Maximize Your Profits with Competitive Cooperation
Businesses can be ruthless. They don’t have friends. They are the enemy. Most screen printing companies operate this way. As they skillfully try to corner the market on decorated apparel they take no prisoners. This can be a fatal mistake for the modern screen printer. You can collaborate with your competition. Your business might be fantastic, but it can’t do everything. It might lack space. The expertise might not understand how to handle specific jobs. Cost may be an issue. You know what jobs you can take and what jobs you cannot take. You must contract out those orders that you cannot take. Your customers as well as yourself will be well served by developing a relationship with a competitor. It may allow you to offer more options to your customers.
Everyday Screen Printer Business Problems
Here’s a list of examples that screen printers are struggling with.
A good sized order had to be turned away because the customer wanted a ten color logo on their shirt, but the equipment only allowed six colors.
A customer got turned away because they only wanted 5 pieces. The store minimum was 10.
A customer was turned away because they wanted a sign, but the store only handles garments.
Customers get turned away. This happens in every business regardless of the industry. Companies can’t be everything to everybody. So the customer goes searching for a different printer. If you can’t handle a project, you risk losing the customer permanently. A customer might work with you regularly, but that one interaction may have sent your customer packing. If you had a relationship in place to handle the job then you could save the customer relationship. If you spend time working on communication with other screen printers then you may have an associate who could help you out in your time of need.
Find printers who can handle different volume orders. Find printers that can deal with complicated art separations. Find somebody for specialty prints. Make a list of things that your shop can’t do, and go find those people. Contact them when you need questions answered or can get you the help you need. You will have a better chance of keeping the customer if you are ready for a customer that needs something you can’t do.
Find Trustworthy Screen Printing Shops
If you develop a relationship with another business, the temptation to steal is minimized on both sides. If you can trust a competitor with your job, they can trust you with their job. If you can’t take on big orders then contract them out. Offer to take on another screen printer's small runs. If you do signs only, then contract out your garment prints. This may require a sales kit for both you and your competitor. One day you may be able to do those tasks easily, but until that day just keep building relationships.