Here are several things to consider as you begin to process of marketing your new business:
What customers want: Consider what you think your customers will want to purchase and get some great designs going. Are you going to focus on creating completely customized shirts with pictures of grandchildren, pets, etc.? Or, do you want to concentrate on shirts with funny sayings or images? Will you be selling your products at a mall, car shows, through a website or at a flea market? You’ll want to consider where you plan to sell your shirts in order to determine the best type of designs to focus on.
Be your own advertisement: Make a vinyl decal with your business name and contact info for the back windshield of your car. Wear a tshirt with your information on it – it’s like being your own walking billboard!
Promote yourself: It’s important to realize that opportunities are always at your fingertips! Carry business cards with you at all times. Dress professionally, even if you’re merely going to the grocery store, just in case you have the chance to earn a new customer while you’re out. Offer promotions for current customers who are willing to refer new business to you. Have ink pens made and leave them on tables at restaurants (you never know whose hands that pen may end up in!)
Research your competition: Find out what products are offered by your competitors and offer either improved versions (if possible) or even different products to blow them out of the water.
Follow up: If you get a lead for a potential customer that goes nowhere, still follow up with them. As a consumer, I know how important this is to me. Even if the price is better elsewhere, I’m more likely to give my business to the company who took the time to follow up.
Set goals: Setting goals helps you stay focused, instead of slacking off or procrastinating. Set a sales goal and really push yourself to meet it.
Bring in the dough!: Figure out what your costs are for the products you are creating. This is super important and even includes things you could easily let slip your mind. Not only do you have the cost of the product itself, but you also need to consider the cost of shipping, taxes, use of credit card machines (if you choose to offer that, etc.). You will also need to take into account what you think your time is worth and set your prices accordingly. As tricky as it may be, you’ll need the prices to be enough to make a profit, but not too much that it makes potential customers run the other way.