In his book How To Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie states, “Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language”. We LOVE our name on things.
You see personalization everywhere. Even the advertising we see daily is personalized. If you search for a certain topic, the ads you see on Facebook, Google, and other websites are catered just to you! Don’t be surprised when you search for “new Dad” books when ads for cribs, baby toys, jewelry for your lovely wife, etc. start popping up as you’re trying to research your upcoming fantasy football match up.
If you’re offering screen printing or some other type of decoration now, and you don’t have a heat press to offer the one off, customized item, you are really missing out! I hear all the time about how screen printers “don’t have the time” to offer a one off. You don’t have the time to make 60 – 80% margin by offering one item? What value did you add to that customer? Are they not likely to come back to you to get that 100 shirt order? I hear from Sign Makers that already have a cutter that they don’t want to add a heat press for the same reason. That’s even more surprising to me. You’re already cutting one off signs, why not just add the press, throw a roll of material in the same cutter, and make them a custom shirt. Easy money!
I get the value of offering only what you offer, not wanting to confuse your workers with a different method or confuse production. Looking at personalization as nothing more than a way to satisfy your customer, or to over satisfy your customer, is an easy way to justify doing things just a little differently.
Fair pricing is very tough in our industry. Competition is fierce! Shops range from a spare bedroom, to a brick and mortar storefront to a tens of thousands of square foot production facility. Obviously not everyone will be able to offer the same prices.
Pricing your jobs should be done on a regional basis, not national. However, people from all over the US and beyond will be reading this article, so it’s difficult for me to be able to recommend pricing and have it be applicable to everyone. As that is the case, the best i can do is give baseline recommendations. You will have to work to establish pricing that your local market is willing to pay! That price may be higher or lower than the pricing I have below.
The recommended pricing I will provide is for a Single Color Shirt (Cadcut), a Digital Shirt (Solvent / Eco-Solvent Print/Cut, DTG), Banner and general Decal. Single color and Digital Shirt pricing is based on a 4×4 left chest and a full back print. I’m also included a $3 base garment cost. Banner is priced per square foot and is fully finished, including Grommets and Hem Tape. Decal pricing is also priced per square foot and is unlaminated.
Single Color – $12.80
Digital Shirt – $14.73
Banner – $6.30 / sq ft
Decal – $9.27 / sq ft
This recommended pricing is from a national survey we did for our Ultimate Pricing Calculator. Our Pricing Calculator is a free tool we created to help our customer determine their actual costs and to help calculate profitability of various jobs.
How does this pricing look to you??
If you have a vinyl cutter, odds are you’re using at least one of Heat Transfer or Sign Materials in your business. If you’re not using both, you’re missing potential profit opportunities! It took us at Imprintables Warehouse a while to realize that. For years, we sold only the Heat Transfer materials, and did quite well at it. Our Spectra Eco-Film is one of the most popular Heat Applied Materials on the market.
Imprintables Warehouse added Duracal 530 to our line up around 2011. We knew that our customers already had the equipment needed to use the material, we just had to make it available to them! If you have a vinyl cutter and a heat press and have been working with Heat Transfer materials, you really need to try this material. I’ve told many customers over the years to include a decal or two with their heat transfer jobs. The perfect time for this is with a corporate logo or a team sport. After you cut and apply your logos to your polos or jerseys, put in a roll of sign vinyl and cut the logo again. When your customer comes in to pick up their order, hand them them decal you’ve created for them as a complimentary gift. Odds are, you’ll see an order in the near future!! Your cost is only the few minutes it took you to load the material in and prepare the sample. Material cost is pennies.
Add on sales are a big business. Introducing a new product to your existing customers will bring in some extra cash to you and your business!
How much do you incorporate fashion into your vinyl cutter business? I covered in an earlier post some materials that can add some flair to your apparel. Another way to make your good more fashionable is to use the latest decorating trends. I’ve identified the Distressed look as a trend that has been around for a little while but is still very popular.
It may seem like the distressed look would be difficult but it’s really not when you use the right tools. I sourced two fonts that will make creating the artwork the easy part for a change! The best to use are Destroy and Gesso. I’ve selected these two because of the ease of weeding. There are plenty of distressed fonts available but not all will allow you to weed rather quickly.
Of the two, Gesso is the easier to weed. Most of the lines and detail will be weeded out on the initial pull.
Destroy has a bit more detail. Don’t get me wrong, it will take a little more time to weed this design! However, in my opinion, the end result is the best.
The weeding process for the Gesso font took about a minute longer than it normally would. This should be factored into your pricing. Destroy took about 5 minutes longer. The good news is you don’t have to get all the detail! It’s distressed so if you leave a few spots behind that should have been weeded it actually adds to the look!
Here’s the end result:
Simply adding a specific font to you design software can add a lot to you business!
Equipment and Materials used:
Anyone that currently offers vinyl cut materials knows your color options are limited. You’re able to offer single color or layer multiple colors to get the effect you want. While layering will work just fine, you can only do it so many times before the design gets to be what I like to call “bullet proof”. Obviously this is when the design is so thick on the garment that it feels like you can take a bullet (don’t try this at home). I’ll typically use that terminology when discussing competitors materials with my customers, but even the materials I represent at IW can get heavy if you layer them to many times.
About a year ago, Imprintables Warehouse introduced Spectra Patterns. The feedback from customers has been outstanding. Have you tried them? The look and feel is very comparable to what you are used to and expect from the other products offered by IW. We started out with an impressive number of 21 Patterns including unique looks like Pink Camo, Tye-Dye, Houndstooth, various Plaids and our (surprisingly) best seller, Zebra. Since then we’ve increased our offering to 30, including seasonal patterns (Snowflakes, Kiss Me, Hearts), new twists on existing materials and some brand new materials like the Skull and Giraffe Patterns.
The ability to customize existing Spectra Patterns or come up with your own designs is also revolutionary. Until now, you would need more expensive equipment to have the ability to create these effects. Now, there is only a small set up fee and creating the artwork that stands in your way. If you need it, we can help you create the artwork. Custom Patterns are available for an extra fee but are considered a stock Pattern after the initial order!