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Custom Apparel Startups
50 minutes | Sep 8, 2021
Episode 157 – Out Of Stock! How To Deal With Supply Chain Shortages
Episode 157 – Out Of Stock! How To Deal With Supply Chain Shortages This Episode Mark Stephenson & Marc Vila customapparelstartups.com CAS Podcast ColDesi You Will Learn How to prepare your business before unexpected events Why do you need to stock up Resources & Links Colman and Company Blog Success Stories ColDesi Learning Center Leasing Equipment Episode 157 – Out Of Stock! How To Deal With Supply Chain Shortages Show Notes It’s 2021. Things STILL aren’t normal. All over the world, we are running into shortages and production delays. You have heard the news about computer chips for trucks, container shortages and productions shut downs from Covid outbreaks…. and that’s just 1 of 1000 examples. The custom t-shirt and promotion business is feeling the same issues. We have even seen shortages in equipment, inks, t-shirts…. its touched everything. Well, we have a formula we have learned from MANY successful businesses on how YOU can deal with this, and be more successful than ever. Talking to customers The first thing to address is you are going to find a product you need is out of stock. It might not be today, it might be next year, but it will happen. Prepare your customers – if you have regular customers, let them know. He normally orders this shirt, it’s been fine, but I’ve heard rumors. I want to let you know this might not happen, but could. “I’m sure you’ve heard the news about the “chip” shortage, shipping container shortage, etc. – Well, those things are hitting the apparel industry in a big way too” Have a plan – if your normal shirt ever runs out, can we discuss 2 back ups. Again, I don’t expect them to be out, but I want to make sure we are prepared. How about A or B as a back up? Stock Up If you normally keep 30 days of stock… keep 60. If you have the cash flow, just be prepared. You don’t have to go crazy and hoard things, that just makes things worse. However, there is a time when it’s ok to safeguard your business with proper stock. Honestly, if you were going to run out of inventory in 30 days of something that doesn’t expire, you probably needed to fix that anyway. While this is on your mind, check your inventory. Ink, paper, cleaning supplies, tools, replacement parts. Be Flexible If you usually use a X-2000 shirt, be prepared that you might need to use the Y-2002 shirt. It might happen, and if you are prepared it won’t take you by surprise. Practice on some new shirts, and get a feel for what your customers might like. This way if shirt X runs out or back orders, you aren’t scrambling, you are prepared to use shirt Y Start being a salesperson If someone calls asking for a particular shirt, hat, etc…. and it’s back ordered, SELL them on something else. Let them know why this other option is a GREAT alternative. Maybe it’s a better deal, or a higher quality or something all together different. Don’t just say “sorry out of stock” … say, “Well good and bad news. That one is out, but I have something even better” Expand your offering If you are noticing product X is getting weird in inventory, start thinking about other things you can sell. Maybe you normally only sell hats and hoodies, start selling t-shirts. You may have never made a mug before, so get a mug press and start offering this. Your strength can be in the diverse products you offer. When a shirt goes on back-order, you have a hat that’s flourishing in sales. No matter what, you shouldn’t give up. It’s going to be a challenge with inventory for a while, be prepared. Mentally prepare yourself for issues like this for the next year and you will come out on top! The post Episode 157 – Out Of Stock! How To Deal With Supply Chain Shortages appeared first on Custom Apparel Startups.
63 minutes | Jul 16, 2021
Episode 156 – How to Hire an Expert
how to hire Episode 156 – How to Hire an Expert This Episode Mark Stephenson & Marc Vila customapparelstartups.com CAS Podcast ColDesi You Will Learn How to hire an expert Resources & Links Colman and Company Blog Success Stories ColDesi Learning Center Leasing Equipment Episode 156 – How to Hire an Expert Show Notes How to hire an expert: – Accountant CPA– Business Consultant– Ad Agency– Marketing Guy– Social Media Pro Make sure you have a good reason to hire someone or a company. First 3 things: 1. What problem are you solving? or What are you trying to accomplish?2. Why are you hiring outside for this?3. Statement of work/Job description Choosing a Vendor: 1. Send each prospective vendor your SOW2. Ask them to respond in writing how they can help3. Ask them to say your SOW back to you (be sure they actually understand it) Get referrals: – Good reviews are great, but a referral from a successful business owner (your trust) is worth the most. Pricing: – How do you know you are getting a good deal?– Get quotes from other companies– Ask them to explain their value for their pricing General tips for hiring contractors/companies/ outsourcing: – Don’t let price dictate your decision. Expensive doesn’t equal good, and cheap doesn’t mean it’s the best value.– The best salesperson doesn’t mean they offer the best service.– Don’t get sucked into a contract right away, push for an opportunity to exit if they don’t meet your expectations.– Never take the first price they offer.– Where is the work done? On-shore, off-shore, their full-time employees?– Make sure you like them! The post Episode 156 – How to Hire an Expert appeared first on Custom Apparel Startups.
18 minutes | Jul 8, 2021
Episode 155 – Hannah and Jes Making Videos
how to make videosvideo recording Episode 155 – Hannah and Jes Making Videos This Episode Hannah Rago & Jes Santiago customapparelstartups.com CAS Podcast ColDesi You Will Learn How to record great looking videos What equipment we are using for video recording Resources & Links Colman and Company Blog Success Stories ColDesi Learning Center Leasing Equipment Episode 155 – Hannah and Jes Making Videos Show Notes Planning:We all try to brainstorm together about what videos we need or think yall want to see, sometimes we ask!We get blanks ordered and prepare artwork for the video. We have lots of equipment so we like to get artwork that is great for that process (example, embroidery = digitized logo, DigitalHeat FX = colorful graphic with negative space, sublimation = colorful photos and portraits) One common factor = LOTS OF COLOR Testing:We do a test run which usually results in bloopers, we aren’t making t-shirts or sublimating mugs every day or even every week, so mistakes happen. We often do new things in our videos so we don’t have solid instructions to follow so trial and error happens.We also experiment with different pieces of equipment which can alter the process. example – using the galaxy press instead of the hotronix, etc. We have been saving bloopers and documenting mistakes, because ultimately they happen and any apparel decorator is going to have mistakes. Equipment:Currently using iPhone 11 proring light and softbox lightlavalier mic that has a receiver that plugs into the phoneDJI osmo gimbal BUT I have been using a tripod more often when I know I won’t be moving around a lot Format:1. 90% of the time we shoot horizontal because we use one video in a ton of different places (youtube, social, websites)2. BUT if making videos specifically for social, shoot vertical Where our videos go:Youtube is fun for creating a channel and gaining a followingVimeo is a great place to home videos if you are adding them to your website or want to share linksWhy share a Vimeo link and not a youtube link: Once someone lands on a youtube video you have no control. They will be shown other videos and ads. So most likely they are going to start clicking around and wont be watching your video for long.Vimeo doesn’t have all that going on. They have a specific video screen and you can control what pops up on screen when your video is over. Social:Upload videos directly into social, vertical is best, quick clips, eye-catching footage, shortincrease video engagement by asking question in the video post or just post something that encourages replies (opinions, need your help, what’s your favorite, what do you want to see next, etc.) Editing:CamtasiaAdobe Premiere (advanced)Final cut (advanced – mac)iMovie Common mistakes:LightingShakingPoor audio So hopefully if you were curious about how we produce our videos we answered some of your questions and hopefully this encouraged you to start taking some videos of your work, show face, add a personality to your business. This has been Hannah Rago and Jes Santiago And as Mark likes to say have a great business! Resources: Episode 118 | Social Media Skills – https://customapparelstartups.com/episode-118/ Episode 137 | Marketing Playbook – https://customapparelstartups.com/episode-137/ DigitalHeat FX Videos: https://digitalheatfx.com/videos/ Avance Videos: https://avance-emb.com/embroidery-videos/ Custom Apparel Startups Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/689272454512942 The post Episode 155 – Hannah and Jes Making Videos appeared first on Custom Apparel Startups.
