 

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How to Increase Efficiency and Maximize Workflow

March 10, 2014 |

Regardless of your shop’s size, equipment or the number of employees, the primary daily goal is getting more orders produced, shipped and out the door. Sometimes in the quest to just handle those challenges, getting down to examining how you can increase your throughput doesn’t quite make it to the light of day. 

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Added Versatility

March 3, 2014 |

A
small Michigan offset printing business expands with screen printing
services — adding a revenue stream and improving operations in the
process. – See more at:
http://reddot10.nielsen.com/CMS/WebClient/PreviewHandler.ashx?Action=RedDot&FormEdit=true&Mode=2&PageGUID=9BE56934523D444798859C207615E587&EditPageGUID=9BE56934523D444798859C207615E587&EditLinkGUID=209725430110493996A0C78ED015A8F2&TargetContainerGuid=&Opener=1#CloseRedDot#CloseRedDot#CloseRedDot#CloseRedDot

A small Michigan offset printing business expands with screen printing services — adding a revenue stream and improving operations in the process.

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The Great Payoff

November 20, 2013 |

Jeremy Capron has heard it before. If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. As it turns out, not only did he prove that adage to be true, but he also found a way to make money while abiding by it. 

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Building a Reputation

October 3, 2013 |

ThreeSixty Graphix hopes to achieve long-term success by keeping quality, service and a commitment to getting the job done as top priorities. 

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Small Shop, Big Bark

August 1, 2013 |

When Mili Mulic and Brad VanSteenvoort decided to start a screen printing business together, their combined capital came to a whopping $350.
 

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Risk and Reward

August 1, 2013 |

As the T-shirt turns 100 this year, we are reminded that this versatile medium isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. And that’s good news for Susan Becker, owner of Reading, Pa.-based Jersey Ink Custom Apparel.

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10 Reasons Start-Up Decorators FAIL

August 1, 2013 |

This year’s crop of start-up decorated apparel companies arrives as its predecessors did: with elevated levels of excitement and optimism, varying degrees of well-warranted apprehensions and trepidations, and a 50% chance of making the cut. 
 

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AOP the ITA Way

June 7, 2013 |

If you’re looking for a screen printing business that can successfully play with the big boys, it’s safe to say ITA Printing is it.
 

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16 Tips for Becoming a Better Networker

May 13, 2013 |

Six degrees of separation are allegedly all that stand between you and anyone on the planet. According to my father, “There are not six degrees of separation, there are two; you just have to think hard enough.” 

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How to Shop a Trade Show

January 7, 2013 |

Whether you’re new to the industry or shopping for equipment, trade shows are the best sources for seeing machines in action, making contacts, establishing relationships and gaining useful information. 

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The Heartbeat of Any Great Company is Honesty

August 13, 2012 |

I recently had a conversation with an industry executive regarding some hiring decisions her company had made. In a surprise move, the owners created a new position and added a new operations manager to resolve some perceived problems with the company’s production workflow.

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