Lean Start Up, Selling and Marketing


Please find some links and notes from the 2 Regular Guys Podcast. Tune in to learn how to get your own business going via the lean start up method. We will talk side hustles, outsourcing and how you can start a successful business or expand your current business by focusing on the selling, marketing, and your website. We will have Vic Awtry from iPersonalyze on the show to discuss this with us. Vic had years of experience in the promotional products industry and also own a company production website, Facebook Stores and more for people with a great online designer for personalization.

Sponsored by: SGIA.org

Garment Decorators CommunityOur regular listeners know this, but 2 Regular Guys are all about garment decorating, a bit of fun, and no rants or lectures or selling. We are not doing this for our employers, but rather for our industry. Since February 2013, The 2 Regular Guys have been the first and the most listened to garment decorating industry podcast on this planet! We are humbled by all of you tuning in each week. We work hard to bring you information that will make your business better, and our industry better. Take a look at our incredible weekly guest list and you’ll understand where this industry goes for news, interviews and the heartbeat of garment decorating. Thanks for listening!


  • All American Manufacturing & Supply Founder Retires – All American Manufacturing & Supply announces the retirement of founder and CEO Peter Choi. The company says Choi’s retirement is effective immediately. More details can be found at Printwear.com

  • Nazdar SourceOne Promotes Rob Coleman to Vice President of Textile Business Unit – As vice president, Coleman provides leadership to the unit’s sales team in the United States and Mexico. “Rob has exemplary skills in sales and product management,” states Richard Bowles, president of Nazdar. “We are confident that Rob’s strong technical knowledge, sales management ability, and work ethic will contribute greatly to the continued success of our organization.”

Lean Start Up, Selling and Marketing

Aaron: Let’s start off by talking about a lean start-up. What does a lean startup mean to you?

Lean Startup methodology was proposed by Eric Ries in 2011.  It is basically a scientific approach and a process for starting a business based on what Eric Ries calls  ‘validated learning’,…said more simply…. getting customer feedback quickly on a business idea or product upfront and often.

Today we will talk about lean startup methodology from the perspective of a digital printer

Too many digital printer startups begin with an idea for a product that they think people want. They then spend months, sometimes years, perfecting that product without ever showing the product, even in a very rudimentary form, to the prospective customer. When they fail to reach broad uptake from customers, it is often because they never spoke to prospective customers and determined whether or not the product was interesting. So when customers ultimately let you know…. through their indifference and the fact they are not buying, that they don’t care about the idea, the startup printer is in trouble.

Erich: What are the primary advantages of starting growing your business in the “Lean” way as opposed to the traditional way of financing equipment to extend capabilities?

Aaron: Can you give us some of the keys to being successful as a lean start-up. What should those attempting a lean start up really focus on?

First –  Eliminate Uncertainty   

The idea is to eliminate uncertainty from the process of starting a digital printing business….about what you are doing next.  Lean startup isn’t simply about spending less money. Lean isn’t just about failing fast, failing cheap. It is about putting a step by step process that can be followed.


The Lean Start says that every startup is a grand experiment that attempts to answer a question. The question is not “Can I print this product ?” Instead, the question should be  “Can I sell this product ?” and “Can I build a profitable digital printing business around this set of products and services?” Ideally, By the time a product is ready to be produced. it should already have established customers. This approach will have solved the main problem with going into a new startup. Making revenues and determining what products do need to be offered.


A core component of Lean Startup methodology is what they call a   build-measure-learn feedback loop. For digital printers, I have adapted this idea to have to simply have a product that has the quality, artwork, logo or design that customers will want. This means knowing how to target a market and focus on it.

Erich: Let’s talk about outsourcing. What are some of the things you should be aware of when you first venture into outsourcing? What questions should people be asking potential vendors?

Aaron: Let’s get into the marketing and selling for a bit here. We have the things in place we need to be a lean start-up, but now what. How do we start making some sales?

Erich: Do you have any final tips; any overarching strategies for businesses to make any process or growth ‘lean’?

Aaron: Tell us where people can reach out to you and learn more about iPersonalyze.com. Anything new you want to share with our listeners?

Vic Awtry is the Founder/CEO of iPersonalyze Network and has been in the promotional products and personalization industry since 1990. Before that, he was the General Manager/CFO of United Laboratories of America Inc where he was responsible for managing growth from $2 million in sales to over $25 million. He specializes in the development of easy to use digital tools that promote digital printing production for the promotional products and gifting industries like online designers and order management systems. He advocates for the use of “lean startup” concepts for budding entrepreneurs and startups in the digital printing and promotional products industries and the use of one to one marketing strategies that market a brand to an individual using personalization as well as increasing sustainability of promotional products while reducing cost per impression.

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This show is brought to you for a full hour by:

Specialty Graphics Imaging Association – SGIA will continually strive to be the foremost resource for information and education within the specialty imaging industry. SGIA supports the digital and screen printing community in the USA and Canada by providing services and activities specific to their interests. While the majority of SGIA services and activities are specific to US and Canada, SGIA will continue to partner with national and regional associations around the globe to continually develop the international community. The SGIA National Affiliation Program brings together a multinational community to enhance awareness and encourage the exchange of information. Supporting the Leaders of the Digital and Screen Printing Community

Equipment Zone, with 20 years experience selling garment printing equipment nationwide. Equipment Zone offers the new Epson F2000 SureColor direct-to-garment printer, their own VelociJet-XL DTG printer, and the all-new SpeedTreater-TX automatic pretreat machine with a full 16”x24” pretreat area. Equipment Zone also carries a full line of DTG inks and supplies. Go to EquipmentZone.com

SubliSource – Sublimation just got easier with the launch of sublisource.com, the new US distributor for Best Sublimation. Our mission is to help our partners grow with a different way of doing business compared to all the “Me too” distributors in the United States.

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Direct-to-Garment: A Practical Guide to Starting Your Own T-Shirt Business

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