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Monthly Archives: March 2017

Starting T-shirt Business Advice

Advice for Designing

When designing A T-Shirt, there are many points to keep in mind, but the following factors are some technical stuff overlooked by companies starting off: The Number of colors used and what material will be used. Most screen printers charge in the $10-$40 range for every different color you use. It can get really expensive for someone (Example: music bands) to get several T-Shirts printed. They then have to sell the fans $36 dollar T-Shirts just to cover the costs and make some profit.

The Material used

Usually each material/brand/size comes with a set of colors that they’re printed on. There isn’t one that provides you with every single color in existence. It would be a great idea to ask the client what material they can afford and then research it, or familiarize yourself with the more popular brands that are being printed on (Examples: American Apparel, Fruit Of the Loom and Hanes). I’ve had several problems with this when I began, so don’t just go creating something that only looks good on a red background that you can’t easily fix, or something that looks good on a T-Shirt color that’s almost impossible to find. This will save you so much time and trouble.

Lastly, but most importantly, just be original. Keep the designs more personalized, deeper and more meaningful.

1. Vision. You need to know who you are, what you’re doing, why, etc. This will define how you market your product, how it looks over all, and all the little details within that you need to do. Yep, so figure that out and then go nuts because you can’t go wrong with a big idea, as long as you know what the big idea is.

2. Marketing. It’s essential in today’s design world. You might have a good product but if its weak on branding, labeling, packaging, shelf appeal, matching coat hangers, etc., it’ll look bad. Consistency also needs to be achieved across the spectrum including same font, same style, etc. Designing is totally open to new creations and ideas, so anything goes, but there are some boundaries that you don’t want to cross, while others you need to break through.

3. E-commerce. Yes, it’s fully possible! It will take some setting up though, but I’ve recently realized how I can just pick up the phone and order a set of hoodies, wait four days until they’re on the doorstep, pay for them a month later online, etc. Also, I can call up the fabric company down the road, or one in wellington, get them to send me samples of denim, call them back and order a set amount of denim to be sent to my garment manufacturer, and then call him and tell him how many of what I want right from my rocking chair at home.

4. Online selling. Totally possible if you use ebay or know how to set up an E-commerce website yourself, but getting the credit card system sorted out is a major cost. Lots of girls shop online now, you just need to know how to market it right and get your products noticed.

5. Promo. Get it out there! Make sure your friends buy your products or you could give out freebies. Put stickers, advertising your shop, wherever you can. Be shameless because designers are really admired (as opposed to being a ‘salesperson’), especially if your product is favorable.

6. Don’t waste your time on silly details. I’ll let you figure out what those are.

7. Get your accounts sorted out now. Segregate your personal and business spending, so you can claim back GST with no problems. Make sure every transaction (sales, purchasing, spending, etc.) goes through your account, so you can see how well you’re doing by looking at your bank statement. Use the ATM machine for petty cash; your accountant will love you one day for this.

8. Have fun! It’s not the end of the world if it doesn’t work out. I was just thinking how involved my life is at the moment with my T-Shirt business. My life revolves around it, which is crazy, but if it all fell apart and closed down tomorrow I’d be the same person and I’d find something else to do! I make sure I take one day off during the week to do what I love that doesn’t involve my work. I love doing my work, so I’m very lucky in that aspect, but sometimes it gets boring or tedious so I make sure I stay fresh and focused.

9. Work hard. I still do after three years. I work my butt off and hardly make any money off it, but I know it’s worth it in the long run and the things you learn along the way are invaluable.

10. Give away free stuff! People love free T-Shirts and sponsorship goes a long way. It’s also your duty, being in business and generating wealth, to share that with society in some way (Example: Old stock goes in recycle clothing bins, etc.).

 

Business Success Tips

Success = Startup Business Person + Product/Service + Market

Let us look at this formula in a little more detail. Firstly, what is success? The definition of success depends on what you want to get out of the venture, that is, what your goals are. Business success usually means creating a viable entity (business) that returns its investment and earns a profit.

Appropriate and realistic goals include to be challenged, to achieve, and to build something good. For example, your definition of success could be to earn $100,000 a year from your home business so that you can replace your full time job income.

The most crucial element of the above formula is the “Startup Business Person”. This element decides all the others.

Ultimately, a successful startup business person is someone who opens, manages and runs a successful startup business and can repeat the process. This is someone who has accepted the responsibility and learned how the job is done.

Successful startup business people usually always start small and grow the business. They do not have too many irons in the fire at once so that their efforts are not diffused. They give it everything they have and believe that hard work counts. They try repeatedly until they achieve the success they are looking for. Moreover, most of all, they possess a positive mental attitude.

They have learned to emulate success. Do you know what emulate means? To emulate means to attempt to equal or surpass. In other words, if you were to attempt to emulate someone else’s success, you would imitate them and as you gained further knowledge and skill, you would attempt to do better than them. Remember that emulation takes things one step further than imitate.

The next part of the formula is “Product/Service”. Without something to sell, there can be no business. Generally, the product or service needs to be of a high quality. It also needs to be something that people are prepared to pay for.

The last component of the formula is “Market”. A successful business person knows who their market is and how to reach it in the most cost effective manner. The market is defined as the people who want and are prepared to pay for the product or service.

I would now like to run through with you what I consider are the basic principles of home, small or online business success.

Believe in Your Product or Service

First, you need to believe in your product or service. If you do not believe in it, you will have a great deal of difficulty selling your product or service to other people. You also need to have confidence in your ability to provide and promote your product or service. An old saying sums this up best: “All things are possible to he who believes”.

