Marketing A Business

Let’s face it, even though all businesses are unique unto themselves, we all share a common denominator being that sales and marketing are the two most important components that make the difference between one company accomplishing great things and another one going nowhere. Sometimes it’s a very fine line as well as little things that make all the difference. You could be the best at whatever it is you do, but if people don’t even know that you exist, your telephone is not going to ring and you will soon be out of business.

When it comes to marketing a Columbia, MO T-shirt printing company, there are many different options and all of them are going to be a calculated risk. There are no guarantees when it comes to launching a successful marketing campaign. If there were, we would all be millionaires by now and there would be no reason to be posting this blog. I have seen Columbia, MO screen printing and custom embroidery companies go the route of radio and even television. This is called shotgun marketing. Millions of listeners and viewers hear the ad so it comes down to a game of numbers hoping that someone is going to need your services and give you a call.

Experience has taught us that people have very short attention spans and within 2 minutes of hearing that commercial they couldn’t tell you what they heard. In other words, the old cliché that, reads out of sight out of mind, would apply. I can remember when I first attempted to break into the Columbia, MO digital T-shirt printing industry I used to go door-to-door calling on businesses and simply asking them if the next time they were in the market for some custom embroidery, I could please just have a chance to give them a quote. Most of them would say yes, but they wouldn’t need anything right this minute. They instructed me to leave a business card and they would give me a call when they eventually would need some. Needless to say, I normally never heard back from them. My business card would end up in a stack of 100 or more other cards and unless it just happened to be on the very top, they forgot it was even in there.

I was also faced with the challenge of having to get past the secretary in order that I could talk to the decision-maker. I quickly learned that I would be wasting my time talking to her because she had no authority to make a decision no matter what she thought of the presentation. Today all the rules have changed because of the invention of the Internet. People get on their laptop and do a search for whatever it is they’re looking for without even having to leave their house. They would rather pull up an out of state website than drive 5 minutes down the street.

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Modern Technology and the Custom Screen Printer and Embroidery Company

Modern technology has literally changed our planet. It has made a tremendous impact in virtually every sector of our economy as well as our lives. What a great time to be an entrepreneur. We have advantages like no other time before now. What we once thought was impossible and far-fetched is now reality. Information can travel around the globe in seconds making it possible to expand our markets like never before. The Columbia MO screen printing industry and custom embroidery industry is no exception to this rule. These days people would rather shop for something at their kitchen table and make their purchase from someone who is literally 500 miles away from them. They don’t want to get in their car and drive down the street. Everything is now virtual instead of the traditional brick-and-mortar store that we grew up shopping at.

A website can convey any impression that you wish with the right designer. We are a Columbia, MO embroidery company that has expanded our territory because of the advantages that the Internet has given us. The fact that we can ship our T-shirts anywhere in the country while still producing right here in town is a huge advantage.

I remember when I first got into this business and the home computer didn’t even exist. I realized that the key to any successful business all started with a superior marketing campaign that’s targeted specifically towards your potential clientele. My method of selling was to simply knock on as many doors as I possibly could and asked them if the next time they were in the market for some custom embroidery or T-shirts could I simply just have a chance to bid on them. Most of them would say sure, just leave us a business card and we’ll call you when we need some. Most of the time that call never came. My business card would end up in a stack of 50 or more just like it and they would forget that it was even in there. I learned to ask them the right questions and take excellent notes in order to create my own database of when to call them back. The lesson I learned was this: Unless they are currently in the market for whatever it is you’re selling, the odds are not in your favor that they will remember you 3 to 6 months down the line.

When you break down the anatomy of a sale, it has two parts and the most difficult part of that equation is trying to find someone who needs whatever you happen to be selling at that moment in time. For example, you could be the best car salesman in the world, but if they don’t need a car, then they’re not going to buy one from you today. The other part of the equation is simply convincing them that you are going to give them the best offer. That’s the easy part. The modern-day search engine changed everything. Instead of you having to spend all your time looking for that needle in a haystack trying to find someone who is in the market for T-shirts, you simply type in a relevant search term, such as Columbia, MO digital printing and they find you. Now all you have to do is convince them that you are giving them the best overall value for their money.

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How Does This Shirt Perform?

