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Posts Tagged ‘marketing’

Landing the Big One! How to Price Your Embroidery Services

Friday, August 24th, 2012

This is an old blog post for 2009 that I thought was worth re-posting!

Landing the Big One!

You know how it is. You sit down to bid that big job, the job that could make your whole month, but you’re concerned that unless you lower your prices, your competitor down the street may land the sale. Should you do it? Should you take a short term cut in profits, or even take a loss, in order to land that big job?

No, probably not. Spend some time setting your prices and then stick to them. If you do change your prices, change them across the board because of changes in the market, or changes in your business strategy. For example, Jim O’Boyle, president of Journalbooks/Timeplanners Calendars, talks in this post about one way to temporarily change your prices. Keep in mind though, Mr. O’Boyle’s idea has to do with a temporary shift in policy due to changes in the market, not simply the desire to land a single job.

Bottom line, stick to your business strategy. If you’re like a lot of small to medium size companies, you’re not trying to be the low cost supplier. Instead, you’re trying to add value for your customers and keep them coming back again and again. You’re looking for customers that are willing to pay a little bit more for your products and services. If this is the case, don’t lower your prices just to get work or compete with other companies that seem to be offering the new lowest price. You need to maintain your prices so that you can cover your costs, make a profit and have cash available for growth.

Check out these ideas that we put together about pricing your services:

  1. Pass your artwork preparation costs through to your customer – It is normal to charge some type of setup fee to cover the costs of digitizing, vectorizing or order processing. You don’t need to absorb these costs since they are part of the cost of doing business.
  2. Mark up your digitizing costs (recommended) – Edigitize prices are wholesale prices, meaning that your customers would normally have to pay more for quality digitizing if they went straight to a digitizer. You deserve to be rewarded for the extra value that you add sending us the order, checking the sewout scan we provide and sewing out a test file from your machine. We suggest that you mark up our digitizing fees to cover your time and effort. With our new flat fees, you know ahead of time what your costs will be, making it easier to mark up your digitizing costs.
  3. Be careful what kind of incentives you offer – You may decide to waive setup fees as a way to get new customers or generate more business from existing customers. You know your business; so perhaps that is the best way for you to offer incentives. However, if you do waive setup fees, make sure that you recover your costs and make a profit in other ways.
  4. Get payment up front – You don’t need to fund your customer’s business. Ask for 30%-50% of each order up front, depending on order size and the supplies involved. If you ask for less money up front as a way to get more business, make sure you have surplus cash available to cover your costs if something goes bad. Our advice: always collect at least 50% of the order amount up front.
  5. Offer incentives for volume and loyalty – Whatever incentives you do offer, consider tying them to a customer’s order volume or degree of loyalty over time. So if you offer free setup, offer it only on orders above a certain piece or dollar volume. Or, offer a discount only to repeat customers.

How to Grow Your Business in a Down Economy

Friday, April 27th, 2012

A struggling economy. We hear about it all the time, and as business people, we experience its effects on a regular basis. And the general consensus is that those who play it safe, survive. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry, right?

Well, maybe not. We here at Edigitize want to challenge that way of thinking. We’d like to submit to you that growing a business – in any economy – takes effort and a little risk. Simply accepting business growth defeat in a down economy inevitably creates what is known as a self-fulfilling prophesy. In other words, if you accept defeat, that’s what you’ll get. And if you never try, you won’t succeed.

So, what’s the upside to this down economy?

That it IS possible to grow and do well as a business, regardless of how the economy is doing!

Here’s some simple steps to take to defeat a down economy:

1. Realize that there ARE customers out there who are in need of your services. Just because the economy is down, doesn’t mean that customers no longer need apparel decorating or other promotional products.

2. Realize that quality trumps price. While everyone else out there who has given in to defeat in a down economy is slashing their prices, your focus on quality will help you stand out among all the rest. Ultimately, those who go cheap are not only losing profit, but also losing quality because the cost has to be cut somewhere. And those out there interested in a quality product are going to notice and will be willing to pay a little extra to receive the quality you provide.

3. Make the effort to find clients who are in the market to do business! While customers may not roll in as easily in a down economy, rest assured THEY ARE OUT THERE! Find those who are in need of your business, and then let them know how you can meet their needs – again, with an emphasis on quality products and services.

4. In connection with finding clients, it is important to continue strong networking when attempting to thrive in a down economy. Sometimes our best future clients are in the places we least expect them. Think outside the box on this one. Where can you find people in need of your product or service, or who do you know who may have those connections? And this doesn’t just include your business contact list. Friends and family know people too, so don’t count them out!

5. Don’t be afraid to change things up a bit. Remember that everyone is different, including customers. One approach may work better with one client, while another approach works better with another. Also, a fresh approach just might be what is needed to really grab someone’s attention. It’s like the old saying goes: If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.

Boost Your Business: The Basics

Friday, April 13th, 2012

Everyone wants to grow their business. And everyone has competitors out there that they are trying to beat. But that doesn’t mean you have to go out and spend excess money hiring an expert or consultant to tell you how to do it.

That’s right, there are some very basic, yet easily overlooked, steps that can be taken with little to no extra expense at all that are certain to make your business a step above the rest. One of our favorite small business resources, Inc. Magazine, posted an article we recently came across detailing what the U.S. Retail Highlights: 2012 Outlook found out about the trends in retail that are sure to shape the way business is done in 2012.

Want to be a step above the rest? Sure you do. So, here’s the deal:

1. The first trend is customers with short attention spans. By this, I mean that customers are looking for something that catches their attention and makes for an easy purchase. If they have to thumb around on your web page for too long to find what they need, chances are they’ll go elsewhere. The goal here is to eliminate any and every obstacle that may stand in the way of a customer purchasing from you. Things like making sure your website is easy to navigate and can handle the amount of traffic, decreasing turnaround time, and making your business easily accessible can do wonders for keeping and growing your business. Because, let’s face it – in this busy world, no one has the extra time to waste.

2. Another trend the study found is that retail customers are looking for experience over price. While it may be tempting to offer special discounts and sales to attract new business, what customers are looking for now more than the best price is the experience that brings helpful customer service, unique products, and flexible shopping options to fit their busy schedules.

3. Speaking of flexible shopping options, another trend the study found is that e-commerce will soar like never before in 2012. Customers now prefer the ease of shopping from their mobile phones or tablets, without the hassle of being tied to a home or office computer or driving on-site to shop . With technology the way it is nowadays, your business is sure to lose out if it isn’t keeping up!

4. In the same light, retail customers are now “in the know” with the latest and greatest technology. In a moment’s notice, they will look up, research, and compare which product is the better buy. The business strategy to overcoming this? Find new ways to snag customers’ attention! Also, securing loyalty with your current customers is key here as well. After all, you’ll never meet an Apple customer who is considering returning to dear ole PC.

How was that for simple, no-strings-attached advice? After that, growing your business doesn’t sound so scary after all. For more detailed information, check out the U.S. Retail Highlights: 2012 Outlook & see for yourself! It’s really that simple.

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