59 minutes | May 12, 2021
Episode 150 – Sublimation Printers and the Business Explained with Vik Patel
custom apparel businesssawgrassSublimationsublimation businesssublimation printert-shirt transfers Episode 150 – Sublimation Printers and the Business Explained with Vik Patel This Episode Mark Stephenson & Marc Vila Vik Patel customapparelstartups.com CAS Podcast ColDesi You Will Learn What is sublimation Sublimation business opportunity Resources & Links Colman and Company Blog Success Stories ColDesi Learning Center Leasing Equipment Episode 150 – Sublimation Printers and the Business Explained with Vik Patel Show Notes In Today’s episode, we talk with Vik Patel, Director of Global Marketing for Sawgrass Inks about what sublimation is, the opportunity for business growth and why working with Sawgrass and ColDesi makes financial sense for almost any business. Transcript Sublimation Printers power THOUSANDS of custom t-shirt and promotional products businesses around the globe. And sitting at the heart of all that is Sawgrass, the company that makes high quality, dedicated sublimation printers and the inks to go with it. We’re talking with Vik Patel today – Global Director of Marketing for Sawgrass. As background, when ColDesi acquired BestBlanks last year, one of the reasons we did that was because of their sublimation printer knowledge and relations with Sawgrass. All of us here at ColDesi are excited to offer Sawgrass sublimation printers, Sawgrass Inks and more. You can now find information and videos at ColDesi’s Sublimation Printers page and purchase online from our Colman and Company Sublimation Printers and Supply page here. Sublimation Printers and Sawgrass Mark Stephenson: Hi, everyone. And welcome to another episode of the Custom Apparel Startups podcast. My name is Mark Stephenson. Marc Vila: And this is Marc Vila. And today we’re here to talk about sublimation. Specifically, sublimation explained with Vik Patel from Sawgrass. So we’re particularly excited about this episode for one, we love having guests on here, right Mark? Mark Stephenson: Yeah, definitely. Marc Vila: And we’ve been learning a lot about sublimation lately and the folks that Sawgrass have been fantastic and then Vik volunteered some of his time to step away from working at Sawgrass and join us to help educate Custom Apparel Startups listeners. Mark Stephenson: Yeah, welcome to the podcast, Vik. Vik Patel: Thank you. Thanks for having me. Mark Stephenson: So, cold SE, we’ve had a reputation for selling just about everything. We pride ourselves on people calling us up, saying, “I want to get into this business,” regardless of what product they pick and directing them to the right piece of equipment, whether or not it’s DTG or print and cut or vinyl or embroidery or whatever it is. Vik Patel: Right. Mark Stephenson: And frankly, for years, people have been asking us about sublimation and it’s just been this hole that we didn’t know enough to talk about properly. And we didn’t have anything to fill that gap for our customer base. So, we’ve been excited to launch this relaunch, this new partnership with you guys. Vik Patel: Yeah, no, we’re excited too. And sublimation in itself is a scary term. So most people try and stay away from it until they actually see it in action. Marc Vila: Yeah, it sounds like science and- Mark Stephenson: Oh, I hate science. Marc Vila: Science can be intimidating, but it just happens to be the word that fell into it where silk screening sounds so- Vik Patel: Sounds great. Sexy. [crosstalk 00:02:12]. Marc Vila: Yes. It just sounds so pleasant and light. Mark Stephenson: Luxurious. Marc Vila: Yeah, I want to wrap myself in it and have some tea. Vik Patel: Yeah. No, you’re right. Marc Vila: And sublimation sounds like I’m in a lab. And I think we should get into all of that and in what sublimation is. Vik Patel: Absolutely. Marc Vila: And educate folks during this podcast. So Mark, where should we start? And then we’re going to get into what sublimation is. And then at the end, we’ll wrap up talking about why cold SE and Sawgrass think this was a good idea for us to get together and talk about. Mark Stephenson: Yeah. I think we should start with who this random Star Wars fan that we invited onto our podcast is, and what he does for Sawgrass. So Vik, why don’t you tell us all that? Who are you? What do you do? Vik Patel – Sawgrass Sublimation Printers, Inks, History and More Vik Patel: Yeah. So as you all know, I’m Vik Patel. I’m the Director of Global Marketing here at Sawgrass. Been here for six and a half years, it’s going to be seven in June. It’s actually more than six and a half, now I think about it. So, seven in June and my background in five seconds is the fact that I’ve worked for DHL Express, used to come to Florida where you guys are, every week to corporate headquarters and plantation, worked for a company called Case-mate, which makes mobile phone cases. And it was Case-mate that actually got me into sublimation and fell into it. Right? We created customizable phone cases where you can actually wrap the image around the phone case and we were one of the first ones globally to do that. Gosh, that was probably in about 2010. And we didn’t even realize it was sublimation at that point. We just wanted to print on a phone case. We fell into it, but long story short, after that I had an offer to move to Charleston, South Carolina from Atlanta. And for any of the folks listening here or watching, if you’ve come to Charleston you know exactly why we chose to come to Charleston. Mark Stephenson: It’s a good move. It’s a good move. Vik Patel: Great food, great people. And it’s a great company to work for, too. So that’s me in a nutshell. Marc Vila: Yeah, that’s fantastic. I have been to Charleston twice and both times I just loved it. We literally parked the car somewhere and got out of the car and just walked and then walked into the hotel and got out and woke up in the morning and just walked some more. Vik Patel: Walked in. Marc Vila: And it was beautiful. The weather, the air, everything. It’s a fantastic place. Vik Patel: It’s an impressive town to say the least. It’s a very impressive town. Mark Stephenson: So why don’t you break down for us a little bit Vik, what exactly is sublimation? The non sciency version. Vik Patel: Sure, sure. I do have to geek out a little bit though, I have to give you a little bit of science, right? So sublimation in its purest form is a solid turning into a gas, right? And the best example I can give is take some dry ice, put it on your countertop. What happens? You don’t see a pool of water, all you see is the carbon dioxide gassing off, right? That’s what dry ice is. And that’s exactly what sublimation is. So we took dye solids or dyes that are used in sublimation and we mill them down to very, very fine powder. And we put them into a liquid suspension or liquid solution. It’s a suspension, but all these little particles are floating around in the cartridge and bottom line is between the software that we have and the paper, but it goes on too and the heat presses that drive the process when it hits that heat press at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, those little particles in there, they tend to gas and they have nowhere to go but into the material that the paper is sitting on, and those images in the background here that you could see of all the Star Wars characters are actually on aluminum and black and white images going onto aluminum and they’re sublimated. Mark Stephenson: Nice. Vik Patel: Right? And it is probably one of the most easiest processes I have ever seen with the most complicated name I have ever had to deal with. Mark Stephenson: Yeah. Vik Patel: Right? And that’s part of the challenge we have in here in marketing is how do you get people over the hurdle of just getting over the word sublimation? Mark Stephenson: Yeah. And it’s funny because in the end, you’re basically using an Inkjet printer to print an image on a piece of paper and you’re heat pressing that onto a garment or an object. Vik Patel: That’s right. That’s exactly it. Mark Stephenson: Regardless of what it’s called, it’s a ridiculously simple process. Vik Patel: Yeah. We’ve broken it down to three steps. You create an image, you print it, and you press it. Right? Create, print, press. And it’s that easy. Our videographer, Alex, his son is 10, he’s come to the office a couple of times pre-COVID and he’s fallen in love with creative studio, he’s fallen in love with sublimation, and the kid, all he does on the weekend he goes online, make something and has his dad sublimate it. Mark Stephenson: Cool. Vik Patel: Right? And it’s that easy. Mark Stephenson: Yeah. Very cool. The Opportunity in Sublimation Marc Vila: Yeah, absolutely. And I find that one thing, just talking about sublimation and what it is and how easy it is, leads me to a thought where I get to talk about something that I put together a bit, so brace yourselves. No, it’s not long but I found it to be interesting. So I was thinking about the different ways that you decorate apparel, that ColDesi works in a lot of different ways and I found that apparel, and it was specifically apparel, but also non-apparel items as well. But they’re really done in what I define as three ways, right? So we have mechanical ways of decorating things, right? And mechanical ways of decorating things are physically using essentially friction to hold it all together. Right? So this would be embroidery, sewing things on, riveting things on, button snaps, et cetera. And which is probably one of the oldest forms of decorating things. Mechanically decorating things requires a mechanical machine to do it. There’s certain levels of skill that are involved. Then there’s chemically adhering things to apparel. So this is like heat transfer vinyl, white toner printers, even screen printing, where you’re actually using some sort of chemical process, whether it’s heat or liquids or both to get something to stick to a piece of apparel, right? Or a hard surface. And you’re chemically bonding. You’re just gluing them, essentially. But with a sublimation printer. Vik Patel: Yep, that’s right. Marc Vila: And then there’s the only one that I know of for sure that’s actually a chemical change in the substrate T-shirt or a hard surface is sublimation. And I found that to be interesting because when you’re chemically changing the surface of an item, there’s no feel, there’s nothing that’s feel on top of it when it’s done. The longevity is really good and it looks the most a part of the item. And I think that’s really one of the big appeals about sublimation is that when you make it, you chemically change the item, the item is different, it comes out of the heat press different than it was before. And that’s why it looks so great. Because you didn’t just glue something onto it or tack something onto it. Vik Patel: That’s right. Marc Vila: But you actually physically changed your item. Vik Patel: Yeah. We’re physically dying that item. Right? And everything that we go on to has to have some form of polyurethane or polyester based coating on there. Right? And this is the last time I’m going to geek out on you guys. But at that temperature, the beautiful thing about that temperature is the fact that the molecules open up, the polyester molecules literally open up like a flower for that short period of time, and that gas which is in very close proximity because it’s under a heat press has nowhere else to go but inside of that molecule and encapsulate itself in there. And so, Marc, you’re absolutely right. It’s a chemical process. Again, another scary term. But it’s not chemical, right? It’s not harmful. It doesn’t leach out. And when that heat press opens up, it’s just like a Venus flytrap, those molecules encapsulate that dye and you get really high definition images, whether it’s a T-shirt or a hard surface or a coffee mug, you get some amazing output. Mark Stephenson: I got to say, it really is, just looking at the whole package. It is the cheapest way to customize something beautifully. If you have a beautiful, high resolution image, you want to customize something, you’ve only got X number of dollars, a full color photo on a coffee mug. Vik Patel: Yeah, you can’t beat it. Mark Stephenson: The highest end design shirt that you’ll ever see, the best graphic, photo and painting reproduction, whatever you want to do, if you need something amazing on a shirt, if you walk through the mall and you see the all-over prints on these guys walking around that just assault you as you walk by, they’re so bright and clear, [crosstalk 00:12:43], you can tell that sublimation. There’s not much else that will do the same. Vik Patel: Yeah. And the interesting thing is to get that level of high resolution, it really isn’t expensive. It’s pennies on the dollar to make that and to convert something that is white or pale in the beginning and put full color image on there, it is quite spectacular. Marc Vila: Yeah. And when you’re looking at, you mentioned apparel in the mall, high-end apparel in the mall, close to Del Mar shirts or Guy Harvey shirts, a lot of these brands are popular throughout the whole country and they’re $50 plus T-shirts. Talking about the apparel side of it. The technology to create that $50 mall T-shirt that’s available to these large companies, these global brains, is available for somebody to do in their living room for hundreds of dollars. Vik Patel: Totally. Marc Vila: Yeah. And that’s amazing to me is that it’s essentially the same exact technology. The output is almost exactly the same or is exactly the same, I don’t even know if these companies are using Sawgrass sublimation printers. They could be. I don’t know if they are or not, but they could be and it’s obvious. Vik Patel: And if they’re not, they’re using our rings. Mark Stephenson: Let’s just break this down for the people listening. If you’re not familiar with Sawgrass sublimation printers and ink, et cetera, and sublimation in general, what you’re talking about is being able to print on an 8 by 10 full color image, apply that image to a variety of things. T-shirts, mugs, things like that, and the sublimation printer is about 600 bucks. Vik Patel: Yep. It’s crazy. Mark Stephenson: And then you’re going to go up to the next level, which is a little bit more professional and put 11 by 17. Marc Vila: Yeah. 13 by 19. Vik Patel: Yeah, 13 by 19. Mark Stephenson: You put 13 by 19 inch paper in, now you can do roughly a 13 by 19 inch image and that sublimation printer is what? It’s under 1600 bucks. You add a good quality heat press, man, if you’re doing DTG right now, and you’re saying no to people that want poly, or if you’re using a cutter to do HTV right now, and people keep bringing you photos for you to print on, then you’re $600 away from being able to say yes. Vik Patel: Yeah. You’re not only just $600 away from doing that, you’re expanding your opportunities too. So, when you buy DTG, you’re buying it for a specific process, for garment printing, et cetera, right? When you’re buying this piece of sublimation equipment from Sawgrass, you can not only do T-shirts, you