Starting your own t-shirt company requires you to wear your heart on your sleeve, literally. But what if that sleeve is too short? Or too long? Or too tight? What if your heart is upside-down? Or the wrong color?
There are a lot of easy mistakes that can be made when you’re trying to build up a new business, and not just when it comes to product sizing. There’s a lot to track: generating leads, marketing budgets, ordering materials, communicating with clients, organizing sales records, sending out invoices, and a lot more.
That’s where shopVOX’s business management software can help. By bringing every aspect of your company’s daily operation together under a single, streamlined, customizable dashboard, shopVOX helps you stay on top of things and avoid common pitfalls.
Here are five all too common mistakes that budding entrepreneurs should try to avoid.
Failing to Focus on a Target Audience
Whether you’re making custom t-shirts for local organizations or novelty t-shirts of your own design, it’s important to specialize. Trying to please everyone most often results in pleasing no one, and you frequently wind up spreading yourself thin as a result. That’s why restaurants with smaller menus tend to be more efficient and produce dishes of higher quality than restaurants with extensive and varied menus. Offering a diversity of products isn’t a bad thing, but finding a hungry target audience and catering to its tastes first is a reliable recipe for success.
Not Checking Merchandise for Defects
The worst thing that any t-shirt company can do is fail to deliver the product for which your customers paid. If a client places an order for a bunch of extra-large black t-shirts with a red logo, you had better not ship them medium-size red t-shirts with a black-logo that’s been misprinted. Errors can occur at many points in the production process, from fabric selection to sizing to screen printing to shipping. It’s a good idea to create a few sample shirts early on to make sure everything is correct. If defective merchandise becomes a recurring issue, it probably means there’s a problem with your manufacturing process that needs to be worked out. Otherwise, you won’t be in business for long.
Over (or Under) Estimating Inventory
If that same customer above ordered 500 t-shirts, and you took that order only to realize you have just 250 t-shirts in inventory, that customer isn’t going to be happy to hear they’ll only be able to receive half of their order by the time you promised them. Conversely, if you decide to start offering a new product and over-estimate how popular that item will be, you could wind up losing a lot of money on inventory that will remain in your warehouse unsold. Always keep a close eye on what you have in stock and how much raw material you have access to at a given time. Be frugal and strategic, not overeager and sloppy.
Keeping Your Customers Waiting
Designing, printing, and shipping t-shirts can take a lot of time. Make sure to factor that in when informing clients when they can expect to receive their orders. Of course, sometimes, a long wait isn’t the typical byproduct of the manufacturing process. Sometimes it’s the result of poor time management. It’s easy to get distracted when there are so many things to keep track of, so try to schedule reminders for yourself. Always monitor your screen printing workflow to make sure things are moving along at a reasonable pace. An impatient customer is an unhappy customer.
Falling Out of Touch with Customers
On the opposite end of the spectrum from unhappy customers are satisfied customers. Even more than rolls of cotton fabric, these are your most valuable resource. Sure, it’s essential always to be working to attract new customers, but it should be just as much a priority to stay in touch with old ones. After all, a satisfied customer is more likely to be a return customer, and repeat business can make or break an upstart company. That’s why it pays to hold onto client contact info, to be personable and friendly, and to send out regular newsletters and discounts. That way, the next time they need to buy t-shirts, they’ll remember you.
Upgrade Your T-Shirt Business with shopVOX
“To err is human,” or so the old adage goes. Everyone makes mistakes; the important thing is not being flawless, but learning from your flaws. Here at shopVOX, we’ve learned a lot over the years, and we put all those lessons into our business printing software. The result is one of the best and most comprehensive company management tools that any aspiring entrepreneur could want.
Don’t take our word for it, though. Try it for yourself!
Contact shopVOX today so we can help you take your business to a whole new level.