April 11th, 2014 Show Notes – Niche Markets and an SGIA Update with Johnny Shell

April 11th Show Audio

Please find some links and notes from the 2 Regular Guys Podcast where Aaron and Terry presented our popular month show about available niche markets in our industry based on Terry Combs weekly newsletter, plus we will also talked with Johnny Shell from SGIA about their new website, and other happenings at SGIA.

Sponsored by: Equipment Zone (Use Coupon code GUYS)

SGIA New Site and Other Notes

  • Tell us a bit about your position with SGIA. 
  • What is it that you do when you spend time out on the road with SGIA membership?
  • So big changes with the SGIA website. Tell us what we’ll find new there.
    • Garment Site
  • What’s available to those non-members who stop by?
  • Give us a rundown again on costs of membership, and of course the benefits of being a member.
  • The SGIA Expo is coming up before we know it. Any updates for us on that? What are the dates and how do people sign up to attend?

Niche Market Discussion

  • Niche markets that we can get into that are specific to Spring and Summer clients. Schools are coming to a close before long. Any niche we can work with here?
    • Class and school trips

My youngest daughter is taking a class trip to Disneyland in two weeks. And what’s the best way to keep track of a herd of cats like Middle Schoolers? Put them in color coordinated school shirts! Check with local schools and the newspaper.

    • Class reunions

It is that time of year. While most classes have a gathering wearing a little dressier apparel than tees, many also include a family picnic or similar get together as part of the reunion weekend. That’s your cue for T-shirts. Contact local high schools for the names of event coordinators and suggest tees for their outdoor activities. You can also check local newspapers for announcements of committee meetings, etc.

    • Senior shirts

Not the local retirement center, but this niche market deals with selling to high school seniors. Nearly every high school senior class buys T-shirts, and every kid gets a shirt, so this niche can be big business. You’ll look at a decent run of shirts depending on the size of the school, a graphic that you have designed so you shouldn’t have printability issues, and you’ll have the potential for yearly repeat business.

In my experience, offering a variety of jump off the shirt designs is your best bet. Some classes will want to design their own, but more will choose from your own pre-designed selections.

Offering school namedrops is a bonus for getting you in the door. Another option is to have all the seniors sign a sheet of paper (in black ink) and print the actual signatures on the back. You can also offer printed lists of student names on the back.

You can do mailings and make contact first with the senior class advisor who will be a teacher at the school, and then go from there. The time is at hand for the class of 2011. Get your graphics together and get in contact with all the schools in your area.

  • Cinco de Mayo

We just wrapped up St Patrick’s Day, but we garment decorators need to be thinking a holiday or two ahead. Let’s shift our attention from Ireland to Mexico for the purposes of potential sales. Cinco de Mayo is May 5th for any of you who weren’t paying attention in your first year of high school Spanish.

First, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s Independence Day as many believe. That date is September 16th. Cinco de Mayo is actually a regional holiday in Mexico, celebrating the Mexican Army’s victory over the French on May 5th, 1862. Victory over the French? Work with that when you’re brainstorming some graphics.

Just like St Patrick’s Day, many bars and taverns will hold special events for Cinco de Mayo. Don’t feel uninformed if you didn’t know what this holiday is about. Most of your customers will not know either. But they will know that customers come out for this excuse to celebrate… something. Your job is to outfit all employees at local bars and taverns with Cinco de Mayo garments. And, just like with St Patrick’s Day, these establishments do not need to be themed either Irish or Mexican.

Tomorrow would be a good day to approach customers and potential customers with your Cinco de Mayo concepts. Even if no real celebration is planned, Cinco de Mayo themed shirts are still a potential product to outfit all your local bar staffs.

  • Niche’s for summer sales?
    • Golf tournaments

These events present a great opportunity for decorated apparel. Every tournament and golf outing will offer giveaways and prizes. This type event can be an ongoing source of business. And most sponsored events repeat year after year. Do a great job, and keep the business. Everyone from the PTO to local charities use golf events as a way to raise many and draw attention to their causes.

Check with your local golf courses for contact lists for upcoming events. You might offer the local pro a “finder’s fee” for any business he sends your way. Many pros subsidize their incomes by helping groups give prizes and giveaways for events on their courses. You could be the decorator of golf shirts and other parts of the player package.

Tip: Remember to offer printed golf towels for all participants as well. Water based ink is recommended.

    • Camps on Campus

My 1st print shop was by a college campus. And every summer there were camps and events using the dorm spaces, meeting facilities and practice fields.

Most colleges host a number of summer events utilizing classroom facilities and dormitories to generate revenue and to generate interest it their own particular college. I’m not talking about the usual college tours and pre-college visits by incoming freshmen. Instead, I’m referring to band camps, cheerleading camps, continuing adult education sessions on a variety of subjects and disciplines, etc. These events occur on campuses both large and small, in every region of the country.

Task: Contact your closest institution and find out the schedule of all summer activities. Hopefully, this list will include a contact person. Most of these events are prime targets for decorated apparel. Some will have made arrangements already, but others will be glad you called to check one more task off their to-do list.

Summer is around the corner, so planning for these on-campus events is well underway. Now is the time to make contact and make a sale.

Tip: Offer to print a sample garment and allow for a last-minute final order of sizes/quantities. The event coordinator can give you a good ballpark number of attendees. Your flexibility on deadline may close the sale.


  1. DAX Chicago – April 25th – 26th
  2. ISA Sign Expo Orlando – March 24th – 26th
  3. Sign Serigrafia (Brazil) – May 6th – 9th
  4. ISS Nashville – May 8th – 10th
  5. PPAI Expo East (Atlantic City) – May 19th – 21st
  6. NBM Indianapolis – June 12th – 14th
  7. ASI Chicago – July 15th – 17th

ISS Shows

Other News/Events

  1. Complete Screen Printing Business Course – Workhorse Products in Phoenix – May 17-18, 2014
  2. Introduction to DTG Printing – Equipment Zone in New Jersey (outside NYC) – May 23rd
  3. Complete Screen Printing Business Course – Atlas Screen Supply in Chicago – May 31-June 1, 2014

Terry’s Book – Screen Printing: A Practical Guide to Starting Your Own T-Shirt Business
Just $4.95 as an e-book.

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 $3,695. Equipment Zone also carries a full line of DTG inks and supplies. Go to EquipmentZone.com

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