March 7th, 2014 Show Notes – Niche Markets for 2014

Niche MarketsMarch 7th Show Audio

Please find some links and notes from the 2 Regular Guys Podcast discussion about Niche Market ideas as discussed by Aaron Montgomery and Terry Combs. We also had Jeff Brown from the Imprinted Sportswear Shows on to briefly preview the upcoming ISS Atlantic City show.

Sponsored by: Equipment Zone (Use Coupon code GUYS)

ISS Atlantic City Update

Niche Markets for 2014

Terry writes a newsletter called Screen Print Weekly, and every week he covers niche markets. These 52 Niche Markets are areas for not only screen printers but for all garment decorators.

  • Niche markets for businesses looking for Spring sales?
    1. Lawn care, Jimmy’s Towing, car washes, repeat professional customers. Build a new employee package… seasonal package… replenishment package
    2. St. Patrick’s Day – The Next T-Shirt Holiday
    3. Cinco de Mayo (Cinco de Mayo is May 5th for any of you who weren’t paying attention in your first year of high school Spanish.)

Tip: Promote your shirts as uniforms for the staff. And then suggest extras as giveaways for that day and night. Guarantee delivery a couple of days early so management can pass them out to the entire staff ahead of the event.

  • Fulfillment niche market ideas.
    1. Traveling Event Market

FROM CHAT ROOM – JohnnyKillerGraphics says: What most newbies think fulfillment is…is for the guy with a website and needs 1 or 2 shirts at a time.

For your part, the first selling point to one of these companies is quality printing. Then, proof that you are capable of turning reorders in 24-72 hours, both large and small. It’s a roll of the dice that you’ll need to block out production time for an unknown quantity of fill in production. But, through this event company’s season, it’s regular repeat business. Organizations like this are based throughout the country. The best way to begin is by asking local dance studios, cheer groups, gymnastics studios, etc. what events they compete in, and the names of the sponsoring companies.

  • Rock Bands

Let me say right up front, if you’re not comfortable and skilled at printing on black shirts, move directly to another niche market. The bulk of this marketplace is in dark shirt printing.

Here’s the deal with most of you local rock bands – big on enthusiasm and dreams, short on cash money. At least short on cash from their Friday and Saturday night gigs. Your average band playing the local clubs will be manned primarily by folks with day jobs. When it comes to the day job and the weekend band, the band is the passion end of the equation. That’s good news for screen printers. People will spend hard-earned money on their passions.

Most bands are not as interested in making money on shirts they sell at their shows as they are in the name recognition that comes from people wearing these shirts. So, while the end garment price is a concern, potential profit margin will not be the primary determining factor for the average band to buy from you.

The biggest concern I’ve heard from local rock bands is minimums that are too high for a reasonable price. They find themselves making a larger investment than they would like, and in the end with odd sizes and not the product they need for their next show.

Tip: To break into this market, offer black shirts, lower minimums and the ability to fill-in sizes. Quick turnaround on these fill-ins will be a plus.

This can be a good business and a lot of fun working with these creative types. Each order may not be as big as you might be used to producing, but good potential for reorders (if a band is actually booking regular shows). And once you’re in the local band marketplace, contact with other bands will become easier for you.

Tip: Be sure to have your name boldly printed on all sides of your delivery box. Almost every band will take shirts to their shows in that very same box, and this box will be setting in plain view throughout the performance. Potential customers and other bands will see your name and logo.

Finding customers? Check the ads for local clubs to see the bands who will be playing upcoming events. Often you’ll see a band’s website listed here as well. Free alternative weekly newspapers will be filled with these advertisements.

You can stop by the shows yourself to pass out business cards, or work out a finder’s fee arrangement with bar managers and bartenders. The key to this market, unless you stumble across a real up and coming band signed to a label, is in printing for many of the local bands in your area.

  • Niche market that any type garment decorator could serve?
    1. Car Clubs

Everything from Alpha Romeos to VW Vans, there’s a club for every make, model and year. Sites such as will give you lists from around the country and around the world to work from in starting this niche.

I’d be willing to offer a small wager that at least one club is close to your shop, and probably more. These groups show their cars and cruise their cars. They attend events and they buy anything related to their vehicle of choice.

Tip: Your best opportunity here will be in multicolored cartoon images and photographic reproduction. So your higher end skills may be required.

On the plus with this automotive niche market, you can then pitch the same or similar graphics to other like clubs around the country. Book a few of these clubs and then you can sell to clubs focused on other makes of cars or trucks. By selling one club, you can build a reputation as a printer who understands this market and is seen as an expert in the marketplace.

FROM CHAT ROOM – JohnnyKillerGraphics says: Ask if you can add your website onto the garment in return for a discount.

Check out Johnny’s sites at:


  1. NBM Arlington, TX – March 6th – 8th
  2. ASI Long Beach – March 25th – 27th
  3. ASI New York – April 3rd – 4th
  4. ISS Atlantic City, NJ – March 14th – 16th

Other News/Events

  1. Complete Screen Printing Business Course – Atlas Screen Supply in Chicago – March 22-23, 2014
  2. Complete Screen Printing Business Course – Workhorse Products in Phoenix – May 17-18, 2014
  3. Introduction to DTG Printing – Equipment Zone in New Jersey (outside NYC) – April 4th

Equipment ZoneThis show is brought to you for a full hour by: 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. Introductory price is $3,295. Equipment Zone also carries a full line of DTG inks and supplies. Go to

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