can do multiple other substrates. So the beauty is, I love to talk about brand extensions. I love to talk about upselling customers when they come in. They may come in with a photograph. They may want a T-shirt with a photograph on there, but why not offer a mug? Why not offer a mousepad? Why not offer the thousands, literally, upon thousands of different products that you can actually sublimate onto. So the actual versatility of a $600 machine is ridiculous. It is absolutely ridiculous. And your return for investment is, I know we’re going to talk a little bit about that too, but your return on investment is crazy too. Marc Vila: I love that stuff. It’s what we talk about all the time, especially with our digital heat effects, the white toner systems [crosstalk 00:16:53]. They have specific advantages of the differences between digital heat effects and sublimation. And I don’t think that’s this podcast, but it’s a future podcast probably, but that’s the number one thing we say is that if you’re, selling T-shirts or embroidery or whatever it is, if the upsell opportunity is the easiest way for you to make more money, give them a sample of a mug, give them a sample of a mouse pad, of a T-shirt printed differently, and people are going to buy them. Absolutely. So if you include a free mug or a free mouse pad in your order as a typical example that we talk about, or just have some available to show when you’re selling, it can also put those images on mugs. It’s only X dollars a piece. Mark Stephenson: I’ve got two examples from outside the customization or the customer apparel business anyway, that sublimation, that Sawgrass sublimation printers was a perfect fit for. Two conversations recently. One of the folks that worked for ColDesi, his wife owns a franchise in the dog food and dog grooming business and they run promotions occasionally. Well, they’ll bring in professional photographers and take pictures of the dogs after they’ve been groomed. Basically it’s the photo day for your pet. And he was struggling to figure out how else he can monetize that other than sell prints. And now he’s $600 away. Basically, he could get the small Sawgrass, and a heat press, or a mug press, or a cap press, and he can triple or quadruple his sales. “Hey, I can put that on a mug for you right now for a million dollars.” And these people, pet owners will do that. And the other one is a sign guy who does work for ColDesi, but his main business, he does a lot of boats and marinas. He does pinstriping and customizing and signage, things like that. He’s actually going to get one to do fishing shirts as well. So he’s just going to add that to his business. Nothing to do with apparel. Vik Patel: Yeah. Hey, fishing lures is a brilliant one, too. Fishing lures is another great product, but you’re right. I think one thing that I learned with the phone case business was that before customization was created, people were buying a $29 phone case. It was either black or white. And once customization came in, that same phone case with an image on there was getting sold for $45. Right? Not because the ink was expensive, it’s about 5 cents of ink on there, but the fact that there was a personalized image, that additional margin, I like to call it emotional margin because it’s driven by the heart string. Right? It’s driven by the fact that Billy’s picture is on there and we had a great time at the beach and they’re willing to pay for it. Right? So, that additional margin. And so it’s really important. The content of that is really important. And where it’s presented is really important. My groomer, we’ve got a little dog and we’ve got a big dog, but we take the little dog to a groomer, and they had these photographs of dogs on the wall. Right? And I looked at it and they’re just taking little pictures and stuck them on the wall. So I actually got a whole bunch of photographs of dogs and sublimated them onto photo panels and just gave it to them. Right? Because I could. I have the equipment, I have everything at home. I can make it and I could give it to them and their little storefront now looks absolutely amazing. Right? And there was nothing stopping me from putting a little plaque on the side saying, “Hey, if you want a photograph of your dog on there, email me with a photograph and it’s going to cost you $20.” Done. Mark Stephenson: Yeah. Cool. That’s great. That’s a great idea. Vik Patel: Really simple business idea, but people who have pets are crazy about pets. Marc Vila: Yeah. You know what it makes me think of too? You mentioned how putting a picture on something increases the value of it, which can be so true. But on the other side of things, the retail value that our customers can present of a personalized item, especially when it’s sublimated, can be equal to them just going to the store and buying a not personalized version. Right? So this shirt that I’m wearing right here, a hundred percent poly shirt, ColDesi logo on it, was very inexpensive to produce on a wholesale level, but a moisture wick style, hundred percent poly shirt like this from a retail store is easily going to be 25 bucks, right? On the low end. Up to 50, if it’s a Nike or something like that. So you can create customized apparel, right? As an example, which is just something we know about sublimized, customized apparel and your customers who might not be buying apparel from you now, or buying other things from you, can actually buy the shirt for the same price they would have paid for it not customized. And you’re making a 50 to 60% margin on creating it. And that’s wonderful too, is that there’s the opportunity to take something that has a certain value and increase the value by putting an image on it. And then there’s this other opportunity out there of you just selling something because you can create it, at a margin that’s good enough for your business, as much as they would just go and buy a Nike shirt at the store. Vik Patel: That’s exactly right. And the poly shirts today, they’re not like the old poly shirts from the good old days, five years ago. Right? The shirts today can actually feel just like cotton. They feel real good. Right? And you’ve got tons of options in the marketplace and so many things that you can do with it. It’s incredible. Mark Stephenson: And I know that the conversation that Marc is alluding to here is because we’ll soon be announcing and it’ll probably be out by the time this podcast airs that we’re partnering with Vapor Apparel. Vik Patel: Nice. Mark Stephenson: And Vapor is just like this premium quality, beautiful polyester, made to be sublimated line of clothing that, it’s just a perfect product for Florida. I know. Because it’s got the sun protection and things like that. Taking a high value product like that, and an inexpensive process to apply an image to it to differentiate yourself from other people that sell the same thing. The margin opportunities are incredible. Vik Patel: Yeah. And Vapor shirts are great. Right? They’re a Charleston company. I know the team at Vapor very well. They make a quality product. And Marc, you mentioned Guy Harvey a few minutes ago. That’s a level of quality that you can get out of the Vapor shirts, right? At the end of the day. You’re right. Florida is the perfect place to wear those, for sure. Marc Vila: Yeah. It is. When I had made a sample shirt, a Vapor shirt, and I had shown it to just a couple of friends and we’re just talking business. I said, “All right, yeah, we’re carrying this T-shirt line.” They’re not in the industry. Right? They’re just folks, and the one guy grabs me, he’s like, “Oh,” he’s like, “This is a really nice shirt.” He said, “You’re selling these?” “Yeah. We sell them wholesale,” et cetera. And he said, “I have a shirt at home I spent 50 bucks on, that’s not as nice as this shirt with a similar print on it.” Right? It had a Napa Florida on it. And he says, “50 bucks, t’s not even as nice as this.” And we got into talking about it. And the shirt that he has is the same style of shirt but another brand that we know that’s the lowest end cost. So somebody took a $2 shirt, put a buck worth of sublimation on its supplies, and sold it for 50 bucks to him because he liked the brand. But he’s not happy with it. Right? Because the quality was really low. He said, “If that shirt that I bought for 50 bucks was on this, I’d buy two more right now.” And it’s an amazing opportunity for folks who want to get into this, that we’ve got the apparel, the top quality way to decorate it, and top quality of apparel available at a price where you can sell it very very affordable to anybody. Vik Patel: Agreed. Marc Vila: Or go high-end and sell it in the high-end 50 plus dollar T-shirt market. Vik Patel: Exactly. And the other thing about Vapor, which I love is they used to have, they still do I think, have a tearaway tag on the back of the shirt. Right? And it’s very important because if you do want to get into that $50 range, you can develop your own brand of clothing. There’s nothing stopping you putting your mark on the back of the shirt or on the collar to say where it came from and now, all of a sudden, you’ve got your own brand. Right? And that says a lot. Mark Stephenson: There’s a lot of flexibility in the market too, because you’ve got that potential for going high-end. Vik Patel: Absolutely. Mark Stephenson: Basically this business model is a then shirts, then it’s equally viable or- [crosstalk 00:27:12]. Vik Patel: Exactly. Mark Stephenson: They’re getting a Sport-Tek or a partner company, they’re getting a good quality, a solid quality, hundred percent poly shirt and light color. To put the Sawgrass transfer on that, and to turn around and 15 to 25 bucks, depending on the topic, knock those out all day. Vik Patel: Yeah. And guess what? A shirt is on, just for the audience, the shirts on there for 45 seconds at 380 degrees, right? So if you’re talking about trying to understand efficiencies in the workflow process, especially for event type of workflow processes, it does not take long. It doesn’t take long at all. And once it comes off the heat press, there’s no other treatment required. It’s off, fold it, put it into whatever packaging you want to, and then send it off. Marc Vila: Yeah. And I love it so much that if you already have a heat press and some other equipment out there, whether you’re doing heat transfer vinyl, or you have an embroidery machine, and maybe you have a heat press to just do transfers on that you buy separately or patches or something like that. 600 bucks, essentially, in so many words, 600 bucks lets you make T-shirts in-house, mugs in-house, and then we have financing available too. So if you get yourself like a knock down set up, you get a bunch of papering, some extra ink, a sublimation printer, either printer option, for less than a hundred bucks a month financed, because we all know how financing works, right? And you can buy your house worth of furniture for like $9 a month according to commercials on TV. But you can finance all this equipment and all the supplies to make thousands of items for under a hundred bucks a month and you don’t have to sell that many T-shirts or that many mugs or anything like that to make that back. And we always talk about business ideas and growing the business. And of course, we sell equipment and supplies, right? So, we have to be transparent about that. Right? But this is one of those situations where a small investment in equipment and supplies takes your business to a whole nother level of saying yes and upselling and ease of use- Mark Stephenson: Honestly, it’s almost too inexpensive for ColDesi to sell. It’s almost just like, I really envision we’re selling so many of them in the next six months that we won’t be able to keep up. Vik Patel: I hope so. And I think it’s completely possible too, right? I’m a bit of an Excel geek and what I like to do is I like to print. And when I say that is, I like to get one of our printers, put some ink in there and just print the same image out over and over and over again and see how much mileage we can get out of this thing. Right? Now, it all depends on, everyone you talk to, it all depends on what photograph or image you’re printing, what quality of resolution, all that good stuff. Right? But I like to give people an idea of what you can get out of this. And one of the things I did is I did a long test on a T-shirt, printing out an 8 and a half by 11 sheet. Right? Put a little bit of margin in there, some white space. And we could comfortably say, we can get about 5 or 600 T-shirts out of one long cartridge, if not more, right? Quite easily. Right? And it does not take much. Then you start doing the math and saying, “How much is a shirt?” Average Vapor sure is about 5 bucks, 5.50 depending on what type of shirt you get, you sell it for 20, which is relatively low end. If your friend of yours bought it for 50, 20 bucks is low end, but you’re making something for 6 bucks with ink in there and you’re selling it for 20, that’s 45 seconds worth of work. Remember I said, about how long it’s on the heat press? Right? It takes you maybe about 30 seconds to print it. All in all, not much work. Right? And so you can get a really good return out of these sublimation printers and a good mileage out of them too. Marc Vila: Yeah. That’s great. And if you are listening to this and you’re ready to do sublimation or you have some struggles with doing it, right? Because every technology has its own issues. And meaning just, “I don’t know how to do this. I don’t know how to stick it to this.” Whatever, different things like that. ColDesi, we’re working on really stepping up that education. And for within our customers, with the different types of apparel we sell, we sell the Vapor. We also have the Sport-Tek, like you mentioned, things like that. So we’re going to be working on a lot of this information to really help educate people, to create apparel and other substrates as well that look top-notch. So that stuff’s already in the works. So hopefully if you do sublimate, you’re taking some business ideas out of this, but also be sure to keep an eye on ColDesi and Coleman and Company’s website because we’re going to continue to work with Sawgrass and Vapor Apparel and the other brands that are mentioned out there, like Sport-Tek and such to really help you guys create the best sublimation business you can because the opportunity out there is significantly greater than I expected when you look at how many people don’t know how to do it, how many people don’t do it right, aren’t selling premium quality apparel, aren’t using a good quality sublimation printer. And when you combine all that together, the opportunity is for the listener out there to really just make good money and expand their business. What the dream is, right? Vik Patel: We’ve got folks, there’s a case study on our site of the young lady that her mom bought a sublimation printer, didn’t really use it, so she decided to make phone cases out of it. And she then went on Tik Tok, 17 years old, and ended up with a six figure business in the first year, at the age of 17. She now employs her whole family, her