Competing with Major Retailers

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(Sponsored by GRAPHICS PRO EXPO) You can buy custom-decorated garments and products at Amazon, Walmart, etc. The size and financial clout scare some independent decorators. Let’s have a conversation about successfully competing with massive competitors. How do small businesses use our advantages to gain their share of the business?

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It’s a parent!

Competing with Major Retailers

Terry: Here’s why I started thinking about this subject: I spoke to a gentleman a couple of weeks ago who said, “My friend in the business says that the major retailers, the big decorators, have driven all the small screen printers and DTG printers out of business. My guess is 1) his “friend” didn’t want him to get into the business as a competitor, or 2) his friend was looking for someone to blame for his own lack of sales. So, what’s the truth about competing with the Amazons of the world?

Aaron: Let’s talk about this: Is there really competition between smaller decorators and major retailers?

  • Let’s talk about competition, and we’re looking for input from the Regulators
  • Competition can come from anywhere
  • Pointing fingers for your own failures – This could be a long conversation
    • It’s the economy
    • It’s my market area
    • It’s my competition not playing fair
    • It’s the unreasonable customer requests
    • And last, it’s the big bad box store putting me out of business
    • When a business is hanging by a thread, any wind my knock it down
  • There’s an assumption that because a company is bigger, they’ll do things better

Terry: Let’s discuss what the big guys can do better?

  • Unlimited funds
  • Broad reach
  • A known reputation – brand (You can build your own brand too)

Aaron: What can you do better?

  • Personal service – conversations about file types, printability, etc.
  • The big guys are just going to print what you send them… good or bad
  • How often is your customer’s art what it should be?
  • Personal interaction on orders – distributor is out of stock but here’s what we can do

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#5Things

5Things

5 Reasons to take on Self-Directed Projects

  1. Allows you to explore techniques you aren’t yet familiar with
  2. Fills out your ‘sample case’ – Customers don’t always have their own vision and/or want ‘proof’ of your work.
  3. Lets you show styles and/or products you want to introduce to your product line
  4. Provides a ‘judgment free’ and less time-sensitive place to explore your craft
  5. It’s fun, and informative – Lets you ‘be the customer’ as well as the creator.

From Erich Campbell

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