Always remember this important rule:
Never take on a job that exceeds your skill level.
In good times or bad, most of us in the screen printing business are eager to take on new work.
In bad times especially finding new jobs is often difficult.
Because of this, we are sometimes more willing to consider taking print jobs that are outside of our level of experience. This can lead to problems. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned printer, always consider carefully the ramifications of accepting any kind of work that you have never done before.
If you take on a job and the results are less than than the customers expects or you can not produce the order on time (while you try to figure it out), it can be costly to you in more ways than one. The customer will not only be unhappy with you but will most likely give bad word of mouth about your business and your lack of ability. It is also likely that you will not recover the cost of the poorly printed product.
A common example is when a customer supplies the goods that they want you to print. You may have never printed on that type of substrate before, have no experience with the ink, mesh counts, curing times, or special printing techniques that will be required.
The best way to avoid the “lack of experience” printing problem is to offer the customer the willingness to take on the job based on doing some test prints. In this instance, advise your customer that this is not the type of job that you do regularly. As a safe guard only accept the job if the test printing was successful.
If you are unfamiliar with a particular type of printing, do some research first. Be sure to give yourself ample time for your research and test printing and to be able to work out any difficulties that you may encounter. It is also recommended in most instances that you charge your customer for your time and effort for doing the test printing, even if you are not going to take on the job.
This important rule applies to any type of screen printing job that you have never done before. The rule is test, test, test. Be sure you can print it before you agree to take on the job.
ASPA Staff and others