Bringing in the New Year – setting your priorities

As the old year closes out and a new one is upon us, we should all take a deep breath and reflect on the things that we all hold dear. After all, what does it profit a man to build a successful St. Louis T-shirt printing company if he never takes the time to just relax and enjoy the moment. We often get so caught up in trying to make a dollar that from the moment we get out of bed, take a shower, eat some breakfast, and then head out the front door, we never actually enjoy the fruits of our labor. There’s a lot of wisdom and understanding that tomorrow is not a guarantee for anyone. For example, I can remember the day that the World Trade Towers fell. It started out just like any other day. All of a sudden a plane flew into the building and life changed for all of us. It even ended for those who were actually in the towers. The point I’m trying to make is that we need to have an understanding of the fact that none of us are going to get out of this world alive so we need to make the very most out of every opportunity and not take it for granted.

That is a great segue for working a lot smarter and putting in less hours. As the owner of a St. Louis T-shirt printing company, I am well aware of the fact that we do not get compensated in any way for putting in a lot of hours. There is also no reward at all for standing behind a screen printing press all day working hard. When it comes time to pay our mortgage on our building, nobody cares or wants to hear how hard we tried. All they want is their monthly payment in full and on time.

There is an old proverb that says knowledge is power and people perish for lack of it. While this certainly holds true for the custom embroidery and screen printing industry, there are great advantages available today that have never been there before. Let’s look at the equipment that we use for production. For example,the equipment is constantly evolving and is nothing like it used to be back in the day. One of the keys to this is the increased integration between the software and the machinery that drives. This keeps the equipment operating more efficiently and increases productivity with less operator error.

It is very likely that we can expect to see even greater advances that will allow digital T-shirt printing to become a more dominant method in our industry. Improvement to the equipment is happening every day at a steady pace and a very good example of this is what was considered to be state of the art just a little more than a year ago is now almost obsolete and there has also been tremendous advances when it comes to artwork preparation. No longer is anything hand drawn. With the digital advances that the innovative software used to compose graphics has given us production time has been shortened tremendously. Distance is almost irrelevant and a good example of this is that my artist is actually halfway across the world. It doesn’t make any sense to produce in house anymore. All we do is e-mail him the file that needs to be edited and cleaned up and we normally get it back the same day ready to go.

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Giving our customers knowledge

We have always been a big believer that excellent customer service is the major difference between one St. Louis screen printing company and another. Let’s just give most of them the benefit of the doubt that they are all very capable when it comes to reproducing and replicating a typical one or two color image onto a light-colored garment. That’s as basic as you can get. Surprisingly enough, that is all that your normal everyday company logo consists of. It’s very common nowadays that when you reach out to a business that you are not going to actually be able to talk to a real person. There’s an excellent probability that you’re going to be forced to leave a voice mail in hopes that someone is going to actually call you back in a timely manner. We are of the strong opinion that that is a very poor way to do business and especially address a potential order. We much rather prefer to speak to you at that moment when you reached out to us instead of a day or two later because at that point you might not even need us any longer. We want to be able to discuss with you your particular situation, as well as evaluate several possible solutions to any potential challenges that you might be incurring. Our average every day customer who is looking for a St. Louis digital T-shirt printing company does not really understand the process. We feel that it is our job to educate you on all the different possibilities and different alternatives as there is certainly more than one way to get an image on a t-shirt. We would much rather convey several ideas and thoughts on the matter and have you tell us that none of them were of interest than not educate you on different options. We will just give you our perspective and let you make up your mind on which way is going to better serve your interests.

One of the most important components of your custom T-shirt is going to be in the ability to supply us with good clean artwork that we consider to be camera ready and printer friendly. It doesn’t matter how accomplished we are at custom screen printing if we don’t have good art. The finished product is never going to be any better than the image that it started out with. It is compromised in any way, the end product is not going to be any better than what you started out with. It needs to be nice and clean and a high enough resolution to lend itself to a good result. 300 dots per inch is usually preferred, but you need to keep in mind that when you take something that’s very small like business card size and you go to blow it up for a full front application, it will normally start to break up and become very grainy.