mom, brother, sister, they all participate in the business. She’s a freshman at college, now she has eight sublimation printers and she has expanded to garment. Right? Mark Stephenson: That’s great. Vik Patel: So whatever you put on your phone case, you’re also wearing as a shirt. And so, she’s expanded her business. She’s 18 years old and she has a six-figure business. Marc Vila: Yeah, and [crosstalk 00:34:40]. Go ahead, Mark. Mark Stephenson: I was just going to say, I do want to take a moment to differentiate because, Marc, you mentioned people that are… They don’t quite know what to do or they’re having trouble or difficulties with things. And I want to differentiate Sawgrass for a second because sublimation is very common and it’s not difficult to cobble something together using off the shelf, Inkjet printers, buying ink, and trying to work that through, even though what Sawgrass did is they created a system with the hardware and the ink set and even the software to maximize your opportunity for success in a reliable and repeatable way. So, if you go onto YouTube and you’re looking at sublimators or things like that, they’re using an Epson printer or a variety of other kinds of Inkjet printers that they’re adapting, there are problems that are inherent in that like the early days of DTG, when people were still trying to turn one printer into a T-shirt sublimation printer, that you don’t have to take the time trying to figure out. One of the reasons that we were super excited about partnering with Sawgrass is they know what the flock they’re doing. You can go to their website and they’ve got great training and they’ve got videos and they’ve got the Sawgrass network where creators get together and talk about what they do and how they do it and put up things for sale. They have great training. They’re a complete package of a professional company that is going like, “Here.” it’s kind of like dealing with ColDesi you can get a white toner printer or DTG printer in a hundred different places but people come to ColDesi because you’re like, “Here, these are the things you need. Here is the video training on how to use it. And here’s the podcast and the courses on how to run your business.” What else can we do? And Sawgrass has the same approach. Vik Patel: Look, I think you’re a hundred percent on. And we have been in this business for 30 years, 32 years to be precise. We started off chasing ink cartridges to put into aftermarket printers. Right? Much like what people are doing, trying to cobble systems together. Six years ago, we went to a small company about $7 billion in size called Rico in Japan. And we had an honest conversation with them. We said, “Look, these two printers that you have in the marketplace that are design for the office market, we’ve been using them. 93, 95% of these printers that you’re making are coming into our sublimation business and we’re chasing cartridges to put into them. And we said, “Make these prototypes for us exclusively. Rejigger them on the inside. So they work with our inks and in an optimal fashion.” And they did that. And we said, “You know what? Maybe in five years we’ll sell 45,000 units,” right? Which is a big number, 45,000 units. We ended up with about 90,000 units sold in five years, in the first five years. And those units were distributed in over 200 countries and territories around the world and for the viewers or the audience who are familiar with the coast of Africa off the coast of Africa, a small place called Reunion Island, you could probably throw a rock from one end to the other. Well, a good baseball player probably could. We’ve got 25 units there, probably more per capita than any other country in the world. Mark Stephenson: That’s crazy. Vik Patel: And they’re active. They’re printing away. They’re buying ink. And with our systems, we also built, so now we have the ink cartridges coming from them. We make the inks here in Charleston and fill the inks in there, right? Using our proprietary systems. We have reliable sublimation printers. We have a design tool. So if you’re new to sublimation, you’re new to design, which most of the audience here probably is not, they’re mostly into the design tools, which is fine. But for those folks who are new, they can get into Chris’ studio for free. It’s got all the templates. How frustrating is it that you buy a brand new system, heat press and sublimation printer, and then all of a sudden you’ve got to figure out how to use Photoshop or Illustrator, create a template? Forget graphics and all that good stuff, which is hard enough. It’s all built in. We’ve got it. Get it started. Get printing. We have a program here, that allows you to get a schedule appointment and get onboarded. So they’ll walk you through the whole installation process. And we have a 98% satisfaction rate on that program. We onboard no less than about 500, one hour sessions a month using this program all over the world. Right? So we do have the full package, not just a sublimation printer. Mark Stephenson: I just want to clear something up. He’s talking about training. He’s talking about training you. Vik Patel: Training, yeah. That’s exactly it. Mark Stephenson: So, you get your printed in a box from ColDesi and then you set it on your table and you set up an appointment with these guys and they will tell you how to cut the tape. Vik Patel: Yeah, that’s right. Mark Stephenson: How to remove printer from the box. They’ll do the whole thing. You’ll get a solid hour with a pro. Vik Patel: Yeah. And that solid hour is important, right? Because you know what? It takes about 30 minutes to set it up. The other 30 minutes or the time that the ink is charging or you’re plugging something in, they’re not just silent on the phone, they’re answering questions. They’re saying, “What do you want to do with this? How can we help you?” And the team is guiding you through the process. And now you have a friend. Right? Now you have a friend to call or to contact. And from there, we’ll announce this right now. We’re launching Talk Shop, which anyone that goes through the onboarding process gets invited to talk shop where every week we’ll have a live session, a webinar session where people can come in and talk about the challenges they may be having, or the successes they may have had, to teach their peers and to motivate their peers to do more. That goes beyond the academy that we have. And so, yeah, at the end of the day, we’re not going to just make sure you get a system we’re not going to leave you hanging. We have the resources to keep you going too. Mark Stephenson: Cool. Marc Vila: You said a lot there that’s awesome. But the one thing that I would say that you could really take from it, well, there’s two things, right? You’ve got a training and support system, which is nice, right? And we know how important that is with all the equipment that we sell. But when you talk about 500 trainings a month worldwide, is showing that this technology is being adopted by apparel shops, promotion shops, small businesses, large businesses, there’s businesses that bring this type of production in-house, like a tattoo shop who wants to sell T-shirts and they decide to bring a sublimation shop in to print a shirt, or a cap, or a mug with a tattoo on it, right? Up to corporations bring these in, in their marketing department to create things for their internal team, to apparel shops. The reason why this technology is adopted by, just using that number 500 people a month globally, is because it’s good. It works. It’s easy. When you see the numbers move behind it that’s when you know something is successful and good. So, it’s right. It is scary in the beginning. Folks didn’t want to get into say, the white toner printing with digital effects, right? Eight, nine years ago, whenever it started, people didn’t want to get into it in the beginning, because there was only dozens of people a month getting started with this. It’s scary, right? To be an early adopter. Well, now, that white toner printing world is full steam. We’re talking just there’s, hundreds of people that are getting this every month globally. And you’re looking at the same thing with the sublimation systems. You see the same thing with embroidery. I’m sure screen print systems globally are similar too. So, it’s proven, a lot of folks are doing it. And I would question why you’re not, if you’re in some sort of customization business, right? Especially for the cost. It’s so inexpensive. Mark Stephenson: And if you’re in business and you have a heat press, I’m already confused if you don’t have a sublimation. Vik Patel: It’s a no brainer. And you’d be surprised at the folks that do have these large printers, huge sublimation printers or large format printing facilities. How many of them have a small Sawgrass sublimation printer machine? And as Mark said earlier, just to throw in a free sample. It’s a print shop. Somebody comes into print a whole bunch of brochures, right? They’re starting a business. How cool is that if you just gave them a free coaster, right? Because come on, they’re going to have a little coffee station and some mugs out there, they’re going to spend $15 for a mug anyway, sell them a mug with that brand on there because there’s nothing that a new entrepreneur wants to do than to actually show off their brand. What they don’t want to do is pay for a hundred mugs from these large fulfillment companies. Right? They just want to get five or six months. Short runs, big profit. Marc Vila: Yeah, local is still, local is growing. Right? So, because you made me think about that, where you’re talking about somebody who was there, right? Who we’re picking up delivery and now you’ve got a mug in front of them. And we’ve done a lot of research, a couple pieces of research that I wanted to mention. And one was about this near me. I call it just a near me thing, because adding near me to a Google search or a Siri search or something like that, is continuously growing. Right? Many people thought that the world was going to be, you buy everything online and it just comes from where it comes from. Right? And then we found out that moving things across the world is pretty expensive to do, and it takes time, and folks like instant gratification. So, what did the online world do? Amazon just started putting a warehouse every single place they could, right? There’s literally one a mile from here. Right? Or pick stuff up or get it delivered to me. Mark Stephenson: That’s just to deliver stuff to your house. [crosstalk 00:46:17]. Marc Vila: Right? And so the near me thing is huge. Customization is definitely not maxed out near me. Right? If you are trying to get something specific decorated near me, a lot of folks can’t do it, or it’s unreasonable, or they did find a place and that place has a good amount of near me business going on that the supply and demand increases it, the cost. So what do they do? They ended up buying it online, waiting, and then not knowing the quality that they’re going to get. Right? Because a lot of folks buy something online. They don’t know what they’re going to get. So you’ve got a lot of this near me business for your business, the listener, for mugs, mouse pads, tumblers, T-shirts, all these sublimatable items that you can create in minutes, you can do it while somebody waits, you could do it, “Hey, drive to my shop, I’ll start working on it now. It’ll be done by the time you get here, or just wait.” Mark Stephenson: I just want to insert a commercial here, because I know that Marc, you’ve been working on this quite a bit lately is in the spirit of those near me searches, Coleman and Company is pretty well committed to having stuff in stock and ready to ship. Flanks in stock, we’re going to have Vapor apparel in stock, we’ve got mugs in stock. We’ve got tiles, we’ve got all kinds of sublimation blanks that are readily available and honestly, we get people stop in our warehouse in Clearwater, Florida all the time. We’re a national and to some extent in international business, but we still get walk-in traffic. Because people come in and they want to pick up 10 mugs. They’ve got a small job to do, so we’ll do that. And if you’re looking especially, for things like mugs that are having in Florida, then you should definitely check out Colemanandcompany.com because the closer you are, the easier it is to order to pick up, to get shipped, et cetera. Marc Vila: Yeah. We ship mugs. We have a dozen plus different kinds of mugs available, all in stock everywhere in Florida. You order 200 bucks, you ship for free. And we don’t realize how expensive a mug is to move. Vik Patel: Is to ship, yeah, absolutely. Marc Vila: Yes. Right. Because you figure an 11 ounce mug, the reason why it’s called an 11 ounce mug, is because- Vik Patel: It’s 11 ounces? Marc Vila: It weighs 11 ounces. Which, actually, did not know that. Mark Stephenson: I did not know that. Marc Vila: I was assuming it held 11 ounces and maybe it does, maybe it does. I have not measured. Vik Patel: It does hold 11 ounces. Marc Vila: So it holds 11 ounces and it weighs 11 ounces. Vik Patel: That’s right. Marc Vila: What witchcraft. Vik Patel: 11 fluid ounces in there is actually 11 ounces in weight too. Marc Vila: Yeah, it’s witchcraft. So, but the reason was, is because I was trying to figure out how much it costs. I said, “I wonder how much has 11 ounce mug weighs?” And I put it on the scale and it said 11 ounces. And I said, “Okay.” I reset the scale and I did it again. Vik Patel: Don’t forget, the 11 ounce mug might weigh 11 ounces, but there’s probably 11 ounces of blooming packaging padding that goes around it. Marc Vila: Yes, because they break. So, if you have 10, 11 ounce mugs, when you start doing this, it amounts, 11 ounces is three quarters of a pound ish, or two thirds of a pound dish, and you get 10, 20 of these, you’ve got pounds of packages that are this big and it gets expensive to order these from afar. So we can ship them inexpensively, especially to Florida, they can get delivered next day. So a lot of folks in Florida are really happy to have a good source of a lot of different variety. And speaking of mugs, circles back to the second piece of research that we’ve been doing. So we’ve been going on to Facebook and this is research that we do for us, but also for our customers too, we’ve been going on to Facebook and pumping out different videos of decorating different things, doing different things, using different things. And the number of people who click through on mugs and mouse pads beats out almost everything else. T-shirts too, for sure. T-shirts are really close. Just barely beaten out, might not be statistic statistically significant, but these three things interest folks. They see it, they want to see more of it, they’re interested in it. And when we look at Google search trends and Facebook interactions and things like that, there is still a huge amount of interest in these. In just simple drink ware and simple T-shirts. Your business does not have to go crazy with marketing and have this amazing idea to have success in this market. If you can get into the near me market, figure out how to