The end of the year is typically a time when people, and businesses, take a moment to examine where they’ve been and to determine where they want to go in the next year. Since 2019 will be here very shortly, we wanted to take a few moments to talk about a few things a company could do to set up for sublimation success.
The first thing to think about is whether or not you want to make any large equipment purchases. If you make those purchases before the end of 2019, you can deduct the full purchase price from that year’s taxes. Which means that buying a sublimation system or a heat press could net you a nice tax deduction as well as getting you equipment that can help make your business more profitable.
The next thing to do is take a look at the markets available to you. Is there something you can do to increase your share of a market in which you already sell? Working to increase market share should be your first goal, since you already are serving the market and presumably understand what customers in that market segment want. Now is the time to update your literature, examine what samples or sales pitches are working best in this particular market, and to set your sales goals for the next year.
Once you’ve dealt with markets you already serve, the next question is are there markets which might be interested in products you offer, but to which you don’t sell? It’s always good to have a few potential markets in your sights, since no customer or market segment is ever a sure thing. With new markets, do the research to figure out what products might be of interest. See if you have any contacts who can introduce you to key players in the new market. Spend some time on social media to learn how the market communicates and what’s important to your potential customers. Once you’ve gathered your data, put together some samples and literature targeted to this new market. The more targeted your pitch is, the more likely you are to gain entry into the new market and an array of new customers.
Third, look at the new products that are available from your suppliers. Obviously, you should have a slate of tried and true favorites that you offer, but adding new products, particularly products your competitors might not sell can be a great competitive advantage. Visit your suppliers websites, look out for e-mails advertising new products, and pick a few to introduce to your customers in the new year.
Fourth, pick something new to learn. Maybe you’ll go to a seminar at a trade show. You might listen to a podcast or a webinar. There are always workshops available. The idea is to pick something you’d like to learn or to add to your business and get the skills necessary to do what you want to do. The method doesn’t matter. The education does.
Finally, identify your pain points and make a plan to fix them. In 2018, where did your business have issues? Was it difficult to find new employees? Did production times leave you scrambling to complete orders? Were employees absent, ghosting you or producing product at a snail’s pace? Did you find order tracking was in chaos and no one knew what was supposed to be done when? There are a variety of things that might need to be fixed; the trick is to pick one or two and concentrate on getting the assistance, finding the information, or making the policy or personnel changes necessary to fix them.