Finding a Good Screen Printer and Embroiderer

What does it take to be a successful St. Louis screen printing company? Although there are no guarantees in business and there’s a lot of different directions you can go in order to try and set yourself apart from the rest of the local competition, anything and everything you do is going to be a calculated risk. Whether or not it proves itself to have been a wise decision is simply based on the overall return on your investment of both time and money. That being said, some marketing campaigns are much lower risk than others. Whoever said that experience was the best teacher was a complete imbecile. I would much rather learn from studying my competition and seeing what they did wrong in order to avoid making the same mistakes. There’s an old cliché that says keep your friends close and your enemies even closer. By this I mean that your competitors can teach you a lot.

Get on a search engine and look for St. Louis T-shirt printing and see who is on the top of the landing page. They are not there by accident. There is a reason that you’re seeing them. When you think of all the St. Louis embroidery companies that are in the city, you can understand how difficult it is to be within the top 10 results. If it was easy, everybody would be there.

I have trained lots of salespeople over the last 20 years as well as young entrepreneurs just starting out. I have come to the conclusion that although working hard is certainly part of that equation, there is absolutely no substitute for getting superior direction. There’s an old saying that says, those who fail to plan also plan to fail. This means that before you just spring into action and start running as fast as you can. you should map out a definitive strategy as well as identify your goals.

There are so many different components to building a successful business no matter what industry you’re in. In our line of work, you have to have good balance. It doesn’t matter if you’re writing orders on a daily basis if you can’t fill them. To complicate things, so much of the work that we do is time sensitive. This means you have to be very proficient throughout the production process in order to render a superior product that not only looks great but is delivered on time. After all, it is of no benefit for your custom T-shirts to look fantastic , but do not arrive in time for the customer’s due date. Often times a lot of our customers need their completed items for a sales convention that is out of town and there are things that you can’t control such as shipping. This should all be taken into consideration when the order is placed to leave yourself a bit of a cushion just in case something unforeseen happens. Remember us the next time you’re in the market for digital T-shirt printing, custom embroidery, or conventional screen printing.

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Making a Sales Call

The anatomy of a sale consists of two parts. The most challenging piece of the puzzle is trying to seek out someone who needs whatever it is that you are trying to sell them at that particular moment in time. Here is a good example, let’s say you’re that you are a car salesman. You could be running the strongest deal in town, but if they’re not currently in the market for an automobile then it doesn’t matter what you have to say, they’re probably not going to purchase one from you at that particular moment. Maybe if you’re lucky, they will happen to remember you later on down the line when they eventually are, but until then, it’s simply not going to happen.

The other key component to this two-part equation is referred to as the closing. This simply means that they are convinced that by using you they are going to get the best overall value that they possibly can. When I first started this St. Louis screen printing company, I used to walk down the street and go door to door introducing myself. I would say something like my name is Mike Fadem and I own a company called Sunburst logo LLC. Although I realize that you’re probably not in the market for any custom embroidery at this particular moment but the next time that you are looking for a St. Louis T-shirt printing company, I would like to have a chance to at least bid on it. I understand that if I cannot give you a significantly better offer than you’re accustomed to receiving then there really would not be any good reason for you to make a change. Therefore, once we can identify what your requirements are I will be able to try and come up with a scenario where you are as comfortable using us as we are providing your digital T-shirt printing for you. We live and die on the repeat orders as well as the great referrals and we are confident that if we can impress you this first time around than the repeat orders along with the good referrals will simply take care of themselves.

We are a local St. Louis T-shirt printing company. Unlike a lot of our competition who are located out of town, we can often deliver your finished product after it has been completed which saves time as well as shipping charges. In many situations we can provide you with a physical sample of your completed product before we ever actually complete it. An out of state manufacturer cannot provide this. The best they can do is give you a virtual example which is definitely better than nothing, but it is not an accurate representation of color. The computer monitor is calibrated differently and depending on what type of camera you are using as well as the lighting in the room is going to have an effect on what you are actually viewing. Once you go to open up the box it is way too late to make any changes.

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Maintenance for Heat Press

Becoming a leader in the St. Louis T-shirt printing and custom embroidery company that has set the standard in the screen printing industry didn’t happen overnight. Although this is not considered to be rocket science, there is a lot more to it than just owning a lot of fancy equipment. A lot of this just comes from years of experience of standing behind a press and embroidery machine. A lot of the techniques that we have learned over time is now obsolete because technology is changing so quickly not only in our industry, but in every sector of our lives.

