While printers may not be able to make a fortune out of fashion either at the high end or the high street, if they have the right clients its possible to make a profit out of the more workaday and work wear. Case study t-shirt foundry, founded in 2002 when director Steve winn saw the potential market for people to print their own designs on t-shirts, online business t-shirt foundry (now trading as Streetshirts) began while he was still at university. Initially production was outsourced but in 2006 the firm invested in its own transfer press and started production, initially on white and later onto dark garments. At the start of this year it went to Printwear promotion to look at dtg kit to solve its production problems. It opted for the kornit Breeze, and now runs four machines. Winn appreciates the integrated pre-treatment and print process used in the kornit. Its a one-step process, says Winn.
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Picking the right equipment for your operation is also vital. The right choice will depend on your circumstances and preferences, so it pays to benchmark in-house skills and staffing needs when looking at the kit and the consumables costs. As with most digital kit, a lower up-front cost may well mean higher ink prices, which, the if your business takes off, may limit your profits. Kornit integrates pre-treatment with printing, so there is no need for a pre-treatment stage, while the other vendors require pre-treatment to be applied by the psp. This makes Kornits kit more expensive up front but it argues, ensures consistency and lower staff costs. What are the challenges of creating a route to market? Route to market is an important factor. If you want to go beyond a business-to-business audience then the best shop window is not necessarily on the high street but online. B2C needs to be online, and having a good webshop is a pre-requisite, says luedtke. The printer is an enabler, there is so much more to consider around the business model and your supply chain.
What are the technical challenges of dtg? While digital printers may have more knowledge, the stumbling block they face is pdf getting to grips with the properties of the garments. The quality of the shirt is key for successful printing its not an area to scrimp on, says luedtke. Some dealers may offer products that vary from batch to batch being sourced from completely different suppliers, making ensuring consistent quality impossible. Producing images on darker coloured clothes requires white ink, which is expensive and it can be a challenge to ensure it doesnt clog heads or separate out. An added complication in garment printing is the possibility of colour migration from the base colour to the white. Again, it comes down to testing garments, printers and inks.
There are companies that have a market but vietnamese not the demand or desire to install their own machines, he says. Our customer base includes clients who plug into our system and whose products go out under blank packaging. Who in the uk is branching out here? What are their core skills? There are three groups of firms entering dtg: existing garment decorators, printers looking to offer a wider product range and entrepreneurial firms using dtg to develop a disruptive business models. Epsons Ferguson estimates that 50 of the market are screen printers and embroiderers looking to fill gaps in their current offering, 30 printers with no previous garment or textile expertise, and 20 are those leftfield start-ups, such as YrStore. Some 80 are adding a new service to their operations but there is also some cannibalism of other firms client bases, he says. Kornit European marketing manager Oliver luedtke sees a similar pattern and for him the digital printers have a head start. They have a lot of knowledge in crucial areas such as file formats, rips, colour management and digital economics, he says.
What are the costs? Epsons sc-f2000 machine costs 12,500 while kornits entry-level machine is about 32,000. In addition to the printer itself there is the need for ancillary equipment including pre-treatment and dryers. Pre-treatment at its most basic can be applied by brush. For higher volumes and to ensure greater consistency pre-treatment machines automate the process. Or, as in Kornits case, the pre-treatment is integrated with the printer. Drying varies from using a heat press, which start at a few hundred pounds, through to automated tunnel dryers, which start from around 3,000. When deciding on which equipment to buy its important to consider the associated running costs such as ink and staffing and projected production volumes to ensure you get the right set-up. Winn argues that you dont need to invest in the equipment, at least not initially.
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If we got a bulk order for a complicated design it would tie up the factory for a whole day, says Winn. . Sometimes wed have to turn away other work. With dtg the company can comfortably print 500-1,000 t-shirts per day, whereas previously it could, at a push, get 250 out. That sort of volume day in and day out was unsustainable, says Winn. Realistically, if we did 150-200 per day, it was a lot. Now that is two hours work. Who offers dtg machinery?
Dtg is manufactured by Anajet, Brother, Epson kornit. Other equipment is available based around modified Epson printers and third-party inks, often from dupont or Resolute dtg. Epson is well known across inkjet printing. Anajet is a us business, its rugged mPower machines use ricoh heads. Kornit is an Israeli specialist number in dtg printing. Brother, while little known in graphic arts, produces sewing and embroidery equipment for the garment industry and has been in the dtg market for several years. Sales tend to be via specialist resellers such as ra smart and dtg solutions, which sells Epson equipment, and j b emily sewing Machine equipment for Anajet and Brother.