On the other hand, custom embroidery is a whole different type of application. We have to create a piece of software that tells the computer how to sew the image so we can usually work from a typical JPEG. We are a St. Louis screen printing and embroidery company that wants to work with you. Please give us a call and discuss your job specifications and we will do our best to put together a scenario that’s going to be equally beneficial for everyone involved.

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Expense of running a screen printing or embroidery business

There is so much to consider when trying to launch a St. Louis T-shirt printing company and one has to be very selective and discriminating when it comes to allocating whatever dollar amounts you have to work with in order to get the very most impact. There are so many different components to launching any business and the custom screen printing and embroidery industry is certainly no exception to that rule. Somebody once said that experience is the best teacher, but I think that person never owned a business. I would much rather learn from someone else’s mistakes so I can avoid making my own.

I see a lot of young entrepreneurs make the mistake of investing in a large shop as well as very expensive equipment before they have the clientele established to the point where it can support this type of major investment. Just an embroidery machine brand-new can cost up to $100,000 and more and that’s just one machine. That does not include an automatic screen printing press or a digital T-shirt printing machine. I think the first thing you should think about is how are you going to market yourself. I have always been of the opinion that marketing is the foundation that everything else is built on. It doesn’t matter how much expensive equipment you own and how large of the facility you are in if you don’t have any customers. In other words, nothing at all will happen until the sale starts. When you break down the anatomy of any sale it normally has two major components. The first and by far the most challenging part of this equation is finding the potential buyer. It doesn’t matter what you are selling or how good you are at creating a perceived value in the potential buyer’s eyes if they don’t happen to need whatever it is you are selling at that very moment in time. You can be the best closer in the world, but if they don’t happen to need what you’re selling, then you won’t get the sale.

I have found that the most cost-effective and successful way to promote my St. Louis screen printing company is by social media and optimizing my website. The Internet is the way people find whatever it is they’re looking for these days. They simply go to the search engine of their choice and do a relevant search and who ever happens to be on that particular landing page is who they’re going to call first. I can’t stress the importance of being on that first page, because people have a very short attention span and we live in a society of instant gratification. If they can’t find what it is they’re looking for immediately, then they’re going to give up and go to whatever it is that’s in front of them. For example, if they happened to do a search for something as simple as St. Louis digital T-shirt printing company or custom embroidery, we want to be the very first option that shows up on that landing page.

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Repeat customers are wonderful

We have been catering to the St. Louis screen printing and digital T-shirt printing requirements of the people in our city, as well as the county, for approximately 20 years now. We are well aware of the fact that we are far from being your only choice when it comes to you choosing which St. Louis embroidery company you’re going to work with. We get the bulk of our overall clientele two ways. The first way is repeat. The same individual who ordered custom T-shirts last year needs more. They often need to change the style of the apparel every time the season changes as they go from long sleeved to short. It is so much easier to deal with a repeat client because we already have their logo on file and it’s just a matter of pulling it and reusing it. It’s also easier because we have a history together. They are already confident in our ability to give them a great finished product and know that the job is going to be received on time.

We have a strict protocol of checks and balances that we follow every time we go to do a job. This helps to ensure that everything is not only spelled correctly but laid out exactly the way it is supposed to be well before you ever receive your finished product. This helps to keep mistakes down to a minimum. For example, whether it is a repeat job or not, we always prefer to send a virtual example of the image before we ever go to press. It seems like such an easy basic step, but surprisingly enough, it is not necessarily the norm in our industry. It’s little things like this that make all the difference in making sure that you are going to be extremely satisfied when everything is said and done. It’s been our experience that a lot of times these orders are time sensitive and need to be turned around extra quickly. Typically two weeks lead time is the industry standard, but that is often just not practical or possible for many different reasons. We will always try and go the extra mile to help out when we can. I would recommend that our potential customer provide us with good clean artwork that we consider to be printer friendly and ready to go. This is especially true when it comes to digital T-shirt printing applications. The finished product is never going to be any better than the artwork that stemmed from. Digital T-shirt printing and custom embroidery is all computer driven. It’s very similar to any jet printer that is used for paper, but it works on textiles. It is capable of producing and replicating some of the most complicated graphics and artwork, but that is always contingent on you providing the machine with what it needs in order to turn out a quality application.