We have evolved into a non-ironing, stain repelling, and moisture management
society. Our customers are now asking us, “How does this shirt perform?” It
is not enough now to just look at and evaluate a particular T-shirt based on
style; our customers want to know how the shirt will perform and what features
it offers. 10 years ago that was not the case at all. It was either cotton or
there was a cotton polyester blend. Those were the only two options available.
Technology has crossed over to every sector of our lives and the wearable
industry is no exception. They are doing something with polyester these days
that actually wicks moisture away from your skin. I remember back in the day
around the 1970’s when leisure suits were in fashion. These were composed of
100% polyester. They were not only hot, but they were ugly as well! There were
no moisture management options, no wrinkle free, and no performance
features to speak of. Let’s face it. We are living in a performance-based society. The
golfing market has led the way in the evolution of sports wear. What has been
selling at all the Pro shops has always had an influence on corporate America.
Companies like Nike, Adidas and Izod have led the way in the development of
performance-based sports wear, all in the name of comfort and style. Polyester
T-shirts are made of a much lighter weight and  thinner yarn than most cotton.
It offers natural moisture wicking advantages while lending itself to a better
fitting tee shirt. The shift from cotton being the shirt material of choice to
high tech polyester has grabbed this industry by storm. With the advance of
high-tech polyester, it has forced the screen printing and embroidery industry
to come up with high tech inks and silkscreen equipment.

Screen printing on polyester poses challenges that are not incurred when
transferring a logo to a cotton garment.

The application will require a white under base in order to reduce what is
commonly known in our industry as sublimation and/or dye migration.
For example, if you are placing a white ink on a red tee shirt without an under base, then
there will probably be a tendency to end up with a pink image. The dye of the
shirt will want to migrate into the ink over time.

Another challenge is that poly does not lend itself to inkjet or digital
applications. If the shirt is composed of a 90/10 blend, then 90% of the ink
will remain and the other 10% will come out in the wash machine when being

It is my opinion that the manufacturers of these high-tech inkjet
printers will come up with solutions to these challenges in the near future.

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Chronological History of the Tee Shirt

If history has taught us anything about fashion, it is that it is cyclical. What was the style 50 years ago is likely going to come back around eventually. When the T-shirts originally came on the scene at approximately 95 years ago, it was considered to be a standard issue uniform for the U.S. Navy. No one could have thought that it would soon become an influencing part of our culture, as well as society in so many ways. Ranging from a symbol of self expression to walking billboards and advertising vehicles, these staples of our society have changed over and over again from one generation to another. Here are some of the historical high points and low points.

One of the most dangerous and unpleasant duties was being assigned to serve on a submarine. The type quarters combined with the overwhelming heat would make the temperatures inside the vessel the climb well over 125°. The Navy started issuing these sailors T-shirts as part of their standard uniform.

The next milestone in marking the evolution of the tee shirt is when it starts to become accepted by the civilian population and worn by both men and women as part of their everyday wardrobe. It wasn’t long before it was accepted as a good option for the hard-working individual. It was light weight, as well as durable. The fact that it was made of cotton made it absorbent, as well as breathable.

1951 Hollywood had a tremendous impact in influencing our society of young people. Superstars such as James Dean would take a pack of cigarettes and roll it up in the sleeve. Remember the TV show Happy Days? What did the star of the show wear under his black leather jacket? That’s right…a white t-shirt.

1962 Marked the beginning of the hippie movement. Tie-dyed applications soon came on the scene. You started to see political messages screen printed across the front of tank tops and sleeveless apparel started to emerge onto the scene.

1977 Slogans such as I Columbia start to show up in stores across our great city. People are now using them as a billboard of self-expression.

1984 Television shows such as Miami Vice convey a fashion statement and influence our culture not just across the country, but on a worldwide level.

2009 The St. Louis screen printing industry is changed forever because the use of the Internet is now mainstream. Up until now, most people were intimidated to use their credit card when making an Internet purchase. Now they are starting to become more familiar with that type of financial transaction and a comfort level is obtained. Digital T-shirt printing comes on the scene impacting the screen printing industry for over. Modern technology does away with the traditional method of color separations that were normally part of the typical printing process.

Modern technology has impacted every sector of our lives as well as our economy. The custom apparel business is no exception to that rule.

