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The Right Tools In Embroidery And Screen Printing
Having the right equipment can make or break you. When we first started out we bought a commercial Embroidery machine and a Clam Shell Heat Press. Our thought process was that we would target companies and schools who needed Embroidery, and Heat Transfers. During our initial due diligence our dealer also showed us a revolutionary screen printing machine called, Direct-To-Garment Printers. We knew we could not compete with other companies with so few tools. With summer approaching, and many businesses gearing up for the summer, we either had to make an alliance with companies who offered the things we were on equipped for, or head back to the dealer and order a new machine.
After we were armed with a full array of tools to compete against our competitors as we thought. we shortly found that there many other pieces of the puzzle, to operate our business properly. We had to have more to make sure we could cover every aspect of the business that others in our industry have.
After watching a video about transfers, we discovered we could add another service by adding a printer. The printer could not be any printer, but one that could support sublimation ink. We were lucky enough to find an Epson 1280 printer on ebay for about half the cost else where. We also found a printer ink attachment that would increase the amount of ink the printer could hold, called a Bulk Ink Attachment.
Even though we still needed more tools, we quickly learn to create strategic alliances, with similar business that offered tools and services we didn't have. If we could do this again, we'd probably do like many other companies do with a similar business, and contract the work out to an established business. This would have saved us a lot of money and time. Our alliances had the tools that we did not have, and in some cases, we had the tools they did not have. Now with many alliances, we found we did not need as much equipment to give our customers the best service possible. In fact, we outsource some of our work, especially when we need a well deserved vacation.
As I said earlier, if I can do it all over, I would take more time to start a business. If you already started as we did, check around the industry for business networks in your industry to give you free advice. Your dealer should be able to tell you which business or industry magazines to look for. Many of these are free, and have hundreds of companies listed to support your company. Always make time to read and search the industry forums. Many times we were bailed out of work related situations by referring to one of our industries forums. You also can search for your industries magazine, or forum by doing a search from your favorite search engine. Take the time to look at a few, and as you read them, listen to what others have to say about other forums. Also keep learning as much as you can to keep you prepared for the next order your customers request. If you can't get enough equipment, than know where to send your work. You will feel relieved to know someone else can do the work the way you want it and can provide your client with the same high quality as you do.
Paul Canales is the owner of, Selanac Embroidery and Screen Printing. http://www.EmbroideryAndScreen.com Printing.
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