There is still something to be said for old-school applications like making the most out of your heat transfer machine. It is initially one of the most important assets in your shop if it is used correctly. All these machines work with the same principles, where they apply an image that is usually composed of vinyl or ink with heat with pressure. Some of these older machines need to be re-calibrated from time to time as they tend to get cold spots in order to make sure they are in top working condition. Make sure there are no pieces that are hanging off your machine. If you do happen to find some, then you should replace them immediately. The top of the platens is normally made of rubber and sometimes it can have gouges missing out of it, so make sure that it is also in good shape. It can also become spongy or have cold spots. Make sure that it is well secured. If there is any concern regarding the integrity of this rubber pad, then it should be replaced. They are very easy to install and well worth the extra time and effort involved. This will help to ensure that you have adequate pressure that is evenly distributed throughout the heating element.

The next thing you should do is inspect the electrical components in the machine in order to make sure they are working properly. Look at the connections between the wall outlet and the control panel and make sure everything is well secured. If any of the wires appear to be frayed or cracked, replace them so that you don’t have a short later on. You should probably also examine the cord that plugs into the wall.

Next check the heating element to make sure that it is keeping a consistent temperature and is giving you an accurate heat output. Test different areas because sometimes they can have cold spots and you can be cooler on one end of the platens than the other. Purchase temperature strips that are fairly inexpensive and can probably be found at your local equipment dealer. I would recommend placing at least four of these strips on each corner of the machine as well as the middle. These strips are normally white and darkens with any change of temperature. Look and see that they are all the same color in order to make sure all parts of the machine are calibrated equally. I hope these tips will prove themselves helpful.

We are a St. Louis screen printing company that specializes in custom embroidery as well as digital T-shirt printing.

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Establishing A Small Business

I have often heard people say that the folks in management don’t know what they’re doing. This often seems to come from employees who claim to have all the answers. My response to them is this: “Go out and start your own business. It’s easy. Since you seem to have all the right strategies in place, you should be an overnight success.” Of course I’m being facetious when I say that. They often tell me that they’re going to take me up on that suggestion, but in a year or two later, they’re still at the same workplace doing the same exact job that they were years prior. The point that I’m trying to make is that it is not easy to establish or even maintain any type of business at all. More than not it takes years to establish a good name for yourself as well as a good sound game plan of good direction. Just having a good plan is not good enough. I would equate that with someone who needs to lose weight and joins a gym. Just by joining the gym doesn’t get the job done. You have to be dedicated and follow a regimented protocol that requires you to put in your hard work on a daily basis in order to achieve your goals.

The same principles apply when being in business for yourself. It doesn’t matter that you have a good plan. You have to put in the hard work. There’s an old saying that it is much more beneficial to work smarter than it is harder. Please don’t take this the wrong way. I am not trying to say that you should not put in your best effort, but I’m just saying that there is no substitute for having a good plan and following it. A good example of this would be that you’re trying to get someplace by running as fast and as hard as you possibly can but if you’re running east when you should be running west, you’re just simply going the wrong direction.

We believe that marketing, as well as sales, are the two most important components towards establishing a St. Louis screen printing and embroidery company. You can learn a heck of a lot just by looking at your competitors. What are they doing that you’re not? I’m not suggesting that you study all of St. Louis T-shirt printing companies, but just the successful ones. There’s an old saying that goes something like this, keep your friends close and your enemies closer. This certainly applies to business. I much rather learn from my competitors mistakes than make my own. Some moron once said that experience is always the best teacher. That certainly is not the case when it comes to establishing a successful company.

We have currently expanded our market share by offering different things like digital T-shirt printing as well as custom embroidery. We are very certain that we have the right plan of action in order to help offset any limitations that you might be experiencing such as a limited budget or a very short turnaround time.

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The Value of Great Customer Service

We understand and are well aware of the fact that we are not the only option in town when it comes to choosing a St. Louis screen printing and custom embroidery company. We know that you have many different options. Therefore we ask ourselves – what can we do to set us apart from the rest of our local competition? Well it all starts with creating some type of perceived value. There’s an old cliché that reads you get what you pay for. Well that’s all well and good if you just want to fit in with the rest of the T-shirt printing companies who’ve been around for at least 10 years or more. But we don’t just want to fit in, we want to do something to set ourselves apart from them. After being in the custom embroidery business for that long, we will assume that they know what they’re doing by now.

Anyone can give you a decent product, but it’s the customer service that sets one company apart from another. It’s also overall value. Here is how we do it. Let’s just say you are looking for some digital T-shirt printing and you are wanting a total of 25 pieces. We not only will give you a quote for exactly what you asked us for, but we will throw in something extra in order to give you that extra value that I spoke of earlier. A lot of times we will order a few extra pieces when ordering our blank apparel in case something gets ruined during the production process. A lot of the times, these jobs are time sensitive and we have a very short turnaround time in order to get them completed. In that event we don’t have time to break the press down and acquire some replacements for whatever it was that got ruined. We wouldn’t even get them to the very next day because they typically come from out of town and UPS doesn’t make their daily rounds until later in the afternoon. So what normally happens is there are no mishaps and the job ends up running perfectly which means we have some extra product left over.

