When you first look into purchasing a sublimation system, when you visit someone at a trade show, or stop at a site online looking for more information, you’re trusting that the person who is giving you advice knows something about what they are saying. All you have is their word that they’re going to steer you toward what’s best for you, not what’s best for them. You’re relying on their knowledge and expertise to get you where you need to be.
The problem is that, in today’s world, it can be easy to call yourself an expert. You learn a few buzzwords, read up on some of the information that’s out there, parrot a few pet theories from someone else’s site or blog and boom, you’re an expert. It’s easy to make the claim with nothing to back it up and, sadly, there are always people who buy that claim, and sometimes are hurt as a result.
When it comes to sublimation, I don’t claim to be an expert. I work with people who are very knowledgeable, people who have been working with sublimation ink and printers for years, people who were instrumental in introducing sublimation to a entire industry, but I’m not even sure that they would make the claim to be sublimation experts. I make that claim for them, on occasion, but only because I believe it’s warranted. They’ve put in the time and they learned what they know through hard work and trial and error. No one handed them the knowledge they have. They earned it.
Even given what I’ve told you, though, the question still remains. How do you know that EnMart’s sublimation experts are giving you good advice? Who do you trust when you don’t really know much of anything about any of the companies that are offering you products and advice. How do you choose?
The answer sounds a lot like work, but it will benefit you a great deal, so it’s worthwhile work. Do your homework. Read and study and know what questions you need to ask. Don’t buy a system just because everyone else has a system or because sublimation is the latest and coolest thing. Have a plan for how you’ll use the system. Have an idea of where you’ll sell what you make. Understand what the costs and benefits are and make an informed decision about whether those costs and benefits balance out for your business.
Once you’ve done all that, research the companies. Visit their sites. Check to see whether they have a blog or a Facebook page or Twitter feed. Google the company and see if their customers are talking about them anywhere and whether that talk is positive or negatives. Call the company and ask to speak to their “experts” and pick their brains for what they know that you don’t know. Once you’ve gotten a feel for the company, spend some time learning the who,what, when, where, why and how from people who know the answers because they’ve done the work. Learn what they know so you can make an informed decision about what’s best for your business.
In the end you can talk to all the experts in the world, but the one who really knows your business best is you. It’s your responsibility to figure out if sublimation (or Chromablast or embroidery or whatever garment decoration technique) is right for your business. It’s our responsibility to provide you with the information and the advice you need to make that decision.