We are a well-respected St. Louis embroidery company who knows how to process your order from start to finish. It’s our job to make you look good!

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Leave a message after the beep

When it comes to figuring out which St. Louis T-shirt printing company that you want to work with, the choices can be almost overwhelming. Let’s just give them all the benefit of the doubt. In the event they have been in business for at least 20 years and they are good at what they do, if they haven’t figured it out by now then most likely they never will. The very fact that they have been in operation for that length of time will lend itself to at least some credibility and that they are capable of putting out a decent product. That being said, there is a lot more to providing excellent custom screen printing and embroidery than just being able to put out a decent product.

If I was to point out one specific quality that sets our specific St. Louis digital T-shirt printing company apart from all of the other competition is the fact that we excel when it comes to great customer service. There is a great example of this. If you were to call some of our local competitors, I’m sure you would find the overwhelming majority do not even answer their telephone. You’re going to have to leave a message with either an answering service or at the very least a voice mail. That should tell you a lot right from the start. If they don’t answer their phone when they think that you are a potential customer, then how much more unlikely are they to receive your call if there is a potential problem.

Many of our jobs are time sensitive. It’s not uncommon that many people procrastinate and they’ll give us adequate lead time which is normally two weeks as an industry standard. A lot of our clientele uses their custom tee shirts for an out of town event such as conventions and meetings and therefore have to be shipped out of state. This can take up to an additional 3 to 4 days in addition to the time it takes to order the blank apparel, as well as process the order. The reason that I bring this up is that in the event that there is a last minute change in sizes or in the artwork itself, every minute that goes by where a message is not retrieved is time wasted. In fact, a lot of companies in our industry do not even work on the weekends. So in the event that you might have left your message at three o’clock on a Friday afternoon, it might sit there for up to three days before it is eventually retrieved on Monday. By this time it is often too late, because you are working with a very small window of time. In other words, communication is paramount, and being able to actually talk to somebody that is a real person is huge especially during the production process when it comes to time sensitive orders that need to be turned quickly, especially when there is not much time to work with in the first place.

Please remember us when you’re looking for a St. Louis embroidery company that can also cater to all your digital T-shirt and screen printing requirements.

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Getting the Best Value for Your Custom t-shirts

When trying to figure out who you’re going to want to work with when shopping for a locally based St. Louis screen printing company, it can often be very challenging not to mention overwhelming. A lot of other factors can also come in to play and complicate the process even further, such as being under the gun for a time sensitive event that’s coming up in less than a week. Most of the time the overwhelming majority of St. Louis T-shirt printing companies require a two week or longer lead time. You’re also on a mission to get the very best value for your money as there is absolutely no reason to overpay. You kind of just take for granted that if you have a sign over your door that says custom embroidery you are most likely going to get a good looking product, but that is really not necessarily the case at all.

There’s a lot that goes into processing an order, we have a protocol that we follow on each and every job we process in order to make sure that the correct logo is going to be applied to the right garment. For example, we take the extra time to not only submit a virtual proof, but also supply our customers with a finished sew out before we ever start to quiet the anything. This extra step makes sure that there are no bad surprises like misspelled words or wrong colors of thread way before you open up a box of completed product. That is surely not a good time to ask you how does everything look or how you like it. Believe it or not, this is not the same checks and balances that everyone in our industry follows.

We have been doing this for a long time, going on about close to three decades now. A very large percentage of our overall clientele are repeat customers. The reason for this is that they keep coming back to us when they eventually run out of product or the season changes over. We not only make a practice of giving them exactly what they asked for, but we always try to bring a little something extra to the table as a courtesy and this helps to set us apart from the rest of the St. Louis screen printing and embroidery crowd. We’re well aware of the fact that we are not the only option when it comes to digital T-shirt printing applications. It is our mission to try and create a scenario where you are going to be as comfortable acquiring your embroidery from us as we are going to be providing it for you. It’s been our experience that if we did our job correctly, the repeat orders take care of themselves along with the good referrals. There is a whole lot to be said for great customer service. Although we are not always going to be the cheapest option, you’re going to get the very best overall value and your order is going to be completed on time and done with excellence.

