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  • Writer's pictureHolly

10 Commandments of a Custom Product Business

10 Commandments of a Custom Product Business



1. NEVER USE THEIR PRODUCT ( i.e. their t-shirt)

  • Using their product prevents you from making money on the blank.

  • The markup can be 100% of the cost of the blank.

  • Using their product takes that money out of your pocket.

  • Generally, there is no room for error if there is a mishap


2. ALWAYS GET A DEPOSIT OF AT LEAST ENOUGH TO COVER YOUR MATERIALS BEFORE YOU START THE JOB.

  • Until you are paid for the order, at least the deposit, it isn't an order but a wish.


3. ALWAYS GET A SIGNATURE FROM THE CLIENT (THE PERSON RESPONSIBLE) ACCEPTING THE DESIGN.

  • Include Spelling, Design elements, dates, etc. in the final approval.

4. TREAT THIS AS A BUSINESS FROM YOUR FIRST AD OR ORDER.

  • Friends and family try to be supportive but remember you are in business to make money not give away your product or profits


5. UNDER-PROMISE & OVER-DELIVER.

  • This one sounds scary like I want you to give things away. Set a delivery date for the customer, but make your delivery date one day earlier. This gives you a little wiggle room if something does go wrong.


6. NEVER PAY FULL PRICE FOR BLANKS.

  • Research sources that deal wholesale. You will pay less and make more profit.

  • You will need a Tax ID number

  • See this link for information on Tax ID

  • Apply for an EIN (See my post on starting a business)


7. YOUR BEST FRIEND CAN BE YOUR WORST CUSTOMER.

  • With few exceptions, your friends will not fully understand what you do and the cost involved.

  • They will many times devalue your work by asking for “favors”


8. FINDING AND KEEPING CUSTOMERS IS YOUR #1 JOB!

  • Anyone can make a product

  • Why should they choose you?

  • Why are you better/different?


9. SPECIALIZE – TOO MANY DIRECTIONS CAUSES A LACK OF FOCUS.

  • Find a niche and stay in it!


10. INVEST IN GOOD, RELIABLE EQUIPMENT

  • You must have a backup digital cutting machine

  • The same brand, etc. so ramp-up time is 0

  • Run that backup machine regularly to keep it ready




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