The decorated apparel business encompasses screen printers, embroidery shops, digital printers, promotional products manufacturers, logo clothing distributors, and companies that supply uniforms and branded items for employees, among others. It is an industry filled with competition with more outlets and shops opening up daily. Physical locations, online sites, and a combination of both have glutted the market for decades. Everything from shirts for repair technicians to wear on the job, to tote bags emblazoned with logos, to jackets that feature sports teams are available.
Customers are searching for the most innovative artwork, the lowest pricing, and the fastest delivery times they can find. Anyone considering a new business in the industry must be prepared with marketing strategies, unique offerings, and exceptional organizational skills. One way to test the waters without losing a small fortune is to start off small. Building and retaining a solid customer base is difficult for established businesses. It is even more difficult for new ones. A small shop requires less overhead expenses, less initial investment, and less management. That allows owners to focus on the artwork, the approach to marketing, and personal customer service. A few impressed customers spreading the word about the business will build it faster than many customers getting mediocre results. Adding staff, space, and machinery can all happen little by little as demand for services grows.
Strong organizational skills, coupled with excellent professional software, will help owners keep track of the day to day business elements without spending too much time away from the creative side of the business. Inventory management, invoices and finances, scheduling production runs, and keeping track of customer orders and files will be faster and easier with software designed for the industry. Large businesses can purchase the software outright and operate it on their own servers. Licensing fees will be paid annually. Software as a service (SaaS) is an available option as well. That means the business pays a monthly subscription rate for access to software programs on the company server. The initial investment is lower, and users can be added as the business expands. Adjunct programs are also available to address specifics, such as proofing artwork online, customer web portals, and setting up an E commerce site.