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I keep seeing post after post about getting traffic to ones website. Does anyone even try to do outside sales?

Before we started out own business we looked for one to purchase. There are always 3-4 screen printing/embroidery shops for sale around here (Southern California) and many of them are doing $200K gross per year give or take but a few are doing $1 million gross or more. Now, everything these guys did was custom orders. No stock of any kind kept at the site. I am sure they could have done more to have stock items but they were pretty much busting at the seams as they were.

What makes a $1 million dollar operation? ONE outside salesman. Yep, that is what we found. A single outside salesman can do $85,000 a month in gross sales for just t-shirts in Southern California with most individual sales in the $4K to $8K range. Want to do $2 Million? Get another outside salesman.

So, my question is....does anyone do outside sales? Is everyone here looking to create stock t-shirts and make it rich that way? Are you doing anything besides t-shirts?

Just curious;)
 

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I get a good share of custom jobs. I have a salesman who wholesales blanks to local printers for me and he is always bringing in custom jobs and stuff other printers want to sub out. I also act as a printing and fulfillment service for a few other websites but I like website selling the best.

The profits are larger and it's just plain alot more fun to me. Maybe since I consider myself as more of a marketer than a screen printer and like the variety of tasks that are involved in running an online business. I figure custom work keeps the equipment always being in use and making money.
 

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I have found that doing custom work is by far the way to go. as most know here i am retired and as my friends say.. yeah right Lou.. My sales this month so far were triple last months and I do no advertising other than web sites (3) are really used just to show people what I can do. What is funny about my business is that most of my jobs are coming from the east and I am sittling in California. I just knocked out 104 tote bags for a toy store in New Hampshire.. doing tees for a store at the cape cod and Long sleeve tees with dog pictures for another store in Mass. Oh and today I am doing one shirt with a picture of a corvett.. why is that important.. because it is for the lady who runs the chamber of commerce.. gee where did you get that done??? I need tees of course..
 

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We definately work with all types of graphics besides tees....and having an outside sales rep really does help tremdously....as does having inside sales reps to maintain current clients, and secure reorders.

Because getting a customer is easy....but keeping a customer is where the work comes into play.

There's always someone trying to lure them away.
 

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So, my question is....does anyone do outside sales? Is everyone here looking to create stock t-shirts and make it rich that way? Are you doing anything besides t-shirts?
I think you'll see that there is a wide range of "t-shirt representation" here at the forums.

It's not just people who do custom printing, it's also people who are selling their own unique designs, people who are starting fashion brands, people who just design artwork for others, people who print with various machines, suppliers, etc.

So it's important to qualify each post with what that person's business goals are :) Not everyone is going to be a custom printer looking for outside work and not everyone is going to be looking to build a website to generate 1000's of online sales.
 

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EternylStudios said:
Because getting a customer is easy....but keeping a customer is where the work comes into play.
Actually, I hear most people say the complete opposite, which I tend to agree with more. If you make a quality product, you should have an easier time getting repeat orders from existing customers than new ones IMO, but of course various factors can influence this.
 

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Twinge said:
Actually, I hear most people say the complete opposite, which I tend to agree with more. If you make a quality product, you should have an easier time getting repeat orders from existing customers than new ones IMO, but of course various factors can influence this.
Definately true....but unless you "make your own apparel"....most competitors have access to the same quality as you sell...for example printing on blank beefy tees....thus the only real difference is graphic or service....but of course there are many more aspects to this...

but most consumers view t-shirts as a disposable commodity.
 

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EternylStudios said:
Definately true....but unless you "make your own apparel"....most competitors have access to the same quality as you sell...
Everyone has access: but not everyone actually takes advantage of that. Using high quality materials won't make a seller unique, but it will at least put them into narrower company.

EternylStudios said:
but most consumers view t-shirts as a disposable commodity.
I'd be interested in reading some market research on this if it ever gets done. I'm not convinced it's true, but then I'm not really convinced it's not either :)
 

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That would be a good research niche....

I think there was a look into into this year or last year....and it had something to do with the number of tees an average person owned....versus how long they saved them.

maybe I can check some old trade mags.
 
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