The decorated apparel industry is fast growing, which makes it more challenging to stand out from competitors. For women, these challenges can be especially multiplied. Whether it’s from a lack of access to capital or just plain not being taken seriously, we’ll show you how to overcome these issues by providing opportunities to grow and expand your business.
Check out these four things you should be doing as a woman in the decorated apparel industry to find success.
As a woman entrepreneur, you need to be on the lookout for resources that will help you stand out from your competitors. One way to add credibility to your business is to get a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) certification. Special opportunities arise from being WBE certified, such as access to federal and state government programs, and increased visibility of your business to private corporations looking to purchase from smaller woman-owned businesses. Other benefits that come with being WBE certified include networking opportunities, training educational programs, and access to large databases utilized by top competitors.
Know Your Target Market
Whether you’re looking to grow or break into a new product line, you need to identify your target market. Understanding your target customers will help you identify exactly what products or services you should provide in order to get the most profit. This might mean that you should either specialize your product line by sticking to what you do best or look into adding other services to expand your customer base. A few sectors you could delve into are embroidery, screen printing, heat transfer, or digital printing.
Kippie and Richard Hartcraft founded Lone Star Awards & Graphics, which began as an engraving business, but soon became a full-fledged decorated apparel business utilizing the latest equipment in day-to-day production.. To them, having access to advanced techniques such as dye sublimation printing and digital printing were crucial in attracting new customers. Broadening their target market helped their business grow because they were able to reach a new customer base, and you can do the same with the help of equipment financing.
Recognize Your Top Competitors
With competition rapidly increasing, you should identify what your top competitors are doing. If they’re making a profit from one thing, then that’s something to consider when analyzing your business strategy. After doing your research, identify how you set your business apart from competitors and expand on it.
Team Gear, established by Dana Rappaport and husband Jeff Rappaport in 2003, began as an embroidery business in Whippany, NJ. Fourteen years later, it has become a one-stop-shop for sports apparel with the help of decorated equipment financing. They differentiated themselves from competitors by providing a complete service business to their customers. They design, create, produce, package, and send products all under one roof. Making the process for customers simple, convenient, and efficient.
Know Your Buying and/or Financing Options
Expanding into additional services may require new decorated apparel equipment, which can quickly get pricey. Getting access to capital can be challenging, so that’s where financing comes in. There are various forms of financing out there making it difficult to decide what works best for you. Decorated apparel equipment financing companies like Beacon Funding work with you to help you achieve your business goals with a quick and easy process.
Take the story of Carla Dooley. She started Promos Ink in Carrolton, TX, as a hobby, but quickly realized there was potential to grow. All she needed were the right resources. With the help of financing, Promos Ink was able to finance equipment to fulfill larger orders and increase volume, which led to an increase in the business’ monthly cash flow. More money could be invested towards advertising, new product development, all helping to expand her business.
Now that you have a better understanding of what you should be doing to succeed as a woman decorated apparel business owner, you will be one step closer to achieving your business goals. Kippie Hartcraft, Dana Rappaport, and Carla Dooley all overcame the challenges of being a woman entrepreneur by expanding with new equipment, technology, and product lines. You can, too.