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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've worked in the screen printing and embroidery industry for 22 years. I run a large shop in Colorado. We do a couple million in sales each year. Probably the largest shop out of 30 in Northern Colorado. I do a little of everything -- sales, customer service, quotes, invoicing, office manager, employee hiring and onboarding, payroll submission, collections, ordering blanks, scheduling production, shipping, etc. Overall I run the shop operations BUT I've gone as high as I can in the company in terms of pay, position, etc. I need more money, benefits, retirement, and something I can call my own.

I started my own company last year as a side hustle. I'd take orders from friends and family mostly - I have maybe 7-8 customers. I did $30,000 last year ($17k profit). All I do is the sales and order blanks. My main shop/job does the printing. They do a lot of that contract printing for companies around town.
It always seemed like a great gig - make the sale and let someone else do the work of printing it.

I'd like to turn this into a full time gig to support my wife and new son. We'd like to be doing $90k to $100k profit annually (so around $200k before expenses I guess we a 50% markup).

But I'm not sure where to go.... how to grow from where I'm at?

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- I have my business name, sales tax license, and accounts at the major wholesalers. About 20 five star reviews. Facebook page, yelp, and Instagram pages too.

- I pay sales tax already.

- I have a really really simple one page we're through GoDaddy but it has no SEO. I assume this is where I need to focus. Get to the top of Google. I think discoverability is more important than branding or social media or advertising. If they can find you everyone they search they'll ask for a quote.

- I have no real budget. No money right now to invest. I could probably come up with $500 to get up and moving.

- I want to focus on schools, local business, sports events, non profit events, races, churches, trades, etc.

- I'm open to trying other outlets. Listing services on Etsy. Even coming up with a clothing company that sells individual shirts (if only I could find a niche).

- I'll offer screenprinting, DTF, embroidery, and promotional products.

- I'm fine just making a living. Not trying to be the top dog. Just support my family and be my own boss. It'll just be me running the business. No employees. Since other shops do the printing all I have to do is sell and process orders.

WHERE DO I GO FROM HERE?
WHAT DO I NEED TO FOCUS ON?
HOW DO I GET FROM $30K TO $200K?
WHERE SHOULD I SPEND MY $500?
 

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...I'd take orders from friends and family mostly -- I have maybe 7-8 customers. I did $30,000 last year ($17k profit)...
I've no useful advice, sorry :unsure: But you've done the easy part. Making solid sales connections with new people is work, and a type of work that I'm not cutout for myself. If you are the sort who can cold call strangers and take rejection and just keep on going, then you would be way ahead of me in undertaking this business venture.

I don't know, but my general impression is that such business depends a fair amount upon reputation and connections. Besides good direct sales skills, positive word-of-mouth from happy customers could grow sales over time--just as bad word-of-mouth would hurt. Being part of any local community business organizations used to be a thing, as well as things like the Elks ... but I doubt that sort of thing has as much juice as it once did.
 

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I did $30,000 last year ($17k profit).
I have no real budget. No money right now to invest. I could probably come up with $500 to get up and moving.
So you've spent all the $17k from last year?
For $200k sales per year, you will need at least $30,000 of working capital.
That's if you can find the customers of course.

You can always create your own customers... which is what I do.
Give people something profitable, and they'll keep coming back for more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah - we just did this as a side hustle.
If we got money we paid for the blanks and used the money for groceries, diapers, movie tickets, dinner, gas, etc
We are broke with only me working now -- so we needed just a little boost each month to afford to live.
We did not plan to need anything to reinvest into business - it was just for fun at that point.
 
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