Give us an opportunity to at least give you a competitive quote. We recommend that you then go out and acquire a couple other competitive bids and make sure that you’re comparing apples to apples before determining that we are going to work with you.

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Competitive Bids

When trying to figure out who you’re going to want to work with when shopping for a locally based St. Louis screen printing company, it can often be very challenging not to mention overwhelming. A lot of other factors can also come in to play and complicate the process even further, such as being under the gun for a time sensitive event that’s coming up in less than a week. Most of the time the overwhelming majority of St. Louis T-shirt printing companies require a two week or longer lead time. You’re also on a mission to get the very best value for your money as there is absolutely no reason to overpay. You kind of just take for granted that if you have a sign over your door that says custom embroidery you are most likely going to get a good looking product but that is really not necessarily the case at all. There’s a lot that goes into processing an order. We have a protocol that we follow on each and every job we process in order to make sure that the correct logo is going to be applied to the right garment. For example, we take the extra time to not only submit a virtual proof, but also supply our customers with a finished sew out before we ever start to sew anything. This extra step makes sure that there are no bad surprises like misspelled words or wrong colors of thread way before you open up a box of completed product. That is most certainly not a good time to ask you how does everything look or how you like it? Believe it or not, this is not the same checks and balances that everyone in our industry follows.

We have been doing this for a long time, going on about close to three decades now. A very large percentage of our overall clientele are repeat customers. The reason for this is that they keep coming back to us when they eventually run out of product or the season changes over. We not only make a practice of giving them exactly what they asked for, but we always try to bring a little something extra to the table as a courtesy and this helps to set us apart from the rest of the St. Louis screen printing and embroidery crowd. We’re well aware of the fact that we are not the only option when it comes to digital T-shirt printing applications. It is our mission to try and create a scenario where you are going to be as comfortable acquiring your embroidery from us as we are going to be providing it for you. It’s been our experience that if we do our job correctly than the repeat orders will take care of themselves along with the good referrals.

There is a whole lot to be said for great customer service. Although we are not always going to be the cheapest option, you’re going to get the very best overall value and your order is going to be completed on time and done with excellence. Give us an opportunity to at least give you a competitive quote. We recommend that you then go out and acquire a couple other competitive bids and make sure that you’re comparing apples to apples before determining who you are going to work with.

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Starting with good clean art work

Starting out with a good a good clean image is extremely important. We will forward your artwork to our art department where they will make the determination if it needs to be cleaned up or not. If necessary, we re-illustrate it and convert it into a vector format. Once this process has been done, you not only can use it for your current T-shirt printing requirement, but also apply it to future projects such as signage and banners.

We have a protocol of checks and balances that we follow from the very beginning of the production process in order to make sure that you are going to be very well satisfied long before you open up a box of completed screen printing. Believe it or not every St. Louis T-shirt printing company does not follow the same protocol. The very first step is to put together a virtual example of how your custom T-shirt is going to appear. This step is to help ensure that everything is spelled correctly and laid out exactly the way you prefer it to be. If there is something wrong, we catch it way before we ever put it on the press. We also are capable of providing additional features that enable you to take your custom screen printing and embroidery to a whole other level, such as individual biodegradable plastic bags and inserting labels on the inside of the neck. We also use good solid boxes so your product will arrive intact and look its best. Most of the time we use plastic inks as that is the norm for our industry, but we are also able to cater to specialty applications when needed such as water-based and digital T-shirt printing. This technique enables the garment to feel a bit softer. Water-based materials actually soak into the fabric and become one with it. Unlike the conventional plastic ink which does not penetrate the material, but sits on top. It feels a bit stiffer and is more likely to crack sooner.

When submitting your artwork or photographs. We would encourage you to scan it in at a very high resolution, such as 300 dots per inch created in the same size that you would like it to appear. Again, the finished product is never going to be any cleaner or look any better than what it originated from. The reason we mention this is this. If you take something that’s very small and you start to enlarge it, it will start to distort. Please keep this in mind the next time you need a quote for a St. Louis digital T-shirt and screen printing company. We believe that we have the right approach to not only giving you a superior product , as well as working out a scenario where you’re going to be as comfortable acquiring your custom embroidery from us as we are providing it for you.