Eventually, you start to acquire a very large inventory of blank apparel. We’ll take some of this extra stock and offer it to you as a courtesy at a very discounted rate in order to establish an incentive. None of our competitors do that so if all things are further equal and are given the option to get some discounted hooded sweatshirts, then you’re probably going to want to use us over the other guy. We get the overwhelming amount of our new clientele from good referrals. We also are aware that the same organization that might be looking for a St. Louis digital T-shirt printing company during the hot months of August will be calling us 4 to 5 months later for cold-weather apparel such as custom jackets. We take great pride in our work because we live and die with the repeat order as well as the good referral. Give us a chance the next time you’re looking for a competitive bid.

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Advantages of Being An Entrepreneur

I can remember as a young boy growing up in the early 60s. It was certainly a different time and life was much simpler back then. I can remember heading out the door after eating some breakfast and I wouldn’t come back until I eventually got hungry. It didn’t take much effort to find something to do or something to play with. I can remember finding a very large box and taking it to the biggest hill that I could find and then climbing into it and start rolling down the hill. It made me very dizzy and I thought that this was the greatest thing ever. After the box would eventually fall apart, it was time to look for something else to do. So I would then just get my baseball glove, hop on my bike, and ride up to the baseball field of high school.

We played a game called Indian ball because we didn’t have enough players to actually play a game of baseball. Indian ball is played with three or more players and you’re only using half of a field instead of the entire baseball diamond. I can remember how I didn’t want the day to end. Nowadays kids don’t want to leave their house. All they want to do is sit in front of their television and play video games. I’m not trying to sound like the crusty old man who said that he had to walk 5 miles each way through the snow to get to school and liked it, but I’m sure you would have to admit that kids are very different today than they were back then. Not only are children different but business is done differently as well.

There has never been a more exciting time in the history of mankind to be an entrepreneur than today. All the rules have changed and we live in a virtual reality filled with websites instead of just a traditional brick-and-mortar storefront. I can remember trying to launch a direct mail advertising campaign and how I had to go down to the post office in order to mail off all of the letters. It costs a lot of money and took approximately 3 days to reach my potential customers. The invention of e-mail changed all that. Now we can simply send out what is known as an e-mail blast and reach thousands of potential buyers with just the click of a mouse.

People would rather sit at their dining room table and type in a search term like St. Louis T-shirt printing or St. Louis screen printing company. You don’t even have to live in that specific city in order to enjoy that market share. The whole transaction can be done online from people being able to see examples of your work as well as being able to pay for the goods through the online payment. I can literally run my custom embroidery company from anywhere in the world as long as I have cell phone reception and a laptop. What used to be impossible not that long ago is everyday life right now. It makes me wonder what doing business is going to be like 10 years from now at the rate technology is evolving. What is considered to be state-of-the-art and cell phones for example, will be obsolete in less than a year and a half down the line.

Please remember to give us a call the next time you are in the market for top notch custom embroidery and digital T-shirt printing in the St. Louis area.

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Owning a Small Business Using Technology

It certainly is wonderful to be an entrepreneur in the year 2015 with all the tremendous advantages that are available. Technology has made it possible to accomplish things now like tapping into new markets that are halfway across the country and having information be able to travel completely around the earth within seconds. Let’s look back at what it used to be like when I was just a young kid fresh out of high school trying to figure out what I want to do for a living and how am I going to make that happen with the limited resources that I have to work with? This was 1978 and most of my friends were heading off to their freshman year of college. I, on the other hand, did not have the money to do that nor did I have anybody giving me any good direction. I have always been of the opinion that knowledge is power and whoever coined the phrase experience is always the best teacher was a complete imbecile.

When it comes to business, as well as most other areas of life, I would rather learn from someone else’s mistakes than make my own. I became a student of people and I started to look at other individuals who were in business for themselves. There’s an old saying that goes like this – keep your friends close and your enemies closer. By this I mean, study your competitors as you can learn a lot from them.

After getting married three days after I turned 21 years old, and having a baby by the time I was 23 years, I was under a lot of pressure to meet the responsibilities of caring for a family. In the passing years, I did a lot of different things such as owning a painting company and transitioning into the asphalt business for about 12 years. Back then nobody had cell phones and I can remember how difficult it was trying to keep track of my crews that were out doing the work. Unless I was actually on a job site, I couldn’t tell where they were or what they had accomplished. Keep in mind that the paving industry is at the mercy of the weather and often the day would start out nice and then five hours later, rain was coming into the vicinity. It sure would have been nice to be able to just pick up the phone and call my lead man so that I could warn him and see where they were at. Although the asphalt business was a hard way to make a living, I was young enough to be able to endure it. I eventually transitioned into the St. Louis T-shirt printing industry. I went out and got some fancy business cards printed up that had my company name as well as the back of the card saying St. Louis screen printing and custom embroidery. Now that we are in the digital age I am able to take advantage of all the latest and greatest communication tools that are available. I would have to say that life has gotten a lot easier. I can literally run my business from anywhere in the world as long as I have Internet and a cell phone. It’s great to live in a digital society.