let people know that you’re there, that you make these custom things and you just make sure people know that you’re there, however it is, we have plenty of podcasts to let- Mark Stephenson: 149 podcasts. Marc Vila: 149 to let people know you’re there through Google, through joining Chamber of Commerce, through meeting people, all these things, right? If you’ve got a huge opportunity for just these mugs and mouse pads, and T-shirts. You can do those three things with a sublimation printer and have a successful business, whatever that definition of success is, it can be different to everybody. But, absolutely. Mark Stephenson: All right. I think we’re coming down to the end of our 120 minute podcast here. If you miss that hour in the middle, I apologize. Marc, what else do we want to squeeze out of Vik while he’s here? Marc Vila: Well, you know what? I figure it’s early enough that I have that we haven’t been complimented enough. So I was wondering if you could- Mark Stephenson: Why does Sawgrass getting rid of all their other sublimation printer dealers and just focusing on ColDesi? Vik Patel: Yeah. So we’re about to announce that we’re going to fire everyone globally, and we’re going to go directly to ColDesi to sell all of our sublimation printers. Mark Stephenson: Wait, wait, there are three companies that as soon as we’re done, I’m clipping that video clip. Let me send it right to you. Marc Vila: Yes. First of all, we are joking. We are joking. Vik Patel: Effective immediately. Marc Vila: But yeah, but joking aside, when we started to work together, you had said, “Oh, we’re glad to have this partnership with ColDesi.” And I was wondering if you could maybe talk a little bit about your impression of ColDesi when you started to open up this business relationship. Vik Patel: Yeah. So look, I’ll tell you why it’s so important and why I enjoy it. And I think this podcast is a brilliant example of that. It’s this banter and this partnership that allows us to have a really solid… I love it. I love the fact that we can pick up the phone, have a conversation and move business forward. And not only that, have some fun in the process. So, look, ColDesi is geographically for us placed perfectly right? That Florida market, the Southeast market. Yeah, there were some other dealers that play in that market too, which is great. And as you said, I can’t get either of your names wrong, which is brilliant. As Mark said, we’re not even scratching the surface of this technology going out there. Right? And I love the fact that we can just get on a podcast, get on a phone call, and walk through, “What should we do?” And you guys listen, right? Hopefully we’re listening too, right? We’re both open to ideas, both open to new strategies and new markets and that’s what I love about this. You’re not going after the existing market. You’re taking this technology and saying, “Look, this could be an add-on to your existing customer base and then you’re also looking for new customers. So that’s why it’s refreshing for me. You’re not a me too. Marc Vila: That’s great. And something popped in my head when we thought about that too, and talking about new customers and the different markets and stuff like that, that we’re always trying to educate folks who are in the business and growing and folks who want to start new businesses, right? Whatever their dream may be. And this all came together when I was thinking about what people do and how people get started, and then the Sawgrass sublimation printer. So I don’t want anybody to take offense to this, but you spent 3 to $500 on a stupid cricket setup, and you don’t go and- Mark Stephenson: Oh, yeah, be offended. Be offended. They’re $900. Marc Vila: If you don’t go and make your next investment, if you’re small, right? Because you already spent 500 bucks plus on a hobby machine, and you might be making money with it and it’s very slow, but it’s easy to use, right? So, don’t be too offended, but your next investment can be significantly faster to make things, significantly easier to make things and basically the same amount of money you spent before. And you probably own a heat press because you’re doing heat transfer vinyl. So, to me that’s amazing is that the opportunity to get started versus other investments you’ve made, it’s going to be small or equal to any other investment you made and you’ve got something that is the same technology of the same quality to make that Guy Harvey or Costa Del Mar shirt that we talked about before. A Sawgrass sublimation printer. That’s remarkable. Vik Patel: I won’t say anything about cricket, but I will drop an Easter egg right here and look out for future sort of things between Sawgrass sublimation printers and Silhouette. Because we know that there’s a lot of Silhouette users out there who have a Sawgrass system, who are looking to get into sublimation, but they just want it to be a lot easier to integrate the two. So that’s your Easter egg for this podcast. Mark Stephenson: Yeah, I like it. Marc Vila: Yeah, very cool. Yeah, there’s a lot out there. There’s a lot of opportunity out there. So I hope you listening to this, you learned a bit about sublimation and we really try to make podcasts, if this is the first one you’ve listened to, we try to not make them commercials about products, but this particular- Vik Patel: About us, yes. Marc Vila: About us, but we try to make it all only educational, but this product really is and truly as honestly, just an exciting product to be able to offer, especially when you’re talking about the price point of 500 ish to less than 2,000 for everything you would need – including the sublimation printer. The price point is really exciting. The ease of use is exciting. And at ColDesi, we’ve got apparel and hard surface items and mugs and different things like that. All together that we’re testing the blanks, we’re testing the printers, the papers, ink, everything, and putting it together so we can just give you a formula that we know that works, and then you go out there and sell it to folks near you or on the internet or whatever it might be. And it’s a great opportunity. Mark Stephenson: Cool. Yeah. Thanks very much for participating with us today. Marc Vila: Thank you. Vik Patel: Yeah, thank you for the partnership. Looking forward to doing more. Mark Stephenson: Okay. Hey, everybody, thanks for listening out there. This has been Mark Stephenson from ColDesi. Marc Vila: And Marc Vila. Mark Stephenson: You guys have a fantastic business. Vik Patel: Bye. Marc Vila: Bye. The post Episode 150 – Sublimation Printers and the Business Explained with Vik Patel appeared first on Custom Apparel Startups.
63 minutes | Feb 3, 2021
Episode 149 – Back to Business: Your 2021 Success Plan
2021 success plancustom apparel businesstshirt business Episode 149 – Back to Business: Your 2021 Success Plan This Episode Mark Stephenson & Marc Vila customapparelstartups.com CAS Podcast ColDesi You Will Learn How to plan your year 2021 How to benefit from opportunities Resources & Links Colman and Company Blog Success Stories ColDesi Learning Center Leasing Equipment Episode 149 – Back to Business: Your 2021 Success Plan Show Notes We are on the cusp of a customization boom. Public places are re-opening at different speeds and events are being scheduled. These parks, festivals, sports, etc are all being scheduled. What does this mean for YOUR business? There is an opportunity for a surge in custom shirts, hats, mugs, etc. It’s up to you how to evaluate that opportunity and how to benefit from it. Restaurants Sports School Camps Festivals Tradeshow premarketing for specific events How to outreach to customers so they know you are there when they are ready. Which one are you? What are the next steps? 1. Identify opportunities in your area. What will be the next big event or series of events by you? Sports, school events, concerts, Renaissance Festivals, business openings (restaurants, paint ball, mini golf) 2. What is your opportunity? Do you sell something that would be for these potential customers? T-shirts, Mugs, signs, etc. 3. What risks / plans are you willing to make? There are 3 strategies to have here. A. The financially conservative approach Don’t spend any time or money for an uncertain future Stay the current course Once you know 100% there is opportunity, take action then Pros – Little risk to spend money on inventory, staff or time preparing for things that may or may not happen Cons – The biggest risk is missing out on the boom. Your competition will get this business and you will ride behind their wave B. Investment of time, but little money Call on old business partners and see their plans Brainstorm ideas for the future Run numbers on budgets – marketing, sales, inventory Plan marketing campaigns Choose products & ideas Market test ideas with potential customers Pros – You are still financially conservative, but are more prepared. When the time comes to act, you will be more prepared than much of your competition. Cons – You are spending time on a what if, instead of a what is. You still can lose out on the biggest boom of the business when it hits. Someone else gets that. C. Investment of time & Money Do all of #2 above Invest in inventory that might sell out (mugs, paper, ink) Invest in equipment (Cap press, emb machine, sublimation printer) Invest time in training how to use equipment / software Prepare, Plan, Invest and be ready to strike gold when its time. Pros – When the peak hits you are going to be ready. You are most likely to get the maximum potential out of the surge. Could be a ‘game changer’ for your business growth Cons – There is always a what if. You can take on debt and not get the expected reward. You will need to devise a plan (what will I do with these mugs?) 2021 will present new opportunities and new challenges. There are signs that a boom is coming. How long will that last? what is the opportunity in your area/niche? What risks will you take? The post Episode 149 – Back to Business: Your 2021 Success Plan appeared first on Custom Apparel Startups.
53 minutes | Dec 24, 2020
Episode 148 – Your Best Year Ever 2021
2021 trendscustom apparel businesshow to spot trends Episode 148 – Your Best Year Ever 2021 This Episode Mark Stephenson & Marc Vila customapparelstartups.com CAS Podcast ColDesi You Will Learn What’s going to trend in 2021 Why 2021 is going to be the best year for custom product, apparel and embroidery businesses Resources & Links Colman and Company Blog Success Stories ColDesi Learning Center Leasing Equipment Episode 148 – Your Best Year Ever 2021 Show Notes As a small customization business are you poised to have your greatest year ever in 2021. In this episode, we will discuss WHY this is true and HOW to make it work for you. Trends stack the cards in your favor. What do we expect to trend in 2021: 1. Working remotely – 42% of the US workforce is working remotely now (Stanford University Study) – Many businesses will bring employees back in in 2021, but many will not. (it saves them money, they might see more efficiency, etc etc) 2. Small shopping – it’s VERY cool to shop and support small businesses (59% of consumers surveyed in Salesforce’s report would rather buy from a small business than a large corporation) 3. Largest online sales ever – online sales are surging for all the obvious reasons. Its been growing year over year for 20 years and this year creating a new shift. 4. Social Media – Love it or hate it, social media is still growing and being adopted in all age ranges from kids to boomers. How do these trends specifically mean a customization business like yours will thrive? Working remotely: – You CAN work remotely. Unless you have very large industrial equipment most things ColDesi sells can fit through a regular doorway and plug into a regular 110 outlet. Your staff can operate your equipment from various locations, or if you are a home-based business you might have already been working from home! – There will be a new standard for looking good on camera for companies in 2021. Fine during the spring/summer of 2020 it was fine for business people to show up to video meetings in ball caps, messy bun hair or their Sunday PJs look. However, that is shifting. More businesses want their staff to look good on camera. THIS IS WHERE YOU COME IN. – Market ‘uniforms’ for working at home. Company logo hats, embroidered polos, logo mugs, etc. Anything that is ‘on camera’ is a branding tool. Even logo signs they can hang up in the background. Small Shopping: – People are loving helping their community. Buying from small businesses, eating from local farms, drinking local beer, eating at locally owned restaurants. YOU ARE A LOCALLY OWNED SMALL BUSINESS. This is your time to advertise locally, get your google maps set, attend any local events, etc. Be sure to let everyone know when they buy a shirt from you, they are helping someone in their community. – Build new local relationships – when you eat at a local restaurant, let them know you are a local embroidery shop. When you shop at a locally owned hardware store, let them know you make custom aprons. Build these relationships. Join local business owner groups, etc. Largest Online Sales Ever: – Online sales always grow and 2021 will be a new record. SO GET ONLINE. How? Etsy, Ebay, Amazon, Facebook, your own website, forums. Make it easy for people to buy online. – Sure up your remote selling capabilities. Get an app so people can pay invoices on their phone. Have a way for people to interact with you via text/DM. Clean up your email signature, re-check how your emails and pages look on mobile, ask for feedback. Social Media: – Get on there in any creative way possible. Share the best work you do. Share customer testimonials. Share videos of your work. You don’t need to act like an influencer, give motivational talks or make jokes. Just share what you do and what people think of you. Remember that it’s not about likes, it’s about when BUYERS look you up, the impression they get. – Join groups – Facebook, linked in, online forums. Be active and drop your business name or links when you can (and when allowed) – Also be an expert without the need for a sale. – Like, follow, and interact with others. If you sell car t-shirts, follow car people. Comment, like, and share their stuff. Eventually, this can lead to a relationship or sales. (“hey, interested in a t-shirt business partnership” “yea, I know you, we interact on my posts all the time”) Special Note about Maps and GMB:Google continues to focus more and more on Local search and is expanding what Google Maps means and does as a result. 2 big new changes are: – Community Feeds – like a running blog post with user comments– Messaging in Maps 2021 is really a great opportunity for the small customization business.People want to feel connected to where they shop, they are navigating a world that changed quickly on them and if you help them adapt, you win. Listen to these episodes: CAS Podcast Episode 138: https://youtu.be/aX6YaOJcM9QCAS Podcast Episode 141: https://youtu.be/7YC6uGIubaA The post Episode 148 – Your Best Year Ever 2021 appeared first on Custom Apparel Startups.
