Growing Your Business

Most of you that read this have already successfully started your embroidery or personalization business.  Now you sit there and wonder…what do I do next?  How do I take my business beyond the proverbial 9 dots?  Are the other methods and means of decoration really for me?

I can guarantee you that everyone in business; from Fortune 500 companies to the corner coffee shop go through the same thought process.  A wise college once told me, “If you are not growing, you’re shrinking.” This of course means you must annualize your income and add on some addition revenue to account for inflation.  Fortunately, in our business choosing the proper way to expand is not rocket science.  It is more a case of investigation, assimilation and making an educated decision.

I have made a career in small scale personalization using heat transfers of one kind or another, most recently utilizing digital technology.  I have considerable experience and knowledge that I believe can help you make those intelligent decisions in your business.  Yes, it comes with a commercial since we all have to pay the bills.  However, I have decided to join the Joto’s team because they have a full line of equipment and supplies, a very good business ethic and technical integrity.

In future post, I will endeavor to outline the alternatives and discuss what you need to think about and then arrange to get you needed samples and information to make a informed decision.  There is already a considerable body of instructional video on our YouTube™ site http://www.youtube.com/user/jotopaper.  I encourage you to spend some time and look at it.   It’s really good stuff and will give you an idea of what is involved in alternative decoration processes. In each case, I will give you some information on the market, details on the process and the cost of entry.  I intend to cover the most logical small scale decorating techniques:

  • Decoration using sublimation technology.
  • Decoration using laser and color laser technology.
  • Decoration using ink jet technology.
  • Decoration using cutter/cutter printer technology

Diversify, diversify, diversify is the mantra.  Diversity is one of the easiest opportunities for growth in small scale decoration.  It is also strategically, multiple streams of income can help fill voids in your business.  Additionally, there may be areas where you can enjoy higher margins, than in your core business.   By making intelligent decisions and targeting other markets you can “Grow Your Business Bringing Images to Life.”

If you have any questions about the business, you can e-mail at waynepotter@jotopaper.com.

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Want Fries With That?

The average business is likely to spend as much as five times more securing a new customer as they are retaining an existing one.  An eye opening statement considering the average business is also likely tightening its belt in the current economic climate.

You know that customer retention is of utmost importance to the success of your business.  Perhaps you also realize that an even churn rate is anything but profitable based on the previously mentioned five to one ratio.  How then can you, the business owner, best retain the customers you already have, and even increase their spending, not just avoid losing their lifetime value, but in fact increase their value to your business.

Surely providing proper customer service, accurate work, quick response and turnaround times come to mind.  Of course there’s the golden rule to treat your customers as you would like to be treated if you were the customer.  You may also feel that it’s important to be aware of the evolution of your industry, to know what tools are available to you and how to best utilize them in servicing your customers.

You’ve done the leg work, built the loyalty, and perhaps now’s a good time to begin diversifying your product offering in an effort to maximize the value that your current customers bring to your business.

Perhaps you’re a trophy store owner and each year a fund raising group comes in with a plaque order for the local car show.  Not a problem, you finalize the artwork; decorate the plaques using color laser or sublimation, and deliver as promised, another year, another successful, on time delivery.  This is fantastic, and surely what keeps your customers coming back.  By proving that you take their business seriously and that you value their commitment to your company you’ve likely earned their trust and repeat business.

Now let’s consider a diversified solution for this same customer.

  • full color plaques (decorated using CL-HardSurface-1 or Sublimation)
  • full color dash plates, marketed to the car owners in advance of the show (decorated using CL-HardSurface-1 or Sublimation)
  • full color magnets used as a keepsake and as a show date reminder (decorated using CL-HardSurface-1 or Sublimation)
  • full color license plates, license plate frames and hitch covers (decorated using CL-HardSurface-1 or Sublimation)
  • full color car flags (decorated using CL-135 or Sublimation)
  • full color t-shirts to be sold during the show (decorated using CL-135, CL-TrimFree, CL-Dark, Sublimation or MultiCut)

Suppose your customer invests in just one of these ideas, they’ve now become twice as valuable to your business.

Here’s another example.

Perhaps you’re a screen printer with a vinyl cutter and a color laser or sublimation printer for small runs and personalization.  A bride to be comes in for twelve personalized bachelorette t-shirts.  She takes a look at your Joto swatch cards, picks out MultiCut Lustre Super Glitter Pink and wants her design on a black t-shirt.  No problem, she’ll be back in ten days, you’ll deliver the order and she’ll be on her way.

While waiting for the raw materials to come in you could assemble the following proposal.

  • full color save the date magnets (decorated using CL-HardSurface-1 or Sublimation)
  • full color photo candles to be used as centerpieces (decorated using CL-WaterSlide)
  • full color ceramic candle holders to be used as centerpieces (decorated using CL-HardSurface-1 or Sublimation)
  • full color divot tools, key chains, and money clips as wedding party gifts (decorated using CL-HardSurface-1 or Sublimation)
  • full color napkin rings for the head table (decorated using CL-HardSurface-1 or Sublimation)
  • full color serving tray to collect cards on the gift table (decorated using CL-HardSurface-1 or Sublimation)
  • full color keepsake boxes to keep cherished wedding day items (decorated using CL-HardSurface-1 or Sublimation)
  • full color picture frames and tile frames to display at the guest book table (decorated using CL-HardSurface-1 or Sublimation)
  • full color crystal as a bride and groom keepsake or as a gift to parents or grandparents (decorated using CL-Crystal)
  • full color t-shirts for destination weddings (decorated using CL-135, CL-TrimFree, CL-Dark, Sublimation or MultiCut)

Here’s one more example.

Perhaps you’re a sign shop with a color laser or sublimation printer to produce full color requests.  The owner of a local construction company comes in for some vinyl window decals on his work vehicle.  You could also consider offering him the following.

  • t-shirts, sweatshirts, hooded sweatshirts and hats (decorated using MultiCut)
  • full color t-shirts, etc. (decorated using CL-135, CL-TrimFree, CL-Dark, or Sublimation)
  • full color vehicle magnets (decorated using CL-HardSurface-1 or Sublimation)
  • full color license plates, license plate frames, and hitch covers (decorated using CL-HardSurface-1 or Sublimation)
  • full color promotional items, mugs, water bottles, refrigerator magnets, key chains, etc. (decorated using CL-HardSurface-1 or Sublimation), mouse pads (decorated using CL-135 or Sublimation)

Joto wants to be more than just a source for your business; we want to be a resource for your business.  We aspire to be consultative in our sales and customer service efforts and encourage you to run ideas past us or ask us to brainstorm with you regarding the best way to achieve optimal value from your current customer base.