July 10th Show Notes – Niche Markets and ASI

July 10th Show Audio

Please find some links and notes from the 2 Regular Guys Podcast. This is one of our favorite themes, more Niche Markets! We will be bringing you some ideas on markets you could focus on inside the promotional products arena and out. Grow your business with ideas from your favorite 2 Regular Guys.

Sponsored by: EnMart

Our regular listeners know this, but 2 Regular Guys is 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. For the past two years, 2 Regular Guys has 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!!

Niche Markets

Baseball Cap Trade-In

I was talking this week with a customer who has a fireworks business besides garment printing. He was telling me about getting people through the door by offering everyone who comes in a free $15 firework. It reminded me of a retail experience once where, instead of offering a straight up discount on baseball caps, we offered a trade-in of an old cap instead. The promotion worked with a  variety of hats coming through the door. You could do this with t-shirts, phone cases (for that earlier version phone), etc. A call to action, and a call to participate.Getting something in exchange for something else of little value.

Current Events

Pay attention to what’s going on in your community, and always look at current events from the viewpoint of printed apparel.

While listening to a sports program on the radio once, I heard a college basketball coach say that his team had somehow been saddled with the undeserved image of being the “bad boys of the conference”. He went on to say he should just sew a skull and crossed bones on their uniforms.

I immediately pulled up a clip art skull and crossed bones image, added some copy, output film… burned a screen… and printed a sample garment. The package went out to the coach the same day.

Needless to say, the coach called me in a couple of days and ordered product to secretly place in each player’s locker before the upcoming big game against their cross-state arch rival.

A small order, a huge contact for the future, and a point of pride when seeing the team wearing my garments. And yes, the team won a huge victory. I took some credit for that too!

Pay attention to what you see and hear in your area. Possibilities and potential are all around you. You just have to pay attention.

Ask Me About…

“Ask me about FREE installation.”
“Ask me about 90 days, same as cash.”
“Ask me about our Happy Hour Specials.”

This is a “plant a seed” promotion. A business might already offer free installation of carpet, home entertainment centers, car stereo systems. A tavern might have happy hour specials everyday. A fraternity or sorority has rush/recruitment every year. This “plant a seed” promotion is your way of offering a vehicle to promote that information. A vehicle the customer may not have thought of but may be very excited to try.

The idea is to create a new niche market for your products by suggesting a way to generate more sales or more interest in a product or service. A postcard mailing to businesses, clubs and organizations can do the trick here. Offer up suggestions such as the ones at the beginning of this article. Show examples on shirts. And offer up some basic pricing on a few different quantities of shirts.

You’ll not only create sales of the “ask me” shirts, but also remind customers that they need to buy shirts in general.

Tip: Commonly a logo is printed on the front of the shirt, with the “ask me” message printed large on the back.

Oh, and you can use this technique to generate a few sales for yourself. “Ask me about custom printed T-shirt.”

Decorators Who Do What You Don’t

If you’re a screen printer, partner up with a DTG printer. If you do sublimation, DTG, bling, etc. partner up with a screen printer!!

Here’s a niche market you may never have considered. Some of your fellow garment decorators may specialize in specific areas of the market and choose not to print certain products. Caps and jackets come to mind, as both these products tend to scare many printers away.

Have a specialty? Offer it to other printers in your area and beyond on a contract basis.

Embroiderers are another great source for such business. Talk to most embroiderers about screen printing and you will hear a near unanimous, “That’s too messy.” Check with area embroiders, making sure they do not already do screen printing, and offer to be their contract printer. Suggest they sell the product as their own, and you will just keep your head down and do the work.

Customers such as these will want to buy their own products, but will offer you the advantage of being fairly educated buyers, even to the point of providing you with film positives. After you build a relationship and learn how to work together, this can be easy money.

New Businesses

Watch the newspaper and be aware driving around your town. New companies will likely need everything, and you can start on the ground floor with them.

Healthcare Market

Healthcare providers purchase uniforms, scrubs, lab coats and more. You can call on doctors (MDs and ODs), dentists, chiropractors, labs, and clinics. Don’t forget alternative medicine as well, accupuncture, accupressure, even yoga. All these healthcare providers buy and wear decorated apparel. You could put together a starter set for new employees and do periodic fill-ins as well.

Be Everywhere (from Forbes)

(Daffy Dan T-Shirts years ago in Cleveland.) This doesn’t mean just blogging or being active on social media  – which you should be doing anyways. It literally means to be everywhere. You want to be that brand that people notice when they’re walking down the streets. Even if they don’t know what your startup does, they’ll recognize your name.

You could also make-up bumper stickers and t-shirts and give them to employees or as freebies at events. They may not be the most unusual, but a creative shirt not only lets people have the chance to be different, it will make others want to jump on board. In short, don’t be invisible. Get your name out there as much as possible.


  1. ASI Chicago – 7/15 to 7/16
  2. NBM Long Beach – 7/23 to 7/25
  3. Embroidery Mart – 8/7 to 8/8
  4. NBM Philly – 8/28 to 8/30
  5. ISS Orlando – 9/10 to 9/12
  6. NBM Denver – 10/2 to 10/3
  7. ISS Ft Worth – 10/15 to 10/17

Other News/Events

Terry’s Books

Screen Printing: A Practical Guide to Starting Your Own T-Shirt Business Just $4.95 as an e-book.

Direct to Garment: A Practical Guide to Starting Your Own T-Shirt Business Just $4.95 as an e-book.

Scheduling and Estimating Production Time for Garment Screen Printing Just $2.99 as an e-book

EnMartThis show is brought to you for a full hour by: EnMartWhile EnMart is well known as a supplier of quality garment decoration supplies and accessories, we pride ourselves on being more than just a seller of products. At EnMart, we are here for our customers, to inspire, educate, and provide the tools to help grow their businesses.

Whether your interests lie in sublimation, embroidery, or any other garment decoration, EnMart’s knowledgeable and experienced team is here to assist in any way they can.

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