64 minutes | Dec 3, 2020
Episode 147 – Contact Pages That Work
contact pagesthank you pages Episode 147 – Contact Pages That Work This Episode Mark Stephenson & Marc Vila customapparelstartups.com CAS Podcast ColDesi You Will Learn Why you should use a contact page and a thank you page Resources & Links Colman and Company Blog Success Stories ColDesi Learning Center Leasing Equipment Episode 147 – Contact Pages That Work Show Notes We’re going to divide this podcast up into 2 sections today. First, we’ll talk about Contact Pages themselves, which ARE important. Then we’ll talk about Thank You Pages – often overlooked but even MORE important, we think, than ty pages. So – what’s a contact page and why do people use them? Or more importantly – why do YOUR customers use them? If you have an ecommerce site they probably use them: when they have a question about a product while shopping they are looking for something you don’t provide or they can’t find They’re looking for a deal or additional discount They also might want to discuss (complain) about a current order If you aren’t selling online, the contact form is even MORE important because: they may be shopping while you’re closed and have questions They could want to schedule a call about a BIG deal Or – they’re trying to sell YOU something – which is why having Captcha is important. You can use your contact form to do more than just capture information so you can call someone back. You can also: Build your email list Use it to help route response like: Choose the reason for your contact Question about a current order Finding out if you do ________ Question about a future order Elements of a good thank you page: Motivation – Why they should fill it out and not just click away Form itself Prequalification Directions/Location Something more – Reviews, Personal Message, Pics of happy customers, etc Thank you form are important! Never use the standard TY page. Those pages are opportunities to make a further sale! also, don’t just have a simple pop up that says “form been submitted Reinforce their decision – Thanks, you made the right choice What you want them to do next Continue shopping Look at this new product too Visit you on Social Share something show them a video! offer a free sample or a coupon Contact and TY pages are a huge opportunity for you to engage with the people who WANT to talk to you! Resources: Here’s our Avance Thank You Page Example: Avance Thank You – Avancé Commercial Embroidery Machines (avance-emb.com) DigitalHeat FX Contact Page Example: Contact Us – Digital Heat FX Good article on Contact Page options: Contact Form Design: 15 Best Contact Page Examples of 2020 (ventureharbour.com) The post Episode 147 – Contact Pages That Work appeared first on Custom Apparel Startups.
55 minutes | Nov 25, 2020
Episode 146 – Create Product Pages That Sell
how to create product page Episode 146 – Create Product Pages That Sell This Episode Mark Stephenson & Marc Vila customapparelstartups.com CAS Podcast ColDesi You Will Learn What to include on your product page Why product pages are important Resources & Links Colman and Company Blog Success Stories ColDesi Learning Center Leasing Equipment Episode 146 – Create Product Pages That Sell Show Notes How important IS the Product Page on your website? If you’re relying on eCommerce for your income, and are running ads to pages OR relying on organic search, they’re a big part of why your business will succeed – or not. So, Marc – what IS the product page? If you are going to spend the time and money online, do your best to make it RIGHT. If you want to create a good product page, you HAVE to follow everything on this list. Here are the 10 (plus one bonus) things you should do for every product page on your website. Know your goal – When someone lands on this page, what do you want them to do? Tell them what it is – Big and Bold, then short and sweet. Explain the product in a glance. Ask them to take action – clear and obvious – buy now, call in, live chat, complete form. Offer more info for those who want it – for many people the short and sweet isn’t enough… so after the above. add more text, add videos, additional images, bullet lists of features. Address their concerns – If you know your customers, or have surveyed people. let them know their concerns and how this product helped them. e.g. won’t shrink, collar won’t wrinkle, color won’t fade, etc Live chat – most of the time you can get a live chat for free, and make it available during business hours. Even mobile apps to make it easier for you Let them call you – if they have questions, plenty of people STILL like the phone. Make it easy to find and call you. GOOD photos, videos, gifs – Be sure to have photos and/or videos… and don’t make them super fuzzy or stretched out or confusing. You have a $1000 camera in your pocket, use it. Add testimonials – site reviews, quotes, pictures from customers, social comments, screenshots, etc Brag – if a famous person or brand purchased this… brag. Could be local schools, winning football team, local church, big famous brand, famous social media influencer Review, test, repeat – come back to these pages and review them. When possible test different versions of the page. Don’t let them go stale. The post Episode 146 – Create Product Pages That Sell appeared first on Custom Apparel Startups.
50 minutes | Nov 11, 2020
Episode 145 – Pay Attention to What’s Happening Now
how to grow your business next year Episode 145 – Pay Attention to What’s Happening Now This Episode Mark Stephenson & Marc Vila customapparelstartups.com CAS Podcast ColDesi You Will Learn How to grow your business next year Resources & Links Colman and Company Blog Success Stories ColDesi Learning Center Leasing Equipment Episode 145 – Pay Attention to What’s Happening Now Show Notes It’s time to start getting ready for 2021 – Most businesses use these last 3 months of the year (Q4) to start choosing their goals, deciding what targets they want to hit, new markets they’ll text – listing out their business plans for the next year. But we know THIS is the busy season for many of you! So the best way you can start prepping for next year is to take time each day to pay attention to the slightly bigger picture of what’s happening NOW in your business. So you can use that perspective and experiencing this busy season to better take advantage of the next. Here are a few things to take note of, and set aside for planning next year: 1. What’s wasting your time? Every year you probably take orders for the same kinds of things that you know just take WAAAY too long to do. The way you know that is by looking at how much you’re charging for everything, how long it takes you, and what it all costs in materials. But really – you probably kind of FEEL it right now anyway… – Custom stockings? – Table runners – Halloween or Thanksgiving decorations? 2. What Customers are NOT worth it? You can really tell who your best and worst customers are when you’re super busy. – Are you DREADING someone’s phone call? – Do you already know they’re going to complain? – Do you end up with high return rates and low customer satisfaction consistently from one or two businesses? 3. What do you LOVE making right now? Look at all the business coming in the past 30 days – which ones do you want to do FIRST? Which kinds of activities get you excited about starting work? 4. What has made you, or IS making you, the most PROFIT? – Are you pumping out left chest t-shirt logos with a DigitalHeat FX printer and making tons of money from it? – Is making a big custom one off project, like a jacket or holiday decoration paying you better than anything else? – What customers is keeping your mortgage money coming in because every job is so profitable for you? The post Episode 145 – Pay Attention to What’s Happening Now appeared first on Custom Apparel Startups.
20 minutes | Nov 4, 2020
Episode 144 – CAS MiniCast: A LOT of Assembly Required
how to learn new things Episode 144 – CAS MiniCast: A LOT of Assembly Required This Episode Mark Stephenson customapparelstartups.com CAS Podcast ColDesi You Will Learn How to learn new things How to learn new equipment How to make new products Resources & Links Colman and Company Blog Success Stories ColDesi Learning Center Leasing Equipment Episode 144 – CAS MiniCast: A LOT of Assembly Required Show Notes During today’s MiniCast I’m going to talk about how you approach learning new things, new equipment, making new products to sell – and the lessons I learned doing home improvement this weekend. The last few weekends have been focused on home improvement – which is what happens around Halloween after your kids move out. Part 1: Assembly REQUIRED Part of those projects was assembling and installing this new entertainment center – if you’re watching the video recording you’ll see a picture. It was all unexpectedly difficult. And that made me think of all of you. First: The instructions for this RTA thing were awful. And parts weren’t labeled. My wife and are RTA PROFESSIONALS, but we still went through a solid day of “oh, that’s backwards, let’s take it all apart again”. There were no IKEA style pictures that were clear enough to help. No handy assembly videos. Noone to call and ask questions. And like I said, even though we are PROS at this, a few nudges from someone that had assembled this thing before would have saved HOURS in just getting set up. I thought of all of you out there that get a DTG Printer, Embroidery Machine on White Toner printer system like the DigitalHeat FX and: Try to set up yourself – after all, you have experience Look for advice or info on YouTube and find it – old, unqualified, etc. or find nothing Because you either didn’t buy it from us or haven’t done the training BUT I KNOW PRINTERS! BUT I HAVE AN EMBROIDERY MACHINE NOW! BUT I HAVE TO GET IT GOING THIS WEEKEND! I HAVE ORDERS TO GET OUT! Part 2: NEXT time it will be so much EASIER This entertainment center had 3 pieces – and one of them is basically a bookcase mounted about 4′ off the floor. It’s freakin’ heavy. And it’s just my wife and I doing the install. No handy rail mounts. Just 2 places to put screws to mount to the wall. While we held it up in the air with one hand and tried to screw in with the other. And I was terrified this thing would fall down in the middle of the night. Oh, and did I mention – stud was in the wrong place. So we did what anyone would do – googled heavy duty drywall screws and toggle bolts. Went to Home Depot and bought a few of each kind. We realized the space behind the wall was more shallow than most when we broke the special-heavy-duty mounting things against the inside of the exterior cinder block wall… And we failed, and failed again, and then we figured it out – you’ll have to listen to find out how we did it – but in the end it took us about 15 or 20 minutes for a pretty easy installation. And it’s the same for YOU and your business. Your new equipment and your new product or process. Listen to this short episode for more. The post Episode 144 – CAS MiniCast: A LOT of Assembly Required appeared first on Custom Apparel Startups.