For all your custom embroidery, custom silk screening, and digital printing in the greater Columbia, MO area, please contact us either by email or phone. And yes, we do answer our phones. You will not get a recording unless of course we are on the phone with another customer. We will give you a competitive quote whether it’s for 12 digital print shirts or 500 or more screen printed tees, and everything in between. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Trendy Alternatives For Added Income

Every decorator will tell you that their main shirt that they print is a basic white cotton tee shirt. However, that doesn’t mean that some customers may want a specialty shirt. An example of a trendy alternative may be the relaxed-fit T. Laid-back styles are in high demand for both men and ladies. In particular, there is an upswing in the sales of relaxed-fit ladies styles. Women are now wearing more of the over-sized styles that can be paired with skinny jeans, leggings, or shorts.

Our customers are not only concerned about price, but they want a good looking, comfortable shirt also. Comfort is a huge part of the equation. A typical shirt that our customers may use for custom screen printing is a 6 oz. 100% pre-shrunk cotton. A trend now in the wholesale and retail markets is going towards a lighter shirt, such as a 5.0 ounce. It truly depends on the application and what the customer likes. Because of this trend, there are more styles, brands, and colors available in a lighter shirt

Another trend in the wholesale and retail markets is the use of triblend materials. A triblend is exactly that – using three materials to give you added comfort and softness. The three materials used are polyester, cotton, and rayon. Many customers will upgrade the T-shirt to a triblend because of the feel. It definitely is a softer material than just a 100% cotton tshirt.

Eco-friendly tees are also on the upswing in the market. These shirts are made from organic and/or recycled materials that use low-impact dyes and biodegradable fabric softeners which are less harmful to the environment. Those that are concerned about environmental issues will usually inquire about these types of shirts. However, if appropriate, you may try to upsell to this shirt to your customers. Some may not be aware that this type of shirt is available.

For whatever your needs in the custom embroidery and custom silk screening markets, please give us a call if you are in the Columbia, MO area. We have been in business for over 20 years and have the expertise to point you in the right decoration and offer expert advise. Look forward to hearing from you.

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The Typical American-Made Customer

Who is the typical American-Made customer?

There are customers who foremost want to support USA manufacturers and employers. These buyers seek out above all the American-Made apparel, regardless of price. It is their conviction that drives them to support their country. Union employees, specifically, have a moral obligation to support other union employees and USA manufacturers.

On the other end of the spectrum is the customer that purely wants a good value. That person is looking for the best overall value which includes price and quality. Some may say that the USA made apparel is of better quality. In saying that quality may be ranked higher than the apparel coming from overseas countries such as China, Vietnam, Brazil, India, etc. With the demand for American-Made apparel, the pricing is starting to go down also. This follows the rule of supply and demand.

Also, the typical American-Made customer is a patriotic buyer who loves their country and understands the value of jobs here, is concerned about labor practices and the safety of products. Or, it is often someone from an organization or company that is under obligation per contact or agreement to purchase only USA products.

This being said, T-Shirt Columbia MO has thousands of apparel choices, including all the USA made apparel, including tee shirts, polos, jackets, caps, etc. For all your custom screen printing and custom embroidery needs in Columbia, MO, give us a call and we’ll give you a free quote. You can count on us for value and quality. We’ve been in business for over 20 years and we want to keep doing business. Hope to hear from you soon.

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Selling Apparel to Juniors

Trends are everything to teens. They do not want the basic cotton tee. They expect high fashion options for their custom screen printed or embroidery apparel. Most juniors want to have specific brands, a particular style, or what’s “hot”. In order to target and sell to juniors you have to have products that are up to date in fashion trends. Often the wholesale industry lags behind the retail industry by perhaps six months.

Even though the wholesale industry takes its cues from retailers, the more stylish or trendier pieces are getting more market share. Expect to see nautical styles with stripes and intricate details, such as lace trims. Neon is style trendy, but look for a more modern twist in the hues of neon. The neons will be more subtle. Bright, bold colors are still in fashion for the juniors and teens. Think of beachy, bright colors that are quite neon, but are still vibrant.

So how do we reach the juniors’ market? Stay in touch with the latest trends and fashion by just seeing what is being sold in stores that are geared towards juniors. Take note of what you see. The juniors market can be a good share of our market. Yes, we will still sell the standard cotton t-shirt, polo shirts, and sweat shirt, but we can expand. Make suggestions to your customers concerning the latest fashions for juniors. If they are selling to teens, they will want what the teens want.

How about giving us a call for all your custom silk screening,digital printing, and custom embroidery? We have the latest up to date equipment and can handle very large orders, to smaller orders. We will treat you and your order with the greatest of respect. If you are in the St. Louis, MO metropolitan area, pleases give us a call or shoot us an email.

