If you're in the screen printing business, you know how frustrating it can be when a customer places a huge order, you bust your back printing the designs, and when it's all said and done, the customer says the shirts look bad.
This can be very depressing, especially for newcomers to the screen printing industry.
As discouraging as this can be, it's important to remember the age-old business maxim: "The customer is always right." While it's harder to accept this in a made-to-order business like screen printing, there are some strategies you can keep in mind to make this process a little easier. Without a doubt, this will ensure that you'll be able to prevent it from happening in the first place, but also, you'll know what to do in the worst case scenario.
Landing your first few customers is a monumental step; it's a sign that your business is starting to bloom.
Unfortunately, this is also a time when you're most vulnerable. In your excitement to get to work, it's easy to completely overlook the fact that a potential business partnership might be a complete train wreck.
Imagine putting hours or even weeks of time into helping someone, only to have one or both of you terminate the relationship. The concept seems painful when you're new to the game, but it's a reality that every business person will eventually face.
Four Things Your Business Should Never Pay For
As a business seeking to thrive in today's often brutally competitive marketplace, there's certainly no shortage of things to spend money on to boost your efforts. While there are plenty of legitimate paid marketing tools and methods out there, there are a few other things that will likely do more harm than good. In fact, chances are that you've already had some offers from so-called marketing "experts" claiming to deliver amazing results overnight for very little money. After all, there's no shortage of outright scammers out there. There are some things that no business should ever pay for if it intends to protect its online reputation, such as the following...
Liberty Screen Print Company is an ASPA member and contract screen printing business in Beacon Falls, Connecticut.
Monica Sumner, owner of Liberty Screen Print was kind enough to share her personal story of how she came to become a contract printer.
Here's her story...
Setting prices is one of the most sought after pieces of information by t-shirt screen printers. Setting accurate, fair pricing can make or break a business.
You do not want to price your goods too high and not get business, but on the other hand you want to make a profit to stay in business and grow. If you think that just setting your prices lower than your competition will get you work, you may be right. But will you make a profit on the job AND make enough to keep your business running? Think again...
This article is for those of you who offer digital transfers, either inkjet or CLC (color laser copy) transfers. As you know, some customers consider digital and transfer printing negatively and have preconceived notions that you are selling them an "iron on." This is especially true with customers who may have bought digitally imaged shirts that were produced with older generation technology or may have tried to do it themselves at home.
The ideal shirt color for ink jet and CLC transfers is white. Light colored and ash gray t-shirts can also be used. Regarding choices of shirt colors for transfer printing, it is ultimately up to you to decide whether you feel the "visible transfer window" is objectionable.
Direct to garment printing is a process that utilizes a special ink jet based printer that uses special textile inks to print directly onto a garment.
The advantages of DTG printing is that it is not a transfer print and will produce a high quality directly printed image on the garment for short and medium print runs.
DTG printing requires no knowledge of screen printing–only a mastery of your computer, associated software, and the DTG printer itself. A disadvantage of DTG printing is the relatively high cost of the equipment and the inks.
If a customer who pays by credit card places the transaction in "dispute" with their credit card company, you will need to work out the problem that caused them to stop payment. This may be as simple as they do not recognize your business name on their credit card statement. If there is another problem, address that problem with the customer. The credit card merchant will mail you a form to complete to address and settle the dispute.
Buying used screen printing equipment can be a real money saver or turn out to be a nightmare.
When it comes to buying used equipment, if you are an experienced screen printer and have purchased new equipment over the years, you will definitely have an advantage over someone who has never printed before.
If you are new to the business and have no idea how a piece of equipment is supposed to work, it is highly recommended that you take along a friend who has some screen printing experience to see if the equipment works as it should.
If you are planning to get into the screen printing, t-shirt printing or sign making business, you may have asked yourself, is it better to start from scratch or buy an existing business?
Before you make your decision, consider some of the pros and cons.
ASPA Staff and others