54 minutes | Oct 28, 2020
Episode 143 – Eat The Frog: Stop Doing Things You Hate
how to manage your taskswork management Episode 143 – Eat The Frog: Stop Doing Things You Hate This Episode Mark Stephenson & Marc Vila customapparelstartups.com CAS Podcast ColDesi You Will Learn How to manage your tasks Work management strategies Resources & Links Colman and Company Blog Success Stories ColDesi Learning Center Leasing Equipment Episode 143 – Eat The Frog: Stop Doing Things You Hate Show Notes The basic idea from this book by Brian Tracy – Eat that Frog – Ways to Stop Procrastination Free pdf: https://www.briantracy.com/success/time-management-made-simple/op/eat-that-frog-transcription.html Brian Tracy’s ABCDE Method: 1. Make a list of all of your To Do’s. 2. Go through the list and put one of these letters (ABCDE) by each item “A” items are your key tasks. There will be major consequences if you don’t complete these. Start on these first. A “B” item is “Should Do” but is not as important as an “A” item. There are only mild consequences to not completing these tasks. The consequences are only short-lived. “C” tasks have no consequences. They’re nice to do, but not essential. They will not contribute to your long-term success in your personal life or career. D’s need to be completed but should be given to someone else. In one word – delegate. The only time you should spend on these tasks is the amount of time it takes you to figure out someone to delegate the task to. “E” stands for eliminate. You can eliminate these tasks and there will be no consequences. The CAS Approach: What we would add is to score each task in each category by: How much you HATE doing them How good you are at doing them The “eat the frog idea” is to start with the A tasks you dread and do that first. Our idea would be to look at all the tasks and outsource what you hate doing or can’t do well. The post Episode 143 – Eat The Frog: Stop Doing Things You Hate appeared first on Custom Apparel Startups.
56 minutes | Oct 20, 2020
Episode 142 – The Sublimation Business With Jim
how to start your businesssublimation business Episode 142 – The Sublimation Business With Jim This Episode Mark Stephenson & Marc Vila Jim Francis customapparelstartups.com CAS Podcast ColDesi You Will Learn What’s HOT in the sublimation business right now. How much does it cost to get started in the sublimation business. Resources & Links Colman and Company Blog Success Stories ColDesi Learning Center Leasing Equipment Episode 142 – The Sublimation Business With Jim Show Notes Jim Francis with BestBlanks.com is has been getting people started in custom t-shirts and promo products business for about 150 years (maybe closer to 10 but it seems like that much) – and we’ve asked him on the podcast today for 2 reasons: #1: Because he’s a PRO in a part of the business that we have less experience in. #2: Because Sublimation is a great technology if you want to start small and really bootstrap a custom t-shirt business. #3: Because now that BestBlanks is part of the ColDesi family – we just have to BRAG! During this episode we’re going to get Jim’s take on: What’s hot in the sublimation business right now? In other words Jim, if you were going to start a business, what would you be SELLING? What are the Pros and Cons of Sublimation vs other technology? How much does it cost to get started, and what does that include? What can ColDesi customers ONLY get from BestBlanks right now? – Sawgrass printers – Hix heat presses – Roland BN-20 – Sublimation inks – BLANKS! If you want to learn about Sublimation systems or looking to add this to your business, visit bestblanks.com and call Jim and his team. The post Episode 142 – The Sublimation Business With Jim appeared first on Custom Apparel Startups.
47 minutes | Oct 14, 2020
Episode 141 – How to Get Found on Google Maps
bing placesgoogle mapshow to get customers Episode 141 – How to Get Found on Google Maps This Episode Mark Stephenson & Marc Vila customapparelstartups.com CAS Podcast ColDesi You Will Learn How to get found on Google Maps Why it’s important to use Bing Places How to get customers easily Resources & Links Colman and Company Blog Success Stories ColDesi Learning Center Leasing Equipment Episode 141 – How to Get Found on Google Maps Show Notes If you arent making sure you are able to be found on google maps – you are 100% missing out on business According to Brandify: 77% of people use google maps to find a local business, second place is Facebook at 38% (obviously there is overlap, some people use both) 25% of these searches are in the car. This means they might be ‘in town’ or ‘running errands’ and hoping to find someone nearby 59% of these are done at home, meaning they are seeking for nearby places Local Search Fast Facts: 78% of local, mobile searches result in an offline purchase. 86% of people find the location of a business using Google Maps. 61% of people who perform a search on a mobile phone are more likely to contact local businesses who have a mobile-friendly site. 88% of consumers view online reviews as trustworthy as a personal recommendation from a friend. 18% of local, mobile searches result in a sale within 24 hours. There has been a 900%+ growth in mobile searches using “near me” and “today/tonight” (for example “electricians near me” and “concerts near me tonight”. How to make sure you are found on maps: Fill out Google my business Fill out Bing places Fill out Facebook info Complete any free business listing you can – SBA, Chamber of Com, – Community websites, city/county, etc Google hunts and pecks to find out everything it can about local business. make it easy for them. Resources: https://macmillandesign.com/internet-basics/google-map-pack-benefits/ https://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/10322/The-Ultimate-List-50-Local-Business-Directories.aspx The post Episode 141 – How to Get Found on Google Maps appeared first on Custom Apparel Startups.
39 minutes | Oct 6, 2020
Episode 140 – Financial Questions Answered
financing your businesssmall business loan options Episode 140 – Financial Questions Answered This Episode Mark Stephenson & Marc Vila Jason Fuchs customapparelstartups.com CAS Podcast ColDesi You Will Learn What are business loan options for small businesses When to use credit and cash for large purchases How to plan for retirement Resources & Links Colman and Company Blog Success Stories ColDesi Learning Center Leasing Equipment Episode 140 – Financial Questions Answered Show Notes Jason Fuchs https://www.sagepathfa.com/ is a Financial Advisor that specializes in small businesses – and entrepreneurs just like you. And he’s here with some of the answers to questions that we get all the time.. about insurance, retirement and the personal “money” side of the customization business. People most wanted to learn about: Small business loan options – When to pay Cash, When to Borrow and When to Wait Using credit vs cash for large purchases Getting Set up right from the beginning Planning for retirement for small business Resources and recommendations from this podcast: Listen to Jim’s Podcast “Dad Cents” where he talks about life – and about personal finance in small bites: www.sagepathfa.com/dadcents Listen to this episode: CAS Podcast Episode 137 | Marketing Playbook Read this article: ColDesi Financing Options Article The post Episode 140 – Financial Questions Answered appeared first on Custom Apparel Startups.
73 minutes | Oct 1, 2020
Episode 139 – 7 Things That Kill T-Shirt Business Growth
custom apparel businessgrowth mistakes Episode 139 – 7 Things That Kill T-Shirt Business Growth This Episode Mark Stephenson & Marc Vila customapparelstartups.com CAS Podcast ColDesi You Will Learn What business owners ignore that has the potential to make them more money Resources & Links Colman and Company Blog Success Stories ColDesi Learning Center Leasing Equipment Episode 139 – 7 Things That Kill T-Shirt Business Growth Show Notes Here are seven (7) things that kill business growth. Ignoring these things are certain to keep your custom t-shirt business, embroidery, sign, promo products business from being more. More sales, more profits, and more satisfying for you and your customers. 1. Bad Accounting – In other words, not knowing your numbers. All too often people think they are doing well, but they are failing slowly. 2. Ignoring Customer Feedback – Your customers will tell you what’s wrong, especially if you ask them. Listen to what they say to improve your business. Often, new business owners will let pride get in the way – thinking “this is the way I do it” instead of how can I give the customer what they want. 3. No plan for Customer Service / Experience – If all you think about is sales, you will forget to think about customer service, customer experience, good processes, organized accounting, etc. 4. Focus on the Making and not the Money – making t-shirts is an art, but if you spend so much time on the art, your orders won’t be profitable. Your time is worth money. 5. Making YOUR Business all about what your Competitors are Doing – People will by from you because you are different from the competition, not because you are the same. Sometimes it important to offer similar items, because they are your competition. However, they aren’t you, and you aren’t them. If you try to push your business into something it’s not, it will fail. 6. Change for Change’s Sake – You don’t need a new idea every day, and a new product to sell every day. Be sure to focus on things that are working, and then look for the right time to push for a new innovation. If you are just getting your t-shirt sales going, it might not be a good idea to spend days trying to figure out how to print on dog collars because its a new idea. If the shirts are working, go for them. This also might be the same for your niche, you don’t need to think of a new niche every day. 7. Hiring Mistakes – Not everyone is good at every job. Someone who isn’t detail oriented or very good at math probably shouldn’t be an accountant. Someone who is 5ft and 100lbs probably should have a job lifting 80lbs bags of concrete. We are all physically and mentally different in our strengths. You need to take this into account for your business. You cannot keep your nephew employed if they are doing damage to your business. You shouldn’t be afraid to let someone go if they aren’t a part of your success. Listen to these episodes: https://customapparelstartups.com/episode-17-know-numbers-value-customer/ https://customapparelstartups.com/episode-18-know-numbers-part-2/ The post Episode 139 – 7 Things That Kill T-Shirt Business Growth appeared first on Custom Apparel Startups.
52 minutes | Sep 23, 2020
Episode 138 – Think Outside The T-Shirt
make money with personalized items Episode 138 – Think Outside The T-Shirt This Episode Mark Stephenson & Marc Vila customapparelstartups.com CAS Podcast ColDesi You Will Learn How to make money selling personalized items Resources & Links Colman and Company Blog Success Stories ColDesi Learning Center Leasing Equipment Episode 138 – Think Outside The T-Shirt Show Notes One thing is has become clear this year. That MOST of our new customers, and ones adding new machines to their shop, are doing a lot more than just apparel. At every tradeshow, in every industry email and magazine, even in ColDesi emails you see more and more outside the norm. Just recently we finished a video on making custom Whiskey glasses with DigitalHeat FX. And the Embroidery Grip has been selling more and more because embroiderers are embellishing more than just polos. Cutters and spangle machines are also doing a LOT more – especially for holiday items. And of course – the king of NOT printing apparel is our UV printer lineup! So during this episode we’re going to look at the most popular and PROFITABLE things people in the custom apparel business are selling.. that’s not actually apparel. What are some popular items you might not be selling now? – Mugs– Can Cookers– Tumblers– Backpacks– Hip Packs / Fanny Packs– Aprons– Blankets– Lunch Bags Below are some links to items with cost and estimated retail values. Example: Custom Apron: https://colmanandcompany.com/SM-A520.html Cost $5.60 Retail between $17 and $31 Example: Custom Hip Pack: https://colmanandcompany.com/SM-BG905.html Cost $4.78 Retail $15.99 Example: Coasters: https://compressuvprinter.com/mutoh-valuejet-426uf-desktop-printer-making-custom-coasters/ Stone Coasters Retail: $23 Cost $1.84 Holiday Ideas Embroidery: – Custom Christmas stocking– TurkeyDay and Christmas Table Runners– Christmas tree skirts– Holiday aprons– Bags and backpacks– Oven mitts– Christmas ornaments DigitalHeat FX: – Whisky glasses (milk?)– Picture frames– Christmas ornaments Spangles: – Custom Christmas stocking– TurkeyDay and Christmas Table Runners– Christmas tree skirts– Holiday aprons– Bags and backpacks– Oven mitts– Christmas ornaments Videos and Episodes mentioned: Episode 125 | The White Toner Revolution with Randy Rickert Episode 129 | UV Printing BOOM Video: What is Kitting? Video: Custom Rocks Glasses The post Episode 138 – Think Outside The T-Shirt appeared first on Custom Apparel Startups.