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Caps and Hats

Hats are a wonderful way to advertise for your company, club, or organization from a simple baseball cap or a knit cap. There are so many varieties, which makes it a great product to screen print or embroider. Any way, who doesn’t like a cap. It looks great and serves a great function of keeping the sun out of your eyes and hiding a not-so-good hair day!

There is no comparison to the first rate quality of a good embroidery hat. Yes, they can also be screen printed for a lower cost, but again, the embroidery will look so much better. It is your, the customer’s, decision. It depends on the look that you are after and your budget constraints.

Of course, we can accommodate all of your embroidery and custom screen printing needs. Along with the headwear, jackets, polos, and fleece make for wonderful embroidery applications. We can help you along the entire process from choosing your hat or apparel to choosing colors to be applied, to the very end. We are committed to giving you the best custom screen printing and embroidery apparel for a competitive price.

If you are in the market for these products, please give us a call. We have over 20 years of experience in this business, so we have the expertise and knowledge to help you in the Columbia, MO area.

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Tee Shirt Printing Technology

I can remember back when I was a young boy thinking that I would like to grow up to be an inventor, the only problem was that all the good ideas have already been thought of and there was nothing new to invent. I remember going to work with my father who happened to own a small pharmaceutical business that was located in a building full of eye doctors. He used to rely on those same ophthalmologists to send their patients downstairs after they were finished in order to have their prescriptions filled. He also received a little bit of walking traffic and those two elements made up the overall lion share of his customer base. One day I noticed that he acquired an extra long phone cord which enabled him to actually walk around a 15 foot radius of his phone instead of having to stand in one place behind the counter. That made a huge impression on me at the time, as I was thinking that gave such a sense of freedom.

It’s amazing to me how far we progressed as modern technology has lent itself to advantages that impact every sector of almost every Columbia MO T shirt printing company out there. This has enabled me to be able to run a business almost anywhere as long as I have access to a cell phone signal and internet reception. I remember back in the day, which really wasn’t that long ago, where I used to go out and knock on 100 different businesses in order to try and find the decision maker. Once I eventually located him or her, I would ask them if the next time they were in the market for some custom T-shirt printing, if I could simply have a chance to give them a quote. Most of the time they would say sure, go ahead and leave a card but we don’t actually need any right this minute. So I would leave them a business card and more than not, it would get stacked with approximately 100 others. By the time they ended up eventually needing some more, they forgot it was even in there and I never received a call. It quickly dawned on me that the hardest part of trying to tap the market of Columbia Mo. digital T-shirt printing and custom embroidery was finding somebody who actually needed it right this minute. The easy part of the equation was simply convincing them why we would be the best candidate to provide that service.

Nowadays that has completely changed. We don’t have to go looking for new clientele because they simply open up a laptop from their kitchen table and do a relevant search such as custom embroidery or digital T shirt printing Columbia, Missouri and we show up. The phone book has become obsolete. All the rules have changed over the last 15 to 20 years as far as how to market oneself. Even production has changed.

We have access to the very finest equipment such as custom embroidery machines that can render up to 400 stitches a minute. No longer do we have to endure the time and protocol that conventional screen printing and silk screening require. It used to be that the amount of colors in an image as well as the quantity had a tremendous influence on pricing. Digital tee shirt printing has given us the ability to cater to small runs such as one to 12 pieces at a time, regardless of the amount of colors used or the intricacy of the design.

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Team Uniforms

Do you belong to a sports team, but don’t have a uniform? Shirts on Steroids Columbia MO can help you. Winners want to look the part. Confidence, edge, and a modest dose of swagger escalate that look from mere gear into armor. Let’s look at who drives team trends and what looks they’re seeking for the upcoming season.

Many times now the school is not putting up the tab for uniforms; it’s the parents of the team members. We are seeing that parents have a stronger influence now on what type of uniform and the decision making behind it.

One fashion trend now is the emergence of more athletic wear geared towards women. The manufacturers are now focusing on making the athletic wear for women more feminine. Team uniforms can be sparkly and fun, as well. These eye-catching details help make a jersey fun and expressive. Not only can these jerseys be for the team, but also for parents, siblings, and devoted fans. Many times that means that teams can make a little money by selling team apparel, such as jerseys, t-shirts, hats, etc.

We would love to give you a free competitive quote on all your custom screen printing, digital printing, and custom embroidery needs. We answer our phones and reply to our emails. Give us a chance if you are in the Columbia, MO area.

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