Sales Opportunities for Apparel Are Still Out There

Even though it may seem like the need for printed apparel has dried up a bit, there’s still potential out there for sales. Times like these can bring out our creativity and take our businesses in new directions we would never even have considered before, and could benefit us further down the road. Here are some ideas we’ve heard from around the industry on how you could grab a few more sales for your business.

Sell That Printed Concert Merch

Because a lot of concerts have been cancelled recently, some decorators are sitting on a lot of unused merchandise. Some of these shops have been adding tour merch that was printed specifically for those shows to their online stores. Normally these are exclusively sold at concert venues, but now people can grab one of these on the web. To add some incentive for fans to buy one, some distributors are also adding in a free gift for each purchase and throwing in FREE SHIPPING as well.

Hookup with Local Gyms and Studios

Even though many gyms are closed around the country, people still have a hunger to stay fit. There are some fitness studios offering equipment rental for people to use during their workouts at home. Some of these gyms might want to try upselling printed athletic apparel along with these rentals, to make a few extra dollars.

Make Your Storefront Virtual

If you’re operating a retail store selling decorated apparel, consider opening up an online store. With people stuck in quarantine, it’s time to move that inventory online. Look into a simple platform like Shopify, to get started. They’re even offering a 90-day free trial with no credit card required. Hopefully, 90 days will be all you need to get through this quarantine period, so this might be the perfect solution for many storefronts. Other places like Etsy, eBay and Amazon may also be good options to look at, as well. If you already have a website setup with services like InkSoft or DecoNetwork, try adding those products to your offering online.

Curbside Pickup 

Although, dining out isn’t an option right now, lots of restaurants are transitioning to curbside pickup and delivery, so they can keep their businesses running. Other local shops may also be implementing similar procedures as well. Some of these places could have a need for additional apparel to identify employees, who are making deliveries or walking up to cars. They may even need reflective workwear, to keep them safe at night.

We’ll be keeping an ear out for any other ideas that could help distributors keep generating sales, and if you have any ideas or suggestions of your own, please feel free to share them in the comments below.

5 Ways To Connect Better With Your Employees

When running a business, there are many factors to consider to be successful. While you need a solid business plan, and an on-point product that is appealing to customers, arguably the most important factor in running a successful business is the people on your team. A happy team leads to a happily run business, and the statistics prove it. A study by Gallup showed that companies with the most engaged teams are the most productive and profitable. Another study by the Society for Human Resource Management showed that 74 percent of survey respondents stated that their relationship with their supervisor was in the top five most important factors influencing their engagement at work. As a supervisor of a team, it is in the best interest of your company, your employees’ happiness, and likely your own to develop a good rapport between you and your team.

Here are five ways to better connect with your employees:

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4 Ways to Manage Workplace Tension

Tension in personal situations is awkward enough, but apply that to the workplace and it can be downright uncomfortable. As a business owner, managing tension and conflict between employees is an inevitable part of the job — and if not handled promptly can put a huge dent in your bottom line. 

In 2017, Inc. cited a landmark study on workplace conflict that found U.S. employees spend 2.8 hours a week dealing with conflict. This equates to an estimated $359 billion in paid company hours. 

Fortunately, there are effective ways to manage tension among your team to help maintain a positive work atmosphere and company culture. 

1. Acknowledge the Conflict Immediately

Don’t sit back and hope your employees will work the situation out on their own, allowing the tension to build. This can lead to negative consequences for your business, such as poor productivity and low office morale. Acknowledge the conflict between the involved parties immediately, and respectfully uncover the nature of the issue along with the facts. 

2. Decide How You Want to Meet with the Employees Involved  

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6 Steps to Find (and Keep) Your Dream Employees

Employees who love their jobs perform better and stay with their companies longer. However, according to Gallup, only 15% of employees worldwide are truly engaged in their current roles. Put another way, this year, 52% of U.S. workers plan to hunt for a new job, and of those, 54% landed their current job less than a year ago, Adtaxi reports.

