The garment decorating industry is a complex one (as you’re all probably more than aware of!) there are many challenges ahead for garment decorators alike, however big or small your business is. The industry has seasonal peaks and troughs which most garment decorators simply accept - calling it the nature of the industry.
BUT the quiet period isn’t necessarily a bad thing. There are ways to make the most of the downturn and prepare your garment business for what your customers and the industry throw at you next. The key to doing this successfully involves developing skills and smart practices that will allow your business to remain profitable during off-seasons and periodic slowdowns.
Here are some of our key hints & tips to help you and your business during these times:
Gain an understanding of the cycles in the garment decorating industry: The industry has a natural yearly cycle which is pretty universal meaning seasonality is inevitable. The challenge for decorators alike is to understand each season, what it means for you, your business, your online performance and how to best utilise each season to maximise profit.
Work on your planning/management skills: A key tool in making the most of the downturn is foresight. As an owner of a garment decorating business, the focus is on profit not planning. However, much research shows planning is key in making this profit. Plan rigorously, leaving no stone unturned – consider all situations and scenarios for your embroidery or printing business and how to best prepare for these. Manage your resources and people as effectively as possible to fit into this plan and your overall strategy.
Generate new ideas and fill the service gap: The printing & embroidery industry is a highly adaptable sector; you can transform simple garments into anything you like; with flexible e-commerce systems (such as our eTrader websites) offering opportunities to branch into other areas/markets. You don’t have to build up expensive new businesses branching off your core business. Simply, test your products in new markets, tailor your new printed/embroidered products for certain industries and play about with ideas (In a cost effective manner of course).
Stay in touch with your customers: Become pragmatic, find your customers. Don’t wait for them to come back to you. A proactive approach to business in the quiet periods is much more likely to yield results than that of sitting around accepting the situation. The key is constant communication with your customers, simply send out soft email campaigns, engaging in social media campaigns or simply just make a courtesy call. Your prerogative will always be sales, but just simply let them know you and your business are still there to meet their needs.
In conclusion, these simple hints & tips show your printing and embroidery business does not have to come to an abrupt halt. There are many areas within your garment decoration business that can be used to increase sales and defeat the downturn.
The logic is simple: Build up your solid foundations for your core garment decorating business - but when the going gets tough, be smart,innovative and pragmatic in your approach to managing your business effectively.
Don’t just settle for following the normal industry cycles, set your own!