Aptitude for the Business

Secondly, you need to have an aptitude for the business. You will also need the motivation to acquire at the very least basic skills and experience before you start your business. If you were to set yourself up as a home electrician but did not have any skills or training in this area, then you will almost certainly fail. However, if you are employed as a bookkeeper and you enjoy the job, then setting up your own bookkeeping service would be a sensible choice with a greater chance of success.

Be Responsible

Thirdly, you need to be responsible to your customers. This is achieved by only making commitments you can keep and by not engaging in misleading or dishonest advertising. If you want to build long term success in your home business, then you need to develop long term satisfied customers. When their needs are being satisfied, customers are at their happiest.

Aim for High Quality

The next principle is that you need to have a high quality product or service. This will be your best advertisement. Inferior quality products usually generate poor customer satisfaction. A dissatisfied customer can be very dangerous for your business. Usually they tell on average about fourteen other people who will then be disinclined to buy your product or service based on the experience of that one dissatisfied person. Therefore, always aim for a top quality product or service.

Make a Profit

However, it is not enough to have a top quality product or service. You also need to have a product or service that will generate enough income to cover all your business expenses and give you a satisfactory wage. A friend of mine once said that business is only about two things: satisfying customers and making a profit. A simple statement but very true.

Sufficient Startup Capital

You also need to have access to enough cash to set up and run your business, and enough income to meet your private expenses during the startup phase. A major problem with many home and small businesses is that they fail to have enough money available to ensure their success. There is nothing more discouraging than having a great idea, getting it started on a shoestring, not being able to expand due to cash shortages and seeing a competitor come along and steal your market.

Start Small

Another fundamental principle of home business success is that you start small. This will enable you to minimize your overheads until you are confident of your success in the marketplace. For many of you, this would mean starting part-time while retaining your full-time income source. When you can, expand your business into a full-time venture. This is a great way of minimizing the risk of failure.

Be Well Organized

Successful home businesses are well organized. They have a system for keeping track of expenditure and earnings. This level of organization in your business will help to ensure that you are providing your customers or clients with a top quality product or service. It will also ensure that you have enough information available to maximize your profitability and to satisfy your legal requirements for record keeping.

Be Prepared

Preparation is another important ingredient in your business success. This preparation will include being aware of the regulations and laws affecting small, home or online business in your area or country. Armed with this knowledge, you should not have any nasty surprises from unintentional violations of the law.

Have a Business Plan

Finally, successful home businesses have developed a comprehensive business plan. This is their road map to success. It tells them where they are going and how they are going to get there. It is very useful for comparing actual performance against what you planned and enabling you to make adjustments to lead to greater success. There are many useful software packages available to assist you with your business plan preparation.

 

Translation Business Myths

Native speakers are generally held to be indisputable authorities on translation issues. This leads us to the first myth about the translation business: the native speaker is infallible. When you start up your own translation business you will soon discover that most customers, especially the more knowledgeable ones, will demand that the translation be done by a native speaker, on the assumption that a native speaker is automatically a good writer. Not so. While there may be over a billion native speakers of English worldwide, only a fraction of them can be relied upon to possess the judgement it takes to decide whether a translation is linguistically sound in a given business context. We should not automatically assume that a native speaker is a good writer in his own language, and even less that he is a good translator. For one thing, translation requires thorough insight into the source language as well as the target language. When you hire translators for your business, you should never forget that while a good translator is usually a native speaker of the target language, not all native speakers are good translators.

The second myth about the translation business has to do with client priorities, and the assumption that more than anything else, clients want quality. People can be excused for taking this myth seriously. Anyone in his right mind would expect that the client’s main concern when engaging a professional translation agency is to get a high-quality translation. Not so. Studies have shown that most clients are in fact more interested in speed than in quality. This is not to say that your client will be pleased to accept any trash as long as he gets it fast; the point is that quality standards in a business context are different from those in an academic context, and may be overshadowed by practical concerns. University students are trained to achieve linguistic perfection, to produce translations formulated in impeccable grammar and a superbly neutral style. Yet the fruits of such training may not be quite to the business client’s taste. In fact, there are probably as many tastes as there are clients. A lawyer will expect you first and foremost to build unambiguous clauses and use appropriate legalese; a machine builder requires technical insight and authentic technical jargon; and the publisher of a general interest magazine needs articles that are simply a good read. What all clients tend to have in common, however, is a reverence for deadlines. After all, when a foreign client has arrived to sign a contract, there should be something to sign; when a magazine has been advertised to appear, it should be available when the market expects it. In a business environment, many different parties may be involved in the production of a single document, which means that delays will accumulate fast and may have grave financial consequences. So, starters should be aware that ‘quality’ equals adaptability to the client’s register and jargon, and that short deadlines are as likely to attract business as quality assurance procedures.

And if you manage to attract business, you will find that the translation industry can be quite profitable, even for business starters. The third myth we would like to negate is that translation is essentially an ad hoc business with very low margins. Not so. Various successful ventures in recent years, for example in the Netherlands and in Eastern Europe, have belied the traditional image of the translator slaving away from dawn till dusk in an underheated attic and still barely managing to make ends meet. It is true that the translation process is extremely labour intensive, and despite all the computerisation efforts, the signs are that it will essentially remain a manual affair for many years to come. Nevertheless, if you are capable of providing high-quality translations, geared to your client’s requirements and within the set deadlines, you will find that you will be taken seriously as a partner and rewarded by very decent bottom line profits.