We are all constantly thinking of ways in which we can become better printers and perfect our craft. And even if we execute these ideas and do everything we can, it is near impossible to become a professional printer overnight. Just like anything else, it takes time and experience to be proficient in the fundamentals of t shirt printing, and there are definitely some ways that you can accelerate this process.
Asking for Honest Customer Feedback
Just like how companies are evaluated on their reviews, it is important that you have a good reputation with your customers. Since it is likely that most of you are focusing on local customers and don’t use online advertising as much, many of your new customers are likely acquired from the referral of an existing one.
So…. it is EXTREMELY important that your existing customers are saying good things about you and not bad. One way to make sure this happens is to check up with them after an order and ask for some honest feedback. Most of them will appreciate that you are taking the extra time to follow up with them and that they are satisfied with their purchase. This also develops a personal relationship with the customer and will gain a sense of trust and friendship.
And if they give you honest negative feedback, do with it what you can and try to make it right. If it's something you can't fix in the moment, thank them for being honest with you and let them know that the issue will be fixed on their next order.
The ultimate goal in business is to gain a loyal customer base, and getting personal with them is a great way to do that. If your customers start to get personal with you as well or begin to look at you as a friend, you know you are doing it right.
It Can Be Fun Too
Not all of running a better business has to be nitty and gritty. Something that is often overlooked is just taking time to practice the printing process itself. After all…. The products you are selling are your printed t shirts.
A strategy that many of our experts use is to focus on one skill every week. Take time during the week to do research on one aspect of your printing process and practice it.
Throughout your time doing orders for other customers there are definitely things you have wanted to try or design ideas that you wanted to make. So, DO THEM! This will help you keep that burning passion for printing and give you time to focus on yourself and your own creativity.
Another great thing to do is find out how to cut time when printing and fulfilling orders. Optimizing the use of your time is an important skill that most businesses men and women don’t have. If you figure out how to cut a minute of time off of printing each shirt, on every order of 60 shirts you save yourself an hour that you could be spending promoting yourself on Facebook or wherever else.
It may seem simple, but these little tricks are practiced by some of the most successful people in the world, and not by accident.
The Language That You Use
Although it may not seem like it, if you are running your own business you are also a salesman/woman. Overall, you have a product (your printed shirts) that you are trying to sell to customers. Plain and simple. So, it wouldn’t hurt to freshen up your sales skills and terminology. Maybe watch a few Youtube videos on simple sales tricks or read a book if you prefer that.
People want to think that they are getting a deal when they purchase something, so make them feel that way! Make them think that you are doing them a favor even though it is what you were planning all along.
Instead of saying “I’ll have these shirts ready in two weeks.” say “Because you have been such a good customer I’ll rush this order and have these in your hands in two weeks.”
Delivery is key, and if done right can have a HUGE impact, and likely have them coming back for more.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is, if you want your business to grow you are going to have to grow with it. Over time you will need to know how to manage your customers, professional image, craft, and time. Investing time in both yourself and your business will likely be what takes you to the next level, and nothing tastes better than success.