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Search Engine Optimization and Social Media

When it comes to marketing your St. Louis screen printing company via Social Media, you have a whole lot of options to consider. Also keep in mind that you have to put in your time. An effective campaign can often take up to 12 hours per week.

There are a lot of different options now when it comes to reaching people besides Facebook and Twitter. Here are a few tips in order use minimal effort with maximum efficiency. Keep in mind that all of them are geared towards reaching your potential customers but they are all unique unto themselves.

A new player has come on the scene that enables you to send posts over multiple accounts simultaneously thus saving time and effort. It has two versions in one and is free which enables you to test the waters with zero risk. Let’s face it. There are no guarantees when it comes to marketing anything and everything you do is going to be a calculated risk. That being said, some ways are a lot lower risk than others. In other words, free is good!

Instagram is another great option to consider. It is really helpful for natural messaging. It allows you to create a network as well as show off some of your talents. For example, let’s just say you had a custom embroidery job that you are very proud of. It allows you to take a picture of that particular T-shirt and display it for everyone to see.

Facebook is my personal favorite because it helps you to establish a following quicker than any other marketing vehicle that I’ve ever seen. It also allows you to engage your potential T-shirt printing customer in a very informal way inside a chat room. I would highly recommend that you set up a business page. You can also go the route of paid advertising, but this would be considered high risk with low reward.

As always, if you happen to be looking for a St. Louis Screen printing or St. Louis embroidery company, you should do yourself a favor and give us a call. We also cater to digital T-shirt printing.

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Getting The Correct Exposure Time

The most commonly asked question in the St. Louis screen printing industry is how to acquire sufficient exposure when generating films. Unfortunately, it appears to be a big problem with t-shirt printing companies everywhere. We would strongly recommend that you go out and get an exposure calculator. There’s really no better way to be certain you’re getting the correct exposure time without that tool. It seems that nobody is able to clearly define what the perfect exposure time is. That time is made obvious with the exposure calculator. There has always been an argument in the screen printing industry on what that perfect development time is. Keep in mind that the thicker you put it on, the more time that it’s going to take to dry.

Another variable to consider is what type of mesh count are you using. The finer the mesh the more detail you are going to hold because it is letting less ink flow through. The smaller holes in the fabric tend to be more conducive to printing fine gradients. Many St. Louis digital T-shirt printing companies are getting away from the conventional old-school way of doing things. They’re taking advantage of modern technology and seeing the value in laying out the cash for state-of-the-art equipment. They understand that they’re paying a bit more upfront for that great equipment, but they are more than making up for it by cutting back on their employee wages. The equipment shows up for work every day, it never gets sick it never complains, and it never gets hurt. Modern day advances in technology have helped to take the human element out of the workplace.

We would love to hear from you if you are in the market for any custom screen printing, digital printing, or custom embroidery if you are in the St. Louis metro area.

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Autumn – What A Glorious Season

Well, it’s officially Autumn here in the Midwest. What a beautiful time of the year!! It is my most favorite season of the year. Here in Missouri, the Autumn welcomes warm days and cooler evenings. The summers can be very brutal here with temperatures in the ninety’s with the awful humidity. The cooler temperatures are not the only thing that is welcomed, but the low humidity also. Along with the wonderful temperatures, is the wonderful landscape change. The tree leaves turn various marvelous colors of red, orange, and yellow.

Along with the changing of the leaves, is the changing of our wardrobes. Shorts are replaced by long pants and jeans. Short sleeve tees and replaced with long sleeve t-shirts. Also, you don’t go out of the house, especially in the evenings, without a jacket or coat.

Unfortunately, after a couple of months or so, the weather changes again to much colder weather. The beautiful tree leaves have fallen off of the trees. Then, you are definitely covering up with coats and jackets.

Do you or your company or organization have a need for custom screen printing or embroidery? Possibly you will need some hooded sweat shirts, jackets, or fleece garments as the cooler weather comes in. We have an experienced staff that is ready to handle the most basic one color silkscreen image to a very complicated multi-color screen print job. We also do embroidery for caps, jackets, shirts, or virtually any type of garment.

Give us a call if you are in the St. Louis area. We will give you a fair, competitive bid.

Happy Fall!!!

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