The term dtg covers any image printed onto a pre-made item of clothing; its mostly t-shirts but also hoodies, polo shirts and shorts. The key thing is that the substrate is a garment rather than a piece of cloth that is subsequently cut to shape and sewn together. If you were being totally prescriptive then dtg printing would refer solely to direct printing, but it may also be applied to dye-sub prints where the image is transferred. Ive learned not to think in terms of too rigid segments, says Epson Europe head of Pro Graphics Duncan Ferguson, whose client YrStore is running dtg production in-store at a number of branches of Top Shop around the. Although Epson offers a dedicated dtg printer, the sc-f2000, YrStore has opted to use the manufacturers sc-f6000 dye-sublimation printer.
How does it improve on previous technology? Prior to the latest crop of dtg devices there were other digital production methods for short runs and one-offs, such as using laser printers to produce transfers. The problem with using those materials is the need to manually weed out non-image areas prior to making the transfer. Prior to buying our direct-to-garment printers, everything was a compromise, says Steve winn, director of t-shirt foundry, which trades as Streetshirts. Using a transfer process, we couldnt predict the time it would take to do a job. In the worst case artwork would take so long to weed that labour costs would exceed the jobs value. There were other problems too.
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Unfortunately despite what some faddish print pundits predict fashion is not a market where a print firm with a graphic arts background can sashay in and steal a rail full of top-end clients with nothing more than a wide-format printer and some supermodel swagger. For a start, the very high-end brands have made the switch with their incumbent European fabric printing suppliers. High-street fashion, on the other hand, is manufactured in Asia or North Africa and is so price sensitive that its unlikely to be on-shored. However, some garment markets are worth printers hanging their coats. In particular in B2B promotional wear, uniforms, and sports and social club kit. Then theres a whole other world of consumer printing, from the arty amateur designers, through to stag and hen parties. For quick printers and copyshops on the high street, existing relationships and passing trade may elicit enough work to make investing in direct-to-garment (DTG) printing, which is the technology of choice for these markets worthwhile. For other printers too it may represent an as yet untapped need as part of the small business branding and marketing services that they offer. What technology is there now available for dtg printing?
Winning at it takes discipline and structure. Making it up as you go along is a recipe for disaster." Coca cola coca-cola's national accounts program has long been noted as a leader in integrated marketing, sales, and any other group that might touch the customer. Coca cola devotes to each national account a team that includes employees from marketing, sales, support, operations, and finance. They converge on a market, research the culture, people, and sociology, and then debrief each other. Through this process they understand their objectives and tasks better and are able to outsmart the competition. Digital technologies disrupt report supply chains including print and establish new structures and new paradigms. However, there are some markets where the barriers to entry will not be demolished just by trumpeting the d-word.
do with the way sales are made in today's real world. Today's customers don't want products; they demand solutions, and solutions don't come in a box. They must be designed, fashioned to meet the customer's specific needs. Making such sales takes a lot more than personal charisma. Today's selling is system selling, solution selling, consultative selling; it entails analyzing customer needs, designing alternative solutions, scrutinizing costs, developing and implementing systems, and more. This is not the work of a heroic individual sales rep. Modern selling is a team sport, and a complex one at that.
Tailoring your business plan to what the market will buy is always a better, more successful strategy writing than developing a new product or service without knowing precisely the customers for it and hoping that people would buy it because it's good. 3 Strategies of, market leaders, creating Customer Value, from the customer's point of view, your company exists only to create value for them, to provide them with results. In the new rapidly changing economy the nature of value is changing, involving new ways to price goods, innovation and emotion. You need to think in terms of offers, to merge products and services, and to be innovative to give customers a value-added experience. Marketing and Selling as a team Sport ". Selling, in the old days, was largely and act of personal heroism. The key to successful selling was knowing the products and the customers.
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Marc Romanelli/Getty, sales go hand in hand with marketing and networking, which expose your business to potential clients and customers. But in the end, you need to close the sale or sign the contract in order to actually make money. Obviously, if the business you choose is something in which you sell products, then a talent for and knowledge of sales is key. But even if you are selling your services, it is important to know how to close the deal. You go get a job at the type resume of business you would like to start and save your money or pool it together with partners. If it's on the internet, you study the sights that resemble the one you want. Your Business is Ruled by the marketplace "you don't decide what business you are in; the marketplace decides that for you. People will only buy what they want to buy, or are afraid not to buy, at a given moment in time write miles Spencer and Cliff Ennico in their book "Moneyhunt".