Planning for Success in 2017

Please find some links and notes from the 2 Regular Guys Podcast. With 2017 less than 2 days away and many folks on a little break between the Christmas and New Years holiday, there is no better time than right now to get your planning done for 2017. All indications are that 2017 is going to be a great year for garment decorators and personalized products, so how do you get your share of that pie? Terry and Aaron are going to share their ideas for planning for success in 2017.

Sponsored by: Equipment Zone and Pic The Gift

Our 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. For the past 4 years, 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!!

Planning for Success in 2017

Terry: Change – one word that can mean lots of things in your own shop. I don’t know of any business that operates in the perfect world. That means there’s always room for improvement and always room for change when planning for success in 2017.

  • Doing things the same way and expecting a different outcome. If you’re not satisfied with any part of your business, what are you doing about it? Making no changes in your approach I’m afraid will give you the same unhappy results.
  • What change does on a production floor, or an office, or… Generally, productivity will go up for a period of time, no matter the change.
    • Spending too many hours at work? Then maybe it’s time to delegate some duties and trust employees to do the job. Easier said than done, but once you do share responsibilities it will get easier and easier. And your business will reflect your ability to focus on what’s most important.
    • Are your employees happy? Are your customers? If you’re the owner the business is a total reflection of you.
    • Do you need to hire, reassign, or have you been putting off terminating an employee you know needs to go? The start of a new year is a great time to shake things up a bit.
    • Are you focused on the wrong accounts? In other words, do you have a niche market but pursuing customers outside that niche?
    • Are you focused on products that make you the most money? Are you selling products that are marginally profitable? This is a good time to focus on making money.
    • 1st look at yourself and consider changes to the way you approach your business.
    • Personnel changes
    • Customer changes
    • Product changes
    • Take a step back and look at your entire business with the word “change” in your mind. It’s a brand new year and time for a brand new you and your company.

Aaron: Be grateful!

  • Lots of change for me in 2016 and many challenges, but one you look back you realize you really need to be thankful for those opportunities. Focus on that and you can then plan to embrace change when it is forced on you.
  • List 5 things you are most proud of for your business in 2016 and make sure the entire company knows what those things are.
  • Recognize and say thanks – Send a note, make it public.

Terry: Pick 1 thing you would like to see your business accomplish this year when planning for success in 2017.

  • Biting off more than you can chew. It’s easy to start the year with your list of things you want to change and accomplish. The bigger the list, the less chance you’ll get any of them done.
  • My 20 ideas concept I’ve talked about on here before. Be specific in with this.
    • Examples
    • I want to increase my sales by 20% this year. How would I accomplish that? Make another list of 20 ideas.
    • I’d like to focus my business on XYZ niche, but how do I make the transition away from my other customers and still make payroll. Make another list of ideas on how to accomplish this task.
    • I want to automate my production. What will it take to accomplish this task? How much will it cost? Can I recoup some of my expense by selling off the now unused equipment? Create a plan!
    • I’d like myself and my staff to be better at what we do every day. In fact, I’d like to win an award at the next ISS Show for the quality of our work. Create a plan and get to work! Be specific about what “better” means.
  • When you’re done, pick just one of the ideas and make that the focus of each day when you arrive at work. And most importantly, share the idea with your entire staff, and make it their focus too! Remind everyone regularly about the company focus in 2017.

Aaron: It’s about Who You Know, Not What You Know

  • What new connections do you NEED to make in 2017? New Vendors, New Partnerships
  • With Vendors, this is the perfect time of the year to review who you are using and if it is actually the best relationship. Price increases typically come at the dawn of a new year, and sometimes…
  • Also, think about the new staff that you need – We always try to do more with less, but what happens when you lose a key employee right before your busy season. Can you do more with more?

Terry: Review long-standing processes and procedures when planning for success in 2017.

Aaron’s Favorite Poster

  • Outdated? “But we’ve always done it this way.” I’m a “shake up what we do and how we do it” kind of person. I’ll guarantee most of your employees are not. Don’t let their resistance slow you down, or make you throw up your hands and quit.
    • I’ve talked in the past about my art dept keeping volumes of books with a ledger of the films going out to production. Each line had the Order number, the customer, number of films, etc. that someone would painstakingly record before delivering the film. Who do you imagine used that information?
  • Last year on this show I said you should be your own consultant. It’s time to do that again. Sit down with everyone one in your shop and have them tell you step by step what they do in their jobs. With each one of them creates a flow chart on graph paper. This doesn’t need to be art, just a basic outline of what each person does. And look at how this impacts everyone else’s job and workflow as well.
  • What’s the minimum amount of information your employees need to see to accomplish a task? Everything else is just time-consuming noise.
  • Eliminate duplication and outdated processes to make everyone’s life better in 2017… once you convince them their world won’t implode with these changes and improvements.