That speaks to a larger trend of smart business owners creating cultures that appeal to workers’ needs, like a work-life balance or flex time. But first, you need to find, train and retain the right employees.

“The most difficult aspect of hiring and training employees is finding the right match for the employee and your company,” says Linda Gadwood, owner of Omaha, NE-based LogoLinda LLC.. “From the company side, [that means finding] someone who’ll show up and be fully engaged with my business. From the employee side, [they’re looking for] a company that allows them to use their talents.”

We asked four industry business owners and experts to weigh in on six key areas for finding and retaining the best employees.

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4 Things to Consider to Hire the Right Employee

Behind every good business are good people; the focused, passionate, reliable people representing your company along every step of the customer journey. 

However, profitability and time savings aside, putting the success of your business in the hands of others isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. Regardless of how skilled an employee might be, it can be difficult to delegate and relinquish total control. A difficulty that only digs its heels deeper when employee roles aren’t being filled to the best of their ability (and necessity).

This is why properly vetting and investing in quality candidates upfront is so important – not just for your own sanity, but for the longevity of your business. Here are some things to consider to help recruit the right employees.

Design the Right Roles

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A job description is not the sole indicator of quality when it comes to who applies to your screen printing business, but it certainly plays its part. If you want the right people to see the value in applying to your openings, put in the time for building out thoughtful, thorough job descriptions.

Use the questions below to help you summarize expectations, while also showcasing company values:

  • What skill sets are required?
  • Where are you willing to be more flexible for the right person?
  • What tasks should be expected on a day-to-day basis, in addition to those that’ll speak to long-term growth potential?

Think Outside the Experience Box

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Today’s recruiters (86%) and employers (62%) believe the labor market is now candidate-driven, making it pretty difficult to reel in any applications – let alone from highly-qualified job seekers. The key is to remain flexible on certain technicalities.

As you consider what makes an employee right for your business, embrace the idea of looking beyond experience. For example, a novice screen printer with a strong design portfolio may be a better long-term investment for your company, than someone who simply checks the box for 5-6 years of previous related experience.

Be Mindful of Compatible Personalities

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There are certain traits you should look for across every potential employee stepping through your door. You want people that can solve problems, show up on time, learn quickly, and bring a general sense of positivity and passion for the work they do. However, this doesn’t mean everyone has to execute those types of characteristics in the same way.

You want #employees that solve problems, show up on time, learn quickly, and bring a sense of #positivity & #passion to their work. But, you shouldn't expect them to execute those qualities the same way. Click To Tweet

Personalities and work-style preferences are bound to differ — it’s unavoidable, it doesn’t mean different will inevitably clash. Take stock of the types of personalities currently on staff:

  • Is there a way to produce a bit of yin to the yang?
  • Are there any overlapping weaknesses with current employees that can be complemented with strengths in the next hiring session?
  • Based on the potential new role, what specific personality traits are needed to perform the job well? E.g. Attention to detail for screen printers or extroverts for customer support representatives.

Ask the Right Interview Questions

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It’s probably fair to say you’d be a little put off if an interviewee showed up having done zero preparation (anyone would be). That same standard applies to you as the hiring manager. You can’t expect to properly gauge the qualifications of the interviewee if you haven’t thought through what it is you actually want to ask them.

On a very basic level, asking the right interview questions starts with focusing on things that aren’t easily answered with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’. The questions should encourage open-ended responses and discussion.

Additionally, the more details you can coax out of someone, the better. When a job seeker is able to go beyond glossing over their resume and bring forth specific insights, they’re validating experience and a knowledge base.

If you’re able to include another individual from the shop in the process, do so. Bringing another brain to the table helps gut check whether your feelings — positive or negative — toward a potential candidate are echoed and valid.

What ‘musts’ have found their way into your hiring process over the years? Comment below.