61 minutes | Sep 17, 2020
Episode 137 – Marketing Playbook
importance of marketing playbookmarketing playbook Episode 137 – Marketing Playbook This Episode Mark Stephenson & Marc Vila customapparelstartups.com CAS Podcast ColDesi You Will Learn What is marketing playbook How to create a marketing playbook Resources & Links Colman and Company Blog Success Stories ColDesi Learning Center Leasing Equipment Episode 137 – Marketing Playbook Show Notes We’ve been actually kind of BUILDING a Marketing Playbook over the past few episodes – not on purpose. Las episode we talked about identifying your ideal customer, and recently we’ve done podcasts on: Ecommerce sites Turnaround strategies Selling Conversations Winning Sales Methods During this podcast we’ll be talking with Kelly Lawrence about the idea of an ACTUAL Marketing Playbook – or Business Playbook. What that is and why it just might be the key to long term growth for your business. Intro Kelly Lawrence from Lawrence Innovation https://www.linkedin.com/in/kellylawrence/ What is a Marketing Playbook? Okay – let’s talk about this idea of developing the playbook by company size, because they’re going to be quite different depending on where you are in your business life – Bootstrap – Self-funded startup – Big Starters or Under $1M in sales – Mid-sized businesses 1-5M – Large 10M and up Customer intimacy – What is your playbook? – This is something you use to train your sales and marketing team to properly deliver the message of your products (even if it’s just you.) – Here are some steps to creating your playbook? Initial questions: – What do you want to sell? – Who will you sell it to? – What are some guesses on why people want to buy it? – What makes this product unique? Research: – Ask potential customers about the product. – What would they pay? – How many would they buy? – What problems do they have now with the product? – How exciting is the product to them? – Ask 10-30 people including distributors or wholesalers if you can. Write the info down and do math to make stats. e.g. 70% of people would pay $30, 90% would pay $20 Costs and profits: – How much would it cost to you make it? – How much to deliver it? – How much to sell / advertise it? – How big is the segment of people? – How much money can you make a month / year / etc ? Results: – Should you go to market with this product? – What changed in your research? – Do you have new ideas? Making the playbook: – Share results of research with your team – Explain the pains and frustrations of customers – Explain how this product overcomes those – List common objections and how to overcome them Now you are ready to deliver your new playbook to your team, or yourself! Your playbook will always be adapting and changing over time. It’s not written in stone, it is a plan you should refer to and update over time. The post Episode 137 – Marketing Playbook appeared first on Custom Apparel Startups.
70 minutes | Sep 1, 2020
Episode 136 – Building a Winning Ad Strategy For Your Business
ad strategyadvertisingcustom apparel business Episode 136 – Building a Winning Ad Strategy For Your Business This Episode Mark Stephenson & Marc Vila customapparelstartups.com CAS Podcast ColDesi You Will Learn How to create a winning ad strategy Resources & Links Colman and Company Blog Success Stories ColDesi Learning Center Leasing Equipment Episode 136 – Building a Winning Ad Strategy For Your Business Show Notes Step 1 – Choose your Niche – Fitness Coaches & Personal Trainers – Local Moms from pregnancy to toddler years Step 2 – Build your Avatar – Male – 25-45 – In shape, loves fitness, likes cool t-shirts, casual minded, wants to be independently wealthy. Has own business for personal training. Probably works out of a private gym and does some online coaching. – Female – 20-30 – Small town mom, loves personalized things for her children, has a network of friends and family that support her and love her kids, loves to buy local, doesnt want to buy gifts from walmart but prefers something with a personal touch. Goes to local farmers markets every week, plus home parties for jewelry, apparel, etc Now you are ready to build an ad campaign. Here are some steps on how to give yourself the biggest chance for success. Why – Why would your avatar want this? Where will your avatar see it? Where will you advertise? The question really is, where will you most likely be able to reach your Avatar. Do they use facebook? Do they attend local events? Are they likely to buy online? What message will resonate? Time, Money, Image? What images will they respond to? Will they respond to a cute design picture, a picture of the item itself or something else, like a video of it being made or picture of someone wearing logo apparel? Call to Action (CTA) what will your avatar PREFER to do? What do you want them to do? Order a specific product online? Call for a consultation? Email you ideas? Email you to get ideas? BASED ON YOUR AVATAR How will you measure success of your ad/campaign? Once you have answered these questions you can move onto creating your ad campaign. So lets use the examples above. We will choose 2 completely different campaigns just as an example of how you could run these. Fitness Coaches & Personal Trainers What? You’d like to sell work out shirts to these personal trainers and also give them the opportunity to sell them to their clients for a profit. You can come up with cool designs he will like. Where? Since your customer can be both in your own town and in the next state. You might choose to go the online route. You also think your avatar might use instagram, so you will choose this as the place to advertise. Why? He already buys work out shirts. He already has clients. He wants to make more money, so selling shirts to these clients is great. Also if he has the coolest shirts in the gym, he might get more clients and sell more shirts. Local Moms from pregnancy to toddler years What? You’d like to offer everything customized for baby. clothes, hats, booties, bibs, strollers, carriers, towels, mugs, cups, stickers, etc Where? These moms always meet up at the local farmers markets, sit and drink coffee and read the local community news. Why? They love these personalized things. They also love to buy local, so they can introduce you to their family and friends to fully personalize their kiddos gear. Mentioned in the Podcast: https://coldesi-graphics.com/ How to build the ad: Fitness Coaches & Personal Trainers 1. Have a Facebook and instagram account to use. 2. Set up Facebook Business Manager to manage ads (yes thats how you will do Instagram) 3. Have a website and specifically a page on the site to send these guys to from an ad. 4. The page should have a specific call to action. If you want the shirts to be custom you can have them sign up for a free 1on1 design session. If you have designs made, then they can just order them online(maybe have a personal trainer wholesal e sign up) 5. Have good pics and videos of your shirts and people working out in them. 6. Write a few versions of the headline, what people will see below the insta ad. 7. Make sure your Facebook and website are connected to track users. 8. Set up an email flow so after people sign up/buy they get an email thanking them. 9. Set aside money to test and run ads, expect winners and losers. Local Moms from pregnancy to toddler years 1. Get set up to attend the local market. 2. Have examples of your BEST work that they can envision themselves owning. 3. Have some little stuff to sell for fun. funny mom shirts or mugs, etc. 4. Be set up to take orders right there. 5. Be set up to get email sign ups right there. 6. Since they read the local news and drink coffee, put an ad there. 7. Have the add say to visit you at the market or just call/text you directly. 8. Offer something for free or of value in the add. This could be a coupon for logo, or $$ off, or free monogram. Or offer something worth time, like a free web consultation to plan gifts for baby shower. 9. Have great pictures of work in the add, pay someone to design the ad. 10. If you can run the ad before you start the market (coming soon!) Using plans like this means you will be more likely to create a successful ad. More likely to grow within your niche. AND don’t forget to have a plan set up for getting referrals. Listen to these episodes: https://customapparelstartups.com/episode-17-know-numbers-value-customer/ https://customapparelstartups.com/episode-18-know-numbers-part-2/ The post Episode 136 – Building a Winning Ad Strategy For Your Business appeared first on Custom Apparel Startups.
46 minutes | Aug 26, 2020
Episode 135 – Identifying Your Ideal Customer
how to create a customer avatarHow to identify your ideal customer Episode 135 – Identifying Your Ideal Customer This Episode Mark Stephenson & Marc Vila customapparelstartups.com CAS Podcast ColDesi You Will Learn How to identify your ideal customer How to create customer avatar Resources & Links Colman and Company Blog Success Stories ColDesi Learning Center Leasing Equipment Episode 135 – Identifying Your Ideal Customer Marketers are constantly talking about a “customer avatar”, which translates into normal English as your Ideal Customer. Identifying that Ideal Customers is very similar to, and JUST as important as choosing a Niche Market, something we’ve devoted quite a few episodes to as well. All you’re really doing here is creating an imaginary person. The one you’d most like to sell to. The one that will most respond to your products, your business and YOU. Once you’ve created your ideal customer – right down to their name, their neighborhood, job, kids, marital status, income, etc. you’ll better know: What your website should look like What to say in your emails The important things to highlight in your services The products that most appeals to them How much they can and will spend on your products What images to use in your ads The WAY you talk to them everywhere they see, here or read about your company During this podcast you’ll here the great, real life example of a start up business that inspired Marc Vila to make this the topic, and how that is going to impact it’s future. Important podcasts to listen to: CAS Podcast Episode 101 – Marketing Plan: Picking your Niche CAS Podcast Episode 102 – Advertising and Marketing to your Niche As always, the Podcast is sponsored by ColDesi! http://coldesi.com The post Episode 135 – Identifying Your Ideal Customer appeared first on Custom Apparel Startups.
63 minutes | Aug 11, 2020
Episode 134 – Making BIG Decisions: Working Backwards From Success
business tipshow to make big decisions Episode 134 – Making BIG Decisions: Working Backwards From Success This Episode Mark Stephenson & Marc Vila customapparelstartups.com CAS Podcast ColDesi You Will Learn How to make big decisions Resources & Links Colman and Company Blog Success Stories ColDesi Learning Center Leasing Equipment Episode 134 – Making BIG Decisions: Working Backwards From Success Show Notes Let’s talk about making that BIG Decision like adding a new piece of equipment to your business, or moving into or out of a retail location, or moving your business to a print on demand model 1. Look at the opportunity objectively and from several perspectives. – Are you doing this because you’re excited, or because it’s objectively a good opportunity? – How will your existing customers view this decision? 2. Develop goals. – What are the results you expect from this decision – specifically? Like if you’re planning on investing in a new UV printer, what revenues are you expecting? 3. Compare alternatives. – Is there something more profitable I could do instead? – Is there a better way to invest that time and money? Into expanding existing capabilities instead of adding new? – Can I accomplish the same goal in another way? 4. Make your decision. – Lot’s of opportunities are lost through inaction – You’ve thought it through and the decision is sound – you’re just delaying success if you don’t pull the trigger. 5. Plan your implementation. – You have to make sure you take specific steps towards your goal. – Each step should have a specific marker that takes you to the next one – Develop a basic marketing plan – Set up website and ad accounts – Write articles, emails ads – Launch ads, publish articles – Track results for 3 weeks – Use those results to plan the next articles, ads, etc. 6. Check as you go through implementation and beyond. – Is this working the way it should – How’s my timeline – Did I misjudge customer uptake? etc. The start of a big idea is the excitement and thrill of success. Proper execution and decision making is where you achieve your dreams. Resources: CAS Podcast Episode 17 | Know Your Numbers – Value of a Customer CAS Podcast Episode 18 | Know Your Numbers Part II The 1-Page Marketing Plan The post Episode 134 – Making BIG Decisions: Working Backwards From Success appeared first on Custom Apparel Startups.
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