So, you finally got your sublimation system. Maybe you started out with a QuickStartR package. Perhaps you decided you wanted to print bigger images, and you opted for a Ricoh GX7000 or an Epson 4880 printer. Whatever system you ultimately purchased, you’ve gotten it home and set it up and now you’re all ready to print and sell your sublimated products. You just need one more thing. Customers.
Finding customers for sublimated products is really like finding customers for any product you might sell. Here are some tips for finding customers in general and finding customers for sublimated products in particular.
Tip 1: Business Cards – Make sure you have business cards that are nicely printed and clearly list all the services you offer. Don’t be afraid to had your cards out at any opportunity. Carry them with you everywhere and have them easily accessible at all times. A sublimated business card holder is a great way to keep your cards handy while also providing a sample of your work.
Tip 2: Mingle – A lot of people, me included, would tell you they are not salespersons and they don’t like selling themselves. If you own a business, you must be a salesperson and you must sell yourself. If you sell to local customers, join the Chamber of Commerce, strike up conversations at your kid’s soccer game, or while standing in line at the grocery. If you want to sell online, set up Twitter and Facebook accounts and look for places where your target customers congregate online. You don’t have to be pushy or overbearing, but you do have to get out there and talk about who you are and what you do.
Tip 3: Attend a Sawgrass webinar. In just the next few months, Sawgrass is offering webinars on how to make money with digital decoration and setting up a home based business. Sawgrass has been involved with sublimation from the beginning and has helped a lot of companies become successful. They know how to set up a sublimation business and they’re willing to share what they know with you. Take advantage of that knowledge.
Tip 4: Form partnerships – If you only do sublimation, find an embroidery business in your area with whom you can team up to offer a complete package. Photographers are also good potential customers, as they are often looking for additional ways to display the photos they take. Look for local businesses that do events and offer to produce their sublimated giveaways for a mention in the program. If you sell in an area where there are a lot of little shops, partner up to create events and share advertising costs. Always be alert to the possibility of finding a new partner.
Tip 5: Ask for referrals – Word of mouth is a great way for small businesses to become bigger businesses. Make sure you ask every current customer for a testimonial or to spread the word among their friends and colleagues. You should also be sure to provide referrals for people with whom you’ve done business. The referral street should always be two way.