I’ve seen it happen more than once. We talk to someone at a trade show or work through the purchase process with them over the phone, and a new system makes its way to a new home and a very excited new owner. Once the system arrives, however, the person who purchased it decides that maybe sublimation might be more complicated than they first thought, and suddenly it’s been a couple months and the system still hasn’t been put through it’s paces. We know that trying anything new can be intimidating, but we also know that sublimation can be another great profit center for almost any business, and that a printer and ink that are sitting unused aren’t generating money for anyone.
There are several causes of sublimation anxiety and writing a post about all of them would result in a very long post. Today I thought I’d address the 4 types of sublimation anxiety that I’ve seen most often, and offer some suggestions for combating each type.
Sublimation Anxiety #1: I’m Going to Mess Up – This is the type of anxiety that keeps people from doing test prints or sometimes even starting up the system. Blanks and paper and ink cost money and no one likes to lose money. By the same token, if you don’t ever print anything, you will be losing money because you won’t be producing anything you can sell. Making a mistake and misprinting or smudging a print or having something come out a funny color will happen, but that’s all part of the process. The key to minimizing this issue is to learn all you can. Attend seminars and webinars, watch videos, ask questions and most of all practice. The best way to ensure you don’t mess up is to become expert and the only way to become expert is to practice.
Sublimation Anxiety #2: I Don’t Know Where to Sell What I Make – Many people who sublimate also do other types of decoration work. If you can sell embroidery or screen printing or vinyl or rhinestones, you can sell sublimation. Even if you don’t do any other type of decoration look, just spending a day going through local stores or simply walking down the street and looking around you will help to point out several potential markets for your work. Sublimation offers a wide variety of options, and this opens up a wide variety of markets.
Sublimation Anxiety #3: I Don’t Know How to Sublimate – You have ink and paper and a printer and a heat press and some sublimation blanks, but you’re not quite sure how to put those things all together to get saleable product. Luckily for you, there are a lot of resources out there. Sawgrass has webinars, EnMart has a YouTube Channel and there is also this blog. The great thing about not knowing how to do something is that you can always learn and the even better thing is that there are a lot of resources available to help you do just that.
Sublimation Anxiety #4: I Don’t Have Time – Time is a resource, just like money. You already spent money to get all the supplies and equipment you need, but those supplies and equipment aren’t worth anything if you don’t spend the time using them to create goods you can sell. As you get more and more expert, sublimating items for sale will take less time, but you may have to make some time in the beginning as you’re learning. The nice part about your investment of time, however, is that it will most likely pay off in increased sales for your company, and investments that pay off are the best kind to make.
In the end, anxiety is just a way of letting you know you’re trying something new. If you’re new to sublimation, don’t let anxiety stop you from making the most of your new equipment and enjoying the fruits of your labor. If nothing else, you can always give EnMart a call and ask for help. We’ll be glad to assist.