Aaron: Google Your Company when planning for success in 2017.

  • Use the Incognito Browser to see what others see.
  • Use tools like to see what changes you can make
  • Invest in an Adwords Spend for 2017
  • Work on getting people to your website and give them a reason to be there (Content, Placing Orders, etc.)
    • Stop sending people to Facebook, make it work the other way around.

BONUS: Get Smarter – You are already doing that by listening to our program so you have a leg up on many of your competitors, but don’t stop there because over 1200 people listen to this podcast a month and it is growing! Go to a show, pay for a few seminars, pay for a workshop or class. Local community college, Terry’s Classes, Our Digital Decorating Class etc.

Other News/Events

2 Regular Guys Talking Decoration Chat Room

alanhowe01Hello Guys, hello Erich

alanhowe01vista print? owned by staples?

ErichCampbellGreetings, Alan!

alanhowe01I am getting power points ready for ISS Longbeach seminars !!!!

ErichCampbellSame here, working on DAX. 🙂

alanhowe01i am so far behind

alanhowe01I am actually quoting Terry in the first slide of one of the power points

alanhowe01” a lot of screen printers just not a lot of good ones”  t combs   “and even less great ones ” A Howe

alanhowe01with autos, most of those numbers are dry cycle…autos the key is not how fast but How many jobs can you invoice per day ..this is all about set, stops, how fast load unloads, flash etc, screens. control the prepress and machines run faster

alanhowe01Hire good people, train them,  trust them

ErichCampbellThe only way to foster intrinsic motivation in your employees is to give them the right measure of autonomy, a path to mastery, and a sense of larger purpose.

alanhowe01so well said …I just don’t have that vocabulary, I blame Detroit public schools LOL

2 Regular Guys: Thank goodness you guys don’t have a podcast. We would be out of business. 😉 Good stuff.

alanhowe01Hmmm Erich ..Call me…2 other guys talking about 2 regular guys

alanhowe01it’s been done, many times before haha

alanhowe01I only have one legal pad in front of me

alanhowe01Terry Combs, Aaron Montgomery …you will go far in life

alanhowe01seriously ..networking,  so important

alanhowe01: Aaron no college degree? me neither but did you go to Detroit public schools .?

alanhowe01vendor partners, customer partners …and other industry partners  never know when market will change

alanhowe01discount 20% …off of what

alanhowe01if they are not willing or won’t, then you have to ask why are you using them

ErichCampbell:  Thre’s so much education out there from those great vendors.

alanhowe01awesome !!!! Aaron send that to me

ErichCampbell:  The worst reason to justify anything is ‘it’s just how we do it’

2 Regular Guys: I had that posted on my door for the first 6 months of my job there.

ErichCampbellTo paraphrase Gary V- don’t get romantic about the way you make your money- make it work.

alanhowe01this is great stuff, I hear all the time from printers this phrase

alanhowe01Erich who is Gary V

alanhowe01I want to use keep that quote

ErichCampbell:  Gary Vaynerchuk- Big marketing/sales guy

alanhowe01thank you…we have awesome education seminars available at all of the shows.

ErichCampbellYour local library may have access- I take classes there. 🙂

alanhowe01“knowledge is power, but only if you know how to use it”

ErichCampbellOnline access, free of charge.

2 Regular Guys:

ErichCampbellGreat year, guys! 🙂

alanhowe01that’s who I thought it was  ..he rocks !!

alanhowe01thank you guys  and Erich … was some great info I will be incorporating

ErichCampbellBamboo Spark – For Terry 😉

ErichCampbellJust capture that legal pad directly. 🙂


alanhowe01tour dates: Terry will be appearing at the blue grotto lounge

alanhowe01have the veal

ErichCampbellSee y’all at DAX if nothing else. 🙂

alanhowe01I won’t be at Dax .. not speaking there this year =(

ErichCampbellDarn! We’ll have to meet up some other time. 🙂

alanhowe01Thank you, Guys, have a great new year

ErichCampbellhappy new year! 🙂

Trade Shows

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

Equipment Zone LogoThis 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. Equipment Zone also carries a full line of DTG inks and supplies. Go to

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