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Knowing your customers and your competition

So what is it exactly that one St. Louis digital T-shirt printing company can do to set itself apart from the rest of its competition? Most individuals are educated shoppers that will seek out to acquire more than just one quote. They often obtain up to four different offers before making up their mind regarding who they want to trust with their screen printing and custom embroidery requirements. Let’s just give the benefit of the doubt to the companies that have been around for five years or longer that they are all going to be able to give you a good product and be able to hopefully get it done on time.

Therefore, it’s been my experience of having been in this industry for over 20 years that it all comes down to trying to find an edge and gain an advantage over our competitors. There are many different ways to do this but it some of these options are going to be more costly than others. I feel that trying to find an edge all starts with good clear audible communication with the potential buyer. The more we know about the customer, the better chance we have to overcome any potential obstacles that they might be facing as well as bringing something extra to the table that they might not of even thought of when they initially contacted us. For example, we have been known to come up with some pretty creative scenarios when it comes to cross promoting our digital T-shirt printing company with other businesses and organizations that are in totally different industries. Experience has taught us that even though we are in a totally different vocations, we potentially can share a mutual customer base. There has been more than one occasion where we have created a scenario where we might have attended the same event and have acted as a partial sponsor and discounted the logo’d apparel in exchange for them introducing us to their current clientele as well as giving us a great referral.

We have always been able to look at the big picture and not be shortsighted. Sure we would like to be their St. Louis screen printing company, but more importantly we would like to provide the same service for their friends and business acquaintances. There are a lot of different ways that this can be done. Some ways are going to be more cost-effective than others. Experience has taught me that there is a lot to be gained by sitting down face to face with our potential clientele and they can convey not only what they are wanting to do with their current project, but also convey any challenges that they might be facing in order to bring this to fruition. We believe that e-mails certainly have their place when it comes to keeping the record of what was discussed and agreed upon, but there is no substitute for sitting down at a table and just talking to one another. We consider ourselves to be the leader in our city when it comes to custom embroidery and also coming up with a reasonable arrangement that will complement each other for years to come.

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Understanding Your Competition

When it comes to establishing a successful company, there are many things to take into consideration like having a concise and clear plan of action before jumping right into action. There is an old saying that reads, those who fail to have a good plan, also plan to fail. Life experience has taught me that this is certainly true. Somebody once said that experience is the best teacher, but that certainly doesn’t hold true in business. I would much rather learn from someone else’s mistakes who went before me in order to avoid some of the same bad experiences that they might have encountered.

If knowledge is power, then how does one go about acquiring good direction? Someone once said the saying, “keep your friends close and your enemies even closer.”. However, I have learned that you can acquire a great deal of knowledge by studying your competition. Go to a major search engine and put in a keyword that is relevant to your industry. In my industry, those search terms may be St. Louis custom screen printing or St. Louis custom embroidery company. This will take you to a landing page with 10 or more of the leaders in your industry. Understand that it is no coincidence that they are showing up. They are there for a reason. The search engines appreciate the quality of the way that it was put together and they are rewarding them with top placement over their respective competitors. Click on to their websites and view them carefully. What do you see? I suspect that you will notice that it was put together well. You will also notice that there is most likely a great deal of content. I have always been of the opinion that marketing and sales are the two most important things that will determine whether you are growing at an exponential rate or staying stagnant and going nowhere. Think about this, even if you are the best St. Louis T-shirt printing company in the entire city, you would never get a chance to prove that unless you got the opportunity to quote on the job in the first place.

When you analyze and breakdown the anatomy of a sale, it has two major components. The first and most difficult part of this equation is that you need to find someone who needs custom screen printing and embroidery at this particular moment. Here is an example of what I am referring to. Let’s just say that you’re an automobile salesman and you are running an unprecedented sale this month. It really is of no interest to someone who doesn’t happen to be in the market for a car at that moment. So the key is to find someone who needs whatever it is that you are selling at that particular moment in time.

Trying to establish a successful marketing campaign for a St. Louis screen printing company is certainly no exception to this rule. You can launch a very exciting custom embroidery campaign, but if they’re not in the market at that very moment it will most likely be irrelevant. On a different note, please remember us when you eventually are actively shopping for the very best digital T-shirt printing value. We will make sure that we make it worth your while.

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