Technical mastery of the screen-printing process is no guarantee that a steady stream of customers will come knocking at your door. You also need to ensure that your facility looks professional, clearly identifies your business, and provides a place where customers can view samples of your work and discuss details of potential jobs.
By Mike Ukena
• Buy used display racks from display companies. Retail stores constantly update their display systems and sell off their old ones. Going-out-of-business sales may also be a cheap source of display fixtures. Used rounders and other types of display racks also are available through retail-supply companies in most cities at greatly reduced prices. I've bought a whole showroom full of racks and other display systems for less than $1000. A little dusting and a little polish made them look great. Racks are a great way to display blank garments, but most are not suitable for printed goods because prints can't be seen until the garment is pulled from the rack.
• Combine your customer/display area with your office area. All businesses, even small textile screen-printing business need an office area. Do not just settle for a couple of desks in the production area. This setup is not conducive to good productivity for your art department or anyone who may need to talk on the phone or speak person ally with customers. Making your office area, including your art department, a part of the display area will leave your customers with a much better feeling about your credibility as a business.
Don't forget the exterior
The inside of your company isn't the only area that can have an impact on how customers perceive your business. The exterior of your shop requires equal attention, including parking space for customers. If you have little or no parking, how welcome do you think your customers will feel? I know that I hate the idea of even trying to go to a business where I know that parking will be a hassle. You should have an adequate number of parking spaces reserved for customers as close to the entrance of your shop as possible. Customers will have no reason to put off a shop visit when they know they'll have no difficulty getting to your business and parking in a convenient spot.
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